For some content creators, blog comments can be a hassle.
Moderating them can be tedious and time-consuming, so you might be wondering if they’re even worth enabling.
While many in the content marketing community are against it, your SEO agency might encourage you to enable comments on your blog.
To help you decide, we’ll examine some of the pros and cons of enabling comments on your blog.
Pros of enabling blog comments
While enabling blog comments comes with certain risks like unwanted spam, many bloggers still opt to keep them. Below are some of the benefits of enabling comments on your blog:
Blog comments can help build a robust online community
Behind every successful blog is a group of loyal followers. Enabling blog comments allows your followers to connect with like-minded readers and share stories and insights.
Even if you don’t get to respond to every comment on your blog, your followers will feel valued and appreciated when they see you connect by engaging and interacting with your followers.
Blog comments provide valuable feedback
The comments section of your website gives your visitors a place to leave feedback on your blog. If a post receives great comments and positive feedback, it can indicate that the subject matter resonated with your readers. You can also ask questions and get feedback through the comment section of your blog.
To get important feedback, start by asking your readers and followers important questions such as:
- Was this content helpful?
- Do you want to see more of this style of post?
- What other topics would you like me to cover?
When you ask direct questions, you can figure out if you are serving your audience. When your readers see that you acknowledge their feedback and take action, they will develop a greater sense of loyalty to your blog. This will encourage some to proactively share your blog with friends and family.
Blog comments increase your views and conversions
When readers leave a comment on your blog and other readers reply, they often come back to check the response. If every commenter that visits your website interacts with each other, your page views can go through the roof.
When you have commenters that interact with each other regularly, your page views increase. This can bump up your ad revenue and encourage your followers to take action, like registering for your email list or purchasing your product or services.
Cons of enabling blog comments
Below are some potential downsides of enabling comments on your blog.
Moderating comments can be time-consuming
While connecting with your audience provides many benefits, moderating the comments can be tedious and time-consuming. After all, you must read the comments, come up with responses, and eliminate the spam comments. Moderating comments is easier if you only have a few readers. However, moderating comments can become tricky once your audience grows.
You can attract unwanted spam
When you enable comments on your blog, expect that you will also encounter spambots. Even if your blog is small, you can still get hit with countless bot-generated comments.
Your brand might be affected negatively
You won’t be able to make everyone happy, however hard you try. That said, expect that there will be people who won’t like your content. Enabling comments on your blog can also open the comment section to malicious comments that lead to viruses. These comments can also cause distrust and misinformation.
The SEO benefits of enabling comments
Google has made it clear that removing your blog comments might hurt your search engine rankings. Below are some of the benefits of enabling blog comments from an SEO point of view:
Natural keyword density
When search engines crawl your site, they’re trying to figure out what each page is about based on the content. When your followers mention or comment about the keywords you are trying to rank for, the search engines take notice and give your ranking a boost.
This can be especially true when it comes to semantically similar keywords. Semantically similar keywords are terms that are closely related to keywords you want to target. For instance, if your blog post is about chocolate cake, your primary keyword is chocolate cake.
Keywords like gluten-free, recipe, icing, and ingredients are some of the semantically similar keywords that can significantly enhance the relevance of your content.
However, stuffing your blog with keywords can get you penalized. Fortunately, organic comments can do the trick so you stay on the good side of search engines.
To search engines, the comment section is considered additional content. That means if you have a blog post that’s 600 words long and you have 600 words worth of comments, you will have a word count of 1,200 words in total.
Understandably, the comments must add value to the blog post. Unfortunately, long comments that are not related to your post can have the opposite effect. This is one of the reasons why comment moderation is considered crucial.
Comments on your website can increase both your internal and external linking opportunities. When you answer questions in your comment section, you have the option to link to other articles on your website that are relevant. This will help ensure your visitors stay on your site longer.
Referring to other third-party sites will give search engines a better understanding of the full context of your website and where it will fit in the online ecosystem. In addition, referrals to other experts in your field is an effective way to establish a relationship with authoritative sites.
When deciding whether to enable comments on your blog or not, start by taking note of the risks and benefits.
For instance, while you need to spend time moderating the comment section, enabling the comments is a great way to engage with your audience and build rapport with them. You can also use spam-fighting plugins to prevent unwanted comments on your site while benefiting from genuine and meaningful comments and engagements.
Guest Author: Shawn Byrne is the founder and CEO of SEOPhoenix.net. Shawn started his career in I.T. troubleshooting workstations, servers and networks, then went on to doing SEO as a side project and quickly found success in ranking websites. It was easy for him to grasp not only the algorithms but also the technical side which most SEO strategists miss and neglect because of its complexities. SEO Phoenix then grew based on its own rankings and referrals.
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