Top 7 tips for SEO work around User Generated Content:
- Don’t forget SEO fundamentals – you have to start with the fundamentals (h1 tags, keyword targeting, great writing)
- Search engines get bored – ‘static sites are so 2005’, search engines crave something new (keep it exciting)
- The Primanti Principle – Primanti (a restaurant in Pittsburgh, PA) is one of the best places to get a corned beef sandwich. Â Traditional ingredients with the exact amount of french fry additions. Â Not too much, just enough to be interesting and dynamic. Â Web pages are the same – you start out by building with foundational elements but add in the ‘meat’ of the webpage and layer on 8-10 pieces of fresh, User Generated Content (your french fries) to give to Google to devour.
- Beware of dilution – be strategic. Â The average review, user question or answer is about 100 words long. Â Average product description is 300 words long (fully search optimized, written by professional marketer). Â Given the amount of text, be sure you don’t dilute your hard work around content optimization by putting in too many user reviews – it will blot out the work you’ve done. Â Figure out the math.
- Unlock the potential of the archive – Tap into your treasure trove of reviews from the past.
- Ask for content at relevant times – Timing on requests for UGS is crucial. Â Software product, solicit requests an acceptable amount of time after using it.
- Convert reviewers into advocates – allow your current customers to play a role in other parts of you
What should you expect from UGC?
For many communities, they receive a steep increase in Google traffic (15 – 25%) – with keyword targeting a steady but slower growth. Â Make sure that your reviews can actually be viewed by search engines (not hidden or in java script).
Googlebot crawled (Bazaarvoice client) Cabela’s site 200% more often when constantly updated product reviews were included on product pages – without them, Googlebot showed less interest.
Review readers act differently – where to buy up 82% / add to cart up 125%. Â Do people who use Q&A convert more often? Â 45% converted more often than those who didn’t. Â When you find an answer – you buy! Â And also call less, 3 answers on a page resulted in 81% fewer customer service calls.
Offline testing (adding rating in print coupons for newspaper inserts) worked too — Rubbermaid coupons with reviews were redeemed 10% more often.