Gini Dietrich

Look At Your Site Through A First-Time Visitor’s Eyes

By: Gini Dietrich | March 29, 2011 | 

On Sunday, I was stalking Ricardo Bueno’s blog, which I was introduced to when Social Media Examiner did their 17 ways to grow your blog post earlier this month.

He wrote a post last week called, “Watch how first-time readers use your blog.”

Interested, I clicked on it and found Clue, a “fun and easy way to test what people remember on your site.” It shows visitors a screen grab (like the one below) for five and a half seconds and then asks them to write five things they remember.

So, of course, I had to try it! Sundays are my days to test different things (website optimizer and Crazy Egg are next weekend) on the blog (shhhh! Don’t tell Nick Harrison!).

It’s super simple. You just enter your URL, share the unique link they give you on Facebook, Twitter, or via email, and review a report that shows you what people remember about your site. In some cases (cough, mine) you have to bribe your friends to help you out.

Other than “some old guy,” “take this report and remember what you see,” “uh…I need a memory transplant,” and “booze,” our report is pretty helpful (though those responses are hilarious). Some people even said they saw ads (??), which is fascinating to me. I wonder what the heck they thought were ads?

I’m pleased with the top four results, though I’m not sure I like Twitter being so high in the list. I think that’s a function of what the topic was the day I submitted the test. So I’ll likely do two or three more tests and compare the results overall before we make any changes to the site.

Now it’s your turn. Clue gives you something like 36 hours to get your test out and have people take it. So don’t start it until you’re ready to ask your community to help you out. I’d be curious to hear what you learn so come back here and let me know!

And…if you’re interested in seeing our full report, you can click here and see all of the responses (and my smart aleck friends).

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • JennLynn9

    Really great post, Gini! And nice to know about this fantastic tool. I always talk about the “curse of knowledge” and how necessary it is to remove our own opinions, objectives and familiarity with our site, blog, emails, etc. This is a great way to check ourselves a bit. Thanks for sharing! Took your test – has it surprised you to see what people remember most? I thought it was interesting that the date tab for mentioned by more than just me.

  • Gini, thanks for sharing. I am interested to also see how Crazy Egg works for you. Please keep us posted. It’s something I have a close eye on. As for Twitter being so high, I do believe you are correct…I think it had to do with that day’s posting.

  • Robin_CE

    Gini, great tool. I think I’ll wait a bit but something I can use in the future,since I’ll be blogging on a regular basis 🙂

  • foundingmom

    Thanks for this — way cool and more people *need* to know about it, that’s for sure.

  • HowieSPM

    When @markwschaefer looked at my website he found a spelling/grammar mistake and the word Porn. Spelling/Grammar my bad. Porn was because I blogged about the amount of Porn Links being posted on Facebook Brand Pages. To me this was important news. I linked it in my news section. Mark didn’t even care about the content. He was right. A business should not have the word Porn on the landing page! Thanks Mark!

    Outside eyes are important for everything we do.

  • C_Pappas

    I know you read alot but how do you find this stuff? This is really cool so thanks for finding it, sharing it and inviting us all to take the Spin Sucks test. I did one of my own and was really interested in the results. I encourage everyone to try this.

  • 59+ responses eh? Way to take a test Gini! Some of the responses are pretty darn funny…

    Seriously though, thank you so much for sharing ClueApp. I’m not affiliated with them or anything, but I dig their service and I’m happy to have inspired you to share it. It’s pretty neat and quite revealing when you hear some of the feedback. I for one, need to work on my site header for example. Evidently it’s a bit difficult to tell what my site is about and there’s lots of empty space.

    Anyway, thanks again and blog on!

  • @C_Pappas Gini’s a media junkie. Probably powered by Redbull and Mac-n-Cheese… No, wait…that’s me 🙂

    ClueApp is pretty darn neat. Hope you find it useful!

  • @JohnnyRusso You know what the problem is when people are working on their websites? They add one thing to their sidebars, then another and another and another. It’s that feeling of “oh wait, this is important, and so is this.” What CrazyEgg does is give you the low-down on what site visitors are actually clicking on and what they’re not so that you can adjust and clean up that site design just a little. You know, to remove all the clutter.

