Comments are an important part of your WordPress site`s life. The presence of comments on your posts is evidence of the readers` interest in the content of your internet project. In addition, comments are a good incentive to start a discussion among a less active audience, who will never start a conversation on their own, but will gladly join the already existing one.
Well-commented blogs have higher positions in search results. This occurs due to the improvement in the behavioral factors of the site ranking. In other words, you increase the length of time users stay on the site, the depth of pageviews, and reduce the failure rate. In accordance with the improvement of these indicators, search engines start to treat your site better.
Involving users in commenting is a fairly complex process. For this reason, a large number of modern blogs have no active commentators. However, the opportunities for attracting active commentators are quite broad and accessible. The main point is that using these opportunities is necessary in a complex manner. Only in this case they will bring the desired result.
Today we will talk about the simplest and most accessible methods for involving your audience in the commenting process. All these techniques are better to apply from the very first day of your internet project`s life. In this case, the process will be faster and more efficient. But do not despair if your project already has a rich history, good attendance, but very few comments. This situation can be gradually corrected if you follow the advice that we give in this article.
Create Content Wisely
First of all, you should pay attention to the quality and quantity of content submitted. In addition to the obvious quality in the design, the content should contain answers to those questions that your audience considers important. For example, a blog about computer parts can make interesting reviews of the new hardware. But if such a blog starts discussing films or computer games, then the audience’s interest can be significantly reduced.
The amount of content should respect the golden mean: you do not have to post every 5 minutes, but long downtime during the weeks will have a bad effect on the popularity of your project. The frequency of updating the content largely depends on the format and volume of each post. If you write large and informative reviews, it will be interesting for users to get acquainted with them for several days. If your usual post contains one funny picture or quote, then such posts can be made in a large amount per day.
How to find out the topic that is relevant to your audience? Look at the competitors in your niche. Study their content, its themes, frequency of updates and design. Be inspired by other people’s thoughts to create your own. You can write on the same topics, but from your point of view – it will also be interesting for your audience.
Motivate a Discussion
In the continuation of the content discussion, we should say about the emotions that can be called up with it. The stronger the emotions that you call with your posts, the greater the chance for commenting by users. Naturally, you do not want to cause sharp negative emotions, because you will receive appropriate comments. But you can share with your readers a softer emotion, which does not necessarily cause fun. An excellent example of such an emotion is nostalgia.
Another strong technique is the use of deliberately controversial topics for creating content. There are a lot of ambiguous questions on which you can express your own opinion. Among your readers there will necessarily be representatives of different opinions who will be highly motivated to express their own point of view on the question. Thus, the discussion will begin by itself. You only need to maintain the fire and not let it burn out too much, in time of mutual insults from rival parties.
Add Call-to-Action Elements
There are two types of call-to-action, which will be useful for increasing the number of comments on your WordPress site or blog: visual and text. Visual call-to-action are various buttons or selected forms that draw the attention of the user to the possibility to leave a comment. This technique has little effectiveness because of its obsession.
The text call-to-action consists in a direct statement of the question addressed to your readers. For example, you write an overview of a computer game. After describing the characteristics of the game and the features of the gameplay, you can ask your readers about the opinion they had about this game. Many will find such an invitation a sufficient occasion to express their own thoughts in the form of a commentary, even if they did not plan to comment on your post during the reading.
Always Reply to Comments
This statement may seem obvious, but many WordPress administrators tend to ignore this need. Remember that every user wants to enter into a dialogue, and not just to express his thought in the void. Therefore, even if you completely agree with the comment and do not consider it necessary to supplement it, you can at least express your consent and thank the commentator for the time he or she spent.
At the initial stages of the development of your website or blog, you do not have a core audience, around which the life of the project will revolve. This core should be created by you alone. This means that you must support any conversation and develop it. No one else will pick up your flag at this moment.
Nobody wants to remain faceless. Even those users who wish to anonymously comment on your posts want to use nicknames instead of real names and avatars instead of their photos. Therefore, the inclusion of a simple feature of Gravatars is a must have feature for preparing your site to release.
Connecting Gravatars is extremely simple. Go to the WordPress admin panel, find the Settings line in the sidebar and select Discussion from the drop-down menu. Scroll down to Avatars section and make sure that the Show Avatars setting is turned on (there must be a check mark opposite it). Everything else will be done by the Gravatar system itself. Gravatar will use a single avatar, which the user chooses for himself in the WordPress system.
Bring Up Email Notifications
Email notifications can serve as an excellent tool for the users’ return to your WordPress site or blog. You can set up notifications for those users who have received a response to their comments. Usually readers will not return to your site to check for answers to their comments. But with email notification they are sure to be interested in the continuation of the conversation.
There are a number of free plugins for easy and quick implementation of automatic email notifications for your WordPress site. One of these plugins is Subscribe to Comments Reloaded. You can test its functionality absolutely for free on your project.
Considering Connecting Disqus
Disqus is a third party system that works pretty well with all WordPress sites and blogs. “Third party” means that this system was developed not by the creators of WordPress. However, the work of Disqus and WordPress is fully optimized and you do not need to worry about complex installation or configuration.
Disqus Comment System offers advanced commenting functionality: adding pictures and videos, real-time chat, login using accounts in social networks and much more. In addition, you can choose the layout for Disqus in accordance with the design of your site or edit individual design elements of this block.
Allow Links in Comments
Many users will be motivated to write a comment in order to leave a link to their own internet project. There is no need to prohibit this possibility, especially if your project has just started its way to success. In this case, you will be happy with any comments and links will not bring you any harm.
You can also use special plugins to automatically relink in the comments. For example, WordPress plugin CommentLuv allows you to automatically post a link from the user’s comment to the site that he commented before yours.
Organize a Giveaway
All of us like gifts. The distribution of gifts will attract a lot of attention to your site. Gifts can be certificates for your own goods or services, but in general, you are not limited in the choice of awards for your users. An obligatory condition for such a giveaway is to place the comment under a certain post or series of posts. This way you will achieve a phenomenal amount of comments compared to any other methods.
WordPress is also ready to help in optimizing and automating the process of givingaway. Such pligans as Rafflecopter will allow you to quickly create a giveaway with goods from the assortment of your site or with Amazon certificates as gifts. The plugin is free, so you can easily test all of its features without any tangible attachments.
We hope that the information in this article will allow you to share useful content with your users on a new level. The two-way communication between the administrator of the WordPress site and its visitors always benefits the internet project.
What ways of communication with the audience do you use on your WordPress site? Feel free to share!