You, Our Readers: What We Learned

March 5, 2008

Thanks to everyone who took our survey. We had 72 responses (and we have about 1500 subscribers, plus tens of thousands of unique visitors who read on a non-subscription basis), so there are definitely issues with statistical significance. I will do a separate post on statistical significance of surveys (i.e. where you only have one numerator and one denominator, as opposed to all those calculators that let you compare tests.) In the meantime, many thanks to Judah Phillips for lending a hand in that department.

We only asked five questions:

1. Please describe your “relationship” with the LunaMetrics blog
2. Why do you read this blog?
3. In the area of Google Analytics, you consider yourself (novice, intermediate, expert)
4. In the area of multivariate and A/B testing, you consider yourself (novice, etc.)
5. Freeform place to tell us what you want

At a simple level, we learned that most responders to the survey are also blog subscribers or read very often (63%), they are mostly interested in GA (46%), although the second area of interest was split between learning about conversion in general and learning about web analytics in general. This one was hard, because I didn’t learn enough to stop beating myself up about doing so much GA stuff and so little conversion stuff. The least important reason people read is to learn about industry trends. (OK, we will remember not to do that. An easy request.)

We learned that among responders, there is a nice bell curve of GA expertise, with the majority of responders (45%) considering themselves at an intermediate level

GA Knowledge

and experts at 18%, newbies at 32%. On the other hand, the vast majority of responders considered themselves newbies at MVT and A/B. Again, this is helpful information, because it reminds me and other bloggers here at Luna to write at a level that new and intermediate analysts can understand.

I tried to do a lot of neat correlations that fell apart (too little data.) However, I pushed the numbers by hand, and was continually awed at how MVT came in last place to most readers. Of course, there is a strong problem of what causes what; after all, we write about GA so much, that it would be surprising if the audience didn’t self-select and want to hear about it. On the other hand, it always feels to me like MVT goes hand in glove with web analytics….

Although everything was completely anonymous, a number of people left some really great comments, and a few even left their name. And responses were so nice! (Maybe no one knew how incredibly anonymous they were – no IP addresses or anything.) Here are only some of the comments that we got. I copied and pasted (and only added hyperlinks to other places in our blog.)

Freeform answers to, “What is your relationship to this blog?”

I´ve discovered today, reading a spanish analytic blog.

I clicked on the link today while I was visiting your website…just wanted to know more about LunaMetrics…in particular, your CEO, Robin.

I just subscribed after the recommendation of Avinash’s book. I use Google Reader, which i read daily.

accidentally found it yesterday through google and it was the only website to make understand RegEx properly ?

Yes, I am embellishing on my answer!! My answer is really A: I subscribe to this blog or read it very often, but I also use some posts as reference guides whenever I need them. Amazingly, I still use Robbin’s Regular Expression guides from 2 years ago, because it’s always good to go back and cover the basics again. [Dear writer — me too!! There are all these RegExen, like negative lookahead, that I don’t use that often, and then when I need them, I go back to the blog and learn about them again – Robbin]

Freeform answers to, “Why do you read this blog?”

I don’t care for the way this question is laid out. I don’t think that I can “rank” the reasons why I read a blog. But I do know that this is one of the blogs that you MUST have bookmarked if you’re in web analytics and consider yourself “staying on top of the industry”. Therefore I have checkmarked that answer, but everything else would come in as 1a, if you will.

I wanted to see how much LunaMetrics knows about paid search.

Interesting insights, How to’s on how to get at the data in GA to answer relevant questions.

because Robbin will ask me if I read it and I must be truthful!!! But your team is so freaking smart I want to read it.

Freeform answers in the place where I said, “Go ahead, tell us everything you wish we had asked, what you wish we would write about, anything at all.”

More than anything, I get to see when the web analytics industry moves to analysis of customer behavior over time (i.e. prior loyal customers have a 20.3% chance of visiting in January 2008, visiting an average of 3.4 times, and has a 32.4% chance of purchasing, spending an average of $125.) When I see this type of information, broken down by Recency/Frequency/Monetary/Channel/Personas, I’ll know that the Web Analytics community has arrived. I believe the folks at Luna Metrics will be among the first to get this.

I like stories about what other people have learned, tried or are thinking about. Since I am a novice, I want to learn as much as I can. I don’t really like the technical posts, but I am not the technical person so I just sort of skim them and move on. I’d also like to learn about how your clients are overcoming organizational obstacles. [Ooh, this is a good one, although Avinash just wrote a nice piece on this.]

I really liked it when you brought up the issues with documentation on the Google Analytics Help Section. I’m all about organization and it would be nice if you pushed that issue some more. Since the issue was brought up, I have seen several changes in the Help Files organization. I also really like it when you conduct experiments (like your Visitor Loyalty experiment from about a month ago). Thank you, Robbin!

You might have asked about your audience. For example, website managers might be interested in a certain level of detail on how to do something, but CEOs might be in more top level stuff and may not have time to slog through the blog.

I *love* that you are putting tools on your blog, like the FireFox extension for copying goals, and the macro for deduping parameters. Thanks!!!

I wish more WA bloggers would write about “Doh!” moments they’ve had – where they’ve spent x amount of time (too much) trying to solve a problem, or configure a profile, or segment a group, or whatever, and after spending all this time, they have an “aha” moment, where they realize the answer. Sharing those moments with other practitioners/blog readers…priceless ?