How to Win More Happy-to-Buy Customers via UGC

SEO has more tactics available than you, or anyone else for that matter, have time to implement.

But the more you can add to the mix of things you can do, the stronger your SEO is, and the more traffic and sales you pull in.

Do you know about “UGC?”

It stands for “user-generated content.” It refers to a number of different content types.

Since that content gets generated by users, however, it naturally gets a lot more trust from online searchers (as long as they know the content wasn’t sponsored in some way).

More trust means more clicks. And that leads to more loyal customers.

Here’s some types of UGC and how you can get them:

1. Quick Win: Rich Snippets

You’ve seen these star ratings in search before:

They make your search listing obvious and easy to click on. Yes, in this case this is Amazon.

But you can do this with your own e-commerce site too (and it’s relatively simple to do).

You can increase your click-through rate by 20-30%, which is quite a big deal. The amount your sales increase depend on the quality of the sales page users click through to.

2. Total Reviews on Your Website Increase SEO Too

Rich snippets target to a specific page and increase its ranking, CTR, and sales. However, the total number of reviews you have across all products and services on your website improves your ranking too.

For example, see this chart from Search Engine Journal, which shows the number of additional organic visits created on 30,000 business websites who began to use reviews:

As you can see, it takes a good 9 months to get the full effect. But, every little bit counts.

Why does Google even care about these reviews so much?

They aim to give the market what it wants. Since consumers trust reviews from other consumers, Google gives them a boost in the search rankings.

3. Testimonials

Some businesses use separate testimonial pages for their website. Others embed the testimonials on various pages where their customers are likely to stop and make a decision.

The latter is likely more effective. However, in either case, testimonials often use important keywords that Google indexes regarding your website.

In addition to that, testimonials act as highly effective “social proof.” In other words, visitors to your website read them and place a lot of trust in them when deciding to buy.

It’s important to let your customers write their own testimonials (you might provide them with questions to guide their responses) because they’re more likely to use important keywords. Such testimonials also come across as much more credible (as opposed to professionally written ones which customers approve).

There are many more ways user-generated content comes into play with SEO (especially through social media). These are just a few examples.

And they all carry nice SEO ranking power.

How Content Actually Drives Sales for SMBs in 2019

“Wow! That’s the most amazing blog post I’ve ever read on ankle and foot care!”

…No one’s actually ever said or done that.

Why?

Not because of the quality of the content. Or the topic.

But because that’s not how content marketing works in consumer’s minds.

Blog posts don’t drive fast sales.

If Blog Posts Don’t Sell Fast, Why Create Them?

Truthfully, blog posts do win you more sales. It’s just that it takes 6-18 months for them to do their work.

Why?

Because content marketing actually works like this:

First, someone reads your spectacularly useful post on foot and ankle care. They may, or may not, have a problem serious enough warranting treatment.

Some of your readers will opt to just take care of the problem themselves. There’s absolutely nothing you can do to sell that type of person.

They just want to handle the problem on their own. It’s who they are.

However, many people who read your post understand the value of an expert. They’d rather not handle it themselves.

And here’s the key point to understand: while they may not have a serious foot or ankle problem right now, they may have one down the road. And by writing useful content that wins their attention, more useful than any other blog out there on the same topic, you cause many people to remember you.

They follow you on social media. They bookmark your website. They email your link to themselves. They join your email list. Or they share your content with a friend.

And then, over time, as you continue to feed them useful and interesting content, you become more of a priority to listen to. Consumers don’t go searching for your competitors because they love what you have to say so much.

Finally, when they have a problem you can solve, they schedule an appointment.

That’s how content marketing works. And when you attract an audience, you have a massive unstoppable ball of momentum which sells with ease over and over again.

Can You Use Content To Speed the Sales Process Up?

Yes. Blogs sell slow. They give useful advice on various topics, which helps. And their consistency keeps you visible in search engines. They’re absolutely necessary to your marketing success.

You know what converts more of your blog readers into paying customers?

Real-life success stories!

Also called “case studies,” these stories detail the problems your customer came to you with, reasons why they choose you and not your competitor, and the results you generated.

Then, you add a few quotes from your customer throughout the story to add credibility.

And finally, this makes you an easy choice for other potential customers who have the exact same problem.

