When dealing with SEO, many bloggers and webmasters seem to only be interested in what they can do with the keyword, and on the page. The truth is, so much more can be done off-page or with other elements that don’t even involve keywords.
Going by the recommendations of Google, one of the things that speaks well for your chances to get ranked is useful content. Besides that, they are also interested in the value you offer via your content, as well as the engagement rate.
How do Search Engines Measure This?
There is a popular metric known as the bounce rate.
Basically, it measures how much time a visitor spends on your website before they leave or go back to the search results. If your bounce rate is high, it means you are not doing something right – either your content is not meeting the needs of the visitors, or you don’t know how to keep them around for longer.
To put that in context, you need to get visitors to stay on your website for longer if you want to have a chance at a ranking boost.
How can you do increase average page time per visitor?
On the WordPress platform, there is a Related Posts feature which you can use to keep visitors interested in your page. This can be done in a variety of ways:
- Manually – You handpick content which you have previously created and embed them into the post as related content. This will help your visitors find more useful resources, improve your internal linking practices and increase the average time spent on your website.
The only issue here is that this method can be time consuming, and you might not always know what the user is interested in seeing next.
- Automatically – Fortunately, there are a number of useful plugins that will take this task off your hands. Besides automating the process, they will also help collect useful data to predict what a visitor would be interested in seeing next based on the current content they are on.
The Plugins to Consider
Now that you know why you should keep visitors on your website for longer, and the ideal way to do it, how about we check out some of the top plugins to get the job done for you?
1.Contextual Related Posts
Even though there are quite a couple of these related posts plugins around today, this one still stands tall for being feature-rich. Contextual Related Posts works by predicting what kind of content the visitor would be interested in seeing after they are done with the piece which brought them in.
Some of the selling points of this plugin are:
- Internal caching system – This helps to remove excess loads on your servers, making pages load faster and reducing your chances of losing visitors to a slow website
- Easy to use – The plugin makes it easy to place the widget anywhere you want in your post by just embedding a simple short code in the desired area
- Customizable – The widget is highly customizable, allowing you include anything from posts, pages and attachments in the wide display area
- Stylish – Coming with support for CSS styles, you can infuse a personal touch on how your related posts appear wherever you want them
- Allows thumbnails – You can set the widget to display the first image in the mentioned post as a thumbnail for a better visual effect.
2.Yuzo Related Posts
Yet another top option is the Yuzo Related Posts plugin. If you have been digging around for a while, you would have found out that this is dubbed one of the fastest, if not the fastest, plugins for this task.
That is due to the extent internal caching system that it makes use of, allowing faster loading of pages even while activated.
With a slew of features and customizations to boot, Yuzo deserves also deserves this list for its:
- Thumbnail support – For those who would like to add visual appeal to their widget, this feature makes that possible
- Caching – Their caching technology is new, and they promise it will make your pages load even faster
- Flat design – It has a design that doesn’t draw too much attention to itself while staying visible enough. Just the kind of minimalistic approach that fits with most themes
- Counter – Know how much of an impact the widget has had on you by taking note of the number in the page/ post visit counter.
- Multi-format support – You get to add all of pages, posts and attachments to the widget.
3.Related Posts for WordPress
Related Posts for WordPress is the ideal pick for those who do not want all the hard work that comes with setting up and configuring WordPress. Simply install it, set the important parameters (number of posts to show, style, etc.) and let it do all the hard work for you.
The internal system has been designed to pick the best posts in relation to whichever one your visitor is viewing. They also leave room for personal customization should you be interested in such things.
There’re more to it, though:
- Multi-site support – You can use this plugin to display related posts across a WordPress network to get more traffic flowing to different parts of the network. You would have to get the paid version though
- Fully customizable – Anything and everything you want to change can be adjusted. That includes the number of posts, what type of content the widget should display, desired templates… the whole nine yards
- Short code support – Want to get creative with where your posts should show up at? No problem. The short codes have got you covered.
4.Related Posts Thumbnail Plugin for WordPress
As the name implies, the biggest feature of this Related Posts Thumbnail Plugin is the thumbnail it adds to the related posts section. Personally, we love the way it optimizes the image and text sizes to be just right and fit well for the best appeal.
Since that is set, you get to customize every other thing.
To cap it all off, the lovable features on this plugin are:
- Customizability – Specify the number of posts, categories to display, image size, and so on
- Design – The basic design is great, but you can do better with custom styling and CSS
- Multi-format support – Besides posts, you can also add pages and attachments to the widget.
5.Inline Related Posts
Inline might be doing the same thing as every other plugin on this list, but they have found a great way to do it. Instead of putting the related posts widget at the end of the content, the plugin helps spread that around the post.
That makes it possible for the visitors to see content suggestions you have even before they get to the end. Make sure these links open in a new tab and you have multiple pages getting traffic hits from the same source.
Here are some things we think you will love about this one:
- Proven – The plugin works with the same model that big sites like Entrepreneur, BBC and The Wall Street Journal use to keep their traffic high. It is even said that it helped jump traffic by 99% on a small site it was tested on.
- Stylish – We love the way this plugin can be made to wrap around your main body of text in different ways
- Multiple usage – You can put multiple related posts boxes in your post and never have to worry about overloading the audience
Similar Posts advertises itself as the best WordPress plugin for related posts. If you were looking for something simple yet functional, this is the one that surely works.
For those who want so much more, some of the other functions on the plugin are:
- Templates – Comes with more than 30 different tags for better template customization
- Control – You get to decide how the layout and display of the widget works
- Management – You can decide to have posts excluded/ included by author, category, tags, ID and other related attributes
7.WordPress Related Posts
Besides internal posts, the WordPress Related Posts plugin allows you link out to other pieces of valuable content on the web. The plugin can be fully customized and ships with its own caching technology for faster page load speeds.
Besides the improved performance and functionality it brings to your website, its aesthetic appeal cannot be overruled too.
Overall, we are impressed by the:
- Better promise for your engagement (by up to 10% more of what you had before)
- Ability to link out to other pieces of relevant content on the internet
- Caching helps to improve site performance and boost page load speed.
Now that you know how you can recommend your other pieces of content to the readers without being pushy about it, which of these related posts plugins would you rather go for?
Let us know why in the comments.