As we plunge headlong into the 21st Century, it appears that the Worldwide Web will continue to be a major force.

As we plunge headlong into the 21 Century, it appears that the Worldwide Web will continue to be a major force. Businesses that flew into Web site ownership a few years back, only to become stuck, should take a few lessons from the industrious spider.

A smart spider knows how to deftly negotiate its web, knows what areas to avoid and which will be the most profitable. It keeps an eye on the prevailing winds, fixes broken links rapidly, responds quickly to visitors, and knows when to build something new, fresh and sticky. Here are some trends:

  • A Web presence is becoming increasingly necessary as a complement to a firm's other marketing efforts. A Web site is a great way to extend the selling points that have been made via other means, like brochures, press releases, salespeople, and even word-of-mouth recommendations. More and more firms are realizing that a Web site is not a standalone marketing tool.

  • Potential clients with a need to fill are starting to turn to the Web first. As people become increasingly accustomed to conducting a multitude of transactions over the Internet, they will most likely use the Internet to look for A/E/P services as well.

  • Firms with a Web presence will get smarter about giving, gathering, and using, information. The number of "hits" a Website receives means nothing unless some benefit is achieved. The firms that know more about who their Web site visitors are and why they're there will win the battle.

  • Project management Web sites become increasingly important. Project Web sites are drawing attention for their ability to speed up collaboration and information sharing among project team members. When it comes to a Web site strategy in the year 2000 and beyond, will a given firm be a smart spider or a stuck fly? Firms should consistently examine their Web site strategy, keeping an eye on technological advancements and their target audience.