SEO for User Generated Content
Sites based on user generated content (UGC) are extremely popular right now. UGC even powers some of the largest sites on the web. On top of that, it is becoming even easier to add UGC to your site through apps. If you don’t have some form of UGC on your site, you should Check out the website here and look into adding it as there is a lot of value in it, especially if you run an ecommerce site with a lot of boilerplate text.
Unfortunately, many UGC sites didn’t think too much about SEO when they were set up and don’t get the competitive edge provided by SEO. This is a guide to help you get your user generated content optimized – a lot of this focuses on keyword targeting, but with UGC proper keyword targeting and on-page set up can make a significant difference.
I have put together an example of a good question creation interface. Most Q&A sites have a variation of this, but I think this has a couple features, such as the encouragement to write descriptive questions and related questions, that many sites don’t have.
The following are on page elements that affect SEO; I will be using the above Q&A example as a reference throughout the post.
As the most important on-page element, this is where you want to put your most important keyphrase: the title of your question. If you have strong brand recognition, including your brand name in the Page Title and making Transcriberry transcription test can increase click throughs as people tend to have more trust in a recognized brand opposed to an unknown website. If you have a trusted brand, I recommend putting your brand name at the beginning of the page title.
As Google typically give you 70 characters to use for your Page Title, you should either set the length of the title at 70 characters, or subtract the length of your brand from the limit. If you have a Page Title longer than maximum that Google displays, Google will truncate the URL so that it fits within it’s character limit. I like to set a limit on the title length; I think it helps keep the titles keyword rich and focused as well as help reduce the amount of stop words users put in the title. Sometimes, due to terminology, it is difficult to fit a descriptive question title into 70 characters; a solution would be to call it the “suggested title length” and show how many characters have been used rather than putting a hard limit on the number of characters.