How to Build a Content Recommendation System with Leadjetty

Feb 23, 2021   |   4 minutes  

How can you get your blog to generate more revenue? One way is to keep people on your site longer.

This has a direct, positive impact on your revenue.

Running ads? The more of your pages that a reader visits, the more ads they see. 

Collecting emails? The longer a reader stays on your site, the higher the chance is that they will convert.

Keeping people on your site longer also has an indirect impact on your revenue.

If people click through to multiple pages, it signals to Google that your content is valuable. That's going to help you rank higher in search results.

But how can you get people on your site longer? 👉 One way is tailored content recommendations.

Inferred vs. Indicated Interest

There are several WordPress plugins that you can use to suggest related posts to your readers. 

These plugins all work a little bit differently, but they all have one thing in common: they infer what the reader might be interested in based on the article they are currently reading.

These tools might generate content suggestions based on tags that you added to the article. Or, they could be doing more advanced things on the backend.

Using a related post plugin is a great idea that you should implement. Just be aware that some of these plugins can slow down your site.

🤔 Here's another idea: what if you just asked your readers what they would like to see?

With Leadjetty, we can let our readers directly indicate to us what they'd like to see.

Combining this with conventional content suggestions is a powerful way to keep people reading longer and clicking on more pages.

Suggesting Content

Now that you've seen what's possible, let's walk through how you can create your own intelligent content recommendation system.

1. Outline Relevant Categories

In order to come up with relevant categories that we might suggest, we need to think about what would cause a person to land on the page they are reading.

What keywords are they searching for?

What problems or interests do they have?

Here's an example.

Suppose someone clicks on your article called "Cost of Owning a Dog Calculator: Can You Afford a Dog?"

What suggested categories might get the reader to click? Here are a few ideas:

  • Pets
  • Budgeting
  • Personal Finance Calculators

2. Build Content Collections

Once you've got a few categories, just gather several links to articles you'd like to suggest if your reader clicks on that category.

That's it. Plain and simple.

Well... sort of.

Realistically, you might not have articles that match the topic exactly. For example, the article I mentioned above is from The Loaded Pig.

As best as I can tell, they don't have any other articles about pets. But they do have articles with pets in the header image, and they have articles about topics that are tangentially related like home buying.

It doesn't have to be perfect. 

Remember, your goal is to get the click. A related photo in the header might be enough (especially if it's a picture of an adorable Corgi.)

3. Grab the Reader's Attention

As with all things, you can have the right idea but fail in the execution.

It doesn't matter how cool of a system we come up with if nobody uses it.

So how can we get people to use our shiny new recommendation system?

First, it needs to stand out and grab their attention. We can achieve that by using distinct colors and imagery and by writing compelling copy.

Putting it All Together

Want to give it a try yourself. If you haven't already, be sure to grab your free trial of Leadjetty.

Once you're in, here's a video showing you exactly how to build this.