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SES San Jose 2007 Session of the Day: User Generated Content & Search
Thursday, August 23, 2007
User generated content is becoming a popular source of content that many sites use. This session featured Andrew Goodman from Page Zero Media, Matt McGee from Marchex and Lee Odden from Top Rank Online Marketing.

The session started with Lee Odden who discussed six reasons for User Generated Content along with some tips.
  • this is where people are spending their time
  • users expect to be able to contribute content
  • consumers trust user generated content
  • can offer a lower cost per conversion
  • can increase sales
  • leverage community for creation of SEO content
User generated content can be a great source for SEO content. There were some interesting tips mentioned including having logical structure and cross linking with bread crumb navigation. Give them the tools to link between pages. Fundamental SEO practices can help with user generated content through templates and profile setup. People who engage in UGC are loyal and can become evangelists for your company. Reward people who contribute (through status recognition etc.) UGC needs to be managed but it does provide low cost high performance advertising opportunities.

Matt discussed that only 28% of retailers provide user reviews on their site, yet 92% of the customers use consumer reviews. Recent companies who have began offering UGC options include Best Buy and Wal-Mart. A good reason for incorporating user reviews is that users will often use the buzz words or natural terms that people using when looking for your product. This can help with the optimization of your site. User reviews can help educate other potential customers to help instill confidence in their purchase decision. Shoppers want the good and the bad, so negatives reviews can also provide some trust with other potentital consumers. No product or service is perfect for everyone. You should track the IPs of reviewers in case they begin truly "bashing" your brand. Also include an option similar to what Amazon does with "Was this review helpful?" Be sure to have a policy in place for implementing reviews, make the reviews accessible, make sure the engines can crawl the reviews, promote the use of consumer reviews. Options for reviews include sites like, Bazaarvoice and Power Reviews.

Andrew went through a case study on user generated content and discussed some examples of who is utilizing user generated content. User generated content is really the stuff that poeple are looking for, so it makes sense to do it from a search and SEO perspective. There can be a definite public relations benefit.

The session was well attended proving this is a hot topic for web site owners.

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posted by Jody @ Thursday, August 23, 2007  
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