User-Generated Content (UGC) is the inclusion in your site of reviews, guest blogs, comments and opinions uploaded by your users and customers. This content can be invaluable to your marketing efforts.
The inclusion of an online forum and comments page has become more common across the web, increasingly prevalent among businesses investing in the future of their online presence. The benefits of UGC can be broken up into three main divisions:
1) How User-Generated Content Enriches User Experience
UGC can enrich your user’s experience by allowing them to voice their opinions on your site. Our society increasingly relies upon social media and its ability to convey our opinions online, whenever we choose, with little effort. The inclusion of online forums or a comment section on a blog will echo the ease of social media and increase a user’s enjoyment of your site.
The inclusion of UGC will increase the time spent browsing on your site, as interesting and fresh opinions and comments will be more enjoyable and informative than just reading a sales pitch about a product or service. Longer time spent on your site will increase brand awareness and the use of your services.
UGC is a brilliant way of interacting with your customers on a personal level. Having an online forum gives you the ability to listen to your customers, see what they like and dislike about your current services and react accordingly, thereby improving the services you provide.
2) How User Generated Content Helps Promote Your Business More Effectively
UGC reveals a realer side to your company than your sales patter ever can. A user’s honest opinion about their experience could be the deciding factor that sways a new customer into contacting your company. The confidence to allow a user to upload their feelings about their experience with you can increase trust in your brand and contribute to brand loyalty.
If users can submit guest posts and participate in forum discussions about your service and products, they are very likely to mention this across their own social media channels, especially when promoting a guest blog post. This increases your online reach significantly.
3) How User Generated Content Helps Your SEO Efforts
Google’s relatively recent update indicates an increasing significance being placed on the freshness of the content on your site. This is a key factor in understanding how to enable your site to creep up the search engine rankings for your desired keywords. Including features that support the submission of continuous, relevant content with very little effort on your part will be a brilliant help in terms of keeping fresh content continually appearing on your site.
So, in conclusion, UGC is not only important in terms of receiving feedback from your customers and enriching their experience online, it is also a brilliantly effective way of increasing your online presence and helps you increase your rankings in the search engines.
(Photo provided by Ambro at freedigitalphotos.net)
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