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Content Recommendations: How They Work

Updated on July 30, 2019.

Website owners are always looking for ways to bring in new visitors, keep them on their website, and turn them into fans or followers.

There are a lot of ways to approach content recommendations. These tools have developed significantly over time, but here’s how our Related Posts are different. We find the right personalized content recommendations for your visitors to help you meet your engagement goals.


1. Most Popular Content

The first widgets for content recommendations mostly showed the most popular content. They determined what was interesting based on which articles were most viewed, had the most comments, or were the most shared.

This was a good start. But the most popular content on a website might not change very much from day to day, which isn’t great for returning visitors. These recommendations might also not have anything to do with the current article, so the visitor might not be interested in that topic.

2. Adding Context

The next wave of content recommendation tools added contextual information. That means they started looking into the content of the articles to make a recommendation that’s similar to the page a visitor’s currently viewing.

Combining contextual information with popularity starts to make for more interesting content recommendations. However, they still aren’t likely to change very much. Additionally, they’re likely to keep recommending the same content, even if people don’t interact with it.

3. Understanding Behavior

More recently, some content recommendation tools are starting to learn from what people click on. This allows the recommendations to learn which articles are relevant and which pages they should be displayed on.

This is a major leap forward. But there’s still room for improvement. That’s because these tools still aren’t tailored to specific visitors, and so they aren’t as relevant as they could be.

4. Personalized Recommendations

The best way to recommend content for a particular visitor is to personalize content for them based on their interests (or the interests of people like them). That’s what AddThis Related Posts do.

We use all of the aforementioned methods and use data from across our publisher network to continuously improve which content recommendations work and for whom.

Content recommendation tools like Related Posts are also advantageous because they can personalize suggestions on the first visit! This enables you to show visitors more relevant content sooner.

We’ve already seen these content recommendations outperform other techniques, increasing the click-through rate on these tools by 50% or more.

Ready to get started? Activate Related Posts on your site now. Just sign into your AddThis Dashboard to get going!

3 Reasons to Have Content Recommendation Widgets Above the Fold

AddThis Content Recommendation Widget

Getting more traffic is a big investment for website owners but they sometimes miss an effective method of getting there. Content recommendation widgets can maximize paid media strategies to get more followers and more pageviews to your website.

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Deeper Analytics Insight with New 72 Hour View

72hours

When you see a spike or dip in your AddThis analytics, you might ask yourself: what just happened? When did this happen and how does it compare to previous days around the same time? These are important questions to shape a content strategy that works. And we’re happy to say, we just added a new feature in your Pro analytics that’ll give you a better view of what’s happening on your site: the 72 hour view in analytics. Continue reading

6 Ways AddThis Content Recommendations Drive Engagement

addthis-personalization-algorithm

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.

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Stop Losing Traffic to Bad Pages. Promote and Hide!

promote_content

Not all your content is created equal. Most blogs and sites have pages that are necessary for the functionality of the site, like category and author pages on your blog. Although they may be viewed a lot by your visitors, it may not be a page you want your content recommendation widgets showing your visitors. Does this sound familiar? Continue reading

How AddThis Builds Mobile-Friendly Widgets

When you design a mobile version of your website or create a responsive design that adjusts to different screen sizes, chances are that not all your widgets will work well with your new design. And then you have to go through and restyle them for every screen size in your theme. Unless you have AddThis’ mobile-friendly widgets.
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Site Spotlight: Merchtable

For a number of years, Merchtable has been using free AddThis tools to increase sharing across all of their online stores. When they wanted to take it further, they upgraded to AddThis Pro for its advanced content recommendations to show visitors related products that they might be interested in. The result was very pleasing.

merch table blog post

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