Can Blog Comments Generate Traffic and Conversions? 3 Real Cases

Group of people showing speech balloon panels. The picture well represents blog comments

It’s tough running a blog.

The comment section often requires more work than it gives benefits, between spammers trying to sabotage your SEO and trolls always behind the corner to bring discord.

But today I want to offer you a reason to not give up on comments, to show you that they’re still worth of your time, and not only for community building and engaging with your readers.

Blog comments have the potential to turn into a powerful machine for generating traffic, subscribers, money and community engagement.

There are real cases of companies and bloggers out there who achieved success using the blog comments section to their advantage. This article is about these cases and a bunch of actionable advice to implement on your blogs and replicate their success.

Case #1 – Clients from Blog Comment Engagement (Alexis Chateau)

Alexis Chateau

Alexis Chateau

Alexis Chateau, founder and managing director at Alexis Chateau PR, confessed to me that almost all her firm’s current clients were former (and current) readers of her personal blog.

Isn’t that cool?

This is how the comment section worked for her to convert readers into clients:

Since 2015, I’ve generated most of my business by not just blogging, but interacting with my readers in the comments section.

It takes hours every week to do this, but it always pays off in cash and kind. I’m rewarded with loyal readers, new friendships, great travel advice before visiting a new area, and new customers. In fact, while gathering testimonials for the company website in 2017, I noticed that roughly 90% of my clientele came from readers of my blog that I had been interacting with via blog comments.

I also noticed that it took about three months to convert them from readers to leads, and/or clients. Since they were well acquainted with my work through my blog and social media, by the time I get that first inquiry, the only thing they want to know is whether or not they can afford my sources. Sadly, the answer isn’t always yes, but the clients who do sign on, go on to become some of my best.

The key to growing your business via the seemingly unlikely comments section of your blog is to have real conversations, with real people. It’s important to take a step back from the “sell, sell, sell” mentality, and just have conversations about shared interests. I like to leave the end of my blog posts with a question, prompting readers to respond. This almost always sparks at least one meaningful conversation.

Despite raking in an average of 25k views per month on my personal blog in the past few months alone, I know my regular readers by name. This is the kind of familiarity we all want with a brand, company, or internet personality. It’s the pathway to building trust and relationships, which is the foundation of a good public relations and communications strategy.

Takeaways from Alexis’ experience:

  • Reply to readers who leave a comment on your site and through email or social media, using the latter to ask if you can help them further to resolve their problem
  • Engage in real conversations—don’t give repertoire answers to questions that bring up a real problem readers are trying to solve
  • Build familiarity and trust by getting to know readers personally (and remembering them) and taking care of the conversation with them. Keep a genuine attitude
  • Always end your posts with open questions to trigger feedback and discussion

Case #2 – Traffic Generation from Comments (Crystal Ignatowski and Neil Patel)

Crystal Ignatowski blogs for Surety Solutions, a small insurance company based in Oregon, and there’s a line of business they sell that generates a lot of blog comments—the Lost Title Bonds: these posts are in FAQ format and they are fertile ground for reader feedback.

Crystal says:

Only the top 10% of each blog post is the actual post. The other 90% of the page is comment after comment after comment.

We believe the reason we receive so many comments is because every individual has a unique situation and wants to get a response based on their unique experience.

As an example, Bonded Titles: Frequently Asked Questions received comments that make the 3/4 of the page length, with the post only taking 1/4.

This is what Crystal’s company does:

  • They make it very easy for users to comment freely
  • They respond to all comments within an hour
  • They let readers treat the blog comment section like a forum, where people will comment on other people’s comments and offer their advice

The results were outstanding:

These pages receive TONS of traffic each month. We’ve increased traffic to these pages by huge percentages (+3000%) and increased this line of business significantly over the years. 75% of our phone calls to our office are about something they read online about a Lost Title Bond. We even developed a new online system and the first line of business we put into the system was these Lost Title Bonds.

