YouTube, MySpace, Flickr, Digg, Wikipedia are but some of the collaboration-focused websites that have changed the Internet. Called Web 2.0, these sites include social networking, social bookmarking, social tagging, wikis, among others.
The question now is: how can you tap these Web 2.0 websites to boost traffic of your site and increase your reach? Here are six suggestions:
1. Make a list of Web 2.0 sites you want to tap. Depending on the type of content you have, prioritize sites that you think would work well for your content. Use Seth Godin’s Web 2.0 Traffic Watch List http://www.statsaholic.com/sethgodin to determine which sites may be able to give you a bang for your buck.
If you have videos, for example, YouTube and similar video sharing sites will work best. If you like to engage in community building, make a profile in MySpace or Facebook.
2. Know what you can get from the site. It is important to clarify your expectations right from the beginning. You may post your site URL in Yahoo Answers in the hope that you get a pagerank boost, but YA places a rel=nofollow tag on URLs so there’s no gain in terms of linking. But if you provide great responses and relevant URLs, active participation in YA can give a huge traffic boost to your website.
Or Stumbleupon, where the value lies not from the SEO standpoint but from the huge number of Stumblers who happen to stumble upon your site and like it, and spread your site to others.
3. Understand the type of content suitable for the particular Web 2.0 site. Web 2.0 sites are not equally; and as such, each one has a different criteria. Check first if your content is suitable for that website. For example, Wikipedia favors more research, academic and non-profit websites compared to commercial ad-heavy websites.
4. Study the type of content that works well for that Web 2.0 site. Before creating your MySpace profile, check out other profiles especially in your sector. Be sure to read the program policies to know what you can do, and what you cannot do (e.g. can you hard sell your business on the site?). Or look at Digg.com and analyze which content gets “digged” the most compared to others.
5. Create content worthy to be talked about and linked. I am a firm believer that everything starts with content. Even if you spend 10 hours a day submitting your content to these Web 2.0 sites but if your content is crap, no one will bother to link or visit your submissions or profiles created. Create content that is very informative, unique or witty, so that others will want to link to you freely and share your content in social bookmarking or social community websites. In Digg, for example, countdown types of articles (top 30 list, top 10 tips, etc) works very well.
6. Make your website easy to share. Use tools that will make it easy to share your content and post it in Web 2.0 sites. My personal favorites are:
- AddThis http://www.addthis.com = very easy to customize, and gives you almost real time statistics on what pages on your site have been shared and where the contents have been posted
- Clearspring http://www.clearspring.com/ = a little harder to customize but their widget gives a nice look, though the stats are a little delayed