Web Page Comments and Letting Users Leave Them
Content Managers always want to increase Web Traffic to their sites. Having a blog on your business site can help boost engagement. After all, comments on your pages can draw and retain site visitors. Comments on web pages let people give opinions about related topics. But, while some commenters leave words in good faith, others are… less than helpful. As a result, some blogs and websites don’t allow user comments. However, other blogs strictly moderate their comments. This way, they ensure that only comments helpful to the discussion remain on the blog page. Learn how to handle website visitor comments in a way that helps your blog but also doesn’t cause you too much trouble.
Should you allow users to comment on your blog or website?
We’ll get this out of the way first: Blog comments don’t make your website. So, they shouldn’t be a metric for success. Also, according to Aja Frost via Hubspot, you shouldn’t “turn on a comment section for SEO’s sake,” either.
But, you must focus on exciting and valuable content that boosts your SEO rankings. Plus, you can include sections of text that are perfect for Passage Ranking!
However, comments can still influence site visitors and attract new ones to your site. Still, for some businesses or industries, you may find that disallowing blog comments might be the right choice. So, having website visitor comments can be helpful.
An argument for having comments:
Comments mean discussions, especially if commenters are human and not spambots. Of course, they’re usually opinions on the content. But, they can also be constructive comments or suggestions.
Not only that, but you can even join the discussion. So, for instance, if your site visitors pose genuine questions, you can provide them with answers.
Doing these will ensure that people will see you as a company that cares about its audience. Of course, if you choose to add comments, don’t forget to include Calls-to-Action on your posts. So, should you allow user comments on your blog page? Well, they have their pros and cons.
Pros of having comments on your web pages include:
- Inviting people into discussions regarding the topic;
- Engaging with your readers; and
- Showing new site visitors that you have high engagement.
But sometimes spam gets slipped into blog comments. Unfortunately, there’s no way to stop spam for good. However, you can always make your comment section more secure by applying CAPTCHAs. Spam can ruin discussions and divert website owners’ attention.
Cons of website visitor comments include:
- Blog posts with no comments make the content seem uninteresting;
- Comments with links can potentially divert your traffic;
- Attracting too many spammy blog comments that make SEO rankings suffer; and
- Commenters might criticize your brand, at times a little too harshly.
But even with all these, blog comments aren’t dangerous. Of course, some comments may contain spam, but they’re easily spotted. So, you can prevent them from ruining site visitors’ User Experience. Still, commenters may talk about unrelated topics, argue their point, or criticize your business.
The solution? Moderate your comment section. Much like you have to trim hedges regularly, you have to ensure you’re in control of your comments. If you let commenters do as they please, then it may seem like you’re allowing your comments section to fall to the wayside.
Determining whether or not to approve a comment
Giving people a space to voice their opinions is all well and good. But if you aren’t careful, you may get spambots mixed into conversations with human commenters. So it’s best to be in control of your comments sections.
Of course, you can’t control human opinion. But you can weed out spam comments that don’t contribute to serious discussions on the web page. For instance, WordPress has the Akismet plugin, which catches spam.
It’s vital to give new user comments the once-over before allowing them on the website. Of course, filtering out spam generally cuts down on a large chunk of comments. However, once you’re done, you’ll be left with comments from humans. To moderate these, you have to check whether or not they’re worth publishing on the blog.
Here are some helpful criteria for comment approval:
- Is the comment (specifically) relatable to the blog page’s topic?
- Also, is it valuable to your site and its users?
- Is the comment attached to a real person? Does it also include a human name?
- Is it free of abrasive language and opinions?
With these criteria in mind, now you’re equipped to handle your spam comments! In general, spam comments are easy to find as they tend to look odd compared to comments from human website visitors. So if comments look like bots made them, they probably are. Plus, you might find it in your best interest not to publish comments from visitors who aren’t that invested in your content.
Here are criteria for comments that you shouldn’t publish:
- Does the comment contain strange links?
- Is the comment generic, like it could fit on any other comment section, even on different topics on other blogs?
- Does it mention unrelated merchandise like clothing, substances, and other products?
- Is the comment talking about search rankings or on-page SEO?
- Does the comment offer guest writing services?
Posting content will almost always attract spam to you. Often, spam comments tend to be “irrelevant to the discussion.” But using the criteria, you can quickly tell genuine comments apart from spam ones. As a result, comment moderation won’t last for more than a few minutes a day.
How to handle comments on your blog- or web pages
Comments can be helpful, but they can also cause a lot of stress. So it’s best to allow comments but not let them become potential distractions for users. You need to follow a couple of practices to manage your blog- or web page comment sections. So, here they are:
First, moderate comments.
Blogging platforms allow you to moderate user comments by tinkering with blog settings! Additionally, it’s recommended to approve comments instead of just letting them all appear right after a commenter posts.
Moderating keeps the comments section from turning into a digital warzone. You need to foster a community on your website. So it’s best to keep your comments clean, respectful, and interested in the topic at hand.
Filter out spam.
When you allow website visitor comments, you risk inviting spammers or spambots. So, your website needs a spam filter. Unfortunately, it isn’t 100% effective, as some spammers are smart enough to get around filters.
But, you can count on them to get the most obvious (and generally the bulk of) spam comments. You’ll thank yourself for having a spam filter when you’re moderating the more human comments!
Outline your website’s comment policy.
You may already have a few comment guidelines in mind. So, you need to write whatever you can and can’t allow in comments. You can even share your policies on the blog or website. It’ll make the rules clearer to your site visitors.
So, whenever moderators need to judge whether to publish a comment, they have something to base their decisions on.
Answer commenter questions when applicable.
You can respond to audience queries, but you should beat other commenters to the punch. Not only that, but you should help a site visitor who genuinely wants to learn. After all, it keeps them from going to other blogs and finding information there.
If you find fascinating comments, you can even create content for it! But, you don’t have to respond to each question. Instead, you can be more selective about answering.
Don’t allow any abusive language in user comments.
The Internet has trolls and bullies who want to derail an honest discussion. However, nobody should ever tolerate disrespectful language, even if it’s a business website. So, visitors to your blog page can’t post whatever they like. Thus, if a comment doesn’t contribute to the discussion, you don’t have to publish it.
So should you let users leave comments on your blog- or web pages?
If you want to get people to notice your website, you have to hook your readers. See, it takes only 50 milliseconds for people to decide if they’re going to stay on your website or not. After that, you need to retain their attention from the moment they load the page until they scroll down to the comment section. And, of course, you want them to leave a bit of room to let their voices be heard.
Some bloggers think of comments as inspiration to keep writing. But others may think of comments as a nuisance because of the spam they can invite. Thus, it’s crucial to strike a balance.
Comments can help you, but you also have to moderate them. SEO services in the Philippines can help you get the most out of website visitors.
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