January 25, 2013

Contextly – Understand Your Readers


One thing that every publisher has in common is a greater desire to understand what types of content his or her readers are looking to view. Contextly is a web-app that does just that, providing publishers and other businesses a direct way to show off the precise content their readers are most interesting in seeing online.

Sign up for Contextly while the platform is still in beta, and you can try out the Related Links service on your own blog or news site. If your publication is self-hosted on WordPress, you can install the Contextly plugin directly. Using a special algorithm, Contextly will parse the content you post and suggest related articles in a living sidebar that shows up along the left-hand side of each article on your website. Publishers also have the option to provide links to stories chosen by the writers themselves in the “Related” section alongside each article. Providing links to related articles is a gesture that is appreciated by readers, since it adds context to the stories you publish each day. Meanwhile, these suggested articles also help to increase the average time readers spend surfing your site.

Contextly sends its users daily, weekly, and monthly analytics reports, allowing reporters and editors to easily see how certain stories performed, and make adjustments to their editorial calendars based on the results they find. Contextly can also help businesses boost email list subscription rates by placing sign-up tools in strategic locations across their existing websites and networks.

Practical Uses:

  • Find out what types of stories are most interesting to your readers
  • Provide readers with background on the story they’re reading
  • Decrease website visitor bounce rates
  • Make it easy for visitors to read the back-story on any articles they’re interested in

Insider Tips:

  • Contextly is free for the first 30 days
  • Publishers with self-hosted WordPress sites can get the Contextly Related Links plugin
  • Editors can choose the content that shows up in their Living Sidebars
  • Stories that fall under the “Related” tab can be manually chosen by writers
  • Upgrade to a Company plan to get detailed social media analytics

What we liked:

  • Contextly has been developed specifically for reporters and editors
  • Contextly speeds up the process for writers tasked with adding suggested links at the ends of their stories
  • Editors can sign up for a trial before deciding whether to upgrade to a paid account
  • Publishers can sign up to get daily, weekly, and monthly analytics reports

What we didn’t like:

  • Contextly hasn’t released its full arsenal of tools just yet


Company Info:

  • Launched: November 2012 (Beta)
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California
  • Founded by: Ryan Singel
  • Web site:


  • Personal plan is $19/month
  • Company plan is $49/month
  • Premium plan is $99/month
  • Enterprise plan with custom pricing


  1. Hi there, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this blog post.

    It was practical. Keep on posting!

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