3 Ways To Get The Most Out Of User-Generated Content
SEO and user-generated content have a complicated relationship. On the one hand, user-generated content can give search engines more information to work with, improve your rankings for long tail search traffic, and encourage community activity that generates links and other positive off-site signals. Join Matt and Chris for another thrilling episode of the Best SEO Podcast, featuring “3 Ways to Maximize the SEO Impact of User-Generated Content” by Manish Dudharejia. TRANSCRIPT:

Chris: Hi and welcome to the SEO Podcast: Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing. My name is Chris Burres, owner of eWebResults, and right next to me is Mr Aaron Weath– oh wait! It’s Matt!

Matt: Hey!

Chris: Matt’s back! He’s back from the baby?

Matt: Yeah. So actually a funny story about that. So on the way to the hospital, you know that that’s crazy right?

Chris: Did you run any red lights?

Matt: I didn’t run any red lights.

Chris: I literally when I was on the way, my wife’s water broke and I was like– can I run the red light, please? It was like midnight. Like please? I mean I have a reason, I have a legitimate reason. She didn’t let me.

Matt: Oh really? Oh well. You know no, I blasted Eye of the Tiger.

Chris: We’re going to make it happen, Eye of the Tiger. Welcome back to another fun edition of our podcast. Both to you the audience and you Matt, right next to me. As you know, we are broadcast live in Houston and Matt and I, we are your–

Chris & Matt: Results Rebels!

Chris: As always we do have a tip from our previous podcast, and that tip is:

Matt: It was talking about the sales process, and you’re talking about the customer ascension model. Have a stair-step sales process to significantly increase the value of your internet marketing.

Chris: Alright, so we talked last time: hey you’ve already got the conversions, they’re locked in the door, what do you do with them? How do you get them up the ascension stair-step so that they actually become a customer? That can significantly improve the impact of your internet marketing. Make sure that you subscribe, follow, boom! Alright, so we already covered the part that we usually cover back– we have a review that we’ve got to read. This is from Autumn Shultz, so punch in the face to you Autumn Shultz, and it says, “A fun podcast with great insights.” It is of course–

Chris & Matt: 5 stars!

Chris: It says, “I absolutely love listening to this podcast, as it’s the perfect combination of fun and seriousness. The 30 minutes of each episode is more than enough time to get some really in-depth insights into the top SEO tactics and methods for internet marketing success. 10/10 would recommend.” Punch in the face to you Autumn, we really appreciate it. We do it for you, that’s why we do it. If you–

Matt: And we heard that this podcast is an advanced podcast.

Chris: Oh yeah, yeah.

Matt: And now we’re just dropping bombs left and right.

Chris: Dropping advanced SEO bombs all over the place.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: Alright if you’re back, you’re probably interested in tips and we’ve got “5 Online Marketing Mistakes That Can Tank Your Business & How to Avoid Them.”

Matt: No we don’t. That’s not up on the new website.

Chris: This is not working yet, it will work soon. What do we have?

Matt: We have a mini guide section, a resource section on our new website where we have multiple things that you can get to: the different services we use, 101 tips for internet marketing, we also have my book on there.

Chris: The book!

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: Build Your Brand Mania!

Matt: Yeah, but we will have that one up soon or we should.

Chris: So I think now I understand the timing of your book, right? So book launch and then have baby.

Matt: I was trying to get that done right before.

Chris: I feel like if you have baby, book gets put on hold.

Matt: Yes, yes.

Chris: I think that’s kind of the thing that happens. Alright, so we’re covering a great article today. That article is by a Mr. Manish– I’m not going to pronounce this. We’re going to call him Manish. His Twitter handle is @Manish_Analyst and it’s, “Three Ways to Maximize the SEO Impact of your User-Generated Content.” So if you’re in a position right now, we’d love you to tweet #SEOPodcast, this is Podcast #432. Tag us in it @BestSEOPodcast, @eWebResults, @MattBertramLive, @ChrisBurresEweb and also–

Matt: That’s user generated content right there.

