SEO ROI Tops 200 Subscribers: Case Study on Feed Analytics and Poll

Author: Gab Goldenberg

I recently topped 200 subscribers to my RSS feed! Thanks to all of you who subscribed :). Update: Make that 300 :D!

Now, I need to qualify that statement. Over 200 people have clicked on a subscribe link, in the past weeks, be it in a post or in my sidebar. But I’m concerned about the confidence I can place in my data, which idea came to me from reading Avinash Kaushik‘s Web Analytics An Hour A Day.

My problem is that because I feel Google has enough power and enough data, I’m using ClickAudit click counter/meter to measure how many people click individual subscription links. Tracking is at the post, widget and sidebar level.

The problem is that, since I’m not on Feedburner, I don’t have access/usage stats. And at the same time, as I’ve recently experienced a surge in traffic (10,000 visitors last month), it’s very difficult/tedious to just look at my logs and see how much of that is referred from feedreaders. Even if I went that route, I’d be unlikely to find all my subscribers visiting on any given day.

All of which has left me wondering what you guys were expecting when they clicked my subscribe links! Were you expecting the feed itself? A page with more information about subscribing, like these 20 reasons why you should subscribe, possibly with an email form as well? A Feedburner page?

So I’m inviting all of you who’ve recently clicked subscribe (as well as those of you clicked a while ago) to give me some feedback and vote on this poll:

1) When you clicked subscribe, you were expecting to go to the feed.

– Yes, I expected the link’s destination to go to your feed.

– No, I didn’t expect the link’s destination was your feed.

2) For those who were expecting something else, what did you think the link would take you to?

– A Feedburner page.

– A page about the newsletter/subscription.

– Something else. (If this is your answer, please tell me what that something else is.)

3) Still for those who answered “No,” what did you do once you realized that the link had opened up the feed? Why?

– Subscribed anyways.

– Didn’t subscribe.

Thanks for helping me figure this out! And please, if you hadn’t subscribed prior to reading this, don’t answer the poll. But do subscribe to my RSS feed ;).

p.s. I apologize to my readers for the cutting off in feedreaders due to using the ‘more’ tag for excerpts on the main blog page and the SEO ROI homepage (where you’ll now only find the best/most important posts I write). I’m trying to figure out a way around that, while still showing excerpts. Please bear with me while I try and figure out how to get you all full feeds.

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  1. Yes, expected the feed. Generally, if I didn't get the feed, I'd expect the RSS icon & XML link prominently displayed somewhere. Do be careful of your sampling here: you only get the opinion of your current subscribers, but nothing from those who expected something other than what you provide, and as a result, DIDN'T subscribe.

    Comment by Steve - April 3, 2008 @ 3:20am
  2. I expected the link’s destination to go to your feed. I find anything else an irritation. At the same time, if I have decided to sign up for an RSS feed then I will sign up for it no matter what I was expecting to find.

    Comment by B-gone - April 3, 2008 @ 10:06am
  3. Grats bud! Well deserved! I just moved you into my Must Read folder a while back.

    Comment by Brian - April 3, 2008 @ 8:36pm
  4. Steve, thanks for the tip about sampling - I hadn't thought of that! B-gone, thanks for answering the survey too. And for pointing out that if you're signing up, a messy link won't change your mind. And Brian, well, I'm honoured :).

    Comment by Gab - April 4, 2008 @ 9:04am
  5. I just recently stumbled across your blog and liked your approach. I don't like Google, much either, but I use their GoogleReader. When I clicked on the RSS it did exactly what I wanted it to. If I wanted to see the "20 reasons" I would have clicked on that. Another thing I like: I can read your whole article in my feed. I hate sites that make me leave my feed to their site to read the entire article. It defeats the purpose and wastes my time. However, if that blogger says something I want to comment on (like in this situation) or if there is a link to other content I think might be useful, I have no problem coming to the site.

    Comment by Stefan - April 6, 2008 @ 9:43pm
  6. Stefan, thanks for the fyi. Also, I'm on Feedreader and it cuts posts off at the 'more' link. Seems that with feedreaders you need to test out which ones cut and which don't!

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - April 7, 2008 @ 2:36am
  7. I expected what I got. A page full of XML. Then I added you to feedemon and it automatically parsed your address. Bullitt

    Comment by goodnewscowboy - April 15, 2008 @ 12:31am

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