I recently re-read an older blog post about getting more comments on articles. I see posts claiming to give you awesome ways to increase your comments all the time, but this blog is still one of my favorites. Why? Because the author doesn’t repeat the same tired suggestions like, “Ask a question at the end of your blog.” I still think asking a question at the end of your blog can be a conversation starter, but we’ve all read those suggestions over and over again. So, I’m condensing his great blog into a shorter version for you here.
Why are comments important?
The benefits of user-generated content are obvious to most. Not only are you generating additional unique, (hopefully) on-topic content for your pages, comments may even contribute to your article’s freshness score.
1. Make it as easy as possible to leave a comment
Does “website” really need to be a required field? Are your CAPTCHA images harder to solve than a Rubik’s cube? Sometimes the effort it would take to comment on your blog outweighs the potential user benefits. Take a look at each field and ask yourself ”is this a hoop I’d be willing to jump through to leave a comment on a blog I’ve never visited before?”
2. Comment placement
So many widgets, so little real estate. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that the end of a blog post is the hottest piece of property on the net these days. After you’ve pumped your full author bio, social buttons, “other articles you might like,” opinion disclaimer, and multiple ad units, the comment section often ends up an entire page screen below the actual content. If you’re truly serious about getting the conversation going on your article, then you should consider giving the comment section a more prominent position on the page.
3. Social logins
If for whatever reason you simply must require users to register for commenting (a rather large barrier to entry) consider allowing them to log in using the social media accounts they’re already using. If you’re running WordPress, this can be done by installing one or two plugins of your choice. Simple Facebook Connect will get the job done and the Twitter version will do the same.
4. Join the conversation
Respond to comments on your articles. You took the time to write the piece, so get in there and stand by it! Keep the conversation rolling with questions of your own and address things you may have glossed over in your initial publishing. The reality is that articles with comments get more comments.
If you want to read the whole blog, go to SEOMOZ. Oh, and don’t forget to add your comment below!