Social SEO

sixmileugliestInternet and Web Development

Jun 24, 2012 (5 years and 4 months ago)

370 views

Social SEO:
How to Drive More Traffic
with User-generated Content
Part one in a series of PowerReviews eBooks
2 / Social SEO: Drive More traffic with User-generated Content
Table Of Contents
Introduction 3
Search 101 3
Why UGC Matters 5
Social SEO Evaluation 7
Social SEO Self-test Tool 13
3 Steps To Improve Social SEO 13
Next Steps (In-line SEO) 14
3 / Social SEO: Drive More traffic with User-generated Content
Introduction
Sales originate through traffic and Google is the number one source of traffic,
accounting for up to 80% of total traffic on e-commerce sites. While most sites
do a good job optimizing their pages and URLs, many forget about some of the
most useful content available - user-generated content.
Surprisingly, two-thirds of the top 20 e-commerce sites are not getting the full
SEO benefit from their reviews and other social content.
In order to understand how Google is the number one source of traffic,
there must be an understanding of how Google works.
Search 101
When a user submits a query to Google, they are not searching the web, instead,
they are searching Google’s cache of the web. Consider this: Google uses
algorithms to index websites across cyberspace. Think of these algorithms as
spiders that crawl through the web. (Step 1)
The consumer begins a search on a product (Step 2) and uses a query algorithm
(Step 3) to match what you’re asking for to the most relevant results (Step 4).
4 / Social SEO: Drive More traffic with User-generated Content
Another thing to consider is
that Google’s traffic is defined
with 3 types of results:
•Paid (SEM): Search results that
appear through the use of paid
placement and contextual
advertising.
•Organic (SEO): Non-paid
search results that appear
because of their target page’s
relevance to the search terms.
•Shopping: Price comparison
service launched by Google that
includes product information and
links to source e-commerce sites
collected from across the web.
Google is looking out for the consumer.
The important thing to understand is that Google is looking out for the consumer:
Google’s number one goal is to deliver the most relevant search results for any
query. At the most basic level, Google determines how relevant a page is to a given
query based on a combination of on page usability, speed and content relevancy.
Most sites on the web are focused on the basics, but how can you stand out?
5 / Social SEO: Drive More traffic with User-generated Content
Why UGC Matters
• User-generated content (UGC) provides addition information about the page
that it lives on, which boosts relevancy.
• UGC produces valuable longtail keywords written in user syntax. Customers
could be using adjectives and superlatives not included in the marketing copy or
that the manufacturer wouldn’t use to describe a product. (For example, a “sofa”
may be listed, but a customer could describe it as a “couch.”)
• UGC increases relevant keyword density on the page. The keywords that are
used in the marketing copy can drive up your SEO ranking based on density (how
many times the word is used on a page).
• UGC is constantly updated which is favors by Google. In order to remain
relevant, content should not be stale and unchanged.
There are many types of UGC valued by Google, including but
not limited to: customer reviews, Q&A, discussion forums, Twitter,
Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, and Wiki Entries.
Integrating user-generated content into the product page is a proven, effective
way to drive more traffic to your product pages. Let’s take a look at some of the
benefits of integrating UGC on the product page:
6 / Social SEO: Drive More traffic with User-generated Content
The highest converting SEO traffic is traffic that lands
directly on the product page.
This type of content is crucial in converting traffic into sales. The ‘add to cart button’
is directly on the product page. Traffic that lands on any page is great for your
exposure, but it also leads to clicking around and loss of interest. The UGC on the
product page is customer reviews – consumers #1 social tool in the buying
process (The E-tailing Group 2010 Social Shopping Study).
7 / Social SEO: Drive More traffic with User-generated Content
Social SEO Evaluation
Indexable customer reviews directly on your product page are required for search
optimization. If reviews on your product page are not indexable, they are
invisible to Google.
Below are two examples of how UGC is done right: Amazon (the #1 internet
retailer) and Staples (the #2 internet retailer). The product page (left) is indexed
completely by Google (right). The UGC (reviews) that gets preserved in indexing is
rich in keywords for proper managing of the SEO content to keep this information
relevant for optimization.
#1 Amazon is doing it well.
In this example, we see that what
a consumer sees on the Amazon
product page (left) is what Google
sees when they index the content
(right).
Notice that the user experience
matches exactly to what Google
