In the last few months I activated “comment notification” modules/add-ins at both the website and here in the blog. I was using these modules long ago but deactivated them due to problems I was having with my email server. I never got around to reactivating them and now I’m kicking myself. “Comment notification” modules like Comment Notify for Drupal and Comment Notifier for WordPress give members and anonymous visitors the option to receive an email any time someone else replies to a post that they have commented on. These email reminders bring visitors back to your website and can spur additional comments/conversation. This can not only help keep your traffic numbers up, but the additional comments posted are more user-generated content to feed the ever-hungry Google Bots.
It may take time for the number of visitors being notified (and coming back to your site or blog) to “ramp up” – It’s been about 90 days since I activated the Drupal Comment Notify module at the site, and we’re now sending about 500-700 notifications per day. Here at the blog which gets less traffic than GrownUpGeek.com, about 100 notices per week are being sent. Assuming that 75% of people that get the comment notifications (that they opted-in for) return to site to check the new comments, that’s several thousand visitors per month that we would not have otherwise.
Using comment notifications to keep visitors engaged and returning to your website or blog may be one of those common-sense “no shit Sherlock!” ideas, but if you are a new webmaster/blogger, just hadn’t thought of it, or ‘forgot’ about it like I did, you might want to give it a try. If you already have comment notifications enabled on your blog or website, post a comment and let me know how it’s been working for you, and be sure to add your email address so you get notified of followup posts! 🙂