Top Tip from WordCamp New York City

Story and photos by Hal Goodtree, publisher of CaryCitizen and a resident of the Cary Innovation Center.

Cary, NC – Last weekend, I traveled up to New York City to speak at WordCampNYC. Besides talking about all things Hyperlocal, I got a chance to check out a couple of other seminars. Here’s my Top Tip from the world’s biggest WordPress conference.

WordCamp NYC

WordCamps starting popping up all over the world about five years ago. The conferences typically last one or two days and are dedicated to learning about WordPress, the world’s largest open-source personal publishing platform.

This website you’re looking at right now is powered by WordPress. So is my publication, CaryCitizen.

WordCamp NYC took place at Baruch College on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan on June 9-10, 2012. It had about 800 attendees and 80 seminars over the course of the weekend.

A Boy from Cary

I spoke both Saturday and Sunday on the topic of Hyperlocal, also known as the New Community Journalism. Amazingly, more than a few people had heard of Cary. A few even knew about CaryCitizen.

Cary Innovation Center was featured in the presentation. I told the attendees – entrepreneurs, start-ups and business professionals – that becoming part of an incubator like CIC was a good step to take, offering office space, mentoring and even a bit of legitimacy.

Top Tip from WordCamp NYC

On Saturday, John Crepezzi gave a seminar called Catering to Local. John used to work for Patch.com, the hyperlocal network acquired by AOL.

Without looking at my notes, I remembered a point John made about a list of related posts at the bottom of your content:

“Give them something else to do at the bottom of the page.”

About Related Posts

I’d previously tried a popular WordPress plugin called YARPP, short for Yet Another Related Posts Plugin. Just didn’t work for me. The results were too random.

I mean, it seemed like something that was nice, it didn’t work out, no biggie.

But what John pointed out was the strategic importance of giving people “something else to do” at the bottom of the page.

Bounce Rate

For those of you entrepreneurs and business people who look at web stats, you know that Bounce Rate counts how many people exit after reading just one story.

John Crepezzi observed that if readers get all the way to the bottom of the story, they probably like what you’re doing. If they bail now, it’s might be because they don’t know what to do next.

So give them a suggestion.

This will lower your Bounce Rate, increase engagement and time on site.  I’m trying it on the websites we publish.

Sometimes the best advice is really simple.

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