I first discovered Stumbleupon while at uni, before I knew it I’d been stumbling and discovering new weird and wonderful sites for hours!! Not the best way to try and pass an honours degree but I can kinda make a weak attempt at justifying it after using for a valid reason in work.
O.K., I am going to admit that the reason I encourage the design studio to join StumbleUpon was part of a strategy that the “SEO [Search Engine Optimization] Gurus” recommend to create backlinks to your blog content from social bookmarking sites like Digg and Reddit. Sites like google seem to value the more links you have from other sites, the higher your SEO will be and Stumbelupon is a easy way of doing it. Now I can see why some people may say that, but I disagree that it would work for all websites because just by thumbing up your own blog posts you are not gaining any significant additional traffic to your website unless something about the design or the content is genuinely unique or the content has some interest to the viewer.
Below is snapshots of google analytics site visit numbers for 3 different websites.
The first is for Total PFS, which is a supplier of print finishing equipment (a very specialised industry).
The second is for Vale Hallow Farm Livery which is based in Somerset (probably only of interest to people in that area).
The third is for Villa Petalutha which is a luxury holiday villa in Corfu, Greece (has a wide appeal, as anyone who is thinking about taking a holiday could be interested in booking it).
From my own analysis, after stumbling several different websites that we have designed and coded here in the SketchCode Studio design studio, it is clear that the sites that have a wider appeal to the general public gain more popularity among the Stumbleupon user base.
So Yes, Using StumbleUpon Will Lead to More Traffic to Your Website…Organically but it helps to keep in mind what kind of website will get the best responses after being stumbled!
At the end of the day, similar to a Twitter ReTweet, as you stumble more content and hopefully start discovering a lot of new content that has yet to be stumbled, you will gain new subscribers who will see more and more of your content. But should you have the right content, have created the right relationships on StumbleUpon, and have shared thousands of websites and thus have become a “StumbleUpon Channel” for others, the potential rewards for traffic back to your own website could be huge.
I have only been using SU in a business way over the last few months, so I am still discovering new ways of using it. Heavy users, I am sure, have longer lists of benefits. But hopefully the above will convince you to stop sitting on the sidelines and start stumbling!
How have your experiences been? Do you prefer another social bookmarking site to it?