Adding related posts to your blog can help improve content engagement, will keep your visitors on your site for longer and it’ll boost your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation – meaning the search engines will find your blog easily).

By introducing your readers to relevant content on your site, you provide an impressive user experience which will ultimately help your site to achieve it’s goals.

But, the question is; how to add related posts to your wordpress blog? 

In this week’s article, I will discuss the benefits of using a related posts plugin, and how to install and set it up on your wordpress blog.

There are numerous plugins available to add related posts, but I am currently a fan of ‘Contextual Related Posts’ because it’s pretty much automatic, it looks terrific and you don’t need to configure as much.  Oh, and it’s also free!

Why Should You Use a Related Posts plugin?

Using a related posts plugin on your wordpress can have numerous benefits.

  1. It encourages visitors to stay on your site

When a visitor arrives at your site, they wont know what to do or where to look.  It is your job to make the audiences journey on your site as seamless and as easy as possible.  If your visitors need to think about where they should go next, your website navigation requires improvement.

Many visitors will arrive at your site through a search engine, such as google, arriving on an article that you’ve written that is related to their initial search.  Once they’ve finished reading the article that drew them there in the first place, most people (unless directed otherwise) will leave.

This is where the related posts come in useful.

By displaying related posts underneath the article they’ve just finished reading, you are telling your audience what to do next.  By showcasing similar articles related to the article they’ve finished reading will keep them interested in what your blog has to offer.

The longer they view, the more pages they visit and the more likely they are to become followers on your work.

2.  Create a loyal following, and create customers

Creating loyal followers and customers should be one of your main goals with a wordpress website.  A related post plugin will help to retain your audience for longer, giving access to previous articles that may otherwise never get seen.

The more your audience reads, the more likely they are to become fans, and possibly customers and will return to your website time and time again.

3. Improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

A related posts plugin is a very effective way to improve your website’s SEO.  Encouraging your readers to read more and more posts, the number of page views and time spent on-site increased and your bounce-rate will decrease.

All of these metrics are seen positively by the search engines, and as a result it will help your content to rank well.

Right – so you know the benefits to having a Related Posts Plugin… how do we install it?

1. Go into your wordpress dashboard, and into the plugins tab.

2. Add plugin – Contextual Related Posts (CRP), install and activate it

3. To make a few adjustments to the settings, in your dashboard go to ‘settings’ and then at the bottom you’ll see the tab ‘Related Posts’ give it a click.

4. Follow the options down the list step-by-step as follows:

* Cache Output? – enable this (tick)

* Auto add related posts to – Posts

* Display location – 10 – leave it as it is

* Insert after paragraph – minus 1 (-1) (after paragraph),

* Show metabox – can manually specify which posts you wish to show in contextual related posts.  Show metabox, tick!

* Number of related posts – 3

* Related posts newer than 0 days

* Randomise posts – uncheck

* Find related posts based on content as well as title – tick

* Limit content to be compared – 500 words

* Post typed to include in results – post (tick), page (untick), attachment (untick) limit to post    type – untick

* Lists of posts or page ID’s to exclude from the results – any posts you DONT want to    include in related posts, put the post ID here.

Output options

Title of related posts:  This will give you the title as shown at the end of the posts.

<h3>Related Posts:</h3>    or you could have <h3>Further Reading:</h3>    or something else like <h3>If you enjoyed this article, you might like these…</h3>

* When no posts, what should be shown: Blank output

* Show post except in list? – tick

* Length of excerpt – 200 words

* Show post author in list – untick

* Show post date in list – untick

* Limit post title length – 60

* Open link in new window – tick

* Add no follow attribution – untick (you want search engines to crawl your post)

Save Options!

Now you’ve set up your related posts plugin, it’s important to understand for each blog post you create, you must always enter the categories it relates to.  This will make sure the relevant blog posts for further reading are pulled through onto the blog page it relates to.

And you’re done!  Thanks for reading – I hope you found it useful!

Jen x