WordPress Weekend Project - Similar Posts
Blogs make it easy to add new content to your website. Adding new, regular articles helps to bring people back to your website, can improve your search engine rankings and help you connect with your clients and customers. The one problem I have had with blogs is older articles can become hard to find. Sure there are categories, tags, author and date based archives to help people, but if you have a rather large blog it can still take considerable amount of time for people to find more articles that they might be interested in. There is also the search feature that is built into WordPress available to people, but as I have talked about before the default WordPress search is not the best at actually finding what you are looking for. This is where the similar posts plugin can be very useful.
There are several similar posts plugins available and there are several tutorials on the Internet showing you how you can create a similar posts section without a plugin, but the similar posts plugin I prefer to use is, aptly named, Similar Posts. The Similar Posts plugin will create a list of posts it believes are related to the post the reader is currently reading and insert the list below the post, so when the person is done reading they can browse to another similar article that they might be interested in.
The length of the list is customizable and if you have a rather new blog you might only want to offer five additonal posts. Once your blog ages and you have a larger collection of posts you can increase it. The plugin also offers the ability to add a similar posts section to the bottom of you RSS feed, so people that have just recently subscribed to your blog will be given suggestions for other articles from the past that might interest them.
Giving your readers suggestions of other posts to read from your blog is an excellent method to help increase your readers interaction with your website. It gives them more opportunities to comment and take part in your website and can lead them to becoming a regular reader, a subscriber and a regular contributor. It also helps to bring some of the great content you wrote earlier to the forefront in your newer posts. Similar Posts is a great plugin to take use to easily improve your website and blogs ability to have your reader stick around.