The real-time web has become the buzz word of the day.
Sites like Twitter and Facebook have made it easier and faster to consume media, causing a shift in our expectations. We want any and all information as soon as possible and we find it difficult to extract ourselves from these rivers of information.
Articles written month or even weeks ago are considered old news and this isn’t good if you’re still managing your web site like it’s 2004.
The real-time web is here and growing. Don’t let your site be left behind.
You Need to Boost Quantity from Quality
With the rise of the real-time web, people are less likely to go to your corporate web site. This isn’t news, it’s been happening since the beginning of the decade when RSS reduced the need to visit your favorite web sites each day looking for new content.
The real-time web leverages this even further.
If you’ve used Twitter or Facebook you know exactly what I mean. You’re receiving updates and recommendation from hundreds of people on what to watch, read, and listen to. The human network has taken over and it’s funneling everything to you without searching on Google.
This opens up a huge opportunity for Internet marketers but it requires more work and extra planning.
Content has always been a web sites greatest asset. But now you need to think about how you can break it up into smaller pieces that can be shared and reused through other channels.
For example, that new product page you just created should also be condensed down into an interesting 140 character Tweet, a Facebook update, and maybe a 30 second demo showing off the best new feature. You want as much content from your web site pushed out into your “cloud site” – your companies content that is floating in different areas of the Internet. It’s photos on Flickr, articles on Digg, and bookmarks in delicious.
This strategy helps you to effectively use the real-time web to to scatter breadcrumbs across the Internet leading people back to your web site but how will you know if it’s working?
Real-Time Web Analytics
To deal with the changes that the real-time web brings, companies are developing real-time analytics programs. Gone are the days when we waited for log files to run to process the previous days statistics.
The real-time web ensures that we respond to visitors faster than ever before. Waiting days or weeks to see how a campaign performed is no longer necessary. With real-time web analytics we can respond to visitors instantly. Dashboards keep us up-to-date on how each campaign is performing and the smallest changes can be seen, corrected, and tested within minutes.
Integrated into real-time analytics will be information coming from outside of your web site. Since most real-time web applications use shorter messages – and character limits – URL shorteners have become very popular. This is fantastic for Internet marketers as these service give statistics on how your links are being shared.
Unfortunately, there are a couple of downsides to this which will be fixed over time. Right now there are too many URL shortening services. This fragments your statistics across different services making it difficult to see the big picture. The second is that these statistics aren’t available within your current web analytics program. You’re going to have to do some searching to get the information you need.
Overtime, the real-time web is going to dramatically shift how we think about corporate web sites and how we build corporate content. We’re already seeing this now. It’s up to you to experiment and learn how to leverage real-time technology before web site and your company are left behind.
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