What’s Changed (and What Hasn’t): The 2020 Moz Blog Reader Survey Results

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You’re uninterested in listening to it and I am uninterested in saying it, however 2020 actually has been a yr like no different. SEOs and entrepreneurs all over the world needed to take care of their day-to-day work shifting house, alongside a number of pure disasters, civil rights points, and a pandemic that may alter our business and international financial system for years to return. 

We might have held off on launching this yr’s reader survey, however we determined to maneuver ahead anyway as a result of we all know your work and your pursuits have been impacted, and we needed to know the way a lot. 

I am excited to share with you the outcomes from that survey on this publish. We’ll undergo what’s modified — and what hasn’t — for our readership since our final survey in 2017, and element what these insights imply for the Moz Blog in 2021. 

Methodology

We revealed this survey in July 2020, with questions asking for particulars on the skilled occupations of our readers, how these readers work together with the weblog, and what these readers wish to see from the weblog. We additionally included COVID-19-specific inquiries to gauge the pandemic’s influence on our readers. The survey was shared on the weblog, via e mail blasts, and on our social media accounts.

The percentages shared within the sections under are a part of a complete of 388 responses we acquired over 4 months. This is definitely our first knowledge level, exhibiting that engagement with surveys has shifted drastically since our 2017 survey, which received almost 600 responses in only one month. Given the interruptive nature of 2020’s occasions, we can’t let that distinction discourage us from using surveys sooner or later. Where ready, I’ve in contrast 2020’s outcomes to these of the 2017 survey, to higher visualize the variations. 

Answers weren’t required for all questions, so if one thing didn’t apply to a respondent, they might depart the reply clean or select a wide range of “no opinion” or “N/A” choices. 

We do not usually embrace demographic or geographic questions in our reader surveys, however given the overwhelmingly optimistic response to the Gender Gap in Website positioning and Diversity and Inclusion in Website positioning surveys revealed this yr, we’ll achieve this shifting ahead. Understanding the struggles SEOs and entrepreneurs face within the business resulting from race, gender, and sexual orientation is crucial to understanding the way to greatest work with and for everybody, and we acknowledge that shortcoming on this yr’s survey. 


Who our readers are

Let’s dive in. First up: the questions asking readers to inform us extra about themselves. 

What is your job title?

The phrase cloud under is an amalgamation of the top-used phrases in response to this query, and the measurement of the phrase correlates to the variety of mentions that phrase acquired. 

No surprises right here: primary (by far) was “SEO”. Our readership stays closely Website positioning-focused of their occupations, with content material entrepreneurs coming in shut second.

What proportion of your day-to-day work entails Website positioning?

That mentioned, 2020 noticed a rise in respondents within the decrease proportion brackets of readers who use Website positioning methods of their day by day work, particularly the 1-10% and 41-50% ranges. This might be due, partly, to the broadening of duties assigned to SEOs within the advertising and marketing business, as a number of respondents additionally talked about a have to put on a number of hats of their group. 

On a scale of 1-5, how superior would you say your Website positioning information is?

The majority of our readers stay intermediately educated about Website positioning ideas, leaving loads of room for brand new learnings throughout ability ranges.

Do you’re employed in-house, or at an company/consultancy?

While nearly all of Moz Blog readers are nonetheless in-house SEOs and entrepreneurs, an fascinating takeaway for us in 2020 is the rise of those that are unbiased consultants or freelancers from 11% in 2017 to only below 17% in 2020. We’ll be sure that to take that under consideration for our content material technique shifting ahead. 

What are a few of the greatest challenges you face in your work at this time?

Far and away, the problem most frequently talked about in response to this query was the excessive quantity and fast cadence of latest Website positioning info, new instruments, and algorithm updates. Readers are struggling to find out what to give attention to and when, what to prioritize, and what even applies to their work. We can definitely show you how to with that in 2021.

Other frequently-mentioned struggles have been acquainted to us from earlier surveys, exhibiting us that the Website positioning business nonetheless wants to handle these points, and that the Moz Blog can proceed providing up content material in response. These points included: 

  • Lack of assets and cross-functional collaboration at work.
  • Website positioning prioritization at work.
  • Lack of consolidation in analytics and reporting instruments.
  • Difficulty explaining the worth of Website positioning to bosses/shoppers/non-SEOs.
  • Difficulty explaining what Website positioning CAN’T do to bosses/shoppers/non-SEOs.
  • Attracting new shoppers and prospects.
  • Having to put on a number of hats.