You can keep your customer’s personal info anonymous. However, if you can get their permission to use their entire name, or even their first name and last initial, that lends more credibility to your story and makes it sell faster.

Small businesses lack this. They want to use facts. However, the old marketing saying goes,”Facts tell. Stories sell.”

Find some stories. You certainly have some. And then promote them to your social media profiles, on the front page of your website, and to your email list.

Finally, watch the business roll in!

How to Use Welcome Emails to Generate More Sales

 

Have you ever been pelted by a popup asking you to give your email address to join a company’s newsletter the second you land on your website?

 

Annoying!

You haven’t even had time to check out their site…and they already want your email.

 

It’s like walking up to a random woman, not even asking her name, and then asking for her phone number.

 

Not too many will respond positively to that.

 

That’s how not to generate more sales with email marketing.

 

Here’s how to use welcome emails so you do get more sales from your website:

 

  1. Use Double Opt-In

 

Going this route makes sure that people who really want to get email from you are on your list.

 

You won’t get spammers. You won’t get people who complain, feeling they never subscribed to your list.

 

Basically, after a visitor gives you their email address, you use your email marketing software to send them an email asking them to confirm their subscription.

 

It ensures only visitors genuinely interested in getting emails from you are actually on your list.

 

  1. Strike While the Iron is Hot

 

Some companies wait a few days or a week before sending you an email after joining their list. They do this so they send everything in a batch, which makes more efficient use of time and resources.

 

But…that’s a big mistake!

 

It costs sales because customers are much more likely to act when they have high interest. And you know that since they’ve joined your list, they have a strong interest in your company right now.

 

So, that’s a great time to send them a welcome email. Offer them a discount for purchasing. This gets them closer to your inner circle and keeps you top-of-mind for future emails.

 

  1. Deliver Exceptional Value

 

Your welcome email can be the kickoff to what’s called a “Drip Campaign.” With this type of campaign, you send a series of emails over a period of time, each with more useful information than the last.

 

To snag attention, you have to tell people something new. Maybe you dispel common myths and misconceptions in your niche. Maybe you share new research.

 

Originality attracts attention. Tell people the same old stuff they hear everywhere else…and they have no reason to keep paying attention to you.

 

At the end of your drip campaign, you ask for a sale. And it can be a reasonably expensive sale because you’ve spent so much time educating your new subscriber.

 

And if they don’t buy, at least you’ve caught their interest.

That’s a large part of the battle in and of itself.

 

So yes, you can easily turn your welcome emails into a potent sales-generating weapon. And the best thing is that they sell time and time again – without costing you any more!

Does Your Website Use “Thank You” Pages?

“Thank you!”

It’s a globally recognized phrase that everyone appreciates.

You can’t say it enough. Is there ever a wrong time to say “thank you?”

And since the web’s merely an extension of real-life conversations, why don’t you see “thank you” pages more often?

Now, we’re not saying this just to improve your web etiquette.

Thank you pages also serve legitimate business purposes to deepen your relationships with your customers and turn more passers-by into ecstatic paying customers.

But how do you actually do that?

Learn from these examples:

  1. Thank Customers for Joining Your Email List

This is a prime time to give your customers an opportunity to buy. They’ve already expressed high interest in your company by signing up for your email list. It takes a lot of trust-building to get them to do that.

So, even though you offered your customers an incentive to join your list, give them another one with your thank-you page.

For example, offer them 50% off one product if they purchase in the next 24 hours.

Try different approaches because you never know which one works best.

  1. Offer Premium Content

This approach may work better for service-based businesses.

Why?

They typically have longer sales cycles that require more convincing and cajoling to sell. It’s harder to sell something you can’t see than something you can.

So, when a customer asks you to email them content, give them a thank you page that shows other related content that they may enjoy also.

This could be a video, podcast, ebook, guide, whitepaper, or whatever form the content may take.

  1. Use Written or Video Testimonials

Immediately after a customer fills out your email form to contact you about your services, you can redirect them to a thank-you page with social proof.

This could be a video testimonial, or a written testimonial, for example. The testimonial should give a clear explanation of the customer’s problem before using your product or service, and the results afterward.

