Last week, we hosted a webinar with Covario. We discussed the SEO benefits Cabela’s was seeing from indexing reviews on their product pages. There were some awesome questions during the session, as well as some great tweets from those listening, so we thought a recap was in order:

Cabela’s saw that product pages with reviews get TONS of traffic:

By having fresh content in the language of real customers added to the indexable content on their site, the Cabela’s product pages are generating significantly more search traffic than those without reviews.

Question: What are some of the ways you ask users to contribute UGC?

Our two immediate best practices are:

  1. Send out post-purchase emails, which are sent to the customer about one week after they have received the product
  2. Conduct a contest, which encourages multiple submissions.

Of course, these two could change based on your business model. Keep in mind that you should always make the user-generated content (your contest, reviews, or Q&A) visible on your site so users who are looking for it can find it!

Question: Are there any best practices around showing shortened reviews so that there is more keyword variation?

This one was partially answered by one of our tweeting attendees:

By keeping the number of reviews on the product page to 3-5, you will ensure a good variety of customer language (read: increased keyword reach!) without having much keyword dilution on the product name itself. We don’t shorten reviews because usually it’s not necessary, but it’s something we are keeping an eye on.

PJ from Covario had a great list of steps to follow that was picked up by several listeners:

Among these, we have found that optimizing for “[product name] + reviews” and “[category name] + reviews” can definitely drive traffic. Also, by linking to a historical archive of product reviews, it increases the likelihood that the site can rank multiple times in a single results page.

Want more best practices from Cabela’s and Covario? We’ve got three ways to help you:

  • http://twitter.com/be3d Ian Greenleigh

    Thanks, Will. It was cool to see that you actually added value in your reblog–it wasn’t just copied and pasted verbatim. Plus, who doesn’t like the word “meta”? Have a great weekend, and keep reading.

  • http://twitter.com/be3d Ian Greenleigh

    Thanks, Will. It was cool to see that you actually added value in your reblog–it wasn’t just copied and pasted verbatim. Plus, who doesn’t like the word “meta”? Have a great weekend, and keep reading.

  • http://twitter.com/wingland Will England

    Very cool data; I’ve always liked seeing the reviews front and center on a product page; it’s pretty much the first thing I read up on, especially at Cabellas and outdoor gear. The box blurb isn’t going to talk about how the tent does in real world weather, etc. I’ve written up a reblog of this for the Sprint Community:
    http://community.sprint.com/baw/community/buzzaboutwireless/general/meta/blog/2010/10/29/social-commerce-seo-benefits

  • http://twitter.com/wingland Will England

    Very cool data; I’ve always liked seeing the reviews front and center on a product page; it’s pretty much the first thing I read up on, especially at Cabellas and outdoor gear. The box blurb isn’t going to talk about how the tent does in real world weather, etc. I’ve written up a reblog of this for the Sprint Community:
    http://community.sprint.com/baw/community/buzzaboutwireless/general/meta/blog/2010/10/29/social-commerce-seo-benefits