Thursday December 17, 2020 By Dave
What’s Changed (and What Hasn’t): The 2020 Moz Blog Reader Survey Results

You are bored with listening to it and I am bored with saying it, however 2020 actually has been a yr like no different. SEOs and entrepreneurs all over the world needed to cope with their day-to-day work shifting residence, alongside a number of pure disasters, civil rights points, and a pandemic that may alter our trade and world 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 wished to understand how a lot. 

I am excited to share with you the outcomes from that survey on this submit. 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 Weblog in 2021. 


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 impression on our readers. The survey was shared on the weblog, by electronic mail blasts, and on our social media accounts.

The chances shared within the sections beneath are a part of a complete of 388 responses we obtained over 4 months. That is truly our first knowledge level, displaying that engagement with surveys has shifted drastically since our 2017 survey, which received practically 600 responses in only one month. Given the interruptive nature of 2020’s occasions, we cannot let that distinction discourage us from using surveys sooner or later. The place in a position, I’ve in contrast 2020’s outcomes to these of the 2017 survey, to higher visualize the variations. 

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

We do not usually embody demographic or geographic questions in our reader surveys, however given the overwhelmingly constructive response to the Gender Gap in SEO and Diversity and Inclusion in SEO surveys revealed this yr, we’ll accomplish that shifting ahead. Understanding the struggles SEOs and entrepreneurs face within the trade as a result of race, gender, and sexual orientation is crucial to understanding how you can finest 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’s your job title?

The phrase cloud beneath 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 obtained. 

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

What proportion of your day-to-day work entails Web optimization?

That mentioned, 2020 noticed a rise in respondents within the decrease proportion brackets of readers who use Web optimization methods of their each day work, particularly the 1-10% and 41-50% ranges. This might be due, partially, to the broadening of duties assigned to SEOs within the advertising and marketing trade, 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 Web optimization data is?

The vast majority of our readers stay intermediately educated about Web optimization ideas, leaving loads of room for brand spanking new learnings throughout ability ranges.

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

Whereas the vast majority of Moz Weblog readers are nonetheless in-house SEOs and entrepreneurs, an attention-grabbing takeaway for us in 2020 is the rise of those that are impartial consultants or freelancers from 11% in 2017 to simply beneath 17% in 2020. We’ll make sure that to take that into consideration for our content material technique shifting ahead. 

What are among the greatest challenges you face in your work in the present day?

Far and away, the problem most frequently talked about in response to this query was the excessive quantity and speedy cadence of recent Web optimization info, new instruments, and algorithm updates. Readers are struggling to find out what to concentrate on and when, what to prioritize, and what even applies to their work. We will actually make it easier to with that in 2021.

Different frequently-mentioned struggles had been acquainted to us from earlier surveys, displaying us that the Web optimization trade nonetheless wants to handle these points, and that the Moz Weblog can proceed providing up content material in response. These points included: 

  • Lack of sources and cross-functional collaboration at work.
  • Web optimization prioritization at work.
  • Lack of consolidation in analytics and reporting instruments.
  • Problem explaining the worth of Web optimization to bosses/purchasers/non-SEOs.
  • Problem explaining what Web optimization CAN’T do to bosses/purchasers/non-SEOs.
  • Attracting new purchasers and prospects.
  • Having to put on a number of hats.

How our readers learn

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

How usually do you learn posts on the Moz Weblog?

As an rising variety of readers depend on social media channels for his or her information and content material consumption, the shift from frequent readers to “each every so often” readers is just not a shock, however it’s a concern. It additionally necessitates our incorporation of social media engagement as a prime 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 attention-grabbing that Moz electronic mail and social media subscribers who weren’t Moz Weblog readers felt motivated to take a survey entitled “Moz Weblog Reader Survey”. We have 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 favor to learn weblog posts?

Whereas desktop and laptop computer computer systems stay the most typical solution to devour weblog content material, cell phone use noticed a rise of practically 10 proportion factors. Cell phones have solely improved within the final three years, and it is no secret that we’re utilizing them extra usually for actions we would 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 often go to for info or schooling on Web optimization?

Throughout the board, we noticed a lower within the variety of respondents itemizing different Web optimization information sources, in addition to the primary occasion of a social media platform within the prime 10 sources talked about. This solely serves as additional proof that social media is constant its development as a information and content material medium. 

What our readers consider the weblog

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

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

Whereas the developments relating to readers’ opinions on relevancy remained related 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 Web optimization disciplines, like on-page Web optimization and analytics. 