How our readers learn

Keeping in thoughts all that context of who our readers are, we dug into preferences by way of codecs, frequency, and material on the weblog.

How typically do you learn posts on the Moz Blog?

As an growing variety of readers depend on social media channels for his or her information and content material consumption, the shift from frequent readers to “every once in a while” readers is just not a shock, however it’s a concern. It additionally necessitates our incorporation of social media engagement as a high KPI for weblog efficiency. 

Given the a number of off-blog distribution strategies and frequency of prompts to take this yr’s survey, we noticed a pointy improve in “non-reader” responses from 1% in 2017 to six% in 2020. That mentioned, it is fascinating that Moz e mail and social media subscribers who weren’t Moz Blog readers felt motivated to take a survey entitled “Moz Blog Reader Survey”. We’ve taken observe of the matters requested from these respondents, within the hopes of encouraging extra engagement with the weblog. 

On which sorts of units do you like to learn weblog posts?

While desktop and laptop computer computer systems stay the most typical strategy to devour weblog content material, cell phone use noticed a rise of almost 10 proportion factors. Mobile telephones have solely improved within the final three years, and it is no secret that we’re utilizing them extra typically for actions we might usually tackle a pc. As we transfer towards weblog CMS enhancements in 2021, mobile-friendliness might be a precedence. 

Which different website(s), if any, do you recurrently go to for info or training on Website positioning?

Across the board, we noticed a lower within the variety of respondents itemizing different Website positioning information assets, in addition to the primary occasion of a social media platform within the high 10 assets talked about. This solely serves as additional proof that social media is continuous its development as a information and content material medium. 


What our readers consider the weblog

Here’s the place we get into extra particular suggestions concerning the Moz Blog, together with whether or not it is related, how straightforward it’s for readers to devour, and extra. 

What proportion of the posts on the Moz Blog would you say are related to you and your work?

While the developments concerning readers’ opinions on relevancy remained comparable between 2017 and 2020, we noticed a few 6% dip in respondents who mentioned 81-90% of posts are related to them, and will increase within the backside 4 proportion brackets. These outcomes, paired with the subject requests we’ll cowl later, point out a have to shift and barely slender our content material technique to incorporate extra posts particular to core Website positioning disciplines, like on-page Website positioning and analytics. 

Do you’re feeling the Moz Blog posts are typically too primary, too superior, or about proper?

Given the breadth of matters on the weblog and the big selection of reader ability ranges, we’re blissful to see that, for essentially the most half, readers discover our posts nearly proper on a scale of too straightforward to too superior. 

In common, what do you concentrate on the size of Moz Blog posts?

Similarly, it is nice to see that readers proceed to be happy with the quantity of content material served up in every publish. 

How typically do you touch upon weblog posts? 

RIP, remark part. A development we have seen during the last a number of years continues its downward slope: 82% of readers who took half within the survey by no means touch upon posts.

When requested for the explanations why they by no means remark, we noticed some frequent responses: 

  • “I have nothing to add.”
  • “It wouldn’t add value.”
  • “I’m still learning.” 
  • “I never comment anywhere.” 
  • “I don’t have enough time.” 
  • “Follow-up questions go unanswered.” 
  • “I read posts in the RSS feed.”
  • “English isn’t my first language.”
  • “I’m not signed in.” 

Blog remark sections and boards was the place for on-line conversations, so this drop in engagement definitely indicators the tip of an period. However, these issues additionally give us some areas of enchancment, like working with our authors to be extra responsive and bettering remark accessibility. But sorry to those that choose to not check in — with out that gate, we might be inundated with spam.

In distinction, right here have been the explanations for commenting: 

  • “I have a question.”
  • “I have a strong emotional connection to the material.”
  • “I strongly agree or disagree.” 
  • “I want to add my personal experience or advice.” 

We positively encourage readers who do have questions or issues to proceed commenting! 

What, if something, would you wish to see totally different concerning the Moz Blog?

