How to Use Related Posts for WordPress.com to Keep Readers Engaged

More than four million blog posts are published on the web every day, according to Hosting Facts. That staggering number is one of the reasons why competition for people’s online attention is so fierce. Just getting someone to your website, given the myriad alternatives available, is a major victory.

That’s why you need to do everything in your power to maximize that visit. In this article, we’ll explore how using related posts for WordPress.com can help you keep readers on your site longer, increase engagement, and improve search engine results.

How related posts enhance key performance indicators

One of the general indicators search engines keep tabs on is how engaged people are when they visit your website. Two specific data points that point to the larger trend are the time a person spends on your site and the number of pages they navigate to with each visit.

Think about it this way: If someone enters a search query, then clicks on a page on your site, but leaves the page five seconds later, the visitor clearly wasn’t engaged. Thus, a search engine has no reason to believe that your web page satisfied the query and will be less likely to serve that page up for similar queries in the future.

On the other hand, using that same example, if the person clicks on your site and ends up spending 10 minutes there, clicking through and reading four different articles, it’s clear that person was engaged. Not only will that help you earn the trust of the visitor, but search engines will now have confidence in suggesting your site in the future for similar queries. That’s a win-win!

The bottom line is that if you deliver value, a listing of related posts at the end of a post, in the sidebar, or even sprinkled throughout the post is much more likely to keep people on your site.

How to generate related posts on WordPress.com

Publishing useful content that delivers consistent value to an audience is a challenge — but one that is, of course, worth pursuing.

Fortunately, adding related posts for WordPress.com is simple. The feature is built right into the platform, and you just have to follow a few simple steps to set it up. Once you have the feature set up, you’ll be able to customize important options, such as including images — which you’ll definitely want to do to increase engagement.

You can also install other plugins that give you additional customization options.

One example is Contextual Related Posts, which generates a list of related posts based on title and content. It also has support for thumbnails, shortcodes, widgets, custom post types, and CSS styles.

Some plugins use tags to deliver related posts. This means that if you add tags to a post, the related posts that are included will be other posts from your website with similar tags. One example is Similar Posts by Shareaholic, which can provide related posts based on the current post’s tags, category, content, and author.

Start increasing engagement today

Regardless of whether you choose a simple related posts option or a more complex one, make sure you add this feature to your website today.

Doing so will increase your visitors’ engagement and help you earn more trust in search engines — both of which will improve the overall health of your site.

Create your new blog or website for free

Get Started