User-generated content (UGC) can seriously boost your SEO performance and help you increase your sales. Keep reading this article to learn why you should start adding UGC in your content strategy. The best kind of marketing your brand can receive is through word-of-mouth. According to a BrightLocal research, over 88% of consumers trust reviews written by other people more than direct advertisements from a company.
User-generated content (UGC) adds a layer of social proof to all of your offerings, giving you an advantage in building trustworthiness in the community. It’s a very powerful marketing tool and you can leverage it to quickly achieve your marketing goals. UGC can include anything from website comments, reviews to social media posts or testimonials from your consumers. People tend to trust UGC more because it comes from “real people”, and we humans tend to trust actions of other people more than words.
For example, we are more likely to try a particular restaurant if someone who has already tried it recommends it to us. Similarly, we are likely to avoid going to a particular restaurant if someone advises us against it. That’s why it’s absolutely essential for companies to build a positive reputation in the community.
UGC has become such an essential part of any marketing strategy because brands online have pretty much no other way to prove their authenticity. Without a brick-and-mortar store, ecommerce brands have no way of proving their existence and most people will avoid them unless brands build trust first.
In fact, a Yotpo analysis of 200,000 e-commerce stores and 163 million orders found that people who discover brands through UGC convert 161 percent more often than those who do not. But how to use UGC for better SEO performance? Let’s take a look at some important factors and UGC SEO tools.
How Does UGC Boost Your SEO?
According to SearchEngineJournal, you can increase your organic page visitors by simply adding testimonials or a review section on your website. Google’s algorithms, according to Google’s John Mueller, tend to favor UGC over other types of content because it builds context around your brand.
1. UGC gives fresh and authentic content
Google values user-generated content. Almost every company uses content marketing to boost their SEO ranking. This has given rise to mountains of content that is either too similar or too unauthentic. In this type of content, brands are mostly trying to broadcast their messages with no real exchanges with consumers.
Presence of UGC on your site shows Google that your brand is actively engaged with people and has a back-and-forth dialog. If people interact with your site in a positive light this shows the algorithm that your content must be relevant to others as well. Comments on your blog, for example, give your site fresh content and offer additional perspectives to your readers. This greatly improves your SEO rating.
2. UGC ranks you for natural keywords
Keywords on Google are formed from real search phrases people use to find things online. In a way, these search phrases are a representation of speech patterns used by the majority of the people. So the difference between content produced by a writer and a consumer is that consumers are likely to use natural speech patterns when writing reviews or captions.
Through UGC, your site automatically starts ranking for “natural keywords” when a user who loves your product describes it in an honestly written review. For example, if you try to optimize for “phone covers”, you will face intense competition. However, if one of your users leaves a review with a phrase such as “phone covers for oily hands”, you will automatically rank for this long-tail keyword as well.
3. UGC boosts your SMO
User-generated content on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can elevate your brand's visibility and drive traffic to your website. Social media optimization (SMO) sends the right signals to Google to rank your site higher than others.
UGC greatly boosts social media engagement. In fact, big companies like Airbnb and ASOS are mostly posting UGC on their Instagram handles. Some of their most engaged posts are user-generated. This creates social proof that convinces even more people looking for a similar experience to visit the brand’s website. Google favors sites who get real traffic from social platforms more than others.
4. UGC boosts your backlinks
UGC also helps increase the number of backlinks to your site. Users who create and share content about your brand are likely to link to your website. These backlinks will prove priceless in the long-run to improve your website's SEO authority score, resulting in higher search rankings.
5. UGC builds trust in the community (and with search engines)
Search engines like Google use algorithms that look for reviews and testimonials on your website. In addition, these algorithms are used to evaluate the relevance and truthfulness of your content. Word-of-mouth content from real users is automatically considered truthful because it comes from a place of authenticity.
The easiest way to benefit from this is to have a review and rating system on your site. Reviews and testimonials can establish trust and credibility with potential customers while providing search engines with valuable keywords and content to index. Videos created by users, such as product reviews or unboxing videos, can offer specific content and improve your website's visibility on video-sharing platforms like YouTube.
How to Get UGC If You’re Still a Small Company?
Generally speaking, there are two ways to get UGC for your brand. The first method is to get it directly from your end-consumers by encouraging them to leave reviews or post videos about you on social media.
This type of content comes for free but requires a lot of time and effort. Relying on end-consumers alone will take a really long time for you to build a digital footprint and grow as a company. If you’re still a small company and looking to increase your growth, you can use UGC platforms to source content instead.
