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30 Seconds to Better Site Metrics with nRelate Flyout Plugin

John Doherty —  October 21, 2011
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A few weeks ago I was talking with some fellow SEOs about websites (shocker, right?). Somehow we got onto the topic of the flyout plugins that you see on a lot of news websites such as the New York Times and tech websites like Mashable.

During the course of the conversation, a couple of them remarked that they “always click that thing, man”. I noted that I always see it, but that those flyouts tend to annoy me. This conversation got the wheels turning in my brain, though, so I decided to run a little test on you guys.

I apologize. Not really, but I thought I’d try to make you feel better for being my unknown guinea pigs. So I thank you for your participation.

I installed a Flyout Plugin

This site is built on WordPress, so I decided to see what would happen if I found a flyout plugin and installed it on the site. I decided to use the nRelate Flyout Plugin since it does not hide the links behind Javascript (I also use the nRelate Related Posts plugin on this site, which recently released a non-JS version as well. Update granted).

The metrics I was watching were:

  • Time on site
  • Pageviews per visit
  • Bounce Rate
I hypothesized that TOS and Pageviews would both go up, and bounce rate would go down. I figured that if even a few people clicked on it, like my friends I was discussing the issue with, then this hypethesis would hold true.
So what happened?
Check out the below screenshot:

Metrics pre and post nRelate Flyout

Shizam!

As you can see, Time on Site increased by over 25%. The bounce rate dropped a few percentage points, and pages/visit increased a bit as well. I had hoped that the bounce rate would drop more, but the time on site increase is what I was really looking for.
So here’s a pro tip for you:
If you operate a blog and it makes sense to do so, install a flyout plugin. Your metrics will thank you.

John Doherty

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I'm the Senior Marketing Manager of HotPads.com, based in San Francisco. Previous to Hotpads I worked at Distilled for 2 years as an online marketing consultant. In my spare time I shoot lifestyle photography, ski, rock climb, and update my Twitter and Google+ accounts.

2 responses to 30 Seconds to Better Site Metrics with nRelate Flyout Plugin

  1. Sandeep Gulati April 26, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Hi John, awesome post, just commented on SEOmoz post on similar type of practice followed what you mentioned above i.e. increased time on site, bounce rate and page views.. I have just added the comment on to the post with your site reference

    http://www.seomoz.org/blog/how-we-managed-to-benefit-from-the-panda-updates#jtc178151