Content Marketing, , WordPress

Comments Keep Visitors Reading Your Blog

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 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!

Recent Comments Site Overlay

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!

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