We’ve already talked a little in the past about how there are some very real risks to introducing consumer reviews onto a website, but it’s not all bad news.
In fact it can be great for SEO but what steps can you take maximised the benefits of the UGC to your search engine rankings?
Automatic Linking Between Posts – When someone is reviewing your products there is a pretty good chance they compare one product to another, and this is a great opportunity to improve your internal linking. It might not be possible to check every review for mentions of another product and add a link but it’s perfectly possible to code a script to automatically link whenever a specific word is used. i.e. if someone mentions that the Ford fiesta is better than the Ford ka you can automatically link to the ka page.
Moderate to add keywords – One of the risks of user generated content, from an SEO-perspective, is that it may dilute keywords within a page. One way to rectify this when moderating content is to add additional keywords.
You have to be careful not change the review too drastically, as it doesn’t show your users much respect and can sometime lead to a backlash from your most-valuable users.
Get More Reviews – Email everyone who leaves a review thanking them. It’s a nice courtesy, but it can also give you an opportunity to ask whether there are other products they would be willing to review, or ask whether they know any friends or family who would like to add reviews. You’d be surprised how potent a small step like this can be, it can spread virally and quickly.
Encourage Reviews – If you can understand the fact that reviews have an SEO benefit, then it’s clear you need to encourage your users to produce them. You can do that in a variety of ways, such as offering them a future discount or chance of a prize in a competition. You might be able to reward them with social capital if you already have some kind of community behind your site, which is certainly a bit cheaper!