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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


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


I'm the new (as of October 2013) Online Marketing Manager of Hotpads.com, soon to be 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, explore new and interesting food in New York, 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