I’ve been reading and commenting on a few SEO-related blogs recently, and noticed something that is both frustrating for me and counter-productive for the sites I am commenting on. On almost every good-quality blog I have visited, my comments have gone into moderation rather then going live straight away. Obviously this is incredibly important if you get a high level of traffic and therefore lots of spam, and don’t want to subject your visitors to a barrage of useless comments when they visit. However, it can also present a barrier to sharing content, and there are ways of avoiding this.
In many cases I will link to a blog article because I find it useful or want to share, and that’s fine. But in some cases I want to link to a blog specifically because I have something to say in response to it, and I am linking with the intention that my blog/twitter/facebook followers read both the blog in question *and* my followup comment. Perhaps because I can’t respond in the space that something like Twitter offers me, but I still want people to see my stance on the matter being discussed.
In these cases, I want to post my comment and then share a link to the blog while I’m still looking at it. If my comments go into moderation I can’t share a link yet, as no-one will see my comment. And with a load of other things to do in a day I am unlikely to remember the blog later and go back to check if my comment is approved and then link.
There are two easy ways to fix this, and ensure that commenters link to your blog while they still remember about it. One is to turn off comment moderation. Make sure your blog has an excellent spam filtering system (something like Akismet for WordPress works excellently) and then check for spammy comments a few times a day. Unless you really get a vast quantity this may be perfectly adequate for ensuring the site appears full of quality comments and well-maintained.
The other way to get around this problem is to have comments go into moderation, but to set up an alert system to let commenters know when their comment is live. I’d happily tick a box for ‘Email me when my comment is moderated’ and the email can contain quick links to the blog, and for sharing on Social Media.
It takes a lot of work to build a site to the stage where you get regular comments and can really generate discussion on your blog posts, but it only takes a little bit of work to really make the most of that discussion – so sort out your comment moderation and let your blog commenters do some SEO work for you!
About The Author: Camilla Todd manages Search Engine Optimisation, social media campaigns and brand awareness for WNW Design SEO clients. You can follow her on Twitter @camilla_wnw, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 01395 542569. You can also follow WNW Design on Facebook here.