Hit Explosions – StumbleUpon More Traffic

BlogRush graph shows StumbleUpon spikes in December

Imagine my surprise when the slowly upward creeping line of my blogs daily visitors suddenly spiked, tripling the hits to my site in a single day. A day or so later it happened again, and a few days after that as well. Where was this explosion of visitors coming from?

Do you know where your traffic comes from? No, not the six car pile-up on the freeway; I mean your cyber traffic, the people who come to your blog or website; where are they coming from? Which sites generate the most effective traffic for your blog? Which sites offer the greatest visitor conversion?

I’m addicted to Web statistics. I love to know where visitors are coming from, where in the world they are, what it is they’re reading on my blog, and what search keywords (and engines) are being used to find my pages. Thanks to Google Analytics, BlogRush and MyBlogLog these handy facts and more are at the click of my fingers.

The StumbleUpon Phenomenon

When I dug into my stats I discovered that the peaks were caused by social networking and Web surfing site, StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon offers a unique experience for Web users. By joining the site and installing their clever toolbar, you’re given the opportunity to browse (with the click of the button) thousands of sites in your topics of interest. You then vote for these sites which increase your chances of finding other sites that are similar to the ones you like.

The StumbleUpon Toolbar

StumbleUpon isn’t just a Web surfer’s ideal surfing companion. It offers an opportunity to get your site in front of a targeted market of potential readers. When someone ‘stumbles’ your site, or blog entry, its URL is added to the list of sites that are browsed by hundreds of unique visitors.

Unique Visitors?

This is where the StumbleUpon phenomenon shows a remarkable percentage. For The Writer’s Round-About I’ve seen about an 85-95 percentage of unique visitors. That means, of the hundreds of hits, almost all of them are from people who have never been to the site before. This means that hundreds of people are discovering the site for the first time thanks to StumbleUpon.

Of course, simply having people visit your blog isn’t very effective if they bounce away with the next click. Thankfully, StumbleUpon traffic is already targeted. These unique visitors are guaranteed to be interested in the topic. So, how many of them stay, and browse?

Bounce Rate and Returns

One of the things that thrill me most about StumbleUpon visitors is their significantly low bounce rate. The lower a bounce rate percentage the better, because it means that these visitors are spending time reading, opening other pages within the site, and coming back for more. My StumbeUpon bounce rate is between 30-45 percent. That means that over half of these unique visitors spend time browsing the blog.

Obviously, StumbleUpon is a remarkable resource for website and blog owners. It is also easy to set up and takes very little time to maintain. In the beginning you may want to get started by ‘stumbling’ a couple of your own entries but you’ll find in time you have readers who will continue this process with or without you. The more people who ‘stumble’ your pages, the more visitors you will get.

‘Stumbling’ is also a fantastic way to support other sites. If you have the StumbleUpon toolbar you can stumble any site at all and add it to the StumbleUpon database. Many bloggers are adding links and buttons to make social bookmarking easy and to remind readers to digg, del.icio.us, stumble etc.

Consider helping your favorite sites by taking advantage of these simple social media tools. They really do make a significant difference to our growing blog communities. ‘Stumble’ a site or two today and feel free to invite me as your StumbleUpon friend.

Check me out on MyBlogLog, Digg, My Space, Del.icio.us, and Technorati too. If you’re a member of a social networking site feel free to send me an invite. It might just be the kind of place I’d love to join.

Stumble The Writer’s Round-About!

20 thoughts on “Hit Explosions – StumbleUpon More Traffic

  1. I’m not as technically minded as you are, but I’m definitely seeing results from StumbleUpon–and I just recently joined! I started noticing my Technorati rank going up and there have been other improvements, too. I just couldn’t imagine what it was until I read Melissa’s post about StumbleUpon at Writing FORWARD. Now I’ve learned even more from you :-)

    I’ve been Stumbling as much as possible lately. I’m receiving lots of new visitors, too!

