User Generated Content or also known as UGC is a piece of material that has been created by users on a website. This form of crowdsourcing can bring extra value and authenticity on your website, please your community and your SEO.

Nowadays, this form of content has become more and more popular and some very famous websites are sharing UGC on their platforms. Most famous one is Wikipedia so far but it can be in a lesser extent with websites placing reviews, comments or quotes to illustrate their articles.

In this post, discover the impact of UGC on your SEO.

What types of UGC exist ?

There is a lot of different UGC, from the most creative to the most common one. Here are the main categories:

  • Q&A Databases
  • Digital Video
  • Blogging
  • Podcasting
  • Open Forums
  • Review Sites
  • Social Networking
  • Social Media Environments (Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.)
  • Mobile Photography/Video
  • Wikis

What impact on your SEO ?

UGC provides you with free qualitative content

It is not a secret that content is king. A continuous flow of fresh and qualitative content is the key to keep your ranking good. That is when UGC comes up. It not only provides great and searchable content but it also gives you a very interesting insight on what your audience is interested in and the trending topics.
Ecommerce websites, for example, are facing a particular problem. They often lack of fresh and original content because most of the time they are using manufacturer’s descriptions. UGC is a good way to fight Panda’s update. Using reviews is a valuable solution to offer to crawlers some pieces of content to evaluate. Moreover, it shows that your site is active and qualitative for customers.

UGC provides you with long-tail keyword inspirations

As we started to state above, UGC informs you on the trending topics and on what your visitors are interested in. By letting your audience leaving comments, reviews or be part of forums conversations, you give yourself the opportunity to catch their expectations and feedbacks. UGC represents an infinite source of inspiration for your PPC campaigns because you can dig into their queries to choose the right keywords and phrases. In fact, you will be able to determinate long-tail keywords thanks to your customers and so on optimize your SEO strategy.

UGC can increase your social signals

Increasing your social signal can boost your search visibility. Social Media Explorer tells us that:

UGC is the perfect complement to any social SEO campaign. The reason for this is that UGC platforms literally speak to, attract, and entice action from social audiences, in a way that maximizes overall search visibility for a particular digital campaign. Optimization takes place when audiences actually interact within a given environment, and create content through dialogue, interaction, and other reactive behaviors.

What you need to watch out

Allowing UGC on your website need to be monitored. Indeed, enabling reviews, comments and testimonials are a great way to create UGC but can also involve drawbacks. A bad review from one of your customer can impact your brand awareness badly if you do not take the time to respond to him. Moreover, it is important to choose the right spam filter to avoid comment spamming. In both cases, spams will hurt your rankings and bad management review will lower your authority and so on your traffic.
UGC is a great option but need to be managed correctly.