Future Internet Success
Anyone who wants their website to do well nowardays must be very forward thinking. With over 2 billion web pages battling for the (relatively) small number of people online, the internet has become a cuthroat industry with developers resorting to desparate tactics to get more visitors. The simple fact is, though, that the way to be truly successful, is to be the first at something, and this is what webmasters should be looking to do.
Practically all the good ideas are gone. Unfortunately this statement is, in some ways, very true. There are still websites that innovate, but now that most of the offline shops and ideas have been taken online, it is only the real visionaries that can create completely new ideas to take online. Because of this, everyone else need to find other ways of innovating. Surprisingly enough, though, there are new markets which are emerging which are growing, but under-exploited. It is these new markets which should be embraced by today's webmasters.
China and India
One of the new markets which is quikly developing on the internet, is that for Chinese content. China is the world's most populous country with over 1.3 billion people, but only 33.7 million of them are online. Thats just 2.5%, compared to roungly 55% in the UK and USA. Its obvious, from looking at these figures, that internet usage in China is going to grow hugely over the next few years. Currently there are just over 500 million people online worldwide. Within the next 5 to 10 years, there could be that many people online from China alone.
Although Chinese web users have for a long time been regulated online (and the government still puts filters in place to stop them from viewing some sites) they are getting more and more freedom and hundreds of thousands of sites in Chinese have been set up. There is still a huge amount of information which is online, though, which is only available in English, and this makes it difficult for the Chinese to use it. There is a huge market over the next few years to market your website and information in China, so it might be time to consider finding someone to translate your website.
A similar view could be taken of India. Here, internet access is even less widly spread (only 5 million of the 1 billion people are online (0.5%). Hundreds of other countries around the world like China and India also have huge populations and will be massive markets once the internet becomes widly spread. A shrewd webmaster will begin thinking about targetting these markets soon.
This is a second market which is already gaining huge popularity, and will continue to do so over the next few years. Practically every developed country (for example the USA, Australia, the UK and other EU memeber countries) has an ageing population. Because people are living longer, larger proportions are over 60 and retired. Already, these people have begun to start using the internet, as it provides a huge amount of information without them having to leave home, and can allow them to keep in touch with friends and family easily.
Although many sites are providing information directly to older people (and they can easily use the majority of internet sites in their native language), there is still an emerging market which should be targeted. Aiming your site towards the older generation of 'silver-surfers' is much easier than translation. Things like offering alternative methods of payment, allowing larger font sizes, providing telephone numbers and postal addresses, can all impove the experience for older people and make them more confident about using your website.
There are many emerging markets, and to succeed on the internet you must be sure to consider and, in some cases directly target, them. This article has just covered two, but a bit of research can find many more. The internet will grow hugely over the next 5 years, and webmasters must be ready to take advantage.
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