There are many reasons for having a website: You may want to push a message, sell a product or help people do something. But, unless the people who come to your site like the site, you may as well not bother.
Every website on the internet wants one thing: engaged visitors. Tweet this.
I’m always trying to find out what the visitors to this site want to read about. Whenever somebody contacts me from the site I usually ask: “feel free to suggest the subject of an article you’d like written as I’m always interested in new ideas for blog posts”.
So for this reason, a couple of weeks ago, I headed over to Google Docs and created my first RobCubbon.com visitor’s survey.
My blog visitor’s survey
I am extremely appreciative to all those on my newsletter list who contributed to the survey. Believe me I was absolutely amaze to see that 230 of you took part. Thank you all so much!
So, what were the results?
Let’s talk about sex, baby
OK. Nothing that exciting. I thought it might be interesting to see the gender of the respondents.
This surprised me. Although there are a number of women who regularly contribute to the comments section here, it seems that there was a slight bias toward the male persuasion in those who took this survey. So, I’m not that popular with the ladies. What’s new?
Let’s talk about age, then
Getting a bit more personal here. I thought it might be an idea to see the age demographic of my visitors:
Quite varied. But more-or-less what I expected.
What job do you do?
I thought this would be interesting and it was. Here people had the following check box options: graphic designer, web designer, web developer, marketer, student, SEO or social media expert, other. And, being checkboxes, they could choose more than one.
So, there’s a bias towards design and jobs relating to the internet, as you might expect given the content of this blog. However, there are a significant number of people with no design background whatsoever – which is understandable as some of the articles here could relate to anyone starting an online business.
Here are some examples of the “other” occupations that visitors entered: photographer, audioman, teacher, illustrator, full-time bus driver, visionary, printer, formatter, management consultant, writer, substance misuse worker, trainer, “wannabe WordPress designer”, business manager part-time webmaster, software developer, receptionist, creative director, virtual assistant, health professional, illustrator/artist, elearning content creator.
… and it went on and on. I really loved to see the differing nature of my readers’ occupations. I would definitely like to keep this a place for people from wide-ranging backgrounds, not just designers.
What would you like to read about on the blog?
So now we get on to the really interesting side of the survey.
Here I gave the readers more checkboxes to check: Web design tutorials, Design inspiration, Blogging stuff, WordPress stuff, Opinion pieces, Print design tutorials, All of the above.
As you can see, web design and WordPress tutorials seem pretty popular. No surprises there. But I was surprised, however, that so many people had ticked “design inspiration” which is something, I must confess, I’m not very good at.
By “design inspiration”, I assume we mean, showcasing examples of really great design. I’ve always thought that a number of other sites (David Airey and Abduzeedo, for example) do this really well so I hoped no one would ask for this option. Ouch! I will have to think of this and come up with a blog post about design that I like and see if it’s popular.
What you really, really want
Lastly, and most interestingly, I put a section where readers could enter their own specific ideas for blog posts in this website. I’m still going through these. Here’s just a selection:
- “I think there is an awful lot of basic web design stuff out there and not so much of the marketing side of things. I feel you have enough WordPress knowledge to give successful and sound advice to people with little or no knowledge.”
- “How to move over to web design from other graphic design disciplines”
- “I’m really interested in the world of digital and what the up and coming trends are in digital advertising and marketing.”
- “How to identify accurately ways in which clients should spend more – so you’re giving sound advice not just commercial advice for yourself.”
- “You’ve done a few pieces about convincing clients that a “high” price is worth it. I’d like to see more. I have a hard time not second guessing myself and the prices I set, and lose money over it frequently.”
- “Hmmm … maybe real-life examples of good and bad design in web & print, when relating it to achieving objectives like generating sign-ups or sales. Not interested in “design-snobbery” and designer fads that serve to look cool in front of the design-community.”
- “As a printer who also does some design, I’d like a little bit more on design for print.”
- “Some real stories about your work with some customers. Since the initial contact, to the details of your conversations and the execution of your work.”
- “If possible, some WordPress tips on how to modify templates or go beyond the traditional. Maybe some social media or Facebook App stuff as well.”
- “I really like to find some inspiration. Inspiration on technology, WordPress solutions, tips and tricks. And some best practice infos? Stories about really “special” projects, no mater if the clients are a little strange, weird solutions for even weirder clients needs. 😉 “
- “The enigma of the popularity of Comic Sans. Designers hate it and many users love it. Why aren’t they able to see the value of good typography. Do ‘average users’ not feel comfortably with good typography? Is using good type sort of elitaire?”
- “How to write to inspire others.”
- “How do i work out what a job ought to cost for a client?”
- “The freshest most up to date information about new marketing in a digital age”
- “How to manage time between work, family and social life.”
- “How to promote online classes.”
- “How to create and launch a website from A to Z.”
So quite a mixed bag. But I have learned a great deal from this.
What I can do
Not only do my visitors want to have the most effective cutting-edge technologies explained. But they also want practical examples of how to help their clients. So, for example, not only do you want to know about HTML5, but also you want to know why you should use it and how it will make a better website. This is really valuable information.
Other issues that have come to light is that people want to know about their health and well-being. Working from home is great but it does have issues, like, how you balance you work/life ratio and how you deal with sitting in front of a computer all day.
What you can do
I can highly recommend running short surveys with specific groups of people. It really couldn’t be easier to do with Google Docs. So, if you want to do that, give it a go!
Also, maybe you have more suggestions on blog posts I can write or other questions I can ask my newsletter subscribers in the future?
Finally, a big thank you to everyone who took part in the survey. Many of you thanked me for the content I’ve been putting out. I wasn’t expecting that and it was highly appreciated!