Regularly updating your website content is more important than ever, after another update to Google's algorithm.
The Panda update earlier this year affected 16% of search traffic, penalising sites that Google felt didn't provide searchers with high-quality content. But this new update affects 35% of searches – more than twice as many – and this time, Google's focusing on stale content.
The obvious benefit of hosting Q&As on your site is that it removes doubts from the minds of consumers and helps them make a purchasing decision, giving businesses a healthy bump to their conversion. But how can this user generated content contribute to your SEO strategy?
But - and this is a big 'but' - reviews and other social content will only help your SEO if search engines can see it.
This sounds common sense, but far too many people assume that anything users can see will be seen and valued by search engines. Sadly, it's not that simple.
There's been a lot of guesswork on the real impact of Google’s latest algorithm change. So it's refreshing to finally see some hard data, reported at SEOMoz. They've crunched the numbers to see if sites with lots of user generated social commerce content (reviews and consumer Q&A) have got more traffic from Google after Panda.
Social commerce content has the potential to be a powerful tool to improve SEO for ecommerce. But not all social commerce tools are created equal and not all have the features necessary to help you with traffic and search engine rankings.
Here are the 3 key considerations when adding social content (like user reviews or consumer Q&A) to your site.
Traffic is the lifeblood of any ecommerce site. Even household name brands and retailers prioritise making their sites as attractive to search engines as possible - which is exactly what SEO does.
Filling your site with quality, unique content is the gold standard of SEO. And using social commerce content for SEO is the very best way to do this: scalable, cost-effective and proven to work.
We've been working with Distilled for a little over a year. Distilled is an SEO consultancy based here in London and with an office in Seattle (and soon New York).
We share the opinion that online retail needs to get a lot smarter about incorporating social elements and we've worked together on a white paper about the place of UGC in retail. This is a guest post from Will Critchlow, one of the founders of Distilled and the author of the white paper.
Choosing the wrong type of review system can open the floodgates to negative reviews, misleading consumers and damaging your brand.
Passive review systems make no effort to solicit reviews from customers, instead relying on site visitors to leave reviews, without checking if they actually are customers. These systems rely on customers being sufficiently motivated post-purchase to spontaneously return to your website to write a review. Anger and disappointment are great motivators, so unhappy customers are far more likely to write reviews in passive systems than happy customers.
Product reviews are key for improving conversion, but what about the impact of reviews and social commerce on SEO?
One of the welcome, and often overlooked, benefits of implementing social commerce is that all of this user generated content provides lots of SEO goodness.