With social media becoming an increasingly important part of people’s lives and purchasing decisions, consumers expect more than great services and products from the brands they trust.
They also want ongoing relationships with those brands and to feel like they’re part of what those brands are putting out there. User-generated content – including blog posts, photos, social media content, and reviews – gives consumers what they’re looking for.
It’s also very good for brands because, for one thing, it shows the search engines that customers trust the business, and it’s good to show those pages to other searchers. If that content is SEO optimized, then search engines are more likely to reward you with that coveted first-page listing. Here’s a closer look at how that works and how you can leverage your audience’s UGC to fortify your ongoing search engine optimization strategy.
Is UGC Good for SEO?
For digital-age shoppers, the internet and Google are more than just a way to kill some spare time or satisfy their curiosity on a few random topics. Over 80 percent of shoppers start their product-buying journey with at least one round of online research.
Google, Bing, and the rest of the search engines heavily emphasize helpful, relevant, and fresh content. So, the more of this type of content you have on your site, the better it is for your SEO strategy.
User-generated content keeps people talking about you and helps supply Google with the steady stream of new content it wants to see from brands. It also helps you leverage the incredible power of social proof, as shoppers like to see that other consumers have made similar purchases and are happy with what they bought.
The more people interact with your brand, including by purchasing from you and creating user-generated content, the better it is for your SEO.
5 Ways to Leverage UGC for SEO
Ready to start putting the power of user-generated content to work for your brand? The following are some key strategies brands like yours use to boost their SEO and get ahead with UGC.
1. Incorporate UGC in blog posts and articles.
User-generated content like photos, videos, or testimonials can help take a blog post or informative article that’s already good and make it truly great. It helps add credibility to any product claims and prove to new shoppers that your brand delivers on its promises and touches people’s lives meaningfully.
Consider which types of UGC would fit best with your content. Ask your users to create some examples, using incentives like prizes, features, or shoutouts to sweeten the deal. Then, weave your audience’s creations into the flow of your blog posts and articles to help them stand out to search engines in all the right ways.
2. Boost social media SEO with UGC
A formidable social media presence is essential in any complete SEO strategy. It helps ensure people know you’re out there, drives traffic to your website, and perfectly complements your SEO strategy.
Social media is also an ideal way to leverage user-generated content to your advantage. Use social listening technology to track what people say about your brand and share some of what you find. Use incentives like contests, drawings, and prizes to incentivize followers further to create dynamic new UGC to post to their feeds.
3. Boost local SEO with customer reviews and testimonials
A solid SEO strategy is just as important for local businesses as it is for global brands. People use mobile devices and search engines to research shopping decisions and find viable local solutions, including when they’re on the go. And most possible customers will read at least a handful of past customer reviews before finalizing a decision to buy.
That said, make sure your local business has a solid strategy for encouraging, finding, and responding to existing consumer reviews. And ask satisfied customers to review your business on Google, social media, and so forth. Offer incentives when it makes sense, and respond professionally to all reviews–including negative ones.
4. Create a community and brand advocates
User-generated content does more than help other shoppers make confident, informed buying decisions. It also helps build a culture around your brand and make your followers feel part of a community.
Encourage this effect to the greatest extent possible by making smart decisions about your UGC strategy. Choose platforms and interfaces that appeal to your target audience, and make sure your messaging is clear, concise, and helpful when communicating intent to your followers. Leverage hashtags to help your UGC campaigns be shared widely among users and proudly share the best of what your audience creates.
5. E-stimulating word-of-mouth marketing
User-generated content campaigns can help put you on the map with Google. But truly well-executed examples can generate some serious buzz and get people talking about your brand – especially when content goes viral.
Viral content is the type of content that people can’t resist sharing and talking about with their friends and social circles. And the more people talk about your brand – both online and offline – the stronger the signals sent to Google that show your brand is doing something worth rewarding with plum SERP rankings, more exposure, and a higher authority score.
Ultimately, great content is the cornerstone of any successful SEO strategy. But it would be best to have plenty of variety to keep people and search engines interested in what you’re doing over the long haul. User-generated content is one method for sure.
But first, you need a steady flow of next-level marketing content to get people interested in becoming part of your brand. Hiring experienced content creators, SEO experts, and copywriters to help you with the job is an ideal way to scale your content production efforts affordably and effectively.
Meet some of the marketing world’s best, most experienced content professionals when you sign up for your free 14-day WriterAccess trial today, and prepare to be amazed!