Matt Cromwell Avatar
Focusing on Discoverability and Adoption, I go step by step to GLAM the readme of Simple Giveaways.

When Igor posted on X that his Simple Giveaways plugin had sunk down from 1K Active Installs to 800+, I felt for him. There have been niche plugins over the past year or so seeing a decrease in adoption. But isn’t there something we can do about this?

I saw this as an opportunity to GLAM Igor’s readme. I reached out to ask if he’d allow me to GLAM Simple Giveaways on Glam that Plugin and he accepted.

I took my Optimizing your Readme article and applied my GLAM methodology to Simple Giveaways. I think there’s some interesting insights here for all. And I hope to report back in a few months of Igor’s success!

Watch the show here, and below are some of the highlights.

Getting Found Starts with Choosing the Right Tags

Discoverability is the first goal in updating your readme, and that has to start with your tags. The Plugin Directory limits you to 5 tags, so its vital you pick the right tags.

Igor clearly has done good research already on his tags. Here’s what he currently has:

  • competition
  • contest
  • giveaway
  • sweepstake
  • sweepstakes

I always start by clicking on those tags and seeing what the individual search results are. I’m looking for whether the results are overall relevant to the audience we’re looking for or not. Generally, these are almost perfect tags for Simple Giveaways.

  • online contests
  • giveaway
  • competition
  • raffle
  • sweepstakes

These have more diversity and breadth for the directory search and also broader appeal for search engines.

Once the tags are fully dialed in, they need to be incorporated into the title, headings, and screenshot captions. Here’s a few suggestions for the title:

  • Simple Giveaways – Run raffles, competitions, and giveaways on your website
  • Simple Giveaways – Contests, Competitions, and Giveaways in a few clicks

This should maximize the impact of those tags for the readme. Applying them well with descriptive headings within the body content is also vital.

Creative Assets are for Driving Adoption

Once you’ve optimized the page for discoverability, next is making sure your readme is educational and persuasive to encourage installing your plugin. Creative assets assist in that goal a ton.

Simple Giveaways has a nice color scheme, icon, and header. I do think there’s opportunity in the header to be more educational about the benefits of the plugin. I’m no designer, but it’s easier to show than tell, so I grabbed icons from the Simple Giveaways website to showcase what I meant about real estate in the banner:

BEFORE: The current banner as of when I audited the readme
My stab at a bit of a redesign, intending to use more real estate and showcase the features more prominently

Video is also very powerful and persuasive and it’s the easiest way for potential users to see your plugin in action without them doing much of anything. So I’d highly recommend a refresh of the video with good audio, some animations, and a strong focus on the features and benefits of the plugin.

Leverage Your Website to Establish Trust

The biggest opportunity Simple Gateways has right now is leveraging links to its website. There is only one link now and it’s to a feedback board. That’s really not helpful.

Links should be used generously throughout the readme, but not in a spammy way. Don’t just link to the homepage a million times. Find ways to link to documentation, or tutorial articles. If you can make custom landing pages just for the .org audience that would be great as well.

Use the New Live Preview

Lastly, the new Playground-powered Live Preview option for plugins is a game-changer. This is the best way for potential users to get hands on with your plugin without asking them to install it on their own website.

There are really strong docs and example now available to plugin authors. I think Simple Giveaways would benefit a ton from this.

I’ve been monitoring its adoption and it’s been really interesting seeing some great examples. Here’s a few I really like so far:

  • Kadence Blocks does a great job of dropping you straight into the editor with a clean layout all powered by their blocks.
  • Sensei has a really slick onboarding wizard that they drop you into, which leads straight into creating a course in the Block Editor.
  • Conditional Blocks also drops you into the Editor, but the whole content of that page is about how to navigate the Demo the best. That’s really smart.

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