I really like the way this article broke down UGC (kind of more specifically: product reviews) to show how it correlates to traffic and purchase. In my own personal life, I rely on reviews a lot, be them yelp reviews, Foursquare tips and music or electronics reviews. When it comes down to it, I want know know what other people’s experiences are before I embark on my own. Like, if I’m at a new restaruant and am unsure of what to order, I’ll check Foursquare tips or Yelp reviews to guide my decision. Now, those aren’t necessarily driving SEO the way this article suggests, but the idea of influence (via UGC) is the same.
I liked the advice that the author left for businesses:
There are a few important steps that businesses can take in order to continue receiving traffic from Google:
- Execute better than anyone on the fundamentals. Consumers are looking for the right product at the right price, an easy-to-navigate user experience, with a pain-free checkout and fast delivery. Google is not in the retail business, but it is monetizing the way people will find yours. As a result, sites that execute on the fundamentals will have an advantage over those who don’t.
- Increase the quantity and quality of customer reviews. This user-generated content matters now more than ever, including that which is generated via mobile while consumers are in your brick-and-mortar location. Organize reviews into the mobile experience so that they’re easy to find and browse, with at-a-glance summaries highlighting pros, cons, and best uses of a product, in addition to average rating.
Search and social used to be two separate spheres, but those worlds are quickly colliding. While Google is doing all it can to catch up with Facebook, you would be wise to try to catch up with Google as well.