Monday, July 4, 2011...9:00 am

SEO Week: How to generate traffic through user-generated content

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All sites need a constant supply or new, original, keyword-rich content. How can you achieve this without spending money?
In a talk to UCA journalism students, Chris Marling explains how user-generated content drove traffic to Broadband Genie last year.

How do you get unique content on your site for free?
Customer reviews
All you need do is ask visitors about their broadband – they’ll all say it in a different way. They’ll come to your site and talk about relevant things – the content will be the right content for Google.

“Forums are brilliant – forums are free.”

They don’t have to have a lot of participation, but the key is to keep it simple. Some of these forum items can get 700, 800, 1000, 1200 hits.
Example question: “Can I use Skype with mobile broadband?”
Broadband Genie does not touch much on Skype – it’s a free service so it’s not that useful to the site. But that forum statistic is valuable knowledge.
What do you do? Go away and create a page dedicated to Skype to draw those 1,200 customers in. Instead of a simple forum answer about a product that’s not relevant, hopefully that page can focus those people on what your site does.

Another forum question: “How do I top up my mobile broadband?”

The information is available in Broadband Genie editorial guides already – but question was about O2 specifically.
The question was asked in July 2009. That page is buried in the forum because it has not been answered for a while. You wouldn’t see the content appearing on the front page. But at the time of filming, Broadband genie was ranking higher than O2’s own site for a Google search on “O2 dongle top-up”.
This shows the value you can get from user-generated content. The site’s users have written a brilliantly keyword-rich story. It’s almost a year old, but still got 700 hits the month before.

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