    Thanks for this post, Rebecca. You definitely explain things that some bloggers don’t necessarily think about :-)

  2. I’ve just started Stumbling, after looking over several of the internet traffic sites. Stumble seems easy and relatively intuitive. I was trying to decide on a site to use because the last thing I wanted on my blog was an entire sidebar devoted to a bewildering number of networking options.

  3. Oh geez, like I’m not addicted to my stats enough as it is! Now I shall have to give this Stumble Upon a try. Thanks for the great explanation, Rebecca. I was wondering about this one.

  4. @ Sharon: Thanks for adding me, Sharon! I haven’t heard of BloggingZoom before. I’ll head over to your review and check it out!

    @ Melissa: I was amazed when I saw your post about StumbleUpon this week, Melissa because I’d been holding this one since Tuesday so I could wrap up the SG1 series before posting it. StumbleUpon traffic is always exciting and it was great to share our experiences.

    @ Michele: It’s great to know you’re seeing StumbleUpon results too, Michele. Mine was very slow to begin with but it seems to have boomed this month. My Technorati rank doesn’t seem to be doing much. I was doing alright at the old address but despite having a few sites linking to me the authority doesn’t seem to be rising. I’m giving it time. I’ve been stumbling you a lot too so it’s wonderful to see it sending traffic your way.

    @ Jeff: Welcome to the StumbleUpon phenomenon, Jeff. It’s an interesting community. There are so many fantastic sites that sometimes it’s hard to stop clicking that Stumble button. I could spend hours surfing away through stumbled sites.

    @ Virginia: You’ll love the look of your stats once you get involved with StumbleUpon, Virginia! It’s one that truly is worth our time. Other social networking sites can feel like being the needle in a haystack. I know I don’t write the kind of content that would get noticed on Digg. StumbleUpon is the kind of place where having what people want to see is the most important thing, not how controversial your topic is.

    @ Rebecca: Thanks for stopping by, Rebecca! I hope you have some great hits from StumbleUpon. Don’t forget to add me as a friend when you check it out!

  5. Stats are like crack. I finally made a daily list with my daily to do list on it, and once “check statcounter” is crossed off, I don’t get to do it again until the next day. Except Technorati. That’s a bit of a problem. I look there about as often as I breathe – did I make the top 50k yet? How about now? Now?

    At least there aren’t so many analytics involved in that one. You just look and you’re done.

  6. *chuckles* Technorati can certainly be addictive. I had to add “Analyse Results & Affiliates” to my daily to-do list too. Just to cut down on the number of times I did it each day. I still can’t seem to check only once but I deliberately don’t spend too much time doing so and never more than four times a day.

    Alas with Technorati I’m not seeing much movement. Before I moved to the new domain and WordPress I had a higher authority then I do now and despite having some wonderful link-throughs from other sites my authority doesn’t seem to be rising. I still haven’t dug up the time to go over the old links and invite those wonderful people to update their links. Thankfully, I have it set up so that even those pointed to the old blog will get sent here.

    The strangest thing is that for some reason the old blog updates itself with my new content about a day after this blog does. I’ve no idea why it does that. It must have something to do with my Blogger settings. I guess it is no big deal but it does make me curious.

  7. Well, I don’t know how much traffic would improve as Dofollow. I have proven (and continuing) results with StumbleUpon which is great and I know the benefit of being a commenter on DoFollow blogs but also know the dangers of reducing link weight by accepting outbound links to low quality sources. Wouldn’t DoFollow risk just that sort of hit to search engine rankings?

    You’ve read my opinion and results with StumbleUpon, now it’s time to follow up your comment with results on improvements to your blogs rankings and traffic that can be directly attributed to DoFollow. If you can prove benefits for all parties I might consider jumping on the DoFollow bandwagon.

  8. Thanks a lot I really liked reading this. It makes me want to start my own weblog! Just what topic though? I am a dentist by profession but can’t imagine most people wishing to read about dentistry? Maybe I am wrong! Scar Removal

  9. Silvia Thurgood says:

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