Follow us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our photos on flickr • We pay $10 per published guest review; E-mail Blogger for info.

SPECIAL TOPICS: Taco TuesdayDisneylandMenudo

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Throwing in the Towel

Before I write more about Mexican food I need to put the brakes on and find out if any readers have any thoughts on how this blog could be run better, better organized, etc. The reason I ask is because the site traffic suggests that the vast majority of visitors to this site do not click around the site to find the information they need and 95% of the time that information is only one click away . . . and usually the necessary link is staring the visitor in the face. Believe it or not the almighty Google does not always send people to the best page on the site for the info they are looking for and I find that usually a visitor will glance at the first thing they see here, assume wrongly the site doesn't have what they are looking for, then leave. This really is a pandemic, oft-repeated scenario. I wouldn't bother mentioning it if it hadn't happened thousands upon thousands of times. Is there something I can do to make the links more obvious? ... or have people been conditioned by Google to be afraid to explore a website?

19 comments:

nocturne1 said...

To be honest, I never go to the site itself - I subscribe to the RSS feed in Google Reader. I love reading your posts, so please, keep going!

Anonymous said...

I've just bookmarked the site, since I'm a major fan of OC Mexican cuisine. I wish I could offer some advice, but I love the site as is and have no difficulty navigating it.

Thanks!

Melissa Good Taste said...

I go to your site and I like it. i have my own food blog... www.melissagoodtaste.blogspot.com - do you have any reccomendations for me?

ChristianZ said...

Thanks everyone. Melissa, it looks like you have a few Mexican-related things on your blog. And that pozole looks real good. I've just clicked the link to start following your blog.

Anonymous said...

I too read your site using Google Reader (RSS feed). So by nature I don't really click around the site, I just read your reviews and often visit the restaurant. The only time I really go to the actual site is when I sit down to "find" a new place to go to when I'm in the mood to try a new Mexican place.

Matt said...

Would love to see something on the site that would list cities...so when I am in say Costa Mesa I could see all the restaurants on the site from that city.

I really just read it every week or two and see if there are any good restaurants in areas that I might be going to/live in/work in.

Keep up the good work

ChristianZ said...

Well, if you go to the "Where Have We Been?" entry (accessible through the Help Panel) you can sort the table there by city and see every restaurant reviewed so far in that city. But I think I may soon add an extra "city search" help. Also, you can use the city labels at the end of most of the entries.

Johnny Automatic said...

those of us who ae not using an RSS feed of this site may just be checking in to see if there's a new post. Maybe that explains many of the hit and runs.

JBT said...

No problems with the site at all. Just need more restaurants and reviews...:)

ChristianZ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ChristianZ said...

I think the regular visitors who get updates through RSS feeds are not the issue. Most of the frustration comes when somebody finds the site through a Google search and Google doesn't send them to the best page but usually the page it does send them to has a link to what the visitor actually needs but the visitor doesn't click it. When that happens (and its occurrence is rampant) I wonder if I'm not presenting the links correctly. As another example, when my own best friend tells me, "What your site needs is an index to all the restaurants you've covered," and he doesn't realize that every single page has at least two links to just such an index then it makes me think I must be presenting my information all wrong. I could give more examples.

And the reason I even did a post6 about this is because I was just watching a video lecture by a famous web designer and he said to ask your users how well the site is working for them.

ChristianZ said...

I think the regular visitors who get updates through RSS feeds are not the issue. Most of the frustration comes when somebody finds the site through a Google search and Google doesn't send them to the best page but usually the page it does send them to has a link to what the visitor actually needs but the visitor doesn't click it. When that happens (and its occurrence is rampant) I wonder if I'm not presenting the links correctly. As another example, when my own best friend tells me, "What your site needs is an index to all the restaurants you've covered," and he doesn't realize that every single page has at least two links to just such an index then it makes me think I must be presenting my information all wrong. I could give more examples.

And the reason I even did a post about this is because I was just watching a video lecture by a famous web designer and he said to ask your users how well the site is working for them.

Captain said...

I've had no problem finding all the tidbits and nuggets this site has to offer. I believe the Naugles section is what got me over here in the first place, and from there I dove into all the other good stuff here, leaving all my pithy comments in my wake.

Of course, I don't have the attention span of a black eyed pea, which, I'll bet, is a major part of why the ones who hit and run do what they do.

ChristianZ said...

"Of course, I don't have the attention span of a black eyed pea, which, I'll bet, is a major part of why the ones who hit and run do what they do."

You might've hit the nail on the head. I believe a lot of the problem is caused by people erroneously thinking Google can do no wrong so if somebody does a search and Google doesn't send them to the best page on my site for what they are looking for the visitor will glance at the first page Google sends them to then think, "Oh, clearly this site doesn't have the info I need," then leave without bothering to do a little exploring. For example (and this has happened and is only one of thousands of such examples) somebody searched for "best Mexican restaurant in Anaheim" one time; since I have covered many locations in Anaheim Google didn't know one particular page to send the visitor to so it sent them to the front page. At that time the review at the top happened to be about a place in Fullerton so the visitor saw that and immediately left the site apparently thinking, "Hmmph! I'm looking for info on places in Anaheim, not Fullerton. Obviously this pathetic website is not meeting my needs," without even thinking to look at the title of the website which clearly indicates more than just Fullerton is covered.

Anonymous said...

As a "self-appointed" connoisseur of Mexican food, I look forward to visiting your page on a regular basis. I find it interesting and have visited new places based on your site. I find it easy to navigate.

ChristianZ said...

Thanks.

melissa said...

I wish I could say something eloquent and helpful, but it's all I can do just to visit anyone these last couple of weeks. Must.take.vacation.

You know I love your site CZ and find you quite the gem. Seems like a lot of other folks are happy as well.

ChristianZ said...

Thanks. Yeah, the issue doesn't seem to be so much with people like you who are familiar with the site and check it periodically for whatever the last couple updates were. It seems to mostly be people who have never seen or heard of the site before who get sent to the wrong page here by Google, then they give the site an extremely quick glance and leave, wrongly assuming the site doesn't have the info they are looking for. This is why I keep trying to make a particular link in the Help Panel up above more and more noticeable but nothing I do seems to help people notice it.

melissa said...

I hear what you're saying, I do, but that's just how people are. They want the answer to stare them in the face. Nothing you can do about that except what you've done and I think the way you set up the top of your page, and your nav, makes everything obvious. But WTF do I know? People are just... well, like I said, it's just how they are.