I usually don’t bother with comments on my websites for a variety of reasons, however I saw one neat technique today that I have to recommend. If you allow comments on your websites, and you get random comments thanks to the SERPS every now and again, then this feature is a must-have for your website.
A couple of weeks ago, I was wanting to export the keywords from one of my websites from Analytics to Excel. However it would only let me do 500 at a time which was frustrating. I found this hack on SeoAddicted.com on how to export over 50,000 at a time.
I found that via searching on Google, and left a comment thanking him for the hack, and thanking someone in the comments who pointed out it only worked with IE, and not Firefox.
I guess yesterday he must have approved my comment, as I got this e-mail:
This was great – and it worked out perfectly. When I found his website I would have spent some time checking it out and probably subscribing to his RSS Feed, but I closed my browser and forgot to do so, and I couldn’t find it again via Google. So I immediately subscribed to his RSS Feed. I should also point out that it looks like the e-mail is only sent upon approval of comments, rather than when they are submitted.
So if you run a website where you find you are getting lots of hits and possibly comments from one-time users from the search engines, then this is a feature you really need to add to your website.
The basics of it is that when someone comments on your website, they get an e-mail inviting them to subscribe to your RSS Feed and keep track of any updates to your website. I found this was a very strong call to action and I would expect that if someone took the time to comment on the website, the chances of them subscribing is probably about 80% or even higher.
The plugin is the comment relish plugin. However whether you get it custom coded or use an existing one, I’d recommend:
– Having it list the date that the comment is submitted, not approved.
– Not sending out an e-mail immediately – waiting about a week before sending the e-mail(it seems less harassing and more resourceful and helpful that way)
– Checking against other comments. If someones posted 3 comments on 3 separate articles within 3 days on your website, then it’s very likely that they are already following you. In this case I wouldn’t send out an e-mail.
I’d also look at this as a way to get people back to my website. If I allowed comments on Poker Affiliate Bible for example, I may send out an e-mail to people who left a comment over 3 months ago, but haven’t left a comment since. Remind them of the website, ask for feedback or if there’s any topics they want discussed, that sort of thing.
This is just a great example of thinking things through. People like to add features to their website that they see at other sites, but don’t actually think about it, and if it serves the purpose, like comments or social networking icons. SEOAddicted.com have watched their website get hits from Google for a variety of long tail terms and have adjusted accordingly, and brought themselves many more readers in the future due to that.