AddThis Blog

6 Ways AddThis Content Recommendations Drive Engagement

Content recommendation widgets are popular because they can help drive traffic and pageviews for websites, and AddThis Pro’s content recommendation tools use specific techniques to get a 50%+ higher clickthrough rate over our free tools. Here are the challenges the tools help any content publisher solve, including increasing engagement and reducing bounce rate, among others.

1. Show What’s Popular

Many sites have widgets to show their visitors what’s popular on their site because it intrigues their visitors to engage with the content. AddThis Pro’s content tools can detect when you have a page that’s generating a lot of buzz, and push it to the top of the content recommendation widgets you’re using. It’s also able differentiate content that’s currently rising in popularity over content that was popular but has already peaked. This is especially important for sites that generate lots of new content, and want the latest and greatest page to surface the tools.

2. Understand Your Regular Visitor

To understand your visitor is to understand the content they love, and that can usually be determined by how they’re engaging with it. A visitor’s engagement can in fact be specific to each website, which means it doesn’t necessarily correlate with a visitor’s general interest. In other words, they might love your cupcake recipes, but not engage with cupcake recipes elsewhere. AddThis understands the social graph around your audience, and personalizes the content that surfaces in your tools to build the most engaging experience for each your visitors.

3. Understand Your First-Time Visitor

What about when you get a visitor for the first time? When there isn’t an existing engagement social graph around a visitor, it’s called a “cold-start” problem. But this isn’t a problem for your AddThis content tools. All of your visitors have their own set of interests of what they like to share online, and since AddThis is the #1 sharing tool on the web, we can still help you give your first-time visitor a unique and engaging experience on your site.

Chances are we’ve seen your first-time visitors before based on the types of content they visit on our network of 14 million websites. Our tools understand your newcomers’ interests anonymously, and can make your site more relevant by showing content aligning with their interests. And in the case where your newcomer has never visited any of our 14 million websites, we can still use a generalized behavioral profile to personalize the recommendations.

In addition, if you paid to acquire this new user, our off-domain data can translate into real dollars for you when we make your site more relevant for them. They’re more likely to stick around and convert when they see something that they like!

4. Context is Important

Believe it or not, your visitors are already used to getting personalized recommendations when they surf the web. But there are certain cases where contextual recommendations (that is, recommendations based on what they’re reading on your site) vs. personalized recommendations (meaning based on their interests off your site) makes more sense.

Let’s say you’re following a breaking news story. In that moment, you more likely want to see more articles about the same topic rather than see content based on your other interests, like chocolate chip cookies. Our widgets can automatically provide contextualized recommendations to each of your visitors in certain cases.

5. We’re Always Testing

Every algorithm discussed here and several other variations of above go through several rounds of A/B testing to identify the best ones that work for your audience. We record engagement behavior to measure, and improve the performance of every type of algorithm we deploy.

6. You Can Take Control

Even though our algorithms are working hard to provide a great experience, the human touch is important. With AddThis Pro, you can manually override parts of the algorithm, and promote your latest story to all your visitors or even hide old content from your recommendations to optimize and surface your best pages.

There you have it! 6 ways the AddThis content recommendation algorithm intelligently works to help drive engagement on your site. Did we mention that AddThis Pro gets 50% higher click through rate over our free tools? Give AddThis Pro a shot, and see the cool things it can do on your site.