Just read Greg Sterling’s linkbait on the end of smb websites and since for some reason Greg’s blog thinks I am spamming him I thought I’d reiterate my comment here (note to all bloggers please check your blog’s spam catcher and despam my profile!).
In Greg’s post he posits that the profile page as sold by the IYPs, the Weblistics, Webvisibles, LocalLaunches, ReachLocals, etc. may eventually become the main vehicle by which SMBs drive leads, thus rendering the SMB website superfluous.
My take is that SMB websites are going to continue to get better and better thus rendering the profile page superfluous. Here’s what I think is going to happen:
1. SMBs are going to get more product and inventory info on their sites over time
2. The cost of good SMB websites is going to come down over time.
3. Niche website providers (e.g. Market Hardware, Creating Your Space, etc.) are going to get better at building websites that attract and convert for their industries and will sell marketing services rendering the need for a profile page moot.
4. Google will continue to send traffic to the SMB sites at the expense of the profile page aggregators.
5. The profile page providers will realize that their job is to get traffic and convert it, will realize that their flimsy profile pages ain’t doing the job and will start taking more ownership of the conversion metric on SMB sites. This is already happening with the reverse proxy services that all of these guys provide.
The profile page will be around for a long time and is a great thing for SMBs with crappy/no websites, but eventually the SMB website is going to be where the action is.
Then again I may have no idea what I am talking about. But that’s the risk you take with reading blogs dude. Later.