One of the best ways to increase user engagement, opt-in rates, and even social follows is to redirect commentators to a specific page after they comment on one of your blog posts.
Comment redirection – it’s a great strategy to ensure that you get the most out of each and every visitor. Not only can redirecting commentators be used to increase your mailing list opt-ins, but it can also have a positive effect on your page views, average visit duration, and even your social media profiles.
Thanks to a neat little plugin called Comment Redirect from Joost de Valk (yep, the same guy who came up with WordPress SEO), setting up commentator redirection is as easy as a few clicks of your mouse.
Craft Your “Thank You” Page
It’s crucial that the “thank you” page commentators are redirected to captivates visitors, rather than repelling them. An inaptly phrased sentence, a couple of grammar mistakes or even a poor design could ensure that your commentator never visits your blog a second time.
Not only do you need picture-perfect copy, an attractive design is also a must.
Elements of a High-Conversion “Thank You” Page
If you setup Comment Redirect correctly, every single valid commentator will be seeing your thank you page, so you need to do your best to maximize its potential returns. To do that, implement the following elements on that page.
Newsletter opt-in form — This one is a no-brainer. The visitor has already shown that he is willing to interact with you and your blog by taking time out of his day to post a comment. As a result, he’s much more likely to subscribe and turn into a loyal fan than just any passer-by who chances upon your site.
It’s best to have your opt-in form somewhere in the middle of the page — above the fold, but not quite at the top. You need to leave enough space to insert a lead-in statement above the form that entices your user to opt-in; something like this: “Hey! Thanks for taking the time to drop by and comment! I love it when readers comment and read my posts — it really makes my day. Enter your e-mail below and subscribe to get more high-quality posts delivered straight to your inbox!”
Matthew Woodward’s thank-you-for-commenting page is a great example of quality copywriting and opt-in form placement.
Social follow icons — Going by the same rule mentioned above, you’re more likely to get more “microconversions” (such as a follow on social media), after a visitor interacts with your blog. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to grow your social following — if your Google+ profile (the all-important social network for SEO after the Google Authorship update) has been looking a bit shabby of late, now’s the time to insert a follow badge. The same goes for Twitter, Facebook, or whichever social networks are important to your target audience.
Archive of popular posts — Darren Rowse often calls this a sneeze page — the basic idea is that you propel (“sneeze”) your readers into your blog by providing links to a few of your most popular/most useful blog posts. Unlike a true sneeze page, however, this archive of posts isn’t a standalone page, since you’re also incorporating a few other elements in the page.
You can see what a sneeze page looks like over at ProBlogger’s guide on How to Write Great Blog Content. This is a great tactic to boost your pageviews and it gives your commentators a chance to interact even more on other blog posts as well.
How to Setup Comment Redirect in WordPress
Joost makes it super simple to setup Comment Redirect in a few seconds. Navigate to Plugins > Add New, search for Comment Redirect, and install the first result by Joost De Valk.
After activating the plugin, you’ll find a new tab under Plugins called Comment Redirect. Head over to that page, Plugins > Comment Redirect. Choose the thank you page you created earlier from the drop-down, save your settings, and you’re all done! Your blog visitors will now be redirected to your thank you page after commenting.
If you run a popular blog that gets a fair share of comments every day, this final step is important: continually A/B test your thank-you page. To really maximize the potential of anything, you need to be constantly measuring, tracking, and reporting. So continue to change your thank you page around every now and then, and watch your opt-in rates, social following, and pageviews skyrocket!
What’s your thank you page going to look like?
Image courtesy Premasagar via Flickr.