Let’s be clear, an ‘instinctively smart’ WordPress Blog is one which will hold your audience’s attention and keep them engaged. Funnily enough, it’s not all about content quality (although it is a pretty huge factor).
Sometimes, things as simple as a reply to a loyal commenter or adding ‘recommended for you’ section based on individual audience’s preference and behavior can keep them engrossed in your blog. It’s not difficult to do either; there are many plugins for WordPress which do exactly that. A blog’s ability to adapt to users based on their activity can make loyal followers out of passive visitors. To do that, you’ll need an intuitive knowledge of your audience’s behavior and a handful of smart plugins that will let you put your knowledge to action in your blog.
A smart WordPress blog will take it from there.
1 A Variety in ‘Welcome’
You greet someone you just met with an introduction, but a fist-bump/hi-5 and a “How the heck are ya?” will suffice for your best buddies. That’s the idea you’re going to have to implement on your blog. To do this, make a bit of space in one of your sidebars (a minimized ‘About Me’, if you will) that introduces who you are and what you and your blog do. Make this an ‘ad’ with who sees Ads and make it visible to new visitors only. You can also change it to make a ‘Welcome Back!’ or ‘Good to see you again!’ message for older visitors, or simply remove the message to make space for other things on your page.
2 Where are you from?
You want your new visitors to be moved to ‘act’ (read: follow you on Facebook/Twitter/Anywhere else, buy your plugin/ebook/pop music video, subscribe to your RSS feed, etc.). That can work even better if you knew where the users came from.
For instance, if your new visitors came to your blog from Twitter.com, it makes infinitely more sense to remind them to Tweet your post or follow you on Twitter instead of any of the other options. Similarly, if your visitors came from, say, Goodreads.com, they’ll be more inclined to consider downloading your e-book if you ask them nicely. A lot of conversion (or other) goals can be met by simply showing a different message to different users. You can do that with the help of plugins like Referrer Detector or WP Greet Box. Customize your messages, make them closable or not (keep in mind: no-one wants to be badgered), and choose from top/bottom locations on a post.
3 Give Suggestions
Strictly speaking, this isn’t supposed to be taken literally. Many blogs show a list of ‘related posts’ to keep their audience browsing. That’s easy to achieve with something like Yet Another Related Posts Plugin, which will use an algorithm to detect more posts related to the one the user just finished reading.
Now algorithms are great, but they’re fallible. Some of these plugins can even affect your page’s performance (especially if your blog is huge). For a slightly altered approach to show suggested readings, you can use a plugin like Where did they go from here which will add a “Readers who viewed this page also viewed” section at the bottom of your posts based on previous visitors activity. Nothing is perfect, though. You have to keep in mind that this plugin will show a very unflattering “N/A” if your page does not have any previous visitor activity to track at all. So those who are just starting out with the blog, or have just installed this plugin, may have a few inconvenient days ahead of them.
4 Create Interactions in your comments’ section
Some of your users will leave you love in form of comments: words of praise, criticism, or flaming reviews. Okay the last bit is less ‘love’ and more ‘hatred of your very existence’, but you get the point. It’s true that many audience members will tell you exactly what they think of your posts. This is good (even if there’s someone rage-hating) and should be generally encouraged. You can redirect first time commenters to a ‘Thanks’ page with Comment Redirect. Once there, you can give them further options to show their appreciation (or contempt, because this is the internet) by links to Like/Follow you on Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Anywhere else. Other cool plugins like Comment Rating, Comment Reply Notification, and Spectacu.la Discussion can help make your comment section interactive and fun.
Remember to moderate comments too. Keep your comments section clean of spambots and human spammers with anti-spam plugins. We like WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam for its power-packed features.
5 Adapt Ads to Visitors
The previously mentioned Who sees Ads plugin will let you choose who you want to show your ads to. Generally, it’s more likely for a new user to click on an ad than returning visitors, so it makes sense to show ads only to first-time visitors and leave returning visitors to their ad-free devices.
This works both ways. Returning visitors are familiar with your content and have some value attached to your blog. Any ‘calls for action’ you have got: Like/Follow on social media, download your app and more, donations to your blog or a cause, etc. are more likely to elicit responses from returning visitors than new ones. Treat these calls as ‘ads’ and the plugin will let you customize which audience to show these messages to.
6 Make an ‘appeal’ to AdBlock users
With 198 million people in 2015 actively avoiding your ads using AdBlock, you stand in a position of losing a significant chunk of your blog’s revenue. On that same note, the number of AdBlockers is rising by something like 42% annually across the world.
This fact will also hurt you on a deep, visceral level if you worked your ass off to monetize your blog in first place.
In order to preserve your work (and your revenue), you might need to appeal to your visitors. For example, with this tutorial, you can display a custom message that says “Online Ads help pay our bills” to everyone who uses AdBlock.
You can thus make an appeal to AdBlock users to whitelist your site. Keep in mind that if you display this message too often, you WILL lose your traffic.
Author Bio: Tracey Jones is a renowned front end WordPress developer at HireWpGeeks Ltd. with vast experience in research and development field. She helps those people who need to hire a WordPress developer to accomplish all their WordPress customization projects at very reasonable cost. Being a passionate writer, she share her knowledge related to WordPress and socialize it through various social media platforms.