The value of SEO cannot be overstated. The average ecommerce website earns $2.75 for every $1 that is allocates to SEO.
Unfortunately, the wrong SEO strategies won’t help much. It doesn’t help that search engine optimization has changed dramatically in recent years. In the past, you just needed to get the right keyword composition in your content and build the correct number of backlinks.
SEO has changed remarkably in just the last five years. You are going to need to utilize the most current strategies if you hope to improve your rankings. One of the most important things that you can take advantage of to improve your search engine rankings is user-generated content. More companies are leveraging it to improve their brand and SEO.
One of the reasons that user-generated content can improve your SEO is that it seems more authentic than brand marketing content. One poll found that 60% of consumers found user-generated content to be the most authentic type of content. Another survey found that 75% of marketers echoed the sentiment.
Since user-generated content is more authentic to consumers, it will likely get the best user engagement. User engagement is an important SEO factor, so leveraging user-generated content can directly improve your rankings.
You may want to take some time to learn what user-generated content is, so you can leverage it in your marketing strategy. You might find that it is going to be a lot more beneficial for your SEO efforts than you thought.
It also can help in other ways. Your users will create a lot more content than you ever could with the same budget. If they create content with the right long-tail keywords, you can quickly start ranking for them.
Unfortunately, exceptional user-generated content won’t come out of nowhere. Therefore, you need to have a dedicated strategy, just like any other SEO campaign.
Here are some ideas to make the most out of your user-generated content marketing strategy.
Solicit discussions from users about topics relevant to target keywords
Different websites have different approaches to user-generated content. Some of them have website managers or moderators that try to come up with topics for discussion. Others take a more laissez-faire approach and let people talk about whatever they like.
The problem with the latter approach is that you have no control over the direction of the discussions on your website. Your users can easily get off-topic and start discussing things that have no relevance to your brand. This could end up hurting your brand in the long term, as well as your search engine rankings.
Therefore, it is prudent to try to steer the direction of the conversations on your side. For example, you can create posts talking about various issues and ask your users to give their feedback, share relevant videos or other types of user-generated content.
Delete and discourage spam
In the old days of Internet marketing, many bloggers allowed people to leave comments to get dofollow links in return for their contributions. As you can imagine, this led to massive problems with spam. They eventually stopped allowing commenters to include links or used a nofollow plug to at least discourage SEO spam.
You need to take similar steps to make sure people leaving user-generated content aren’t spamming your site. You also have to regularly moderate it and remove any obvious spam that you find.
Reward users that provide valuable content
Some people share user-generated content simply because they want to be helpful or like getting noticed. However, the opportunity to benefit from user-generated content will be much greater if you provide the right incentives.
You don’t have to spend a ton of money to encourage people to leave user-generated contact. For example, you could hold a contest for people sharing stories, videos or other content and reward the best contributor with a $50 gift card. You don’t even need to necessarily spend any money at all. Some people will be motivated if you simply give them a shoutout on your blog or social media profiles.
Encourage the best contributors and outside influencers to share content
All contributors are not created equal. Some people are going to provide a lot more value to your website and others. Not only will they create more content, but the content they provide will be more likely to reflect well on your brand and improve your search engine rankings.
It pays to build close relationships with users that contribute the best content. They will be more likely to keep adding value to your site.
You may also want to consider reaching out to relevant influencers and inviting them to share their own content. They may be likely to do this if they see the opportunity to help their own brand in the process.
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