It takes time, money and effort to get UGC. Getting people to create good quality content for your brand is difficult. In our experience, the biggest challenge is to get the right kind of UGC that is inline with your marketing goals. To overcome this, you can use a UGC platform and order content directly from UGC creators.
Paysenger is a social marketplace that allows you to easily order cost-effective but high-quality user-generated content. It connects you with a diverse network of UGC creators who are always ready to provide the right type of UGC that aligns with your marketing and SEO goals.
To order any type of UGC for your brand, simply:
- Download Paysenger on Android or iOS (or visit the Web version)
- Create an account
- Go to Creators
- Tap Search and enter your filters
- Open Creator Profiles and view their Portfolio
- Send a Request to creators whose content resonates with your brand
Paysenger’s paid on-demand content feature allows you to order any type of video, photo, social post or shoutout from a creator. Use it to mass-produce UGC and achieve your SEO goals.
Tips for creating a successful UGC campaign
Understanding your audience is essential to run a successful UGC campaign. Here are some further suggestions to get better SEO results on Google through UGC:
Set clearly identifiable goals
When planning your UGC campaign, pick a clear objective. Are you looking to increase brand awareness? Drive traffic to your website? Or you just want to improve your SEO ranking. If your goal is mainly to improve SEO, then you should focus on collecting written testimonials and product reviews on other sites (such as Trustpilot). This will optimize your website for new keywords and at the same time increase your backlinks from other sources.
Give clear instructions
Make it simple for people to produce and send content by providing easy-to-understand directions. This is also relevant for UGC creators. If you don’t clarify your requirements in the beginning, you will end up reviewing and rejecting a lot of content, putting a great burden on your team.
Make people feel good about sharing content by offering prizes, discounts or shoutouts.
LushCosmetics is known to give shoutouts to people for producing user-generated Reels on Instagram:
Tools for UGC SEO Management
Managing UGC and ensuring you’re optimizing properly can be challenging. Use these tools to achieve your goals faster.
If you’re an enterprise, use Nosto to bulk-order UGC from users. Nosto also seamlessly integrates with ecommerce platforms so you can track engagement and statistics in one place.
Actively use Google Analytics to track how users interact with your website and apps. You can also use it to evaluate your UGC campaign performance and determine areas for improvement.
This Web3 social network allows creators, sponsors, and fans to produce content in collaboration. It can help you get user-generated content quickly so you can focus on curating it to achieve your SEO goals.
With Hootsuite, you can create, schedule, publish and manage your UGC campaigns in one place. This tool can save you time and streamline your social media management process.
Trello is a visual Kanban board that allows teams to collaborate and efficiently manage large amounts of content, tasks and workflow. Use it to review UGC content and to set it up for publishing. Each stage of the process can be delegated to a person using Trello’s Kanban cards.
Potential Pitfalls to Consider
Understanding the potential risks of using user-generated content (UGC) for SEO is important. While UGC can boost your SEO efforts, it's crucial to be aware of the following pitfalls:
- Legal issues: Ensure you have the legal right to use any UGC you feature on your website or social media channels. Obtain permission from the creator and ensure the content doesn't violate copyright or trademark laws.
- Negative comments and reviews: UGC can include negative comments and reviews, harming your brand's reputation. To mitigate this risk, monitor and moderate user-generated content to ensure it meets your brand's standards and guidelines.
- Inappropriate or offensive content: UGC can also contain indecent or objectionable content, damaging your brand's reputation. To avoid this, be vigilant in monitoring and moderating user-generated content to ensure that it aligns with your brand's standards and guidelines.
Is UGC Better Than Influencer-Generated Content?
User-generated content (UGC) can help boost search engine optimization (SEO) but it shouldn’t always be prioritized over content produced by skilled creators. Unique content created by professionals can also enhance your search rankings and increase organic traffic.
On top of that, influencer marketing is a great way to get access to new audiences so never discard its importance in your overall strategy. To optimize your SEO, you must have a good balance of UGC and professional content that aligns with your brand's objectives and target demographic.
UGC can significantly improve your SEO because it’s unique and authentic. It establishes you as a credible and trustworthy brand in the community and that always benefits SEO in the long-term.
To effectively utilize UGC for SEO, establish specific goals, identify your target audience, provide clear guidelines, and track your performance. Use the best practices laid out in this article to unleash the power of UGC and elevate your SEO efforts.
To get a head start in building your UGC footprint, order content quickly, easily and affordably on Paysenger. Our platform makes it easy and affordable to order large amounts of UGC from creators.