They clicked on your page… they read the blog entry that they came for. Nothing else really interested them. You know that you’ve got a lot of interesting posts that any reader might be interested in, but how can you show them to your newest readers that are ‘just passing by’?
Today I got some fantastic traffic. I’m a Mac, I’m a PC got on the front page of Netscape and has gotten over a thousand hits from that source alone. It also got posted on Furl, StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Del.icio.us. I’ll give you some full stats tomorrow and a report on WordPress’ ability to serve that high a volume. My point here is something different, though.
This was a high enough volume that I was able to really analyze a site overlay and see where clients were going from my home page. A site overlay report is one where clicks are divided graphically across your web page to provide a visual indicator of the percentages of click-throughs. I immediately noticed a lot of clicks centered around my Recent Comments in my sidebar. It winds up that 35% of folks visiting my home page would exit the page. However, an astounding 52.3% clicked on a Recent Comment on my sidebar! Wow!
Approximately another 10% clicked-through on the comments links directly under each post. This is amazing! As interesting as I think my blog is, visitors are really relying on the comments of others to see what is or is not interesting on my site.
A friend of mine from work, Randy, told me that he only read posts that had 1 or more comment on a blog. I thought it was interesting and I made modifications to that theme to indicate the number of comments; however, I was never able to measure the actual impact of those changes.
Today I believe I’ve proven how important comments are, as well as displaying how many comments have been made on each post. I may even try to do some more work on my home page… perhaps a list of posts with the most comments on them. It goes to show you that social media is all about the conversation
. Picking a great topic and writing well is part of the equation, but people are social beings – and gravitate towards topics of common interest.
NOTE: I’m running Father Rob Marsh’s Recent Comments plugin. That’s right… Father Rob is a Roman Catholic Priest! I don’t believe the power of the plugin has any influence from Above, but I’m sure a little faith can’t hurt, right? Thanks, Father Rob!