Outside the responses alongside the traces of “No changes! Keep up the good work!” for which we thanks, these have been the highest asks from readers: 

  • More considerate suggestions from and interplay with authors.
  • More selection and variety in our creator pool.
  • More video content material.
  • More particular case research, checks, and experiments.
  • More step-by-step guides with actionable insights exhibiting the way to resolve issues.
  • Ability to filter or categorize by ability degree.
  • Diversity in location (outdoors the US). 

These are nice recommendations, a few of which we have already begun to handle! 

We additionally acquired only some responses alongside the traces of “keep your politics out of SEO”, particularly referencing our Black Lives Matter help and our posts on range. To these involved, I’ll reiterate: human rights exist past politics. Our understanding of the experiences our co-workers and shoppers have had is crucial to doing good, empathetic work with and for them. The Moz Blog will proceed our follow of the Moz TAGFEE code in response to those ongoing points. 


What our readers wish to see

Which of the next matters would you wish to study extra about?

Survey respondents might select a number of matters from the record under of their solutions, and the most-requested matters look similar to 2017. A noticeable shift is within the need for cell Website positioning content material, which dropped from being requested in 33% of responses in 2017 to only below 20% in 2020. 

In 2020, we definitely had extra content material addressing the broader advertising and marketing business and native SEOs impacted by the pandemic. To higher tackle the relevancy challenge talked about earlier, the highest 4 core Website positioning topics of on-page Website positioning, key phrase analysis, hyperlink constructing, and analytics (all included in over 50% of responses) will turn out to be weblog priorities in 2021.

Which of the next sorts of posts would you most wish to see on the Moz Blog?

The approach readers wish to devour these matters hasn’t modified a lot in any respect within the final three years — the need for actionable, tactical insights is as sturdy as ever, with the request for instruments, ideas, and methods remaining at 80% of respondents. These sorts of posts have been and can stay our go-to shifting ahead. 


COVID-19 

Moving into our final and latest part for the survey, we requested readers questions concerning the way in which wherein they devour Website positioning-related content material in the course of the COVID-19 period. 

Has your consumption of Website positioning-related content material modified resulting from COVID-19?

Only 34% of respondents mentioned that their consumption of Website positioning-related content material had modified on account of the pandemic, a quantity we anticipated to be greater. It’s encouraging to see that so many readers have been capable of preserve a way of normalcy on this space.

Of those that did see a shift, these have been the most typical the explanation why: 

  • Job loss and job searching
  • Shift to work at home and being on-line 24-7
  • E-Commerce business shifts
  • Online engagement shifts and rating and site visitors drops
  • Loss of shoppers and constricting budgets
  • More time to learn paired with much less time or alternative to implement learnings

Would any of the next matters be useful for you on account of COVID-19 impacts? 

Along those self same traces, the preferred matter requested on account of COVID-19 impacts with 27% of responses was monitoring/reporting on site visitors and rating drops. Content and advertising and marketing methods throughout a disaster got here in shut second and third, with 24% and 21%, respectively. 



The solutions to those questions present us that pivoting our content material technique in spring 2020 to handle areas of concern was useful for a few third of our readers, and possibly contributed to the relevancy challenge for the opposite two-thirds. We’ll proceed to incorporate these matters (on a smaller scale) till we see the opposite facet of this disaster.


What occurs subsequent?

Primary takeaways

You requested, and we hear you. Moving into 2021, we’ll be writing on extra technical, core Website positioning matters together with points on the enterprise facet of Website positioning. We’ll even be constructing out our Whiteboard Friday collection to offer extra contemporary video content material. And as all the time, we’ll attempt to offer you actionable insights to use to your day by day work.

Given the steep decline in remark part engagement, we’ll be encouraging our authors to be extra attentive to questions, and to work together with you on social media. Make positive to observe Moz on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn to remain up-to-date with the weblog and our visitor authors. 

Finally, keep tuned, as subsequent yr we’re planning UX enhancements to our weblog CMS to handle usability and accessibility issues.

My real thanks goes out to these readers who took the time to provide us their suggestions. It is immeasurably worthwhile to us, and we’re wanting ahead to making use of it to all of the wonderful content material we’ve coming your approach in 2021.

Have a protected and wholesome vacation season, Moz followers, and blissful studying! 



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