Feefo fit tip #1: Shape up your SEO with user-generated content

Welcome to your first Feefo fit tip! This week is all about search engine optimisation (SEO) – a practice which is vital for ensuring your website appears prominently within organic search results.

Let’s get started.

Why are customer reviews important for SEO?

Customer reviews play an important role within SEO; collecting and displaying reviews on your website can improve its visibility within a search engine.

There are multiple reasons why customer reviews can help with your website’s SEO; at the heart of the matter is user-generated content (UGC). More than ever, SEO rankings are placing more emphasis on what users are saying about your brand.

Introducing customer reviews, one form of UGC. User-generated content provides your site with several important organic signals such as fresh unique content, backlinks, keywords and authority.

Creating new content on a regular basis and acquiring links is a time-consuming task for any business; when it comes to reviews, your customers are helping your business achieve this automatically. Win-win.

Customer reviews will naturally contain keywords for which your site wants to rank. For example, a dog food brand will need to rank for the types of products it sells, such as ‘dog treats’ and ‘puppy food’, as well as descriptive words they want associated with their brand and demonstrate customer sentiment (e.g. natural, organic, great service, quality product, etc.). The use of these keywords helps to support your SEO structure.

Search engines use both manual and automatic methods to gauge a website’s reputation, which look for content that demonstrates authority and expertise, among other things. Genuine reviews are a great source of authority and expertise because they come from real customers, which can help to facilitate a better organic ranking.

How to make the most out of user-generated content

Collecting UGC in the form of genuine reviews is the first step, but how can you best use them to your businesses’ advantage?

Rank for long-tail keywords

When you produce content for your site, you no doubt include keywords for which you want to rank. However, it’s likely these keywords are generic and therefore also targeted by your competitors. Long-tail keywords (three or four word phrases, specific to what you are selling) are more unique, so there’s a good chance fewer sites will be using them.

Identifying which long-tail keywords are relevant for your site can be difficult, which is where UGC comes in. Your customers’ positive and negative comments highlight exactly what matters to them, as well as their overall sentiment, so use these phrases to your advantage and to optimise your website, by including them in your product descriptions, for example.

Improve your social media optimisation (SMO)

If your brand has one or more social media accounts, it’s just as important to optimise those as it is your website. This practice is called social media optimisation and interactions such as shares, comments and likes can have a positive impact on your SEO. UGC helps to create these types of interactions, so it’s well worth posting your best reviews on your social channels and encouraging customers to share their own feedback.

The more posts linking back to your brand, the better. The ones with a lot of interaction/authority are likely to appear high in search results when someone searches for your business. Further, socially shared customer reviews may be influential during the consideration and evaluation phases of a customer’s buying journey.

Utilise photo and video reviews

Lily's kitchen review

Reviews don’t have to be limited to just text. In fact, photo and video reviews are growing in popularity, particularly among younger consumers. Our own research found that 44% of males aged 16-24 and 27% of females aged 25-34 prefer video reviews to written ones. When you consider that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and people process visuals 60,000 times faster than text, these stats aren’t surprising.

Further to this, search engines love video and photo UGC too, because this is exactly the type of rich media content its users are searching for. It’s therefore no surprise that video appears in 70% of the top 100 search engine results. A search engine’s role is to provide the most relevant and high quality content to its users, so as long as your content is optimised, it has a chance to rank well organically.

Some review platforms, including Feefo, allow businesses to encourage their customers to upload photos and videos to their written reviews, and bring them to life. But once you’ve collected video and photo reviews, how can you gain the most value out of them? Aside from sharing them on social media, you could include them in all sorts of marketing material, from case studies to video ads. Videos displayed on landing pages increase average conversion rates by 86%, for example.

Get help with your SEO today

Genuine, independent reviews should be considered a vital part of your SEO strategy. If you need guidance, we perform free SEO health checks – just drop us an email at marketing@feefo.com and we’ll help you!

Don’t forget to check back for next week’s tip: Turbo boost your PPC campaign with AdWords Seller Ratings.

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