Crystal says that companies should see comments as a gold mine and add them to their metrics like social media shares and views to gauge how successful their blog post is.

Besides, big names in the industry have had their fair share of blog commenting success, too!

In 2014, Neil Patel found out that a slice of his search rankings came from keywords in blog comments.

Not a big one perhaps, but a consistent one. In fact, Neil noticed that out of the 24.7% of the impressions that blog comments generated for keywords, a rough 16% converted into clicks (search traffic).

Because this is user-generated content, Neil agreed that the results weren’t that bad and encouraged bloggers to give comments an opportunity and actually foster them on their blogs.

Takeaways from Crystal and Neil

  • Like Alexis, Crystal and Neil also encourage you to make your blog posts a space for feedback and discussion by leaving open questions for your readers
  • Write at least some of your posts or a blog column in the FAQ format to trigger more reader feedback
  • Add keyword hints to the questions so readers are more likely to mention those keywords in comments and help you with search traffic
  • Be there to respond to readers’ comments, best if you do this on the same day or within 48 hours from posting

Case #3 – WordPress Blog Commenters Turn Into Subscribers (Seth Spears)

Seth Spears explains how to convert WordPress blog commenters into email subscribers in his post at Spears Marketing.

Here’s a short summary of it:

  • Create a comment policy to let commenters know you’ll be collecting emails (they have to agree to it, so add a checkbox before the “submit” button)
  • Create a segment in your list for blog commenters
  • Install the Commenter Emails plugin to collect commenter emails
  • Send commenters a free resource and invite them to join your list

I’ll add that plugins like Thank Me Later can also help distribute a free bribe to commenters and invite them to join your list. This also must figure in the comment policy.

Extra care should be taken to comply with international privacy regulations, especially the one that came into effect as of May 25, 2018—EU’s GDPR.

The following steps will help safeguard yourself against fines:

  • Make the opt-in bribe for commenters optional and not required to post a comment: under the GDPR, the user must be granted the right to use the basic service without feeling forced to signup for any unnecessary “addons”
  • If you have been granted permission from commenters to send them emails and now haven no further use for their email addresses and IPs on server, remove them from the database. You can also remove any other non-public information (e.g. name and URL may be public, but the reader’s geolocation generally is not).

Other 3 Benefits of Blog Comments

1. Find New Content Ideas

Plan, write and schedule posts in response to readers in need of help.

While readers appreciate the time you put into comment replies, they will feel much more important as members of your online community if you use their feedback to produce new content that really answers their questions.

Again, try the FAQ format for posts where you want to generate a lot of engagement.

2. Find Experts to Network and Collaborate With

Your commenters might be other names in your niche who can expand your world and create opportunity (e.g. guest posts, post swapping, interviews).

Look them up on Google and LinkedIn. Browse their past work. If you see anything interesting for a potential collaboration, get in touch.

3. Create Community

When you run into interesting people in comments, add an invitation to your email list or membership-based community directly in a reply to their comments.

Add links or an email so they can reach you directly.

Final Thoughts

Blog comments are a resource, not a burden! If you can take good care of commenters and answer their questions thoroughly, you can rest assured your comments are going to leave a trail.

That’s how you build community, improve search rankings and push conversions. People want to see that you care about them personally, not only as mere purchase numbers in your inventory.

If you haven’t already, change your approach to dealing with comments today. It’s going to be fun.

Can Blog Comments Generate Traffic and Conversions? 3 Real Cases
5 (100%) 1 vote
About Luana Spinetti

Luana Spinetti is a freelance blogger and copywriter based in Italy. When she's not writing, she will be drawing artwork and making websites. Web Marketing and SEO are in her basket for work-enhancement and for fun (but it still earned her a gig as a SEO consultant in 2012). Find her at LuanaSpinetti.com or at her Twitter account @LuanaSpinetti.

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Speak Your Mind

*

*