Search Engine Optimization and the use of User Generated Content (UGC) have a unique relationship. UGC aids search engines by giving them more content and information to work with while improving the overall relationship your brand has with your audience.
User Generated Content and SEO: What’s the Connection?
User Generated Content is any content created by your audience and other online users. Most UGC consists of what we see across social media, including text posts, videos, photos, reviews, and more. It’s authoritative, as it impacts consumers decisions and works as a form of word-of-mouth marketing.
In addition to those benefits, many marketers don’t realize that User Generated Content can be leveraged for Search Engine Optimization. Many of the nation’s largest brands employ a user generated content strategy, as it serves a purpose to help rank the content of websites as relevant or useful to the searcher.
By including UGC into your SEO strategy, you create an effective method for boosting your search rankings, generating awareness, and curating content for your brand.
Visual Marketing Content Boosts Top-of-Funnel Shoppers
Search engine optimization becomes a critical component for brands as users begin the discovery stage of their consumer journey.
Nearly ⅓ of shoppers begin their experience within a search engine, rather than going directly to a brand’s website. In addition, they’re researching their purchases before buying, seeking content that is trustworthy and useful. As search engines often prioritize fresh and relevant content, having a stream of user generated content can help improve your search rankings.
Not only is this improvement great from a technical perspective, but featuring user-generated content on your website can increase the likelihood of conversion. Driving sales online rely on having a strong mix of paid and organic search to draw quality traffic. Things can become more complicated as your users come in from many different sources – such as social media referrals. However, roughly one-third of product searches and discoveries begin with search.
UGC Gives Search Engines Fresh Content
Search engines prioritize content that is new (or “fresher”) and relevant. Therefore, it is beneficial to have a steady flow of user-generated content that helps attribute to your search rankings.
Not only does UGC benefit search, but it also benefits on-page. Using UGC as a part of visual content marketing can increase the chances of conversions. Many consumers claim their purchases are influenced by the reviews and images posted by their friends and family.
Many brands have taken advantage of creating content in-house to boost many marketing goals, including SEO. However, branded content has created a lot of clutter, lacks authenticity, and can sometimes become fatigued with consumers.
Content strategies are most effective with a healthy balance of UGC and branded content. Not only does content from your audience deliver more authenticity, but it cuts down the resources needed for brands to create content and boosts your SEO efforts.
UGC Supports Basic SEO Factors Naturally
Keywords, titles, and links are many of the basic attributes that help optimize sites for search engines. When consumers are encouraged to share reviews with rich details and images, they help shape SEO with relevant keywords and contextual links.
For example, let’s pretend a consumer is writing a review about a new smartphone they purchased from you. In their review, they include phrases such as “best smartphone”, “durable smartphone”, and “affordable smartphone”. These phrases help with SEO by understanding search intent. Now, when other users search for similar phrases, your brand will have more authority over others for that phrase.
In addition, internal links and backlinks shared in this consumers review can also strengthen your SEO. Blogs that write about your products or services provide rich longform content search engines prefer.
Generating User Generated Content Using Digital Promotions
As noted in our blog about crafting a User Generated Content Strategy, a great overview to building a UGC campaign includes:
- Managing your UGC effectively right from the start.
- Monitoring the performance of your UGC campaigns.
- Plan the work of your teams involved in UGC campaigns.
- Minimize the risk of low participation in UGC campaigns.
Digital Promotions are a great starting point to generating User Generated content. Sweepstakes and contests are great tactics to engage with your users and reward them for creating content on your businesses behalf. All of this content meshes well with search engines, improving your visibility.
With our UGC promotions, we handle all of the nuances with launching a UGC promotion. This includes rights management and other legal steps that need to be secured before launching a promotion.
Explore more of the benefits of UGC promotions within your marketing strategy. Get a free quote today.