When you are looking for something online, do you usually go directly to a website?
The common answer is often a big NO! Usually, people begin finding something they need through a search engine and not by directly visiting a company website. Since search engines prioritize fresh and relevant content, it is highly trusted by consumers and impacts purchasing decisions.
Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing discipline available to any business, and it is nearly the same as user-generated content. With all this information, many marketers do not know is that it’s also good for SEO. The steady flow of user-generated content that customers are posting about your brand online not only helps you build credibility to consumers but also increases your social signals which improve your search rankings.
What is user-generated content? Does it help your brand or website?
In early SEO and Search Engine Marketing (SEM), rankings were all about keywords and building backlinks. Because of these, SEO tactics lead to spammy links and keyword stuffing. Eventually, search algorithms have become much more sophisticated and have started to focus on finding trustworthy sites that fit a user’s search intent. This is what User-generated content is for.
User-Generated Content is any content created by users or visitors on a website or social network in the form of photos, videos, text, product reviews, and more. This content is usually created on an opt-in basis, making it very reliable to the site as it is user-generated ideas and feedback. Nowadays, this form of content has become more and more popular, and some very famous websites are sharing UGC on their platforms like Wikipedia and YouTube.
The Advantage of having User-Generated Content:
Aside from all the things mentioned above, the following are the advantages of having User-Generated Content on your website.
Increase Organic Traffic by up to 400%.
Usually, everyone heads to Google as soon as they need help with something, making Google the first battlefield for brands. The higher your product’s SERP position, the more clicks it will receive. Most likely, engaged users for UGC on your website are much more likely to return to the site, which results drives traffic.
Website Credibility and Authenticity.
Potential clients will see other real people using the product or service that they are interested in. This gives immediate credibility and trust in what’s being promoted on the website. 92% of consumers trust organic and user-generated content more than traditional advertising.
Generate up to a 75% Conversion Rate on Product Pages.
Once a visitor has made it to your site, displays of positive user-generated content can impact consumers buying decision process and can also increase the likelihood of a sale. Visitors that interact with user-generated content on a company’s website are 2x more likely to purchase.
Increase Google Ads click-through rates up to 20%.
Click-through rate is the percentage of total ad views that result in clicks. The higher your click-through rates in Google Ads, the better you’re ranking and the lower your costs.
Can Help Save Time and Outsource Ideas.
User-generated content essentially allows you to outsource a lot of your content creation to users, which saves you time. If you are lucky enough, you might find some creative people out there who find fun and innovative ways to talk about your product or brand. When it comes to reviews, customers do all the work while shaping SEO with appropriate links and keywords to improve your organic ranking.
Lessen Customer Acquisition Costs.
User-generated content gives you plenty of chances to get creative. You can create campaigns that will create community engagement that will help your marketing cost to lessen because people can now find relevant content on what they’re looking for using the UGC from a specific campaign in your platform.The steady flow of user-generated content that customers are posting about your brand online not only helps you build credibility to consumers but also increases your social signals which improve your search rankings. Click To Tweet
The Disadvantage of Having User-Generated Content:
Of course, with all great things comes their own set of challenges. Here are some of the most common problems that you will need to overcome when using UGC on your website:
You Can’t Avoid Negative Content.
People are unpredictable and we all know that we can’t please everyone to like what we sell or what our website is all about. There is always a chance of getting something damaging for your site when we are using user-generated content, whether it is a poorly written blog post, negative or inappropriate comments, or a poor product review. We should know that user-generated content can result in negative feedback, which is also visible for all other potential customers. Though having bad product/service reviews alongside good reviews help make your website look authentic.
User-generated Content Needs to be Monitored.
As we mentioned earlier, negative content is unavoidable. Websites/platforms using UGC need someone to supervise and closely monitor it. Whether that is having someone review the content before publishing it or having someone respond to a customer. Especially if we’re talking about the product reviews.
By allowing all of your users the option to be content contributors, it’s easy to abuse the system with anonymous users using codenames and fake accounts. The same applies to user reviews. That is why some users might not be inclined to trust User-generated content as much as others.
If you decided to go for user-generated content on your website, you should be aware of all the legal aspects that come with them.
Let say for example allowing your users to upload their photo in a campaign. Sharing your customer photos or reviews is an advantage to your brand and can bring trust and credibility to your followers, increasing the likelihood of shares, likes, and comments for social media. But take into consideration that those kinds of content belong to the users who uploaded it.
You need to know that you are not allowed to use it or reupload it if you do not have the owner’s permission. The appropriate way that you can use it is to send a mail or message to that specific person who is the author of the photographs/review and ask for rights and permission to use their content.
In conclusion, the advantage of user-generated content outweighs the disadvantages. As for SEOs, since you let your users inform you what are the trending topics about your product/services, User-Generated Content can bring you an infinite source of long-tail keyword inspirations.
These keywords consist of phrases that users search for, but brands may not think to include in their consumer marketing. And knowing which long-tail keywords resonate with shoppers makes a huge difference. It enables brands to unify customer opinion as keywords for on-site SEO. In this way, you can choose the right keyword and optimize your SEO strategy, all thanks to your consumers.
Remember, UGC is great but it needs to be managed correctly. Allowing User-Generated Content on your website needs to be monitored. A bad review from one of your customers can impact your brand awareness negatively. Especially if you do not take the time to respond to negative experienced users.
Also, take into consideration having negative reviews as a unique learning opportunity. In this way, you will know what aspect of your business you are lacking. Or something that needs to change and do some innovations and upgrades. As other people say, turn disaster into opportunity and always look on the bright side.