One of the key benefits of user generated content is attracting natural search traffic to your site. After two years working with large mutli-channel retailers, we have learned a lot about optimizing natural search traffic for our clients.
We hired Jeff Watts, a nationally-recognized search engine marketing expert as Product Manager for SyndicateVoice and our natural search optimization functionality. Jeff has spoken at many search engine marketing events and managed global search optimization for National Instruments, a $600M company.Through Jeff’s leadership, we optimize the Bazaarvoice SearchVoice and SyndicateVoice capabilities every 6 weeks through our rapid development lifecycle. We have also launched the Bazaarvoice Microsite solution that furthers the impact of natural search through brand and category-related pages.
One of the many factors unique to Bazaarvoice’s successful UGC search strategy is segmenting the content from the product pages, so that review content is optimized for the ‘long tail’ searches related to product reviews. This is a superior strategy compared to embedding review content into the product pages because product pages already carry so much other content and markup that dilutes the opportunity for reviews-focused keyword searches.
Jeff’s recently released whitepaper, Boosting Natural Search Traffic using Ratings and Reviews, explains this strategy and shares some of the findings from our clients about user-generated search. Many clients give us access to their web metrics platforms which helps us understand the behavior of search keywords into their site vs. the SearchVoice landing pages. Through analysis by Jeff, our market data analysts and Community managers, there are several findings in the whitepaper of how and why UGC generates high quality traffic. Here are a few of the findings:
- Search engine queries to review content are substantially more likely to use “generic”, rather than “retailer-specific” words, which indicates that review content outperforms product content in driving first-time customers to a retailer.
- Search engine queries to review content contained about 1.5 words per query more than queries to product content. The longer query strings indicate that review content does a better job than product content of driving higher converting visits.
- Referrals from ratings and reviews content generate 97% more revenue per referral than referrals from natural search engines to product pages.
Reviews are an effective word of mouth marketing method and can provide substantial natural search traffic. By intelligently publishing ratings and reviews in a search engine friendly manner, marketers can reach a broader set of searchers who are close to the point of sale, educated about the product being offered, and ready to buy.