Web 2.0 is a popular buzzword nowadays, yet almost everyone has a different opinion of just what Web 2.0 is and what exactly it means for their own Web marketing strategy. To me, when I hear 2.0 vs. 1.0 it tells me there must have been an evolution from one to the other, so the first thing I do is take a step back and try to evaluate the progression from one to the other…
Below is a video that demonstrates how ThomasNet has incorporated Web 2.0 technology into a Website development technology/platform and leveraged the interactivity of the technology to the advantage of our clients and your users.
When the Internet first came on the scene there was a lot of hype and everyone thought email was the most amazing thing ever. Correspondence without letters and phone calls was great, but the typical Website took an enormously long time to load and had little information of value. It took several years for Internet technology to advance to high speed connections which improved the speed of the Web significantly. Out of that that infrastructure enhancement has come the ability to improve Website technology. Much more can be done to disseminate the information people seek because the platform has improved. We have now gone full circle back to the one thing everyone agreed was great about the birth of the Web and improved our ability to connect with people.
The most common reference point for Web 2.0 is the ‘birth’ of Social Networking, which in many ways is email on steroids. BUT WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE INDUSTRIAL/BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS SUPPLIER???
For me, the best way to look at Web 2.0 is to evaluate your own Website against 10 other sites. They don’t have to be competitors or even sites in your own industry. Just look at 10 Websites you like and if you feel they offer better usability and an interactive element that yours does not, then your site is behind the times. Web 2.0 doesn’t have to mean adding social networking aspects to your Website (but it should). Most important, is that your site is on par technologically with the current technology of the Web. Web 2.0 has driven user expectations to a much higher level and your site must provide the following to keep up with the pace:
- Logical Navigation and Usability
- Access to Contact Forms From Every Page
- The Ability for Users to Interact with Your Products–down-loadable data, images, accurate descriptions
- Search Engine Optimization
- And more….
One word to sum up what Web 2.0 should mean to you and your Web marketing strategy is INTERACTION. When visitors find your Website you want to provide them with multiple paths into the information you provide that matches what they were looking for. Users want to be in control–it’s up to you to provide them with the tools to do so.
Web 2.0 has been a buzzword for the past couple years now and it’s only a matter of time before we’re talking about Web 3.0. One thing we’ve found is that the only way to go from 1.0 to 2.0 is to change the technology that drives your Website–minor edits and upgrades are not enough. This pattern will continue and the leap from 1.0 to 3.0 will be much more difficult than 2.0 to 3.0!
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