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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What Is StumbleUpon And How Can It Enhance My Web-Based Business?

I must confess, I "stumbled upon" StumbleUpon a few months ago, installed the toolbar that allows you to be shown a certain website and you can either choose the "thumbs up" if you like it, or choose the "thumbs down" if you do not. It was allowed me to see content that matched my interests and I saw sites that I ordinarily would never have run across. But, I never equated it to my business and never really though of using it as part of my overall marketing strategy.

StumbleUpon is a social website which allows its users a new way to experience the Internet. Instead of searching for specific items on search engines like Google, StumbleUpon users only have to tag specific personal or professional interests and then ‘channel surf’ the web by simply clicking on a button on StumbleUpon tool bar.

Enhancing Your Online Business

The first step, after signing up for StumbleUpon is to check to see if your website/blog/selling site is already listed. You can do this by going to this page.

If your website is not listed, you can start using your newly installed toolbar to tag and review it by clicking on the blue thumbs up symbol which has “I like it!” next to it.

This will open a pop-up panel which allows you to categorize your website, write a short description and tag with specific keywords. Following which, your website will be included in Stumble Upon’s database and will show up when other users with interests similar to your tags use the Stumble Upon toolbar to surf the internet.

Here are a list of benefits from using StumbleUpon as part of your social networking strategy:

  • Traffic from StumbleUpon ordinarily has the lowest bounce rate. The bounce rate tells you how many users instantly ran away after landing on your site. Latest data indicates that traffic received from StumbleUpon has about a 30% bounce rate which is rather extraordinary. Even very targeted Google traffic typically yields a bounce rate of between 70-80%.
  • Tying into the low bounce rate, StumbleUpon users tend to have a large page view rate--averaging two pages per visit.
  • Because each StumbleUpon user chooses categories based on their own interests, you will be receiving approximately 95% new visitors to your site that are interested in your products
  • Each time one of the almost 8.5 million StumbleUpon users likes your blog post or your site, you get a new burst of traffic. That tends to create a rather steady flow of traffic when you are looking at almost 8.5 million users.
  • StumbleUpon users tend to be a bit more polite than some of the other social networking voting sites. Therefore, there is usually no biting comments that can impact the opinion of other visitors to your site.
  • StumbleUpon's almost 8.5 million users are from all parts of the world therefore giving your site international traffic.

How To Optimize StumbleUpon to Drive Traffic to Your Site

Naturally, once you have these deluxe visitors, you want to do what you can to keep them. Here are a few things you can do in order to keep the stumblers coming back to your site:

  • Provide good content--try only to stumble the best content on your site
  • Offer email subscriptions--having various options to view your site can help attract all different kinds of visitors and keep them involved
  • Hold a giveaway--everyone loves free stuff! This will keep your visitors coming back more frequently
  • Make StumbleUpon users feel welcome--if you notice in your analytics that many of your visitors were stumblers, welcome them to your site. Remember to post your richest content after you have been heavily stumbled to attract them to come back and stay on as a loyal follower

How Many StumbleUpon Visits Are We Talking About?

One can expect anywhere from 100 to 10,000 visitors from StumbleUpon every day and these are completely unique visitors! One of my fellow Etsians reported that her Etsy site was stumbled and she received 600 views to her shop in one day that ultimately culminated in sales if I recall. She didn't even know who had stumbled her and was anxious to find out so she could thank that person!!

Of course the number of users is going to depend on a lot of factors. Some of these factors are:

  • The number of thumbs up you received from these stumblers
  • The number of users in your StumbleUpon network
  • Number of StumbleUpon friends
  • Number of profie reviews you have which tends to make the user more credible

If you have a user stumble upon your site that has a large number of friends in their network and is known as an authority, you can expect to see the higher end of StumbleUpon visits each and every day.

So it appears that you need to have other Stumble friends and create a rich well rounded profie of stumbles; broad within your categories and take the time to review the sites you stumble can begin to generate a large volume of traffic to your site that will be a rich mix of people who are genuinely interested in the content you write and/or the products you sell. Did you sign up to StumbleUpon yet?

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    I am an MBA Jewelry Artisan and owner of Zur Designs.  I create handcrafted jewelry using only the highest quality materials such as sterling silver,semi-precious gemstones, swarovski crystals, and pearls.

    My designs are inspired by life, love, and the beauty that surrounds me from the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts to the wonderful beaches in Rhode Island...both I consider my home.