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How We Increased Website Page Views by 12% With One Simple Feature

How We Increased Website Page Views by 12% With One Simple Feature

We're always looking to improve upon page conversions or, more importantly, the customer or browsing experience, and one change we introduced recently increased our page-views by over 12% in the minutes after we introduced it. In a world where we celebrate smaller incremental improvements, the introduction of this feature came as a pleasant surprise.

The typical 'marketing-style' images have become tiresome and boring for us. They don't set us apart in any respect and they tend to position us with all those 'others' in the market. Since we've archives of thousands (millions, perhaps) of old photograph collections so we thought that we'd start to share them with each post as a 'Featured Image'. The results and feedback tends to indicate the change was a valued one... and it appears as though our audience are as sick of salesy 'marketing' images as we are.

We obviously won't always show a history-related image, but we'll do so when the subject matter doesn't call for anything specific (we'd also like to share some of our favourite older broadsheet and poster advertisements).

Note: The featured image description should be included regardless of what image you're using. When an image is sourced from UnSpash or other similar services that provide royalty-free images, the featured image section is an appreciative nod to the photographer.

We wanted to do include some basic text at the bottom of a page describing the image, and then provide a link to a full and uninterrupted version of the image for those that were interested. The code below details how this super-simple feature is to implement.

Copy and paste the WordPress function into your theme's functions.php file or, if you sensibly have one installed, your custom functions plugin.

 Featured Image Text & Image Link
function beliefmedia_featured_image_text($atts, $content = null) {
 global $post;
 $atts = shortcode_atts(array('text' => 'Featured Image', 'source' => ''), $atts);
 $fi = wp_get_attachment_image_src(get_post_thumbnail_id($post->ID), 'full');
 /* Build container */
 return '<div style="font-size: 0.9em; line-height: 1.1;"><strong>' . $atts['text'] . ':</strong> ' . do_shortcode($content) . ' [ <a href="' . $fi['0'] . '">View Image</a> ]</div>';
add_shortcode('featured', 'beliefmedia_featured_image_text');

In using this feature ourselves we add an ID to the DIV so we can optionally extract the descriptive text for use in message content when sending to social media. We also use an attribution (source) field ourselves to reference text or source when it is applicable.

Usage is simple. Just wrap your featured image description in opening and closing featured tags ([featured]Your content in here...[/featured]).

Clients: this shortcode is built into Belief's Yabber Tag: yabber plugin.


If you're interested in a similar feature, download the code below and modify to your liking. Of course, you don't have to use shortcode for such as simple task - we're using it simply so we're able to globally modify occurrences of the text in the future should it be required.

Title: Featured Image Shortcode
Description: Provides a facility to describe your featured image. Provides a link that will show the full version of the image.
  Download • Version 0.1, 571.0B, zip, Category: WordPress Shortcodes
  Featured Image: Sitting on Bennelong Point in Circular Quay, the Sydney Opera House was designed by relatively unknown Danish architect Jørn Utzon. He created a series of vaulted structures that resemble billowing white sails or stacked shells. Interestingly, all the shells when pieced together are said to shape a perfect sphere. The photograph shows construction around early 1972. The Opera House was inaugurated on October 20th, 1973. [ View Image ]

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