How Can User-Generated Content Improve Your Google Business Profile Ranking

Local SEO Tips Google Business Profile

Your customers can become the best salespeople and advertisers of your business. So, why would you miss out on the chance to benefit from user-generated content (UGC)?

Let’s find out what user-generated content is, the importance of UGC within Google Business Profile, how to ask for it, and how to use the reviews you’ve already received. Spoiler alert, UGC is also your key to better rankings.


User-generated Content ranking


What’s User-Generated Content? 

User-generated content (UGC) can be a post in a text, image, video, or some other form that has been created for a business by someone not associated with that brand. Product reviews or social media comments are examples of UGC.

It’s a confirmed ranking factor, but there are some nuances to consider before you open that comment section on your website or rush to get as many reviews as possible:  Google bots cannot distinguish between your comments and those of other users. So, while some comments may be considered spam, high-quality user-generated content (UGC) might enhance your page ranking. Luckily, in the case of Google, there is a list of prohibited content that can help you prevent spam.

The UGC in the form of reviews or photos must:
  • Show the real experience, product, or location
  • The photos can’t be fake or stolen
  • The reviews can’t be off-topic or contain personal attacks. 

Reviews that go against Google's Content Policy get effectively removed by the search engine. 


The benefits of UGC

  • It’s free
  • It builds trust
  • It can improve your online reputation.

User generated Content

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3 UGC Formats within Google Business Profile Listings

  • Reviews
  • Questions & Answers
  • Photos

Google Business Profiles that contain user-generated content rank higher, and searchers trust the listings more because the information in the reviews comes from real customers. Having positive user-generated content on your listings can also significantly affect your conversion rate.

The Role of Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Customer reviews and testimonials within your Google Business listings are a great form of UGC for your business. They show what other customers think about your products and services, help you build credibility with potential customers which in turn, improve your sales. 

92% of consumers trust recommendations and reviews from other people more than any other source. On top of that, reviews affect your local rankings if you know how to manage them:

  • Encourage your customers to leave high-quality reviews: photos, text, and keywords.
  • Respond to reviews by strategically using your keywords. 

How to Encourage Your Customers to Leave Reviews

Google is your friend! In some instances, Google sends push notifications asking about the experience after the customer leaves the location. There is no way to control this, though. Google hasn't disclosed how the algorithm picks certain locations and why visitors don't get push notifications from all the businesses. 

Don’t be Shy to Ask. Many customers will gladly leave a review if they enjoyed the experience, the customer service, or the interior. Just ask for a review.

Find more tips on how to get reviews and why that should be a part of your Google Business Profile optimisation strategy.

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Astghik Nikoghosyan, January 12, 2023

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