Kathleen Shrimpton Team : Web Production Tags : SEO Web Strategy

The SEO Benefits of User Generated Content

Kathleen Shrimpton Team : Web Production Tags : SEO Web Strategy

Distilled recently wrote a paper identifying the key benefits of user generated content for SEO. They worked closely with Reevoo to conclude how successful adding user generated content in the form of reviews and questions could be for your site. 


Reviews are particularly essential for e-commerce sites. The main reason is that reviews provide a diverse range of content for search engines to find. A lot of e-commerce sites provide very similar if not, identical manufacturer content for product and category pages.

By including reviews on your website not only will your site become more appealing to your consumers, it will also increase the value of your product pages to search engines. Distilled found that Google concentrates to a greater extent on unique and differentiated content and generally excludes websites that do not write their own content or copy content from other sites.

Not only is it possible to increase your search engine ranking by providing reviews with diverse content, you can also increase your click-through rates with ‘Rich Snippets’. If you’re wondering what the phrase ‘Rich Snippets’ is referring to, they are snippets that apply Google’s algorithms to display data embedded on a web page. So for example on Google if you look for a product and you see five stars underneath the name, this is Google extracting that data from the website and displaying it on the search results page.

This is beneficial as it attracts the consumer’s attention and will in turn increase the click-through rates. Distilled explains that no matter what rank you have on the search engine results page, if your site has a rich snippet it will be much more likely to receive the click with an amazing 10-20% boost to your click-through rate.

There were just three things you have to remember when implementing reviews according to Distilled.

  • Indexation: make sure that search engines can access the review content by making sure it is presented in the HTML as text, instead of relying on JavaScript, cookies, Flash, images or iFrames.
  • Non-Duplication: to prevent review content duplication you need to make sure that the whole review should have just one page with one URL.
  • Depth and Coverage: make sure you have lots of unique content on your site through your reviews to increase your chances of a higher rank on search engines.


Distilled found that Reevoo Conversations had a high amount of consumers stating that they would be happy to answer other consumer’s questions posted on the site. The key benefits of Q&A on your site is that it means even MORE user content is generated AND it shows what people would search for, so that you know what content to put on your site to answer more consumer questions.

Reevoo Conversations included an option for the company to answer the consumer questions which was a success for two reasons. Firstly, as the company is answering the questions the consumer knows the replies are high quality. Secondly, the Q&A was placed towards the end stages of a possible purchase straight after the reviews, so that with the answers to all their questions the consumer would be more inclined to purchase the product.

User generated content also plays a big role in conversion rates. One of the biggest factors that affect conversion rates is consumer trust and what better way to build trust for your site by letting users contribute and read consumer content and reviews. Distilled found that with Reevoo there was a 4.6% increase in conversion rates with 50 reviews.


Distilled provides a UGC checklist to ensure better SEO for your website:

  • Uniqueness: different content to other competitor website
  • Crawlability: making it easy for search engines to access your website content
  • Depth: as many keywords as possible
  • Coverage: reviews for all products not just a select few
  • Freshness: up to date information and reviews
  • Relevance: the reviews and questions are relevant to the product


It is evident that by including reviews and questions on your website you are guaranteed to improve your search engine rankings. It builds trust, answers questions and gives your site content that is different to your competitor websites.