To continue my readership building series, I am doing a test.

Can I provide a reader with an answer, to their search string, within 30 seconds of entering my site?

Today’s Lesson

Since blog statistics provide tons of information, I check my blog’s stats on a regular basis.

If I check my AWStats (visit duration) or Google Analytics (length of visit), I can see how long a visitor stayed on my site.

I know that online searchers are on a mission. They don’t want to waste time.

My stats prove that.

I have, what I believe, is a high percentage(66% +/-) of <30 seconds (under 30 seconds), or <30s. visitors. This tells me, one of five things: 1) Someone may have clicked on my site (by accident, or they didn't like it), only to click off 2) Someone clicked on my site, found the answer they were looking for, in less than 30 seconds, and left 3) Someone clicked on my site, didn't find their answer, in under 30 seconds, and left 4) One of my regular visitors stopped by, but didn't have time to read my new post(s), and will come back later. 5) Or, a new visitor clicked on my site, liked it, was in a hurry, subscribed to the RSS feed, or bookmarked it, and became a loyal reader. Ideally, for clicks under 30 seconds, I hope I am either providing readers with what they are looking for, or inspire them to subscribe/bookmark my site, and visit often. To test this <30 second theory, I am using some of the search strings that were used to find my blog. I will enter my blog via the search engine, set a timer, and see if I can get the search string question answered, in under 30 seconds. To some degree, I will have failed as a blogger, if I am not giving some of those <30 second readers what they are looking for. Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing, if we were able to help the <30 second reader, or if we converted them to a RSS reader. We do know that some visitors will not be impressed with out site at first matter what. They will just leave. Since we can't please all of the people all of the time, we can concentrate on pleasing some of the people, some of the time. My hope is that my blogs provide answers to the all visitors who enter with a question. For those visitors who enjoy exploring my site and reading more, and/or take time to comment, I say a big thank you! Today’s Assignment

Have you checked your “visit duration – length of visit” statistics?

What are they telling you?

Can you find an answer on your blog in under 30 seconds?

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  1. CatherineLNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – My number of people leaving my blog within 30 seconds on Awstats is also around the 65% mark. I’m sure Darren Rowse also quoted a similar statistic a good while ago.

    I’m wondering if the Awstats results also include visits for robots or spiders or whatever they’re called and that is why a high percentage leave in 30 seconds?

    Now your last question is a good one. I used to have a google search facility on my blog and I removed it. But I think I’m going to have to reinstate it – because sometimes, when I’m looking for an old post, I struggle to find it at all, never mind in 30 seconds.

  2. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:


    I just looked at AWStats, they do not include the spiders, robots or crawlers in these numbers. If you look at the top of that section, the number matches your actual “visits”.

    I know what you mean about finding old posts. I either look in my “articles”, or “categories”, or do a search under “manage posts” (in the dashboard section of WP)

  3. I use Google Analytics and they have a feature that offers Goal Conversion. Most useful when tracking the path a user takes to purchase from a site that has an online store I think, in theory it could be used to track users who choose to subscribe to an RSS feed. I haven’t figured out how to make mine work yet, I should try that.

    When it comes to search keywords I love scrolling mine for new blogging ideas. Sometimes the keywords used won’t be answered by the posts that draw them but if I wrote posts, optimizing those keywords, I could capture similar readers with the information they are after.

    Speaking of which, those searches that keep hitting (still, months later) for my ‘suicide’ keyword make me wonder if I should add a link to the top of the page for a suicide help line. What do you think?

    Rebecca Laffar-Smith’s last blog post..Book Release: The Liar’s Diary by Patry Francis

  4. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:


    I haven’t tried Google’s goal conversion…mainly because I haven’t put a lot of weight on my advertising (which is mostly on my other blog).

    A great tool for keywords is HitTail. They track how others found your site and create what they call long and short tail keywords. I did a post about them, awhile back. Here’s the link to the post.

    Re: your suicide post. If you are getting hits/visits because of individuals looking for a way out, I think a link to a hot line would be a great idea. It could save a life.

    That would freak me out. But you’re right, we do have to be careful in choosing which keywords we optimize.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Stop The Press – I’m Dying To Share

  5. Thanks for the link, Barbara, and for the feedback in regards to my troubling post.

    Rebecca Laffar-Smith’s last blog post..Book Release: The Liar’s Diary by Patry Francis

  6. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    You’re welcome Rebecca

    Barbara’s last blog post..Stop The Press – I’m Dying To Share