OK OK I'm sorry, before a thousand shrieking twitters tell me "You just don't get it do you" (in a manner oddly reminiscent of a flock of starlings). I'll introduce the caveat: "Web 2.0 does work for some things, but it is quite over-hyped at the moment!"
Is that better?
It does make you wonder though, whether the massive and increasing influx onto the web 2.0 sites are the same people that were jumping into the housing market ("can't lose can you - safe as houses") a couple of years ago. When housing prices fall - go social networking!
So web 2.0 is fantastically and increasingly popular, and the marketing Gurus on every street corner are blazing on about the benefits of social interaction. And to an extent they're right. I'm twittering away with the best of them (apart from Stephen Fry of course), on Linked In, eCademy, Facebook, and a number of others I could mention if I could remember the login details.
However a lot of the fuss runs the danger of distracting people away from the fundamentals of web marketing, so I'm going to make the case for keeping an eye on the fundamentals.
Now you can of course ignore this whole post if the fundamentals of your web marketing strategy are all in line, however so many people still don't even know what those fundamentals are (judging by the sites that are still being commissioned for page 789 of Google) that I should still have an audience.
So what are the fundamentals?
- If your site is running anything like efficiently, you will still be attracting something between 60 - 95% of your traffic through search.
- Of that the vast majority is likely to come from Google.
- Visitors from search are looking for what you've got on your web site.
- Visitors from Social Networking once met your auntie at a cocktail party.
- The way to get traffic from search is through content - great content, and lots of it.
- Content should contain key phrases, properly research and placed on the page.
- Content should be compelling, interesting, and convert the visitors to customers.
- Content should be updated and added to regularly.
- You need lots of links pointing to your site, from other great sites with some relevance to yours. This tells search engines that you are important.
- You need good Analytics to track your visitors, and understand what on earth is going on with your site.
- You need a mechanism to bring visitors back to the site again, on a regular basis after the first visit.
- When they come back they must continue to be impressed with what they find.
- Eventually they may trust you (above everybody else on the Internet) sufficiently to buy what you are offering.
That's about it really, and it hasn't changed since Facebook passed its 175 millionth user, or Twitter became the coolest word to use at a posh dinner party.
Web 2.0 is fascinating, a genuine social phenomenon, growing fast, and changing the way many of us live our lives. But for those making serious headway on the web it is just another tool in their armoury, and the basics of making your site successful on line continue much as they have done for the last few years.