It’s time for you to get rid of these resource hog related post plugins. Here’s why.
Nobody clicks them
At least I can’t find any evidence that anyone does.
I searched for all kinds of things like case studies, heat maps, how to reduce bounce rate, etc.
I can’t find any data to corroborate the idea that these things work.
Nobody sees them
In fact, I don’t think many site visitors even see them anymore.
More site visitors are on mobile.
How far down do you have to scroll before you see related post links?
Most of these things are below the content, or worse, in the sidebar.
On a phone, the sidebar is so far down after the end of the post that you have to scroll forever to get to it. Nobody does that.
Nobody leaves comments on sites
The trend now is that folks leave comments on the social media platform where they first saw the post. In fact, commenting on blogs has dropped so much that several popular blogs have permanently removed the comment fields from their sites.
The plan with related posts was that you would see them as you scrolled past to get to the comments.
Fewer folks leaving comments means fewer folks scrolling past the related posts.
Nobody has the headroom
As hosting vendors continue to lower the ceiling on account resources, many site owners need to run lean and mean.
That means getting rid of resource hog plugins, like related posts, popular posts, and others that chew up databases and CPU.
In fact, related post plugins are banned on at least one popular WordPress host vendor for that reason.
Show me the data
I want to see numbers.
Show me a screenshot of analytics where you can prove that you reduced bounce rate and raised time on site by a visitor clicking on a related post.
What’s Working Now
Contextual links right in the middle of the content are getting way more clicks. I’ve seen folks break them out into their own line between paragraphs like the one below.
These work very well on every site. There is no way for anyone reading the content not to see them.
How to See Related Post Clicks
In Google Analytics, you can track behavior. You can see where folks go next after reading one of your posts.
So, when you do that kind of data mining, and you see that you are taking a performance hit for no reason at all, you may be able to more easily give up the old guru advice that you need one of these plugins.
They just don’t work anymore.
And you can’t afford the hit to your site anymore either.