StumbleUpon is great for traffic
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while – rebranding and creating a new website got in the way! I had a surprise a couple of months ago when I checked my Google Analytics and discovered that my top social traffic source was StumbleUpon. This was a first for me – in the past my top social referral sources have been either Facebook or Twitter.
StumbleUpon is a social bookmarking tool. This is not quite the same thing as a social network (such as Facebook or Twitter). However, Wikipedia defines it as a “discovery engine that finds and recommends web content to its users”. StumbleUpon has been around since 2001, so the platform pre-dates the likes of Facebook by quite some time.
StumbleUpon’s own explanation of what they’re about:
We help you easily discover new and interesting stuff on the Web. Tell us what you like, and we’ll introduce you to amazing web pages, videos, photos and more that you wouldn’t have found on your own.
Again according to Wikipedia, StumbleUpon reached 25 million users in April of 2012. That’s a lot of people who could be sharing your content! Here’s a short video:
What is StumbleUpon?
Basically, StumbleUpon is a tool that people might use when they’re bored and just want to browse the web. Based on a selection of interests that the user adds to their profile, StumbleUpon shows web pages related to those interests, and clicking the “Stumble” button generates a new page each time. The user can then click a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” icon to show whether or not he/she likes that piece of content. This “trains” StumbleUpon, so that even more relevant content is shown to the user.
You’re probably wondering by now what this has to do with generating traffic to your website. Well, the more times a page is liked, the greater the chances of it being shown to more users. If your content generates a lot of likes, more Stumblers are going to be shown the page and guess what – you see an increase in traffic! It really is that simple.
So how do you get your content onto StumbleUpon? Firstly, sign up for an account. Then, every time you write a new blog post or article, make sure you give it a thumbs-up in your StumbleUpon account. This is very easy if you use WordPress and have added a social sharing plugin such as Digg Digg (this is the one I use) – all you need do is click the StumbleUpon icon.
A less well known fact about StumbleUpon is that it has its own URL shortener – su.pr. This is a fairly recent (2011) addition to the platform. When I’d got over the shock of seeing that most of my traffic came from StumbleUpon, I thought about what I’d changed recently. I soon realised that the reason for the increased traffic was the fact that I’d changed the URL shortener used by another WordPress plugin – Tweet Old Post. This plugin automatically sends links to previous blog posts to my Twitter account (with accompanying explanatory text). When someone clicks the link in Twitter, they are taken to the blog post framed within StumbleUpon’s platform. Thereafter, if the Twitter user gives it a thumbs-up, it gets shown to more StumbleUpon users and it’s easy to see how this can result in more traffic. (see example below)
— Naomi J Johnson (@PurrfectSocial) October 28, 2012
If you don’t already use StumbleUpon, do you think you’ll give it a go now? There’s no reason not to! You should also consider using su.pr as your URL shortener of choice, for the potential traffic boost if nothing else.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with StumbleUpon and URL shorteners in general – please share in the comments! And why not “stumble” this post if you find it helpful?
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