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WordPress Plugins that Target Search Engine Traffic

A couple of weeks ago one of my fellow b5media directors or bloggers (I can’t remember which) sent me a link to a WP plugin that they thought looked pretty cool. I didn’t have time to really look into it at the time but today have decided to give it a go here at ProBlogger.

It’s a plugin that very few of you (as regular readers) will notice in action – but is one that new readers coming from Search Engines will hopefully benefit from.

The plugin is Landing Sites 1.3 by The Undersigned.

This plugin shows visitors who have arrived on the blog a special welcome message and some suggested posts that relate to the search that they’ve done to get to the blog just above the post that they’ve landed on itself.

The best way to illustrate it is to go to Google and do a search for “How to Surf blog traffic Tsunamis” – then click on the link to (it should be the #1 result). This will take you to one of my individual posts that has a list of 5 suggested posts just above my post.

Another WP plugin that does a similar thing is the MoreMoney plugin which I discovered today after spotting it on Weblog Tools Collection. MoreMoney also senses when a visitor comes from a search engine and lets you include a number of things to them including a welcome message or advertising (for example you might want to put in an AdSense ad that will only be seen by SE visitors but not your regular readers.

I’m yet to try out MoreMoney but the Landing Sites plugin does seem to be working well as I’ve already noticed a slight increase in the number of page views per visitor. The obvious benefit of Landing Sites is that it drives traffic deeper into your blog.

This plugin will of course work best with blogs that do get search engine traffic – blogs that are yet to get ranked in SE’s might want to install it for that time that they do but they’re not really going to get much benefit from it in the short term.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Very interesting plug-in.

    How do you make suggestions to other posts?

  • I’ve been using this plugin for about a week and love it. I had a lot of search engine traffic coming in for a specific post I made, and then leaving without reading anything else. I haven’t had a lot of time to actually stare at my sitemeter and see if this plugin has improved that yet, but I know it sure isn’t hurting!

  • Brem, it uses the titles and keywords in your existing posts to suggest other posts that might be of interest depending on what they originally put into the search engine – you don’t have to do anything to get it to do that, setting all that up would be a HUGE undertaking depending on how many posts you have of course.

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  • WTJ

    it doesn’t work with chinese blog

  • Looks good, I found it a week or so ago, but decided not to give it a try just yet. (Landing Sites)

    I’m a little confused over the point of it. If the user has come from the search engine and landed on the correct page….which hopefully happens most of the time (and in Darren’s example) why show them other pages it could be?…. I use the “Related Posts” plug in which shows the visitor posts related after the post.
    I can only see the point of it when the surfer comes to the wrong page via a search engine.
    Or am I missing something here? please tell me if i am :)

    Also, what does the google bot see?….i’m hoping it will not get confused with “coming from google search engine”.. as keywords from titles or the article will be lower in the page etc.

  • hmmmm sounds interesting I think that I will give it a try

  • Tom

    This looks interesting, the only weakness I saw was it took a long time for the page to load…

  • Darren,
    You didnt mention my great plugin at:

    You need UTW3 active to have mine work..

    This will seriously improve your meta tags and title information for those plain and drab WordPress 2 sites and meta tags/titles

  • Nice selection of plugins. The landing sites one is very tasty and easy to install

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  • I’ve been using Landing Pages on one of my sites for a while now, works a treat. Ironically I found a bug in it by visiting this very page! I subscribed to ProBlogger’s RSS via my Google homepage, and when I clicked on the link to this post, Landing Pages detected I came in from Google, despite not having done a search :)

    So right now the top of this page reads “You came here from search for (blank) . No related posts.”

  • I don’t see the links at the top of the page, nor do I see them when I go to “The Undersigned’s” example page. Is anyone else having this problem?

  • Also found the plugin via WeblogTools Collection though I haven’t installed this yet.

    How did it affect your CTR, Darren? Some of the blogs have their Adsense on top of the content entry and by adding “welcome” links to other parts of your blog, that might affect their clicking of a contextual ad.

  • Lisa: thanks for the answer.

    It’s a good thing, but also can lead to bad links…

    If you already are using keywords for your articles, then the plug-in could use these keywords to try to find corresponding posts.

    So many things to try, so little time… ;)

  • Is there a plugin or module for Moveable Type or Typepad that does this?

  • Thanks for finding this Darren. I installed it no problems. I tried it with searches that others had used to reach my site. It seems to be working okay. The code to make the plugin work can be placed anywhere in your template – top, bottom, sidebar – it’s up to you, so you can work around your ads.

  • I actually used this to help in a move from Typepad to WordPress in which I found the change in Link URL’s meant that a lot of Search Engine traffic was ending up at the 404 error page. Now I know that there might be better options then this, but this worked for me with my poor Web skills.

    I really need to add it to my other pages and will do that in the next few weeks.

    PS. Its a bit funny that the top post following the example you have in the post is to this article. So new visitors will be onto your little game immediately.

  • I’m going to have to give this a try when I get my blog moved to WordPress. It did seem the page took longer to load though.

  • sweet….i will trying it out soon as my most visits come from SEs

  • Interesting plugins – I had a quick look at both but not tried either yet – but I was wondering if it was possible to put the Landing Sites code inside the MoreMoney plugin?

  • Hi!
    I’ve been using the “Landing Sites 1.3”-Plugin for a couple of weeks now and I think it’s very useful and easy to handle.

  • Man thanks…

    I never know what I want for my blog until I come to this blog.

  • Glad my plugin is of use – I am working on an update with support for more search engines, easier installation and a few minor bugfixes.

  • Sounds like a veru useful plugin Darren,

    I will install it now.

    Hopefully, it won’t cause my pages to load more slowly.

  • I subscribed to ProBlogger’s RSS via my Google homepage, and when I clicked on the link to this post, Landing Pages detected I came in from Google, despite not having done a search

    To solve this issue do the following:

    In landingsites13.php, in the function ls_getinfo, add the following:

    if($what == ‘hasterms’) {
    return $terms != NULL;

    Then, where you want to show the related posts list, change the code like this:

    if (ls_getinfo(’isref’) and ls_getinfo(’hasterms’))


  • great plugin. I am gonna try out this one ;)

  • very cool, I just downloaded it.


  • Just a side note – it appears that this plugin displays an empty search term when I come from Google Reader, in which case the plugin should rather not display anything instead. Other than that it’s a great idea.