Every online business owner aspires to attract the right traffic, boost user engagement, increase retention rate, decrease bounce rate, and generate more sales.

But that’s easier said than done.

What if we told you that content recommendation could help you drive more website traffic, generate quality leads and boost sales by delivering personalized recommendations?

When done right, content recommendations can help you display personalized content to users based on their user profiles or interests. This can help to boost user experience on your website and boost your sales drastically.

This is especially important in today’s digital world where personalization is seen as a driver for marketing success.

In fact, 78% of customers say that they are more likely to make repeat purchases from companies that personalize:

McKinsey & Company

Image via McKinsey & Company

What does this mean for brands?

If you aren’t integrating recommended content into your promotion strategy, then you aren’t delivering the personalized experience your customers deserve.

And that could be the reason you aren’t driving sufficient traffic which is ultimately hurting your bottom line.

But what exactly is a content recommendation?

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about content recommendations including how they work, the best content recommendation strategies to use, why content recommendation can be beneficial to your brand, and much more.

So let’s get started.

What is Content Recommendation?

Content recommendation is the tactic of suggesting content to website visitors based on certain aspects, such as the popularity of the content, content relevance, user profile, interest, or user preferences.

Take a look at how Feedier recommends content related to the blog post:


Image via Feedier

These recommendations work similar to native advertising as the look and feel of recommended content fits seamlessly within the page.

Another example of a recommendation is by CNBC. The business and finance news network promotes blog content for Aramco, a Saudi Arabian Oil Company via recommendation on every post they make:

Image via CNBC News

In today’s digital world, companies use platforms like AdStyle that use powerful machine learning to make data-driven content recommendations to individual visitors based on their past visit history and profiles within milliseconds.

Renowned brands like Netflix, Amazon, Google, and many others are currently using some sort of content recommendation engines to provide a personalized experience for their online customers.

Image via Amazon

You probably have seen online news networks display content with a title like “you may like” or “recommended content”.

Here is an example of content recommendation by HuffPost News”


Image via HuffPost

That’s a content recommendation engine working behind the scenes.

Personalized content recommendations are almost as effective as native ads in driving more engagement and conversions. So, if you’re not yet using this effective tactic, it’s time you start doing so.

Make sure to use a good advertising platform like AdStyle that can help your ads look like the native content on your chosen platform. With features like advanced audience targeting and creative development, AdStyle can help you run successful native advertising campaigns.

This platform will help you reach your prospective customers in a non-intrusive and engaging way, thus delivering better results. The best part is that you will also get detailed analytics and reporting features to track the performance of your campaigns and optimize your future campaigns.

Leads generated from advertising can get as much as 235% more conversions, which is much higher than leads generated from other traffic sources, so you really shouldn’t miss this opportunity.

Combine the power of content recommendations with native advertising to get the best results.

How Do Content Recommendations Work?

Recommendations work in different ways.

For instance, some platforms use keywords and tags to suggest content to visitors. Some content recommendation platforms monitor how users engage with website content to suggest content these users might be interested in on their next visit.

Besides, content recommendations can work via website plugins.

Through a content recommendation engine, Amazon can display products that you may like based on products you viewed previously, your purchase history, or your browsing history.

Here is an example:


Image via Amazon

Netflix also uses content recommendation engines to suggest new shows and movies you might be interested to watch after using their services for a while.

Main Types of Content Recommendations

A content recommendation can be on-page or off-page.

On-Page Content Recommendation

On-page content recommendations enable your visitors to explore your website deeper by suggesting blog articles or web pages they might be interested in viewing.

Attrock, a professional digital marketing agency uses on-page content recommendations to keep their readers engaging with more of their content on their site:

As users explore relevant content on your website, the bounce rate decreases. This is also an excellent way to increase the time users spend on your website which can help to increase your Google rankings.

When this happens, user engagement rates increase which ultimately increases social shares thus exposing your content to a huge audience and building even more brand awareness.

On-page content recommendations can be a powerful promotion strategy for marketers who create valuable content and want to show it to a huge audience.

Off-Page Content Recommendations

If your website is still new or you don’t have a lot of content to recommend to your visitors, suggesting content for other sites relevant to yours can be a great thing.

This is where off-page recommendations come in.

This type of content recommendation involves displaying relevant content of other sites on your website that your visitors will find useful or interesting.

Oftentimes, this type of recommendation is useful for affiliate marketers or marketers who use referral marketing to drive customers to other websites.

It’s also a powerful strategy for content marketers to drive traffic to other websites. For better results with off-page content recommendation, the content you’re recommending to your visitors must be valuable.

Otherwise, it can hurt your brand authority. You also must be careful not to send traffic to your competitors’ websites as that could be directing more customers to them.

The good news is that a content recommendation system allows you to set rules for the content you’re recommending hence helping you avoid this mistake.

Where to Insert Recommended Content

Where you place the recommended content can make or break your effort to generate good results with your content strategy.

