User-generated content: How to make it work for your SEO

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Like love and marriage, like a horse and carriage, SEO and content have always belonged together. But there’s this all-time trouble with content — it just can’t be generated 24/7. But does it mean that it can negatively affect your SEO? Well, if you know how to “delegate” content creation to your users, the answer is no. Basically, any kind of content (photos, videos, text posts, product reviews, etc.) that users create and publish on various online platforms can be referred to as user-generated content (UGC).

Now that 88% of shoppers do trust reviews written by other consumers, incorporating UGC in your SEO strategy is a must. What is more, over 25% of the search results for the 20 largest brands in the world are linked to user-generated content. It all brings us to a conclusion that creating opportunities for user-generated content and knowing how to manage it are uber important activities about which I’m going to talk in this article. So, read on!

Why is UGC beneficial for SEO?

Surprisingly enough, many marketers out there don’t realize that user-generated content can also immensely boost SEO. Among other pleasant “side effects” are:

  1. Optimization for semantic search

As you may know, Google is now going nuts about making the web more mobile-friendly, which means adjusting it to mobile users who tend to ask questions while searching for something. So, thanks to your customers’ questions or reviews written in natural language, your website has more chances to win the ranking battle.

  1. Search visibility and trust

Adding some microdata (in form of star ratings, for instance) to reviews will surely add credibility and visibility in search results. What is more, about 9% of Google’s entire search algorithm is driven by review signals, and reviews from Google+ pages are also automatically shown in rich snippets.

  1. Conversions

It’s only fair to say that user-generated content is highly appreciated by consumers, as it’s created by unbiased people and therefore seems more trustworthy. In fact, 88% of shoppers do trust reviews left by other consumers. On top of that, people who see some positive UGC are converting 161% more than people who don’t. Do I even need to say more?

  1. Understanding your customers

By looking through user-generated content, you may really get an idea of the way your audience speaks about your product, their motivation, or maybe even some areas of improvement.

  1. New keyword opportunities

When users generate some new forms of content, it can naturally utilize some long-tail keywords your site may or may not already be targeting.

  1. User engagement

People like being heard, you just can’t take it from them. Knowing that, why not provide your users with this opportunity? By doing so, you can kill two birds with one stone increasing their time spent on your site as well as click-through rate.

How to implement various types of UGC?

  1. Testimonials

Understandably, when your potential customers form their opinion about your brand, they mostly rely on your website’s content. Naturally, some of them might be skeptical or hesitant due to the fact that the way you talk about your own company has no chances to be unbiased. That is why the best way to establish trust and encourage potential buyers to take action is letting your happy customers do the talking.

But what is even more important, by optimizing your testimonial page for relevant search queries (connected with reviews, testimonials, etc.), you can get yourself a good amount of traffic. Besides, your testimonial page is another indexed website page with some content covering product features, descriptions, and other keywords that you’re trying to rank for in the search results. Also, the chance is high that your customers will be using long-tail keywords within the testimonial, which may also help you to rank higher for them.

Pro Tip:  I would massively suggest using Rank Tracker for finding new keyword opportunities to optimize your testimonial page for. Naturally, these queries should contain words like “review” or “testimonial”.

  1. What you need to do is open Rank Tracker and go to the Keyword Suggestions tab, which is under the Keyword Research module.
  2. There you’ll need to pick Google AdWords Keyword Planner and enter your keywords.
  3. After the tool has kindly supplied you with a whole bunch of new keywords ideas, you need to filter out the ones that you don’t want to optimize your testimonial page for.
  4. So, hit the funnel icon  , which is in the upper right corner, and click Add filter.
  5. Now, set your filter like this: Keyword -> contains -> review. Specify other keywords that you feel like may be in search queries for your testimonial page and hit OK.
  6. For now you can move them to a separate group for your convenience. First, you need to send the selected keywords to the Rank Tracking submodule (right-click them and hit Move Selected Keyword(s) To Rank Tracking). After that, right-click them again and hit Move To Keyword Group. The freshly made group can be found in the Keyword Map submodule.

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