Chris: Right there, yeah.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: We’re trying it and that’s what this article’s about. And also tag Manish in it, it’s @Manish – and that’s M-A-N-I-S-H underscore Analyst. So @Manish_Analyst. And tag him in it and say you’re listening to us talk about that article. That would be user-generated content and we would be very appreciative. We believe that the gods would smile favorably upon you if you do that, whichever gods work for you, that’s fine. Hey, we run a contest each and every week, and the way that contest works is if we get 10 Shikos–

Matt: A share, a like and a follow.

Chris: If we get 10 Shikos– by the way when you give us a Shiko – a share, a like or a follow – you should hear in your head, there’s a sound that goes with it and it’s–

Chris & Matt: Shikow!

Chris: So give us a Shiko, and if we get a review then we skip the part where we tell you how to leave us a review to the end of the podcast. That is getting bumped to the end of the podcast. Don’t worry about it, we’re not going to do it right now. What we are going to do is say that if you’re interested in a free website analysis, you can get one from our website eWebResults.com. It is a new website, I mean relatively new.

Matt: Yes it is. Yeah, it’s very good.

Chris: There’s been lots of really good feedback on it.

Matt: Yeah, so we’re going to start running some other contests to give away some t-shirts–

Chris: You’re always giving away stuff.

Matt: Give away some books. Yeah.

Chris: Did this go through the accounting department? Have you gotten approval for this yet? You notice he’s not answering the question, that’s hilarious. Maybe we should go visit the accounting department together and we’ll convince them. Alright so t-shirts. So keep an eye out for–

Matt: Yeah, as part of the profit plan. So we’re going to start giving kind of swag bags as part of the profit plan.

Chris: And if you listened to the last podcast, you’re aware of where the profit plan fits in our kind of stair-step ascension sales process.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: Well cool, so then now not only do they get in the stair-step, they get the value from the profit plan, they’re going to get swag stuff?

Matt: Yeah, oh yeah.

Chris: Wow.

Matt: So we’re coming up with some different things, we have a few t-shirts that we voted on that we really like. We can throw the book in there, that sort of thing. We’ll run some contests as well so you can win some of that stuff to create more user-generated content.

Chris: User-generated, that’s what this podcast is about. That’s kind of crazy how that works. Alright, so I don’t have any news for today. So we’re just going to jump right into this podcast.

Matt: It’s my birthday.

Chris: It’s also his birthday.

Matt: That’s the news.

Chris: Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you. Happy birthday Mathew Bertram, happy birthday to you.

Matt: Okay, thank you.

Chris: And many more.

Matt: I like that.

Chris: Actually we need to get everybody in the room and sing that at some point later today. Assuming you have time. Alright so we are going to cover this article, “Three Ways to Maximize the SEO Impact of your User-Generated Content,” again, by Manish, Manish the Analyst we’ll go with. And you know this first sentence, the kind of opening paragraph, I thought was like: we need to read it.

Matt: Yeah, yeah, it was engaging.

Chris: It’s like, “SEO and user-generated content have a complicated relationship. On the one hand, user-generated content can give search engines more information to work with, improve your rankings for long tail search traffic, and encourage community activity that generates links and other positive off-site signals.”

Matt: True!

Chris: “On the other hand, user-generated content can be low quality, redundant, spammy, it can dilute authority, and sometimes it can even earn you a manual action from Google.”

Matt: Well, you know that sounds like the Pharma commercials.

Chris: Yeah, exactly. You should really do user-generated content. Beware, it may cause absolute loss of positioning in Google. Not responsible for said loss. Alright so there’s three of these, let’s jump right into it. First, “Consolidate your user-generated content,” right? And so this one presupposes that you have enough user-generated content and there’s a lot of value. Actually it’s interesting the stats that Manish put together for this. We’re really relevant to a lot of other aspects of SEO, right?

Matt: I mean this is a big SEO thing– chart that I’ve seen. A lot of the–

Chris: He says the correlations is quite clear. In fact Backlinko, they did an average word count Google for the first page, right? And the average word count for those webpages that were on the first page of Google and actually I’m thinking of the first position, was 1890 words, right?

