Do you know the benefit of showing related posts under your blog posts and pages? Related posts keep the visitor on your blog longer by offering them similar topics. You also give your visitors the option of digging deeper into your blog’s content by showcasing similar topics. Doing this even helps your bounce rate! Increasing the time visitors spend on your blog means their more likely to subscribe to your email service or connect with you on social media. For our email service, WPoutcast uses the Bloom plugin and some custom coding.
Previously, WPOutcast used the free version of the Contextly plugin for our related posts but we found it lacking in features, customization, and control. With that being said, we recently switched to the free Yuzo Related Posts plugin. They have a pro version, but we found all the features we wanted with the free version. Here is a guide to the settings and features I enabled for this blog. (UPDATE: We are no longer using this plugin but still recommend it)
From this settings page, you can control the text that appears above the images and choose how many related posts appear on each page. We picked 3 as we are using the larger thumbnails. This plugin is very light weight and will work well with many web hosts.
Looking for a new Web host? Check out these Web Hosts with specific packages for WordPress blogs.
This next section allows you to place related posts anywhere you want to. We recommend you use the settings you see here on WPoutcast, but ultimately it’s your decision. Keep in mind the user experience when setting up this plugin.
As you can see, we don’t display related post on the blog pages. This is because we feel the content there is crucial, and we don’t want the user clicking away from those pages. While they scroll up the blog page, they may end up clicking on a link on the blog page.
I do internal linking when it’s relevant on the blog page.
You should be adding Featured Images to all of your blog posts but in the event that you forget, you can use a default image for a blog post or page so it looks more professional. My choice is our very own logo.
One thing about the Yuzo Related Posts plugin is that you can make the related posts no-follow links, which is great for SEO.
The advanced section of this plugin is very important.
You can do so much:
There is another section that has even more options. This plugin is totally awesome and there is no need to use the pro version.
Here is a preview of the settings we have enabled:
Have you noticed the cool effect when you hover your mouse over one of the related post boxes?
Enable the setting below to achieve this:
The last set of features are untouched. I haven’t tested them on my test blog yet, so I am not sure what they enable or if it’s beneficial to our readers.
Here is a brief screenshot of some of the settings:
Wrapping It Up
Overall, the Yuzo Related Posts plugin is the best related post plugin on the market. I know there are plenty of them out there, but this one is light-weight and easy to edit. I didn’t even bother to read the installation instructions because everything is clearly labeled and easy to understand. Check out the pro version to see if there is a feature you must have, otherwise, the free version is more perfect!
Another plugin that I think is so easy to understand and set up without reading the instructions is the a3 Lazy Load Plugin that we wrote a tutorial on. Both of these plugins are great for any type of blog. The related posts plugin helps the visitor dig deeper into your content and the lazy load plugin helps speed up your blog.
If this plugin has improved your blog in any way, do share your experience in the comment section.
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Derek is an Author and the founder of WPOutcast, a blog sharing WordPress themes, Genesis Framework themes and a couple useful tutorials. By night he is a Team Lead in the IT industry, during the day he is a WordPress and coffee junky.