The Net savvy consumers of today are looking for a fast, cheap and easy access to information, products and services available in the virtual market space, and the best possible way to get the details is a simple search on the Web. There are several search engines including Yahoo, Amazon, and Google that serve this purpose remarkably well, sorting, ranking and displaying relevant details based on the search criteria. For your web-site to figure prominently in the search results, you would have to tune your site and its contents and adhere to the guidelines that are applied to generate the search results.
The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an online marketing technique followed to get the attention of potential customers by staying ahead of your competition in the search result list. Of late, Google started using User Generated Content (UGC) as a criterion to rank web-sites. User Generated Content (UGC) is the public opinion that adds a human touch to web-based content, specific to a given domain / field. Social media, social networking is all about creating and sharing user generated content. Questions, comments and feedback from other users of a given web-site provide the first time visitor with a range of details that otherwise may not figure explicitly on the site.
So, if you are looking to shop for products online, Google search ideally is the first place to start with. A couple of years ago, the search results usually listed text content. Now, the latest Search Engine Result Page (SERP) of Google comes with a dedicated left pane with several options like News, Images, Videos, and Shopping to narrow your search. Once you get to the Shopping menu, additional information on products such as images, product prices, and UGC in terms of customer comments, reviews and ratings are displayed to facilitate your decision, and you could refine search results further using filters on price, location etc. Recent Google snippets for Shopping and Hotel Finder provide the consumers with a snap shot of vital UGC details before they actually browse the retailer’s web-site for specific information on the product.
The Google SERP with UGC incorporated is certainly advantageous to the online consumer, but what will be its impact on the retailers and service / information providers in general? Web is a good market to showcase your products and services to a global clientele, irrespective of regional, cultural and language barriers. In order to be search-engine friendly, follow basic site structures and content generation guidelines, and yes, do have a provision to electronically accept consumer feedback in terms of reviews, comments, queries or ratings. Search engines are not social; however, they will be able to lead your customers to you based on your UGC.
About the author: Amanda Kidd is a blogger who has a great passion for gadgets and gizmos. She is always on a look out for new mobile phones and never leaves a chance to switch to a new one. She also loves gaming laptops and is planning to buy a new one.