Matt: Yeah, so even with blogs we’ve seen the real increase, right? So a 400 word blog, a 500 word blog.

Chris: 650.

Matt: 650, 1000, 1500 and really–

Chris: 1200, yeah.

Matt: Really you want the skyscraper content, you know? We’re going to reference buying over there, and really 2000 words is what you want to shoot for if you can.

Chris: Well it depends on the competitiveness too. Right? So if you’re a plumber out there and you’re in a non-competitive niche, still 250 keywords is probably fine, right?

Matt: Well you could get thin content depending on how much stuff you’re doing off page and whatnot. You really want to have, I think, around 1000 words. I think that that’s like a safe number, especially if you’re going to be competitive and aggressive with your SEO.

Chris: Yeah, and it does depend on market.

Matt: Yes.

Chris: Alright.

Matt: You had the last word.

Chris: So if you’re competitive– because let’s face it, like Backlinko, if they’re not going out there and searching like really long tail phrases to put together this report.

Matt: That’s true, that’s true.

Chris: They’re hitting the most competitive. And you know let’s also face it, we’ve got websites that we’ve done a long time ago where we haven’t kind of incorporated this new larger word count. And they’re really doing really well otherwise we would have already visited it.

Matt: That’s true.

Chris: And so there’s definitely corollaries, like there’s a tri-correlation together. That felt a little petty, I apologize. So there’s actually another study by Ahrefs and they say the average number of keywords for top 20 ranked pages, right? So they did the survey a little bit different, but again their number was about 1300. Apparently less competitive. Their number was about 1300, so absolutely– so in the context of all this user generated content, you can think: maybe it’s a review, maybe you have them submit stories about your product, like whatever you’re doing, if it ends up being less than say 250, there’s that opportunity to push these all together into one page, right? And he’ll actually talk about that–

Matt: Repurposing blog, great way to do it.

Chris: Yeah. “One potential issue with user-generated content is that its comprehensiveness can be hit or miss,” right? “Some users may write 10,000–” I was just saying that. The good solution is to pool these all together. Actually Patrick Curtis of the Wall Street Oasis, he said that you can achieve a 32– they achieved a 32% boost in search traffic when they did a merge and purge on their content.

Matt: So this was really interested. When we were looking at this article Wall Street Oasis, my old roommate introduced me to it, he’s an investment banker.

Chris: Right.

Matt: And what this is is really like a forum+, right? Because I was like 97% or whatever– 99% user-generated content.

Chris: Generated content, yeah.

Matt: It’s like a forum that’s really, really manageable.

Chris: Okay, yeah.

Matt: And questions are moved around it’s kind of like Quora for investment bankers.

Chris: So apparently maybe at some point they weren’t doing as much kind of coordinating of the content. And when they did, they got a 32% boost in their search traffic.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: So static analysis says that– using statistical analysis they found– and this is actually the Patrick Curtis with Wall Street Oasis, “That consolidating pages resulted in an average boost of 14%, while updating a title and H1 tags only boosted them by 9%.”

Matt: Do both of them.

Chris: Yeah, that puts you in the 20-23 range. It actually got them out of what they called a 5 year Plateau of Pain, right? So their traffic had plateaued for a period of time. Which apparently you can call a plateau of pain. So here’s some recommendations: “Identify URLs that are ranking for related queries,” right? So two URLs, similar query, and try and merge those together. “Migrate all of the related user content into a consolidation page.” And in this case he kind of goes into some details about what you should do with those extra pages. I kind of recommend you go find his article, “Three Ways to Maximize the SEO Impact of your User-Generated Content,” and kind of dig into those.

Matt: So my one kind of input on this is really, a lot of times when you’re ranking, you have like two pages that are competing for a spot, right? So like on the second page a lot of–

Chris: For attention.

Matt: Yeah, like I’ve had on first page and on second page– a lot of times on second page once you really get on the map with Google and it’s indexing, you have two pages that are competing.

Chris: Right.

