Companies generally don’t think of taking the advice of their prospective clients when putting together a business model, but one expert says having content on a website that is created by users can increase search engine optimization (SEO) and lead to higher conversions.
Writing for Search Engine Land, Daniel Waisberg says that having user generated content on a website can benefit a company in a number of ways – not the least of which is having free content on a site for search engines to crawl.
Having user generated content can also give a site credibility, says Waisberg, as it shows what "real people" think about, while also giving feedback to the company that runs the site.
Although there is a level of unknown when it comes to user generated content, Waisberg says when done right it can have great effects.
"[L]everaging user generated content is an advanced technique to improve a website conversion rate and, in parallel, its SEO efforts," he writes.
And while some might think that the opinion of strangers means nothing to most people, a recent study would disprove that thought.
According to the latest Nielsen Global Online Customer Survey, people still put a lot of faith in "word of mouth" with 90 percent saying they trust recommendations from people they know online. However, 70 percent said they trust the online opinions of people they’ve never met.