Providing quality content is a great way to increase your website’s SEO and increase your page rank, but it doesn’t always have to be your own content. User-generated content, or content written by users of your website or blog, is just as effective and can be extremely beneficial when it’s done right. Here is more information about user-generated content and some tips on encouraging this type of content on your site.
The Benefits of User-Generated Content
First off, consider what the benefits of this type of content are. The first benefit is that you are freeing up more of your time by having the content essentially done for you, though it will take some effort in the beginning when trying to encourage content. The next benefit is that users will begin engaging with each other; the longer they are around and the more content they submit, the better it is going to be for you in the long run. Then there is the fact that your SEO is improved dramatically by users submitting things like guest blog posts, comments and other forms of content.
Make Your Site Shareable
The first way to increase user-generated content is by making your website and other content shareable. Since millions of users are on social media every day, this is a two-part way of marketing your website. To do this, have icons and share tools on your site and every blog post that allow for sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Digg or Delicious. It should be easy to share with a click of a button in order to be useful. The more they share, the more exposure you get, which also increases how much content you get from additional users.
Ask for Guest Bloggers
Having others write blog posts for your site is not only benefiting you on many levels, but the author as well. Allow a byline and link to their website or blog, if they are willing to write a blog post for free. You are giving them exposure, and yourself free user-generated content. With guest bloggers, they will most likely share the post with their friends, which gets people showing up on your blog. If you know of a writer who has a lot of followers, you might consider paying them to write a post on your blog or website, though this depends on the exposure you think you might get and what your budget is.
Feedback also has multiple benefits when you accept it right on your site. You are getting tips on how to improve and what is already working for you, plus you get some good user-generated content. With every piece of feedback, comment about your site or testimonial, it is content that is increasing the SEO of your site. Positive and negative feedback will have the same effect. Take note of any negative feedback and use it to improve.
These are just some of the ways you can encourage visitors of your site to submit their own content. Remember if you have a blog, just having users leave comments creates excellent user-generated feedback. When writing blog posts, end it with a question to open up engagement from your readers.