User-generated content is anything written/created NOT by your company. This could be a blog post, product review, video, blog comment, social network update and so forth. Believe it or not, this user-generated content can actually be incredibly value to your SEO. Even though you are not the original author, you can spin UGC into a valuable component of your content marketing campaign. Here are three easy ways to do just that:
Provides unique content for your website.
This is especially helpful for e-commerce sites that may have minimal content on their product pages. Oftentimes product descriptions are the same across a myriad of e-commerce websites, so user-generated content like product reviews and testimonials give the search spiders more content to read and incorporate into the ranking algorithm. It also helps separate your e-commerce site from others by showing your unique selling value and how it impacts your customers. UGC is also another place where you can target the most appropriate keywords for each page of you website without ruining the overall user experience by keyword stuffing.
There is nothing wrong with asking happy customers for a review or testimonial! Interestingly enough, most customers are only going to share truly exceptional or really bad experiences with a brand, not the good ones that happen day-to-day. You want to show your target audience that you consistently sell great products and services. One negative review won’t be able to undermine 10 good ones. You can incentivize their reviews by offering a discount off their next purchase for their time.
Builds consumer trust.
More and more consumers are relying on peer reviews when looking to make a purchasing decision. Whether your company exists in the B2B or B2C market, having user-generated content that supports your brand and products is a must. Client testimonials and reviews let potential customers know that they are going to be satisfied with their purchase and that your company is going to provide a great user-experience throughout the buying process.
Keep in mind that potential customers are going to look for peer reviews on other sites and not just rely on the ones you posted to your website. It’s important to monitor consumer review sites, community forums and social networks to see what people are really saying about your brand. For instance, a restaurant’s rating on Yelp might severely impact the amount of foot traffic they get, especially as more and more diners look to mobile devices to make quick decisions. A few good reviews will bring people through the doors while a lot of bad reviews might keep them away.
Some customers even look at the way a company handles negative reviews before making a purchasing decision, so adding your own voice to the conversation and trying to fix any customer issues or complaints is a must.
Community forums are a great source of content topics.
The number one complaint I hear from a lot of my B2C and B2B SEO clients is that they don’t know what to write about on their blog or for their article marketing. Well user-generated content is a great place to find topics! Think about the emails your customer service team gets—do you notice any common questions? You can answer those questions in a blog post and help educate your audience. Community forums are a great place to get a feel for what your audience is talking about and what issues they are facing, helping you uncover content topics that you know they’ll be interested in. Your content marketing should strive to educate your audience and position your company as a trusted resource. By using UGC as a starting point, you’ll be able to better craft your content marketing and give readers the information they are looking for.
Most companies are practically swimming in user-generated content, even if they don’t realize it. Don’t let this valuable source of content go to waste!
About the Author – Nick Stamoulis
Nick Stamoulis is the President of Brick Marketing a Boston based SEO company. With nearly 13 years of industry experience, Nick Stamoulis share his knowledge by contributing to the Brick Marketing Internet Marketing Blog, as well as publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 160,000 opt-in subscribers.
Contact Nick Stamoulis at 781-999-1222 or firstname.lastname@example.org