Two WordPress plugins to help convert new visitors into readers

by Mack Collier

According to Google Analytics, at least 25% of the traffic here is coming from Twitter and Facebook.  Which is great, but the problem is that a lot of these visitors are here for the 1st time, and often they will only be here long enough to read the latest post, maybe leave a comment, and then they are gone.  And they likely won’t be back unless someone in their network links to another of my posts.  We are beginning to use our networks as our newstand, we quickly check out shared links, but bounce to the next one just as quickly.

So I started thinking, if there was a way to convert just 10% of those new visitors that were coming from Twitter and Facebook every day, that could make a HUGE impact on this blog’s readership!  To help me do this, I’ve added two plugins that I wanted to share with you, to see if you can benefit from them as well.

1 – Comment Redirect.  I can tell that this plugin has been a BIG hit with yall, as I get a few emails every week on how much readers love this.  What comment redirect does is redirect FIRST time commenters to a page of your choice, after they leave their comment.  On that page you can put whatever information you want.  Since I am hoping to get first time commenters to become regular readers, my page thanks them for commenting, and then gives them a way to subscribe to this blog’s feed, and follow me on Twitter.  Also, I have an area where they can learn about my services.  Here’s where you can learn more about this plugin, or from your WordPress dashboard, go to plugins, and then search for it.  Thanks to Amy for introducing this one to me.  If you’ve never commented here before, you can leave one to see what my page looks like ;)

2 – WP Greet Box – I discovered this one on C.C.’s blog.  What WP Greet Box does is target new visitors based on where they came from, and offers you the ability to give them a custom welcome message!  For example, if you come here for the 1st time from Twitter, the plugin should notice that and offer a small message box above the post and welcome you.  For Twitter, you are giving a window box that gives you the options to tweet the post to Twitter, and follow me on Twitter.  You can learn more about the plugin here.  Below is a snapshot of what the box would look like for a new visitor from Twitter to my last post on introverts and social media.

To be honest, I’ve just started using this plugin and I’m not 100% sold on it.  It’s a good idea, but it’s also slightly intrusive at the top of the post.  I think a similar message at the end of the post might be a better idea.  I will track my number of readers/followers for a couple of weeks and see if there are noticeable changes.

But notice that for both these plugins, the idea is to focus on the type of behavior that I want to encourage.  I want more comments, so the Comment Redirect plugin is there to make sure that first time commenters know that I appreciate them and how they are helping to make the content here more interesting.  With the WP Greet Box, I want first time visitors to stay in touch with me, so I give them custom ways to do this, based on the site they came from.

What about you?  What plugins are you using to help convert first time visitors into readers?  What other options are there, or do you know of something similar to WP Greet Box?  I would like to see what else is available.  But I think the point is that it just makes sense to make it as easy as possible for new visitors to subscribe to your content, and to keep up with the new content you are creating.


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