3 Ways to Boost SEO With User-Generated Content
In a recent study, we found that more than one-third of shoppers prefer to start shopping at a search engine. This data should send a clear signal to brands and retailers that if you want to drive shoppers to your product pages, you need a solid SEO strategy.
Search engines prize fresh and relevant content. One effective way to deliver that is to leverage the content that your customers are already creating. User-generated content (UGC) like ratings, reviews, Q&A and even user-submitted images can improve your site’s search rankings, which in turn can increase traffic and drive conversions. Here are three ways you can improve SEO and drive traffic with user-generated content.
Drive Organic Traffic to Your Site With Rich Snippets
In 2011, search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo came together to produce Schema.org, a single standard for structuring data on websites. By structuring and standardizing Web content according to these guidelines, sites are easier for search engines to crawl and then pull relevant information that can be used to further enhance search results.
When your site is structured according to Schema.org standards, you can benefit by providing search engines the ability to offer more relevant, content-rich results. If you use reviews, search engines modify their search results to include star ratings as part of the results display. These previews are aptly called rich snippets and can increase click-through rates by as much as 30 percent. By enabling rich snippets, brands and retailers can better drive traffic and complement other strategies, such as search engine marketing.
Encourage Users to Add Images
Images are often overlooked as a way to improve your site’s visibility and rankings. By encouraging your customers to add images to their reviews, your product pages will become more visible to consumers who start their shopping journey with an image search.
Keep Content Fresh and Unique
Search engines value content that’s frequently updated, so consider leveraging user-generated content like ratings and reviews to keep your product pages fresh. Major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo like ratings and reviews because they are regularly updated by users and contain unique content. But in order to keep a steady stream of reviews, you’ll need a strong strategy to encourage shoppers to write them.
There are a number of ways to motivate shoppers to write reviews, but we find that the vast majority of consumer reviews come from post-purchase emails. When sending post-purchase emails asking for reviews, consider personalizing each message while keeping content short and to the point. Additional elements like banners or links will pull customers away from writing reviews -- lowering the likelihood that a search engine will give precedence to your product pages.
While leveraging UGC is an effective strategy, it’s important to remember that this is just one way to boost SEO. But through the use of ratings and reviews, you can drive organic traffic to your page with rich snippets, increase your brand’s visibility with images, and improve your website’s search engine ranking with a constant source of fresh and unique content.