I just got done posting a comment on David Naylor’s blog and I’d like to stay involved with the conversation, however there is no ability to say connected via email or feed. This then disconnects the commenter’s from the discussion unless they remember to come back.
A quick fix would be to enable comment notifications. WordPress has a great plugin called Subscribe to Comments which will allow all readers to subscribe to any post. If you subscribe to a post’s comments, you’ll get notified via email when a new response has been added. This is great if you asked a question or made a comment that someone else responds to. It also brings the visitor back to your blog to where they might participate in more discussions.
Lets not forget that post comments can help a posts rankings/visibility. All comment text is indexable and will work for the post. A good comment discussion can possibly help increase the rankings and visibility.
Did you also know that in WordPress, each post has it’s own feed for comments? Bringing this out into the open gives users the ability to subscribe in their favorite feed reader and not their email box. Simply add /feed/ after most WordPress URLs and you should end up with the posts comment feed. This is how I’m staying connected to the post on David’s site.
Getting visitors to your site and getting comments is hard enough. Keeping them coming back can be even harder. However, with a little tweaking, you can keep visitors coming back by keeping them in the comment discussion.