Hand-picked related articles in WordPress
When a visitor reads an article they have landed to, it’s always good to offer some similar content for further reading. When someone comes to a web site from an external source, say search engine — that usually means they searched for something particular. In that case, if the article is not exactly what they were looking for, it’s smart to offer an alternative on the same web page.
We recently made an internal study about difference between hand-picked vs. automatic related articles, and as you can already guess — when we had provided hand-picked instead of machine rendered content, there was a greater chance that the visitor will stay on the website, instead of bouncing off to the next Google search result.
So we made a little WordPress function. The function works with Custom Fields in WordPress, i.e. you’d create Custom Field with “hand_picked_article” for meta name and put the post ID of the content you wan’t to display as a meta value. For multiple related articles simply add more Custom Fields with the same meta name.
If there’s no hand picked articles provided, the function will return a tag or a category related list.