Dallas Internet Marketing Expert Qamar Zaman goes over benefits of user generated content for SEO.

Some experts in the industry say that user generated content is the new SEO.  But, to be more fact-specific, there is no such thing as new SEO or old SEO. Search engine optimization is a system that constantly changes with technology and to tag a newly discovered strategy as a description to the overall process is technically inappropriate.  For 2015 and the year onwards, every SEO practitioner should start focusing and give more priority on user generated content.

What is User Generated Content?

User generated content is not new in the online marketing industry.  It has been rampantly proliferating on the web through social media and other community based websites which are majorly run by the members/users themselves.  It is any type of content (articles, videos, audios, and photos) produced or created by a user or member of a certain website/community.


According to a study (http://corp.crowdtap.com/socialinfluence), millennials (18 to 36 years old) spend an average 5.4 hours daily consuming content created by their peers and 71% of them engage every day in social media.  These figures show how much people love user generated content.


A few of the famous websites that rely on user generated content are YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Flickr, iTunes, Pinterest, and Lonely Planet.

Why User Generated Content is Important in SEO?

If you are a keen observer, the most popular websites in the world are run by their users and members.  YouTube and Wikipedia are a few of the best examples how a user generated content can drive traffic and encourage frequent visitors.  Since over a decade ago, user generated content became more prevalent when most online users started to frequent in social media websites.


These days, when 61% of adults (http://heidicohen.com/67-mobile-facts-from-2013-research-charts) in the country are smartphone users, the need to create a strategy to incorporate user generated content in your SEO campaign is a must.  With Hummingbird and semantic search currently being rolled out, the success of your SEO efforts may now heavily rely on how you incorporate user generated content into your optimization strategies says Qamar Zaman a Dallas SEO expert.


How to Incorporate User Generated Content in Your SEO?

If you haven’t tapped user generated content yet to help boost your SEO, then it’s now high time you start incorporating it in every marketing channel you use to reach your target audience.  Below are some of the most effective ways on how you can encourage your followers, customers, users, and even prospects to create content for your brand.

1. Create an online community through a forum.

If you are offering legal services and you are optimizing local keywords that target prospects living in New York, then it is a wise move to create an online forum wherein people from that area who seek for legal advices can post, discuss, and interact with their fellows who are also looking for the same information.  You should be meticulous in setting up your forum.  Keep in mind that you are optimizing the content they’ll provide for the search engines.

2. Let your customers leave a review or feedback on your e-commerce site.

Search engines love user generated content especially those ones that are produced by authentic customers.  These reviews contain more detailed information about your products or services.  Reviews from their peers are seen by most prospects as more credible than any types of advertising.  Also, it is worthy to note that search engines prioritize displaying reviews on top of the SERPs.

3. Ask your followers to use your brand as a hashtag every time they mention your products in their social media spaces.

Make use of your loyal followers or even those people who love to talk about your brand in their social media spaces by asking them to hashtag your brand every time they post something about your product or your latest promo.  These hashtags can actually affect how search engine would rank your webpages every time someone would look you up online.

4. Allow guest post writers to contribute content on your business blog.

This can help a lot if you are a small business and doesn’t have the budget to hire in-house writers to update your blog daily.  Just be sure that you publish only those ones that provide high quality content and the topics provide value to your target audience.  Regular content publishing on your blog can help your webpages gain more visibility in search results.

5. Allow your customers to upload and publish photos or videos on your e-commerce site.

This depends on your niche and more particularly on the type of audience you want to attract.  If you are selling t-shirts and you want your customers to contribute content (photos of them with their t-shirts on), you can just create a photo submission gallery wherein you can showcase their images.  This doesn’t only help you create more content on your website, this also encourages your target audience to buy your shirts.  Make sure that you optimize your photo gallery for the keywords you want to be found.

6. Conduct regular contest or promo that awards followers/users who can produce the best content.

This strategy never gets old and is always useful if you don’t have enough number of followers yet.  This is ideal for startups and small businesses who don’t have a large fan base and want to incorporate user generated content in their SEO campaign.  Conducting a contest that rewards people who submitted the most creative video or photo featuring your product is a first huge step in promoting both your website and your brand.


Of course, these tips are not designed to fit each and every business out there.  You have to take an initiative on how you can effectively incorporate user generated content to specifically meet your SEO needs.  Always bear in mind that you need to combine various types of strategies to make your SEO campaign successful.  Do more research, study, plan, and implement.  Good luck!

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