    Anyway, CrazyEgg is cool. Their heatmaps are great and I highly recommend it.

  • Hey Gin,

    I liked this Clue thing – fun and somewhat useful experiment. I actually took it the day before yesterday – since I had so much work to do I figured this was more of a priority lol. I’ll admit that I too remembered Twitter – I also remember that there were 68 tweets on the Twitter spam policy article at the time – Yeah, don’t ask – I have this silly photographic memory when it comes to numbers and pages and things.

    59 responses is pretty good! I love that someone saw booz hahaha – my first guess on who it might be would be the Chief Alien lol 😉 – but you never know.

    Thanks for sharing this tool with us – I may give it a shot. I’m also looking forward to next weekend’s experiments Dr. 🙂


  • Hi Gini,

    I was wondering what all these questions were on Sunday. I guess the banner about JB project can be mistaken for an ad. The first thing that I remember is the name of the blog, Spinsucks and project JB. But I am hardly a first time visitor.

    Regarding the booze answers where is dannybrown ? He said something about being sober after 1pm.

  • @RicardoBueno Thanks Ricardo. Good stuff.

  • ginidietrich

    @johnfalchetto dannybrown You mean Danny is normally drunk in the mornings? That explains why he was so nice to me in Toronto!

  • ginidietrich

    @Griddy It’s DEFINITELY a priority Brigitte! I think the booze one was my crazy friend carmen_benitez_ !

  • ginidietrich

    @RicardoBueno I don’t do things halfway (and I resorted to bribery)! My friend rustyspeidel just asked me if Clue is paying me. LOL! Nope! I just think it’s really stinkin cool and you are to thank!

  • ginidietrich

    @C_Pappas I read A. LOT. I think I subscribe to something like 500 blogs (I think?) so I do a lot of scanning of stuff to find something interesting. And this was super interesting to me on @RicardoBueno site. We should ask him how he found it!

  • ginidietrich

    @RicardoBueno Nah…I’m powered by Laffy Taffy and Hot Tamales.

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM Are you serious that he found porn on your home page? This is one instance I don’t know if you’re joking or not!

  • ginidietrich

    @Robin_CE Yes! You will be blogging on a regular basis! You heard it here first!

  • ginidietrich

    @foundingmom Super cool, huh?!?

  • ginidietrich

    @JohnnyRusso I will definitely let you know how Crazy Egg works!

  • ginidietrich

    @JennLynn9 The person who added booze? I blame you.

  • @ginidietrich Isn’t there a song that goes: “shake that laffy taffy!” Heh. Seriously though, I haven’t had laffy taffy in FOREVER. Used to be my favorite candy next to lemon-heads. As for hot tamales, best food evar! I look forward to it over the holidays with the family #foodcoma

  • @ginidietrich rustyspeidel Heh, yeah, the app is pretty darn awesome! I don’t mind promoting good stuff if it’s useful (case in point).

  • @JohnnyRusso My pleasure 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @RicardoBueno I have a whole bunch if you want to come over! We can read the jokes to one another. AND! I have Lemonheads, too! I won a contest at a Cubs game and they sent me a year’s supply.

  • @ginidietrich carmen_benitez_ Gini you’re so funny – but I think reading the word “booz” affected you somehow cause I’m Ingrid – you know Griddy :). Who’s this Brigitte person? She sounds like a character in Pretty Woman 😉

  • ginidietrich

    @Griddy BRIGITTE! You know who I’m talking to!

  • @ginidietrich I have no witty comeback haha!

  • ginidietrich

    @Griddy well that was no fun

  • Pingback: Five for Friday()

  • ShopHDE

    Not sure which page you had a screenshot of but, at first visit all of the stuff in the column on the right looks like ads without really looking at it. I have noticed I have a tendency to ignore anything on a page that looks like an ad and as soon as I read: “Some people even said they saw ads (??), which is fascinating to me. I wonder what the heck they thought were ads?” I took a look to the right and realized that it wasn’t ads and I was ignoring that column without reason. So it could be just a part of the initial impression and how peoples’ minds are trained to look at websites for content and block out ads (or just something we expect to be an ad).