First time readers make almost instantaneous decisions on whether they’ll be subscribing to your blog, leaving a comment, and making their way back for a return visit. Abby Kerr has a great post on this over on her site. And it’s true, much like a good first impression matters during an interview for a new job or going out on a date, a good first impression matters online to new blog readers.
Perform a first time reader audit on your blog. Clueapp is a neat site that will help you do just that. Here’s how it works:
First: submit your URL. Then, Clueapp creates a memory test for site visitors to take by creating a screenshot of your URL to share with site visitors.
Second: share your memory test URL with your network. You can share this with as many people in your network by email, Facebook and Twitter.
Basically, the way it works is when people click on the Clue Memory Test URL, Clueapp shares a screenshot of your website for just a few seconds. Then, it fades away and asks the site visitor (the person taking the test) to share the most memorable things they can remember from taking a look at your website for that brief period of time.
What’s the goal here? Your goal is to get a good sense of the type of first impression that you’re leaving on new site visitors.
- Is your site memorable?
- Can people distinguish what your site is about? What did they think your site was about when they first landed there?
- What areas of your blog do they seem the most drawn to?
- Was it easy to read/navigate/understand?
I took this test. Aside from having clean, crisp headlines, my header needs a bit of work and so does my tagline that tells people what this site is about. Needless to say, it can be very revealing to run an audit on your site past a few people to see what impression you’re making so that you know how you can improve on.
You can even take it a step further by asking a friend or two (someone who doesn’t visit your site on a regular basis) spend 5-10 minutes navigating your content. Ask them things like:
- What was your first impression?
- What did you think my site was about?
- Did you find it easy to read and understand?
- How do you think I can improve my site? From content to the design?
For yourself, take note of things like:
- Where did they click?
- How did they navigate the site? Was it easy or confusing?
- Where did they pause to read your content?
- What areas of your blog seemed to stand out the most?
Report what you find…
Run your site through Clueapp and have people take the memory test. Or, select a few people to critique your blog and answer some of the questions I’ve outlined above for you. Then, come back to this post and report what you find! If you want me to take the Memory Test for you, just drop a link to it in the comments, I’m happy to participate… 🙂