We were delighted to receive a guest blog post from Ian Poole, Editor of Electronics Notes, who explores how in this unprecedented time companies can stay flexible and use stats to understand what their readers are looking for.

Keep Flexible and Keep an Eye on Your Stats In Times of Disruption

We have all been experiencing disruption as a result of the current pandemic, and it has affected every business in one way or another.

One of the things we have been noticing at Electronics Notes is how quickly things have changed over the last month or so with regard to traffic and what people are looking for from our website.

One of the ways of gaining both more visitors and more reputation for the website is to respond to these needs as quickly as possible. Flexibility is the name of the game as a slight change in direction may be needed.

These concepts can be applied to websites and all businesses in a variety of ways. From our experience, I think there are two lessons we have learned:

  • Try to anticipate the needs and what people are looking for
  • Keep a very good eye on the website stats and trends to see what is happening and what trends are appearing

Although it is not possible to react to both instantly, responding to them as best you can enables you to respond to the needs of the moment, receive more traffic, build authority for the website, and extend the visitor or customer base. All of these help build the site or business for the longer term, as well as providing very useful resources for the short term.

Anticipating the needs

Shortly after the pandemic broke, we can all remember the request for people to work from home. This placed a significant extra strain on home broadband and Wi-Fi networks. The existing set-ups in many homes might have been good enough for most domestic usage, but once it needed to be pressed into use for business, it might have been put under strain. With other family members possibly using it for additional video streaming, etc at the same time, deficiencies could often be noticed.

To help answer some of the questions, we enhanced our section on Wi-Fi with some useful articles on how to install the best Wi-Fi, and also another one on how to use your existing Wi-Fi to the best effect, and make enhancements where appropriate. We also added a section on working from home to the careers section of the website. These served a good amount of traffic whilst also, hopefully being of use to the readers.

We are also looking at other articles that might be useful as we start to come out of the lockdown. Preparing and launching them in advance means that Google will have started to rank them and over time their ranking should improve sufficiently for them to gain good levels of views and be really useful later.

Anticipating what people might need and want ahead of the requirement can help ensure the website or business has the necessary material when it is needed.

Responding to trends

It is not always easy to anticipate all the forthcoming trends. Because of this, it is necessary to keep a good eye on your website, or other stats to see what is happening, and respond to this quickly.

One example of this is that, for years our best performing video has been one on phase-locked loops and how they work – it has now been viewed over 225k times. Although not associated with professional electronics, we have a section of our website devoted to ham radio (a lot of radio hams are engineers and this section brings a lot of good traffic from North America). I noticed that another video on our YouTube channel about learning Morse code was becoming very popular. It has come from being one of the lower or average performing ones to the top, with over 500 views a day.

Obviously people have been using the lockdown to learn new skills and in this case Morse code. The video sounded out the different letters with visual reinforcement, and I had long intended to produce a similar video for the Morse code numbers. This has now been launched, and further videos, as well as some pages on the website, are planned so that we can have a complete beginners course which I hope to complete over the next week or so.

Obviously, we don’t want to be seen to take advantage of the current situation in a selfish way, but we can still see what people are looking for and change accordingly.

By being flexible and responding to the needs of people in various ways, not only can we provide a useful service to people now, but also build the business of the website for the future.