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.


Ricardo Bueno March 28, 2011 at 10:07 am

I’ve been using WP GreetBox for a while now. How effective is it? I’m not sure…never really thought about it, heh.

Definitely love the idea of using the comment redirect plugin. I’m using Disqus for comments…any idea if it’s compatible with this?

mack collier March 28, 2011 at 10:16 am

Ricardo I think the Greet Box plugin is a great idea, with less than perfect execution. But the idea of giving bloggers to ability to give a targeted message to new visitors based on referral source is EXCELLENT. I want to closely watch how effective it is, and I think readers should look into it and other options.

And I hate Disqus, so not sure if it’s compatible 😉

Jeff Goins March 28, 2011 at 10:30 am

Does the comment thing work with Disqus?

mack collier March 28, 2011 at 11:04 am

Jeff, Ricardo was asking the same question, I’m not sure on Disqus compatibility.

Gabriele Maidecchi March 28, 2011 at 10:38 am

Wow nice plugins, now I have to find some time to study them better but they seem great from what I read.
I knew about Comment Redirect from Outspoken Media’s blog, as I experimented it personally and I found it totally awesome.
They both work in a way similar to how landing pages normally work, I am sure it can bring real benefits to a blog.

Sandi Amorim March 28, 2011 at 10:55 am

Love the idea of Comment Redirect and am off to install now! Thanks Mack!

Wesley March 28, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Definitely going to try the Comment Redirect plug-in. Seems like it can be valuable in terms of increasing your readership, especially for newer blogs/bloggers still establishing credibility. This plug-in opens up the ability to test and optimize these pages, as well. Thanks for the post!

Audrey Mora March 29, 2011 at 3:17 am

To be honest… I am not really that familiar with the wordpress plugins. What I only know is the basic plug-ins found on wordpress. That’s why I am glad to have read your post as it gives me more ideas on what plug-ins I must have on my future blogs. thanks much!

Mel @ Trailing After God March 29, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Thanks for the info on the comment redirect! GREAT idea! Off to get my page set up :)

Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

Michele Price April 3, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Mack I love this plugin hint and you gave me an idea for another blog post, will tell you when I write it chuckle, learned to stop sharing my brilliance until I get it published ;))

gwenm4 August 18, 2011 at 6:20 am

Love the redirect plugin and will add it to my list of favs!

ian cleary July 17, 2012 at 3:29 am

Comment redirect is pretty alright. How has it worked for you?


Enstine Muki March 8, 2013 at 5:06 am

I was looking for a comment redirect plugin. That’s how I came here from google. I’m just going to try this and see what it gives.

Basically, I don’t want a plugin to redirect all my commentators. I want just those leaving a comment for their first time on my blog , or better still, those leaving a comment after X number of days to be reidrected.

Trying this out

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