sees. The review content is visible,
improving SEO and driving more
traffic directly to the product page.
Keep in mind, Amazon is the #1
internet retailer, according to
Internet Retailer’s Top 500 List.
Who is doing it well?
8 / Social SEO: Drive More traffic with User-generated Content
#2 Staples is doing it well.
The product page (left) is indexed
completely by Google (right).
The UGC (reviews) that gets preserved in
indexing is regularly updated and rich in
longtail keywords that aren’t generally found
in a manufacturer-supplied product
description, making Staples well optimized
for SEO.
2/3 of the top e-commerce sites are missing the boat.
After conducting an internal study of the top 20
e-commerce sites, we saw that 2/3 of them are missing the
boat with Social SEO by not having indexable reviews on
the product page.
9 / Social SEO: Drive More traffic with User-generated Content
At the top of the leader board are our examples from earlier, Amazon and Staples.
They have indexable UGC on their index pages which is why they sit at the number
1 and number 2 positions.
Below them, however, the record gets spottier.
Who’s missing the boat?
10 / Social SEO: Drive More traffic with User-generated Content
#10 Best Buy is missing the
boat.
Best Buy’s UGC is not indexed
directly on the product page on
Google.
Best Buy’s product page (left) is not
at all indexed by Google (right).
The product page shows the
review, but on the right side, you
can see that Google was unable to
index the UGC content.
There is a lot of missed opportunity
for SEO.
11 / Social SEO: Drive More traffic with User-generated Content
#5 Office Depot is missing
the boat.
In a basic point, we see that
Office Depot, a competitor to Staples,
has UGC not indexed by Google.
But the key point is that there are real
dollars lost with missed SEO. If major
companies are considered, their lack
of UGC indexing could cost them a
monetary loss in the $10,000,000
range.
Our goal is to help companies
capture the additional value they
may be losing from not having their
UGC properly indexed in search
results.
12 / Social SEO: Drive More traffic with User-generated Content
After reviewing retailers that are properly utilizing their SEO and those that are
not, let’s look at why retailers are not getting the benefits of their SEO.
Customer reviews not hosted directly on the product page cannot be seen by
Google. This is because reviews rendered in an iFrame cannot be seen by
search engines.
Using an example from a Costco product page, we see the way a user would see
the website (right) and what Google’s view is (left).
The review UGC (middle) is hosted on another page and placed on the product
page with a snippet of code, however it has left Google’s indexed view blank.
It is generally a rule of thumb to align your user’s experience with
what Google is indexing so there are no discrepancies for your SEO.
13 / Social SEO: Drive More traffic with User-generated Content
You can double check how your stack up in a matter of minutes.
Social SEO Self-test Tool
1. Find any product on your website with
reviews. Copy the product name.
2. Put it into Google to search for the exact
listing for the product.
3. When you see the product link to your
site, click the blue link that says “cached”
under the link listing. The cache is the latest
index of your product page Google has on
file.
4. When the page opens and loads, look for
the customer reviews. Are they listed? Or is
it blank? Are you getting your SEO benefit?
If you’re not where you’d like to be or where you feel your product should be-
don’t fret! There’s no better time than now improve your SEO.
3 Steps to Improve Social SEO
1. Have at least one source of keyword-rich UGC available on your product page.
Customer reviews and Q&A are the most common forms of this.
2. Make sure there is substantial UGC volume and a process to ensure that it’s
constantly updated and fresh. Volume is key and something you can’t sacrifice.
Having more reviews allows keyword density and varied word descriptors that will
set your product page apart from others on the web.
3. And finally, you should have UGC that can be seen and indexed by Google,
directly on your product page. Many sites use workarounds like microsites and
iFrames. It doesn’t compare to In-Line services.
14 / Social SEO: Drive More traffic with User-generated Content
Next Steps (In-Line SEO)
If you’d like to reel traffic back in, consider PowerReviews’ In-Line SEO
solution. Our clients find our solution useful in driving up their sales through in-line
SEO management.
PowerReviews in-line SEO solution is the ONLY one that
• Places fresh, relevant UGC directly on the product page,
• Is built standard into the core PowerReviews solution and
• Has been proven in the market to drive more traffic.
“The SEO value of user-generated content is essential to our business.
PowerReviews’ technology allows us to drive more traffic directly to our
product pages and increase sales.”


- Kim Ruthenbeck, Room and Board
To learn more about In-Line SEO and PowerReviews’ suite of
social commerce solutions, contact us today.