Friday, January 25, 2008

Food Blog Polls

Hi all. This is my first post and I am happy to be a part of this group. My blog is:

My question is; Why is that I have 60 - 100 unique visitors daily but when I do a poll I only get maybe 35-40 votes. Shouldn't I be seeing like 700 votes?

Does anyone experience this as well? Any ideas why this is happening? What are some ideas about how I could solve this?

This post was written by TableBread of



Cate said...

Welcome to food blogging!

In terms of why you only get x amount of votes on your poll when you have x amount of visitors, I think it's the same thing with comments, or lack thereof. Not everyone wants to stand up and be counted, you know? Some visitors want to just visit, read the post/poll and move on. They don't comment, for a variety of reasons, but that doesn't mean they enjoy the site/post/poll any less. Anyone who has good traffic will say the same thing ... only a very small percentage comment.

It used to frustrate me a bit in the beginning, because I saw comments as sort of instant feedback, a sign I was on the right track perhaps. Then I just let it go. :)

cybele said...

Only a small fraction of my visitors participate in my polls. I figure they're just not interested in the question or they're not interested in the answer. Perhaps they didn't even bother looking over on that side of the page.

Derrick said...

Ooh, page stats. One of my favorite subjects.

First of all, Cate and Cybele both raised an excellent point. Most of your readers probably aren't doing the poll. I often feel like I'm shouting to an empty room on my blog.

But many web stat packages do a lame thing for "weekly unique visitors": they just add up the totals from the seven days of the week. You can check this by doing the sum yourself. So, for instance, my stat software tells me that I have 24,000 weekly unique visitors. Neat! Except that in truth I probably have about 5000 real unique visitors: Some come to my site every day (or send their RSS readers), and some come to my site every few days. My stats package considers them as two visitors if they come on Monday and Tuesday.

This is why I get annoyed upon seeing monthly unique visitors touted for some site. Neither the blogger nor the reporter who faithfully reports this number are doing the right thing, and everyone looks like they've got a zillion trillion readers.

Elise said...

Derrick - Google analytics claims to be measuring unique visitors, do you know if this is daily uniques? or a longer time period? I know that Sitemeter tracked "visitors" are just visitors, not necessarily unique.

Elise said...

Also, TableBread, if you are getting 60-100 visitors a day and your poll gets 35-40 votes, I would say that that is an excellent result.

Derrick said...


IIRC, Google Analytics is based on Urchin, as is my ISP's stat system. And my stats are very obviously not tracking unique across days, since my weekly visitor total is exactly the same as the sum of each daily visitor count. Always. And my monthly count is the exact sum of every day's visitor count.

Now, Google may have made changes to Urchin, or maybe they're using a newer version, or they're configuring it differently. So I don't know beyond that.

I find this very annoying, because I can scroll through the days and see references and so forth, so they're obviously storing some of the unique IP information for each day. (A system that is also fraught with problems: Do bloglines subscribers, for instance, count as a small handful of IPs because of the servers fetching the data, or as many, many IPs, one for each subscriber? I suspect the former, which means we all have more readers, except that many people get different IPs from a vast pool whenever they connect to the Internet, which means you might have significantly fewer readers.)

Tablebread said...

Thanks everyone for the feedback! I will keep all of your suggestions in mind. I guess when you see high hit numbers but low poll numbers it can be confusing. I am still stretching my legs in the blog world :)

Eve Fox said...

I do internet consulting for nonprofits and see the exact same trend in the online surveys we run for them - even if we send an online survey invite out to 300,000 email list members, we may only get 15,000 responses back.

Not everyone likes taking surveys and polls but some people LOVE it and will take every one you offer.

I am pretty sure the term for the audience selection that happens is called "survey bias."

Tablebread said...

I think you're right that is called 'survey bias'. I guess I didn't even think about that when I asked. Thanks for giving your thoughts!

Sam said...

I thought Derrick didn't check his stats ;)

Derrick said...


Ha, my secret's out!

Actually, I finally recovered from my stats addiction, so I now check them from time to time to see what's going on with my site. Usually, there's nothing of note and I forget about them for another little while.

But I figured out the weekly/monthly/daily thing while deep in the thrall of stats-checking addiction.

Farmgirl Susan said...

Hi Tablebread,
I'm reaching waaaay back to my graphic design/marketing student days here, so this may be totally irrelevant when discussing online stats (because we barely had computers let alone the Internet, LOL), but I still remember one teacher telling our class that her design/advertising firm had done a direct marketing campaign and received a 4% response (I think there was some sort of thing you mailed back to the sender) and that a 4% response was phenomenal. So, yes, as others have said, you're doing very well! : )

As far as this really interesting conversation regarding unique visitors and other stats goes (most of which I don't understand, LOL), I do know that no matter where the numbers come from or whether they're exactly 'right' or 'true,' if they keep getting higher then that's a very good sign! : )