There are just as many ways to integrate Web 2.0 interaction – and therefore reap the traffic benefits – into an existing website, as there are to launch a new site with Web 2.0 elements.

Below is a quick table I’ve drafted up (in no particular order) of types of sites or applications (types/apps), brief descriptions of each (what), benefits (why), as well as measurements of success to consider after integration (measurement). Consider the measurement challenges before you integrate however as all Web 2.0 applications are not created equal.

Types/Apps What?/Why? Measurement
Blog

Websites where content is presented in journal style, displayed in reverse chronological order, and often includes a comment feature for visitor interaction.

Create or develop relationships with target audience, and
potential/existing customers.

Where does the traffic come from?

Where does the traffic go?

Does the traffic convert?

Which reader segment is commenting?

Does the traffic return?

Wiki

A web site that allows the visitors to
easily add, remove, edit and change the website content,
sometimes without the need for registration.

Allows a specialized target audience to contribute to, or
create, content.

 

Is the topic (and therefore the content) popular?

Does it affect sales and conversions?

Who visits the wiki? Who contributes to it?

Social Network

A social network website allows interaction between users
– publicly or privately.

Identify and advertise to finely targeted groups of
existing or potential customers.

Are the users discussing products and/or services?

How much traffic does this create to the product/service
pages?

Is the content indexed in the search
engines?

User Review

Website that allows visitors to write reviews of
products, content and/or services.

Provides peer product reviews to new or existing customer
base. Establishes the website as the resource for researching related
products and services.

How many reviews per visitor are read/written?

Do the reviews increase new traffic to the site or keep
the traffic on the site longer?

Does this content increase sales/conversion?

Forum

An online discussion site.

Create or develop relationships with potential/existing
customers.

Is the topic/content popular?

Does it affect sales and conversions?

Who uses the forum? Who contributes to it?

Does it bring more traffic?

Is the content indexed in the search
engines?

RSS

RSS delivers information as an XML file (aka RSS feed).
Small software programs (feed readers or aggregators) check subscribed feeds
for a user and displays updated content.

Publish time sensitive information, news, sales, or
incentives to potential/existing customers.

How frequently is RSS accessed? By how many subscribers?

Are links within RSS clicked through? 

Does RSS increase website traffic? Increase visitor stay?

Does RSS increase sales/conversions?

Which content is most popular?

Podcast

A podcast is a multimedia file distributed over the
Internet for playback on mobile devices and
personal computers.

Provide value added, topical content in an easy to digest
form.

Reach new audiences via podcast aggregators such as iTunes.

How many times was the podcast downloaded?

How much website traffic did the Podcast generate?

Did the podcast increase sales/conversions?

Comparison Shopping

A price comparison website that allows individuals to see lists of prices for
a pre-defined or search generated product.

Reach a wider audience.

How much traffic does this send to your product website?

Does it affect sales and conversions?

Video / Multimedia Multimedia rich sites use a variety of information sharing via text, audio, graphics,
animation, and video, to inform internet surfers.

Share content with potential/existing customers in video format.

How often was content accessed?

How long was it viewed? Until the end?

Is the content indexed in the search
engines?

Does it affect sales and conversions?

Ajax / Flash

Ajax enables small amounts of user generated information to
interact with a website server ‘behind’ the page – the web page does not refresh
based on a change via interaction.

Flash was once most commonly used to create animation, animated advertisements,
and to assist in the integration of video onto a web page. More recently
however, Flash is being used to create an interactive web.

Serve user friendly applications to potential/existing customers
in a high-touch (not high tech) manner.

How has Ajax/Flash improved the process?

Does it affect sales and conversions?

Does it affect corporate brand?

Mobile

Online content accessed via mobile phones, PDAs, and other handheld
devices.

Enables users to access your content or interact with your site,
from anywhere at any time.

Does it affect sales and conversions?

Does it affect corporate brand?

Portal

A site that provides personalized responses, content, or other capabilities to
visitors based on input.

Provide a personal (yet overseen), one stop shop, for
potential/existing customers to enjoy, aggregate, or create content.

What content or applications are being used?

Does it affect sales and conversions?

Does it affect corporate brand?

Is the content indexed in the search
engines?