As a rule, your content recommendations must be visible to visitors the moment they land on your website.

The good news is that there are many areas to place your recommendations.

Recommending Content at the End of a Blog Post

You suggest a blog or news article at the end of a blog post.

In this case, the content you’re suggesting could be an extension of the blog post they have just read, a video or podcast of the same topic, or something relevant or new.

See the example below:

The Washington Post

Image via The Washington Post

Recommending Content Using On-Site Widgets

With this type of placement, you recommend content through on-site widgets so that when the reader scrolls down the content appears on the right-hand side of the page.

Here is a good example of this recommendation placement by The Washington Post

The Washington Post

Image via The Washington Post

Suggesting Content via Popups

Popups are also great places for displaying your content recommendations but, be careful: 41% of consumers say popups frustrate them most when engaging with brands:


Image via Adobe

What should you do to avoid this?

You need to avoid interrupting visitors by timing them. This means setting your recommendations so that they appear at the time the visitor has already viewed your content enough or they are planning to exit the page.

Content Recommendation Strategies to Use

For better content recommendation results, you need to use strategies that have been proven to perform well.

Use these six strategies to showcase personalized content and provide a personalized experience to your visitors to boost user experience:

1. Last Viewed Content

This is one of the powerful content recommendation strategies for showcasing content to visitors who have already visited or viewed your other content on your website.

For instance, if a visitor visited a page or blog post, you can use “last-viewed” content recommendation to remind them where they stopped the last time they visited your site.

This strategy works well on a blog or home page.

2. Most Viewed Content Recommendations

This strategy is helpful when making personalized recommendations for new visitors whose interests and preferences are not known to you.

A content recommendation system can provide these recommendations after gathering statistical data on the top-performing content on your website.

3. Similar Content

This strategy uses content recommendation systems to showcase new and alternative content that’s similar to the one they are consuming at the moment. It’s a powerful strategy for suggesting similar blog posts or articles.

4. Most Viewed Content in a Category

With this strategy, website visitors are shown “most viewed” content in a certain category. It’s similar to most viewed content recommendations but this one goes into detail to show the visitor content based on a specific category.

You can use this strategy on a category page to showcase content for new visitors.

5. Super-Affinity

Super-affinity content recommendations help you make a truly personalized visit for your website visitors.

In this case, the recommendations are made based on the visitor’s level of engagement with a particular blog post. Here, the visitors are shown exactly what they are interested in.

6. Others Also Viewed

This strategy, as the name suggests, is to make recommendations based on content other visitors have interacted with. This can help to direct your visitors to the content they might find helpful.

Benefits of Content Recommendations

Aside from personalizing your visitor’s experience by showcasing content that is more relevant at any time, a content recommendation can add more value to your site in many ways.

Here is why content recommendations are important:

Improved Retention Rates

Attracting website visitors is hard. But keeping them longer on your site is even harder. In fact, the average time-on-page across all industries is 54 seconds.

And if users aren’t staying longer on your site, it means they aren’t consuming your content enough. This makes it hard for them to understand how your brand can be helpful to them.

With content recommendations, visitors can explore your content effectively by staying on your site, enabling you to educate them about your brand effectively.

Reduced Bounce Rate

The higher the bounce rate on your site, the lower the engagement rate and sales.

Content recommendations help to suggest content that your visitors are interested in or that might be helpful to them. This helps to keep them longer on your site thus reducing the bounce rate.

Improved Engagement

If website visitors aren’t engaging with your content effectively then all your promotion efforts are going down the drain. Targeting them with fresh content they are interested in can help to enhance engagement on your website.

Help to Promote New Content

When someone lands on your blog post or article from a search engine, they might not be aware of your latest post. Using recommended content, you can seamlessly feature blog posts or articles you published recently.

Content recommendations provide a win-win for both publishers and advertisers.

Publishers can get more website visitors and subscribers, and uncover the most popular content their visitors are interested in.

Advertisers can get their content featured on high-authority sites thus exposing it to a huge audience.


Q1. Which is an example of a content-based recommendation system?

A. A good example of a content-based recommendation system is when YouTube shows you videos related to what you previously watched.

Q2. What are content recommendation ads?

A. These are ads displayed on a website based on your preferences, interest, or previously viewed ads.

Q3. What are content recommendation engines?

A. It’s the system or software solution that employs artificial intelligence to showcase personalized content (blog posts, online news, or products) to users based on their digital profiles.

Q4. What are the types of recommendations?

A. The two main types of content recommendations are on-page recommendations and off-page recommendations.

Q5. What does a content recommendation engine do?

A. A content recommendation engine analyzes data to deliver personalized recommendations to users. Amazon uses a content recommendation engine to recommend products to its users.

Final Thoughts

Content recommendation can enhance personalization on your website which could improve brand awareness and generate quality leads for your business.

This in return can increase sales and generate more revenue for your brand.

Are you using any of the above content recommendations strategies? If so then we would like to hear your results in the comment section.