Blogs are the easiest way to reach your network and keep Google interested in your website. Most Content Management Systems (CMS) offer comment handling for your followers to engage in what you’ve said. Any business owner will admit that engaged customers are every entrepreneur’s dream, and so they default to leaving commenting open on their blogs. But there are drawbacks to this, the pros and cons of which I will discuss herein.
The Pros of Commenting
It Encourages Customers to Talk About Your Brand
A customer that is discussing something you said is talking about your brand, whether it be a product, service, or you. One that uses the comment field on your site is more likely to talk about your brand outside of the commenting experience, convert / make a purchase, and return for future posting. They are also more likely to share the article and their comments to social media.
Commenting Adds New Content which Google Likes
Google changes its crawl speed rate depending on how often a website changes. The more often something is added to your site, the more likely Google is to come back, and the more likely humans are, too. This is especially true for blogging, as Google knows there is a higher likelihood of content to be added in the form of comments in the first day after posting. Regular and authoritative content also tells Google your site isn’t ‘dead’, and keeps your rank up.
Gain Customer Insight
Wish you could peek behind the veil and hear your customer’s thoughts about your product, brand, or the market in general? Commenting is a great way to find this out without a pesky survey. However, you can’t just sit back and wait. A blog that engages customers on hot issues and asks questions is more likely to get commented on than one that simply puts information out there. So write carefully.
The Cons of Commenting
The Dreaded Empty Comment Area
What if no one comments? Ever. That could indicate to others that your hard work isn’t worth reading further, or may not actually be as authoritative as you know it is.
Small Business owners know that one rude customer can quickly tear down months or even years of hard work and trust. If you do get a negative comment in your blog, don’t delete it! Rather, calmly address the issue they’ve brought up to the best of your ability. Followers will know if the person is simply being bull-headed.
Comment Area Hijacking (+ Spam)
If a conversation gets heated, it could derail from the original subject you posted. Yes, this could draw more attention to your site, but it also could completely distract from the point you were trying to make. If readers are coming to your site for the wrong reasons, it won’t benefit you any, and could hurt you in the form of server speed. You may also just get spammy comments that are trying to sell something and aren’t related to the blog. Those you can delete, as they are not from valid customers.
You Must Keep A Watchful Eye
With the three conditions above, you must be prepared to curate comments on your blog. Not only is replying necessary at times, you should also be prepared to delete spam on a regular basis.
The Verdict Is…
Honestly, it’s up to you. Most of this depends on what you’re trying to achieve with your website. If you’re working toward building a community of engaged customers, then comments on your blog can be a valuable tool. If you’re not willing or don’t have the time to curate the comments on your website, you shouldn’t leave comment space open. From there, it’s up to you.