Step up your SEO with user-generated content
Updated: Apr 28
Digital marketers often have basic search engine optimization in their blood, spontaneously sprinkling any online text with keywords and phrases that customers are likely to search for. Asking for links also comes very naturally to many.
But Google algorithms are smarter today. Volumes of keywords and links still help, but no longer make up the entire picture to a search engine. What increasingly counts in SEO is end-user trust – and nothing signals trust as much as authentic reviews, blog posts, social interaction between customers, and user-generated photos and videos about a brand.
And user-generated content (UGC) doesn’t need to be 100% positive. On the contrary, such statistics could be a strong signal that something is fake. No brand is perfect, and it’s no longer a winning strategy to try to trumpet out perfection. Brands that listen, admit mistakes, and behave transparently will be perceived as far more authentic and gain far more trust from consumers – and from search engines.
Seasoned digital marketers may fear that UGC isn’t optimized enough or doesn’t include enough keywords. But don’t lay sleepless over this. First of all, keywords aren’t as important as they used to be. Second, UGC may include a long tail of less-used keywords. With some volume of content, these keywords can complement the company’s own keyword choices quite effectively. And more important than any keywords, it’s the relevancy and trust proven in UGC – and the presence it can give in social media – that will strengthen your SEO.