User-generated content (UGC) is any content created by users of your website. It can be blog comments, forum posts, guest articles, author bios, or anything that is created by your website’s users and published on your website, blog, forum, or other Web property. So what are the benefits to allowing this type of content?
We all know about one of the drawbacks: Spam. UGC can very often just be another form of spam. But what if it’s not?
There are three really big benefits to user-generated content:
- Customer interaction – First, you can interact meaningfully with your customers. Think about comments on your blog, for instance. Allowing such comments allows you to interact with your customers in ways that before were not possible. You can handle customer service issues, receive feedback from customers that leads to improved service, and get new ideas for going forward.
- Unique content – User-generated content results in 100% original content for your website (in most cases). Users create it, it shows up on your website, and it’s original. Forum posts and blog comments likely are not lifted from other websites, especially if they are in response to previous comments.
- SEO opportunities – UGC most likely utilizes keywords that are important to your search engine marketing efforts. In some cases, they hit the long tail pretty hard. Since that is the case, UGC provides a unique SEO opportunity that you can’t take advantage of in any other way.
While there may be problems with user-generated content, there are more benefits than problems. I highly recommend you allow it.