If you use written testimonials, try to get an image of your customer also. That makes the testimonial more credible.

Anyway, this convinces the customer to a greater degree they made a smart choice and will get the result they want by choosing you.

You should have social proof throughout your website. And this is a particularly key time to show it.

So yes, saying “thanks” works. And remember to have a genuinely thankful attitude too.

Customers sense whether you appreciate them or see them as another set of dollar signs.

When you’re genuine, that keeps them coming back!

 

How B2B Buyers and Decision Makers Engage with Content

B2B types are savvy, well-researched individuals. But the face of who makes buying decisions is changing.

Millenials are now gaining a strong role in the decision-making process. Some are the decision makers. And many do the research which later gets presented to all involved in the process.

So, as research happens, how does it actually occur? What should you do to make sure you garner interest?

Here’s some tips to guide your content creation:

  1. Write About Technology

Research has proven technology is the single most popular topic consumed by online B2B buyers.

It’s what they want to know. So give it to them. Show buyers how your company uses technology to deliver additional value your competitors don’t offer.

What if you don’t have any great technological advancements on the horizon?

No worries. Discuss industry updates and future trends. Your content doesn’t need to be about you. It simply has to be useful.

  1. How to Maximize Social Media Effectiveness

Consumers browse through social media aimlessly, not looking for anything in particular. They really want to find something of interest, but they’re not even sure what that might be.

B2B buyers’ minds work differently.

They look for something useful and actionable. And they use LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube to find it. They use other social media too. But your time and money are best spent on these social media channels.

  1. Email Marketing Still Works

You’d think B2B buyers get so many daily emails that they go nuts and probably don’t really care for email communication.

It’s partially true. They do get a lot of email. Around 120 emails daily.

However, 77% of B2B buyers still maintain they prefer email communication.

It’s the right way to contact them. So, they key lies in standing out.

That means learning how to write subject lines and message bodies that immediately capture interest.

  1. You Do Need Proper Optimization

Yes. Just like consumers, B2B buyers also use Google searches to find products and services they need.

71% of B2B buyers begin their research with a generic Google search.

So, you need to be found. And you must have an interesting, valuable search listing that’s worth clicking on.

That’s a brief overview of how B2B buyers engage with content. Now it’s up to you to give them an experience so valuable it would be stupid for them not to choose you!

Why Voice Search Isn’t The Next Big Search Trend

Did you see the announcers trying out Google’s voice search in the various Major League Championship Series?

It delivered exactly the answer desired.

And you probably use voice search to at least a small extent too. Your internet marketing company may even help you optimize for voice searches.

…Absolutely nothing wrong with that. Staying on top of current trends is smart business.

However, voice search isn’t hugely revolutionary. That’s because it’s basically only a slightly more convenient way of searching.

Instead of typing in a search, you use your voice. It’s faster and easier than typing for all but the fastest of typers.

Useful. But not all that big of a deal in the grand scheme of search.

So What is the Next Big Trend?

The next big thing, and it’s actually already here, is conversational AI. You experience it through Alexa, Google Assistant (on their Google Home device and smartphones), and Apple’s Siri.

The difference now is that, instead of simply replacing your fingers with your voice, these “conversational AI”-powered devices search their knowledge repository to give you an intelligent answer.

So the idea would be that you get a more accurate and sophisticated answer than if you simply did a manual search.

What This Means to You

A simple voice search takes you to Google and shows you the top 10 search results just like it does when you type in a search.

However, with conversational AI, a response gets read back to you. In other words, you’re the only result for that search.

Now do you get the difference?

You’ll get a whole landslide more of qualified searchers when you have that position.

How Do You Get That Search Position?

Think about how you, your family, and your coworkers search when you use voice.

Do you speak the words and phrases you would otherwise type?

Some do. But if you survey enough people, you’ll find most search conversationally.

In other words, they’re not going to say “Dallas podiatrist” too often.

Instead, they’ll ask a question like,”Who’s the best podiatrist in Dallas?” or,”Who’s the top-rated podiatrist in Dallas and Fort Worth?”

This gives you a better understanding of the searcher’s intent. And then you create content tightly targeted to answer their questions. You use simple language they understand. And you avoid marketing or business speak.

This will lead to you dominating the search engines both now and in the future.