Matt: Right? And so you got to really look at your link structure, your on page link structure. We talked about siloing before. You want to do that to make sure that one person gets all the attention–

Chris: One of the pages gets all the– yeah.

Matt: And you want to have maybe some smaller pages linking up. And so it makes a lot of sense if you organize it where Google understands it, then Google’s going to take care of you, because the engineers read it.

Chris: Google will look favorably upon you.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: “Moderate user discussions and remove content that doesn’t meet community standards and keep your quality score high.

Matt: [00:13:16] [Indiscernible]

Chris: Yeah. Very good. Number #2, “Enable User Reviews.” We could–

Matt: You know a little bit about that.

Chris: We could not encourage user reviews more. It’s a conversation we probably have in every one of our 15-minute calls. In fact you could probably say 3 minutes if you got onto the call with us– which is a good thing for your businesses. And you said, “You don’t have to talk about reviews, I’m already working on it.” Then that could save like I don’t know, 3 minutes of the call, and we could apply that towards something else. Because it really is so valuable it needs to be mentioned in almost every discussion that we’re having. And it’s valuable– you kind of taught me a little bit about how valuable it is not just on the SEO side of things but on conversions. So you get involved on like the actual how do you convert somebody in a sale? You want to talk about that a little bit?

Matt: Well everybody’s looking for shortcuts because everybody’s busy. Especially even on Amazon, right? For e-commerce. Where do you go to first? You look for okay a bunch of stars, and then you look at what it’s about, right?

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: So we’re always looking for shortcuts and reviews are a shortcut and people will give credit to – and I think there’s some statistics in here we can through that are– you know, we’re seeing it everyday. And I think the biggest thing about reviews is it’s not just getting a bunch of them, but it’s the velocity of them and how often you get them. So you got to build it into your process and then they’ll build slowly over time. And it becomes kind of wrote in your process.

Chris: Yeah. That’s a really important point because if you go in and say like for a month or two you incentivize your staff or whatever in order to get them to drive reviews, and you get this pop. You’re like, “Hey, they’re getting a review a day for two months,” and then boom, back to zero. That’s going to look very unnatural to Google, and so you want to make sure that you’re avoiding that, make sure it’s part of your process. Here’s what he has to say, “If you are running a marketplace or selling products,” and even if you’re selling a service, really anything.

Matt: Yes, anything.

Chris: “You should strongly consider incorporating user reviews into your product pages or otherwise on your site.” We actually recommend user reviews on every page, right? It’s part of the credibility process for generating leads, and then those leads become customers.

Matt: So yeah, from a conversion process, starting to put the reviews– a lot of people put them at the bottom. Read all this stuff and then the reviews? I would say put the reviews at the top, right? Or we’ve done on a lot of the websites that we’ve been building inter–

Chris: Intermix it.

Matt: Intermingling them, yeah.

Chris: Yeah, absolutely. Let’s see. “On-page user reviews. as long as they aren’t suspect,” so this is on your own site, “Help users evaluate the quality of a product,” or your service, “In a trustworthy fashion. In fact, 84% of users trust online reviews as much as they trust their friends.” In some case even more.

Matt: New friends you need.

Chris: “If you’re concerned that anything less than a perfect five-star rating is going to hurt sales,” that is unfounded. So don’t be driven like, “I know some people are going to give me I don’t know, say a 4.2 or 4.5, and I’m concerned that’s going to drive people away from my business. It actually says, “Surprisingly, product purchases are most positively influenced by reviews with an average star rating between 4.2 and 4.5, presumably because excessively high ratings are seen as suspicious.” It just reminds me of my other business. I probably need to go out and get some bad reviews. Because they’re just– we’re knocking it out of the park, and all of the reviews are really good for it.

Matt: Well it gives a more well-rounded kind of like what’s really going on. Because people want to read the 5 stars and the 1 stars, right? They want to know the extremes.

Chris: I used to think that I was– I’m the only one who goes to the 1 star. And then now everybody I talk to is like, “No, every one goes to the 1 stars.” And it’s so disappointing how many of the 1 stars have nothing to do with the product.

