It seems that just about everyone is publishing something these days: Technorati claims to be tracking 92.7 million blogs, Wikipedia has around 5 million articles, and more and more sites are facilitating the creation of consumer-generated content. But publishing and publishing effectively are entirely different. A site can have the greatest content on the web, but if it is not discoverable by the masses, it will yield little traffic.One of the most important types of content marketers should focus on publishing effectively is customer ratings and reviews. After all, 77% of online shoppers are seeking review content online before they buy according to Jupiter Research. Recently Bazaarvoice launched SyndicateVoice, a product that helps our clients dramatically increase the amount of traffic their ratings and reviews receive, particularly through search engines, by using an effective publishing strategy.
In a nutshell, SyndicateVoice does the following:
- Publishes a standalone, review-centric microsite that targets long tail search traffic for review-centric key words.
- Retains visitors to the microsite once they’ve entered.
- Syndicates excerpts of reviews to a broad network of search engines, shopping portals, price comparison engines, and RSS outlets.
Several clients who have gone live with SyndicateVoice have seen fantastic results. For example, in a sample of three clients for the first 27 days since their respective launches, SyndicateVoice results show the following:
- Pageviews per session rose as much as 33%
- Bounce rates (the percentage of single page visits) declined by as much as 21%
- Search engine referrals rose by as much as 156%
There are three reasons for these results.
First, the search engine optimization (SEO) methodology – especially with regard to the page-level search optimizations – is based on significant keyword research, and because it is a 100% “white hat” approach, the search engine traffic it yields will be less susceptible to loss due to changes in the search engines’ algorithms.
Second, SyndicateVoice is an open platform. On an opt-in basis, clients may take advantage of the Bazaaarvoice syndication network, which includes not only RSS syndication and sitemaps, but also 25 premier portals and shopping comparison engines like Google Base & Google Product Search, Smarter.com, and MSN / Live.com. This syndication not only drives direct traffic back to clients’ reviews, but also builds inbound links to that content that help the SyndicateVoice pages rank better in search engines.
Third, the SyndicateVoice microsite includes helpful navigation keys that provide context to the visitor and increase visitor retention. For example, every microsite page displaying reviews also displays a list of the “top rated” products for the same category. If you are looking at a set of bath towels, for example, and decide that it is not the product you want to buy, the list of top rated products will include links to other sets of bath towels that have been highly rated by other customers and, therefore, might be worth checking out before you leave the microsite. This is great for consumers because they can take advantage of the reviews written by others like themselves. It is also great for retailers, because it increases the amount of time a visitor will stay on their site, which in turn leads to higher conversions and more sales.
Consider these three things when you publish your own content:
- Are you using a world-class SEO strategy?
- Are you open with your content and using that openness to drive inbound links and traffic?
- Are you providing a multitude of reasons for your visitors to choose to stay on your site once they arrive?
SyndicateVoice clients are already doing this with their review content. For these retailers, a new product review is not just another thing to publish – it is a traffic driver and a conversion tool.