A great way to encourage user-generated content is to start your own Q&A site, or add a public Q&A section to your current site.
AnswerBase offers Q&A Sofware which they've been serving to enterprise clients for the last few years. But they have recently launched a version that is available to websites and businesses of any size.
The major benefit of having user generated content, especially Q&A type content, is the potential for a dramatic increase in organic search traffic...
The AnswerBase software is already highly optimized, giving you an advantage out of the box. Each question that your readers post creates a new page, which is optimized for the questions other people with similar issues are searching for online at the major search engines.
A couple of examples that use AnswerBase, that you may recognize, are:
Edmunds Answers http://answers.edmunds.com
DexKnows Answers http://answers.dexknows.com/weddings
Highly Customizable & Easy To Set Up
You can set up a Q&A site in a matter of minutes, using simple tools they provide for set-up and customization. You'll have a choice of three different layouts where you can adjust the color scheme, upload images, and even tweak the CSS if you like.
On the professional level plans (and higher) you'll have access to widgets you can embed on your current website or blog to help engage your current visitors, and drive traffic to the new Q&A section.
It also include a mobile site version, making it compatible for smart phones and other mobile devices.
The administration panel gives you (and/or your moderators) easy access to manage the Q&A community, moderate the content, and monitor activity through detailed reports.
Several Low Cost Plans Available
There are several low-cost plans ranging from $15 per month for the basic plan, to $200 per month for the most advanced. They also offer a 15-day free trial, with no credit card required, if you want to give it a test drive and see if it's a good fit for your website or blog.
To learn more about AnswerBase, visit the website and also read their recent Press Release here: Answerbase.com Brings Enterprise-Grade Community Q&A to Businesses of All Sizes.
There are a lot of ways you could put this to good use. From a moderated FAQ section, to an open discussion and community for your niche. User Generated Content is highly engaging, and also very valuable for organic search growth. Not only does it add more optimized pages to your domain, it also increases your site size and improves your overall site theming.
I would love to hear your thoughts, and ideas you have for creative uses of this software! A Social Q&A site is a great alternative to the traditional "discussion forum" option - with a lot more advantages.
The layout alone gives you more options than a traditional forum. It also has an RSS feed, giving you an additional marketing medium - from submitting to RSS directories, to building a list by offering email updates/digests through a "blog broadcast" type feature in your mailing list manager.
Users also enjoy leader boards and ranks, which is an incentive to participate - and makes your site more "sticky" (keeping them on your domain longer).
They can also create an "Expert Widget" and add it to their site or blog, improving their own credentials - and also providing a valuable link back to the Q&A section of your site.
Like I said, I'm anxious to hear your thoughts & creative ideas! 😉
This post was sponsored by AnswerBase. If you are interested in sponsoring a post on ClickNewz about your website or product, contact me for details.