One of the things I like to do with my analytics is log the changes I make to a website using a journal. Another thing I like to do is look at those changes a month later.
Now You See it, Now You Don’t
A month ago today I returned my big RSS button found in the introduction message on my home page. Two months ago I had removed it to see if it would influence my subscriber growth at all. With it gone, I watched the numbers slowly dwindle, and it actually decreased my subscriber base by 5% over the course of a month. Ouch! . The day I returned the button my graph immediately turned around, and gained 10% more subscribers over this last month. Not great considering my numbers, but in the right direction for sure.
This lead me to another change that I made today, reducing the size of my introduction message just a little bit more. This put the RSS button even closer to the hot spot of this site making it an easier eye target. The other benefit of reducing the introduction message was that it simply removes descision and reading time. Giving information faster to get that desired action.