Do you are feeling the Moz Weblog posts are usually too primary, too superior, or about proper?

Given the breadth of matters on the weblog and the wide selection of reader ability ranges, we’re completely happy to see that, for probably the most half, readers discover our posts nearly proper on a scale of too simple to too superior. 

Normally, what do you concentrate on the size of Moz Weblog posts?

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

How usually do you touch upon weblog posts? 

RIP, remark part. A pattern 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’ve nothing so as to add.”
  • “It would not add worth.”
  • “I am nonetheless studying.” 
  • “I by no means remark wherever.” 
  • “I haven’t got sufficient time.” 
  • “Comply with-up questions go unanswered.” 
  • “I learn posts within the RSS feed.”
  • “English is not my first language.”
  • “I am not signed in.” 

Weblog remark sections and boards was once the place for on-line conversations, so this drop in engagement actually alerts the top of an period. Nevertheless, these issues additionally give us some areas of enchancment, like working with our authors to be extra responsive and enhancing remark accessibility. However sorry to those that desire to not check in — with out that gate, we would be inundated with spam.

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

  • “I’ve a query.”
  • “I’ve a powerful emotional connection to the fabric.”
  • “I strongly agree or disagree.” 
  • “I need to add my private expertise or recommendation.” 

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

What, if something, would you wish to see completely different in regards to the Moz Weblog?

Exterior the responses alongside the traces of “No adjustments! Sustain the nice work!” for which we thanks, these had been the highest asks from readers: 

  • Extra considerate suggestions from and interplay with authors.
  • Extra selection and variety in our creator pool.
  • Extra video content material.
  • Extra particular case research, checks, and experiments.
  • Extra step-by-step guides with actionable insights displaying how you can remedy issues.
  • Capacity to filter or categorize by ability stage.
  • Variety in location (exterior the US). 

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

We additionally obtained only some responses alongside the traces of “maintain your politics out of Web optimization”, particularly referencing our Black Lives Matter assist and our posts on variety. To these involved, I’ll reiterate: human rights exist past politics. Our understanding of the experiences our co-workers and purchasers have had is important to doing good, empathetic work with and for them. The Moz Weblog will proceed our follow of the Moz TAGFEE code in response to those ongoing points. 

What our readers need to see

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

Survey respondents might select a number of matters from the checklist beneath of their solutions, and the most-requested matters look similar to 2017. A noticeable shift is within the want for cellular Web optimization content material, which dropped from being requested in 33% of responses in 2017 to simply beneath 20% in 2020. 

In 2020, we actually had extra content material addressing the broader advertising and marketing trade and native SEOs impacted by the pandemic. To higher handle the relevancy difficulty talked about earlier, the highest 4 core Web optimization topics of on-page Web optimization, key phrase analysis, hyperlink constructing, and analytics (all included in over 50% of responses) will develop into weblog priorities in 2021.

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

The way in which readers need 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 strategies remaining at 80% of respondents. A lot of these posts have been and can stay our go-to shifting ahead. 


Shifting into our final and latest part for the survey, we requested readers questions relating to the way in which wherein they devour Web optimization-related content material throughout the COVID-19 period. 

Has your consumption of Web optimization-related content material modified as a result of COVID-19?

Solely 34% of respondents mentioned that their consumption of Web optimization-related content material had modified on account of the pandemic, a quantity we anticipated to be greater. It is encouraging to see that so many readers had been capable of keep a way of normalcy on this space.

Of those that did see a shift, these had been the most typical the reason why: 

  • Job loss and job looking
  • Shift to earn a living from home and being on-line 24-7
  • E-Commerce trade shifts
  • On-line engagement shifts and rating and site visitors drops
  • Lack of purchasers and constricting budgets
  • Extra 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? 

Alongside those self same traces, the most well-liked subject requested on account of COVID-19 impacts with 27% of responses was monitoring/reporting on site visitors and rating drops. Content material 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 difficulty for the opposite two-thirds. We’ll proceed to incorporate these matters (on a smaller scale) till we see the opposite aspect of this disaster.

What occurs subsequent?

Main takeaways

You requested, and we hear you. Shifting into 2021, we’ll be writing on extra technical, core Web optimization matters together with points on the enterprise aspect of Web optimization. We’ll even be constructing out our Whiteboard Friday collection to supply extra recent video content material. And as at all times, we’ll try to give you actionable insights to use to your each day work.

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

Lastly, 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 present us their suggestions. It’s immeasurably precious to us, and we’re trying ahead to making use of it to all of the wonderful content material we now have coming your method in 2021.

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

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