Matt: Oh yes.

Chris: Like, “The box was broken by UPS when it showed up.” Why are you writing this bad review here? UPS has a website! Go write a bad review on UPS!

Matt: I’ve seen it mostly with doctors.

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: Right? Doctor reviews like, “Oh, they didn’t answer the phone. I had to wait so long!” Like those are a lot of the reviews I see on medical practices.

Chris: Yeah, yeah. Alright and then next he says, “Reviews on average boost sales by 18%.” I’m just going to ask a real simple question: who wouldn’t want a boost of sales of 18%? What kind of–

Matt: I do.

Chris: What kind of value– like how “expensive” is it to get your team to start driving reviews, and then therefore turn it into 18% increase in sales. Yeah, I think that’s something you should start today. It’s Friday, so Monday.

Matt: Ask for the reviews when they’re the happiest.

Chris: Yeah! And then here’s a graph, this is by Yotpo. And they have a service that really kind of manages reviews for you, and they said, “How Reviews Boost SEO,” and it’s just a massive curve that goes up.

Matt: Do you remember– so the last thing, do you remember the name of that company at that conference we went to that did the video reviews?

Chris: I do not remember the name.

Matt: Because when you do reviews, don’t just have the words or it just looks like a quote. Actually have the picture of the person if you can.

Chris: Yes, more credibility.

Matt: Video, a video is absolutely better. And there was a service out there beyond Trustpilot that would sen an email and then their phone would pop up, and you could give a review. Some of these things we might be testing out and we’ll do like a product review for you. I know those have been pretty popular. We’re looking at that, but we’ve really built it into our process, and that’s one of the big things from a sales standpoint. When we’re talking to clients, what we’re asking them to do is build it into your process and it becomes part of it, and they build.

Chris: And it works really well. Alright so, “Use the platform like Trustpilot,” so this is one of the examples.

Matt: eWebResults-Trust!

Chris: Oh yeah, eWebResults.com/Trust if you wanted to Trust us some. Hand some trust us. And then whatever platform you use, just make sure it’s easy to show it on your website. Think about this, when you’re putting reviews on your website, don’t just put the review, put a link to where they– and a symbol. So if it’s a review on your Google My Business page, put like the 5 stars, the 5 golden stars or 4.5 golden stars, and then Google and put a link to it, right? Because that gives credibility, like off-site credibility to the review that’s sitting on your site.

Matt: I like that.

Chris: Alright very good. Next is, “Content curation.” So we were talking about that.

Matt: What do we do here? Are we curing content right now?

Chris: Right now.

Matt: That is basically what we are doing.

Chris: Because we went through a whole bunch of content that we felt wasn’t worthy of our audience, and now we’re showing you the content.

Matt: What? No! This is totally worthy!

Chris: No, no, we went through a whole bunch of content and we arrived at this content which was actually worthy for our audience.

Matt: Ah, yes.

Chris: Punch in the face to you Manish for making this great content.

Matt: Yes, we curate content and give you the best every week.

Chris: Again, we’re covering 3 ways to maximize the SEO impact of user generated content. Number #3 is, “Content curation.” So “Curated content is content that you create by collecting, organizing, reworking, and republishing content created by others.” Yeah, that’s what– that is what we’re doing right here. Cognitive SEO is an organization, they mention National Geographic’s “YourShot” as an example of actually generating content. “They asked their audience to send them photographs as part of a contest, and then published the best photos to their YourShot subdomain.” Right? “Strategies like this require an audience, but not necessarily one as large as National Geographic’s.” For example, “The University of Missouri Alumni Association, was able to achieve a 15% lift in site traffic by leveraging image galleries.” Right? So image galleries is a good thing to content.

Matt: You want links from images to not just text, but yeah look at that. 649 referring domains and 190 backlinks.

Chris: 190,000.

Matt: 190,000 backlinks.

Chris: Right so that’s for that National Geographic campaign.

Matt: Yeah I mean that’s a great case study.

