UGC and SEO: Going for the Long Tail Keywords?

TripAdvisor and Yelp are some of the key examples towards how UGC can lead to dominating SEO rankings. But how does it fit with the overall SEO and PPC key strategy? What should be considered?

Why Companies Are Going UGC: Community, Conversion & SEO

Lee Odden has laid out the reasons for UGC, citing some of the many studies that point to both

  • Increasing consumer expectations to create online content
  • Improved conversions for online retailers that provided user-based product reviews

Here is Lee’s list of “common benefits of user generated content for web site optimization and better search engine rankings”:

  • Leveraging a like-minded, enthusiastic community for the creation and sharing of topically focused content in multiple media formats: text, audio, images and video
  • Additional web site content attracts traffic through long tail phrase queries
  • UGC increases the breadth of overall content available to consumers, increasing the chance they’ll find what they’re searching for
  • The opportunity to contribute content in a meaningful way fosters community and can result in an effective feedback loop – motivating the creation of more content and participation. ”
Long Tail SEO with UGC
Image Modified and Borrowed from Avinash. 🙂

UGC and SEO for Long Tail or the Head?

When doing an integrated SEM Campaign, which at e-Storm we define as doing Organic (SEO) and Paid (PPC), who gets what keywords from the client’s “Keyword Portfolio”? Here’s one scenario:

  • PPC gets the Tail: Because it is easy to ensure that you get the tail and the tail is cheap
  • SEO gets the Head: Because the keywords are too expensive to buy on the PPC side, and also limited content forces the client to focus on a smaller set of keywords

UGC can help solve this problem of choosing between the “Head” and “Tail” keywords for SEO. But, of course, this is based on getting it right on four assumptions:

  • Quality of the Content:
    What kind of quality are you looking for? How will you solicit them?
  • Amount of Content:
    Is your audience massive enough to leave substantial feedback? Do you have incentives or a timeline? Building UGC content can be a long term project.
  • Internal Linking – Integration:
    Will the UGC content be well integrated to your website or pushed off as a quasi-orphan.
  • External Linking – Will People Link to Your UGC Content?
    Will people want to link directly to the UGC content? Great content with no “linklove” may not rank well.

How will you deploy UGC to help take advantage of long tail content? How will be integrated with your current site (link structure) and will people want to link to it?



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3 responses to “UGC and SEO: Going for the Long Tail Keywords?”

  1. Lee Odden Avatar

    Hi Daniel, I’m glad the post was useful and thanks for attending the session on this topic at SES. It was great to finally meet you in person!

    I really like the 4 assumptions about UGC content you’ve presented.

    At the start of a UGC initiative education, incentives and recognition are powerful motivators for communities to create content. As the program matures, enabling the community to further advance their own goals through widgets and tools can help maintain and grow UGC momentum.

  2. UGC and SEO: Going for the Long Tail Keywords?…

    TripAdvisor and Yelp are some of the key examples towards how UGC can lead to dominating SEO rankings. But how does it fit with the overall SEO and PPC key strategy?…

  3. […] mettre sur pied une économie de liens trustée par les moteurs de recherches, à l’aide de sites enrichis à l’UGC (User Generated Content), de wiki et de […]

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