Chris: Yeah. So go out and run these kinds of contest where they should write content.

Matt: So we’re going to have this t-shirt and we’re going to want you to take pictures with it and send it to us, and we’ll be [00:21:41] [Indiscernible]

Chris: Remember if you’re going to put these kinds of contests together, the goal is to make the user the star. So your brand needs to be in it but not front and center, right? Absolutely. And then really in conclusion, properly– did you have anything else to add on that last section.

Matt: No, no, but I really liked how you said, “In conclusion.”

Chris: Because we’ve got things to go. I was like, “That is going in the right direction.” Time is of the essence today.

Matt: I have a baby I got to get back to.

Chris: “Properly deployed, user-generated content can make massive benefits for your website. Punch in the face to you Manish, just really, really good stuff. And you know, thank you.

Matt: Yeah, than you. We appreciate it.

Chris: I’m going to pull this up. We’re going to talk about–

Matt: Oooh, what are we talking about?

Chris: Alright so if you liked this podcast, we will ask you to tell three people, alright?

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: You can do that now while you’re listening, and you’ve got some other device, or you can do that some other time.

Matt: Text people while you’re at the gym. Not in the car.

Chris: No in the car. Do not text while you’re in the car. If you’re looking to grow your business with the largest, simplest marketing tool on the planet–

Matt: The internet.

Chris: Call eWebResults for increased revenue in your business, our phone number is 713-592-6724. If you have a referral– and we’re getting more and more referrals.

Matt: Yes, we are.

Chris: So you guys are out there listening to us now, give us a referral. When they pay us, we pay you.

Matt: And we have a client referral on the page. It’s on the little extra– I don’t know what it’s called. It’s like the little extra that–

Chris: Hamburger menu?

Matt: Yeah, the hamburger menu! There we go! That’s the technical name. But on there there’s client review, we pay 5% ongoing. So if you’re a web designer out there and you want to have someone to send your SEO to, or your PPC or your social media, or ongoing content and blogs, and that sort of thing, send them to us. We’ll pay you 5% ongoing, and you can just put in your information, you can put the leads in there, we track everything. It’s something to check out.

Chris: Alright, it is now officially time for us to share with you how to connect wit us, right? So I think it’s Pinterest.com/

Matt: eWebResults

Chris: I think. I know for YouTube it’s actually–

Matt: It’s growing, our Pinterest is growing, I know that.

Chris: Yeah, it’s doing really well. eWebResults.com/YouTube

Matt: YouTube. Yes, yes.

Chris: Will get us there. Facebook.com/eWebResults

Matt: Okay.

Chris: eWebResults.Tumblr.com is our Tumblr page.

Matt: Okay.

Chris: Imger, Imgur, Imjur, I don’t know, eWebResults.imgur – I’m sure there’s a way to pronounce that – .com will get you there. And then finally our Flickr page: Flickr.com/photos/

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: eWebResults

Matt: Yeah. So just type in eWebResults–

Chris: And the platform.

Matt: And the platform, and then you can find it. And we’re trying to build domain authority on all these other kind of platforms. So if there’s one that you use that is not like mainstream like Facebook and Google–

Chris: Let us know.

Matt: Yeah, you leave us a review there. We would love it.

Chris: We’ll get it set up.

Matt: We’re build some syndication out to those platforms so if there’s communities we should be on or not, please let us know.

Chris: Excellent. So we were filmed live here at 5999, West 34th Street, Suite 106, Houston, Texas, 77092.

Matt: [00:25:07] [Indiscernible]

Chris: If you would like audio, video or a transcript of this podcast. You can find it on our website eWebResults.com. We are the most popular Internet marketing podcast on iTunes. In fact the Hoth just came out and mentioned us. We’re actually listed 1st under the Advanced SEO Podcast category. Punch in the face for all of you guys for being listeners, for sending in questions, for connecting with us on our social media platforms – those we really like – and for submitting reviews. Like we just really appreciate it. Until the next podcast, my name is Chris Burres.

Matt: My name is Matt Bertram.

Chris: Bye bye for now.