REAL Internet Marketing Advice from REAL People


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Free Internet Marketing Tip 140

Facebook and Twitter have both been proven to be valuable sources of traffic to many sites, but another potential source that you might be overlooking is StumbleUpon. It is true that in the past, StumbleUpon has been presented as a traffic tool, but the results weren't always what webmasters and marketers had hoped for.

StumbleUpon has been changing though. Last year, the company's founders bought it back from eBay and have been busy ever since. They've been listening to users and playing catch up to the rest of the social media world and are now doing more for sites' traffic than ever before. Have you seen much traffic from StumbleUpon in the past? How about more recently? Tell WebProNews readers.

At the recent SMX Advanced show in Seattle, WebProNews had a discussion on this very topicBrent Csutoras. You can watch the entire conversation in the following clip.

In the past, Brent says you would get maybe three to five thousand visitors from StumbleUpon. "It was interesting, but it was just a little bit of traffic. It wasn't enough to really drive a lot of time spent within the site," says Csutoras. Users were only getting random content, and it wasn't all that great for links and targeted traffic, although it was always easy to see the potential of the technology.

Now since StumbleUpon has become more web-based this year with features like a web-based toolbar, a navigational section with popular & related content, StumlbeUpon buttons for webmasters to add to their sites, etc., the company has been driving people to participate and interact with other users more.

StumbleUpon buttons

According to Csutoras, StumlbeUpon went from 5 million users last year to 8 million this year, and they are now drawing a more social userbase that is prone to sharing content.

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So What Does This Mean for Your Traffic?

Well, Csutoras says StumbleUpon is now capable of sending anywhere from thirty to two hundred thousand unique visitors over a period of a week. He knows this because he's seen it (the example is mentioned in the interview).

Fortunately for webmasters and marketers, it doesn't end there either. When StumbleUpon users are stumbling through content and they come across your content and like it, they are apt to share it through another network like Facebook, Twitter, Digg, etc. That's the beauty of the social web (and also a good reason to include as many sharing options on your content as possible).

Share content

If you weren't already getting enough links from StumbleUpon, this opens the door for many more links as your content is spread from network to network - from reader to reader. This is basically (at least partially) where social media fits into the SEO equation.

Get Users to Stumble Through Your Content

StumbleUpon also has a partnership program, which Csutoras says is likely to expand (and apparently requires you to have 3,000 indexed pages within StumbleUpon). What this program does is allow you to place StumbleUpon's technology on your site, so that readers can go through more of your content without actually being directed back to StumbleUpon at all. That means more time spent on your site.

Interesting Social Advertising Opportunities

StumlbeUpon also has a program where you can directly advertise through stumbles. Earlier this year, I interviewed the company's VP of Business Development, John Bryan about this. Advertising through stumbles, means people get to vote ads up and down just like any other content. Not a bad way to gauge how effective an ad is.

Wrapping Up

So the moral of the story is, StumbleUpon has the potential to send some good traffic your way. It's probably not going to happen all by itself though. You're going to have to push it a little bit, and I don't mean by spamming StumbleUpon. Create good content that people want to share. It's the same principal that applies to every other facet of social media (and search engine) marketing. People will share what they like. Give them something to like. Also make stumbling a clear option on your content. Give them that button.

How have you encouraged users to stumble your content? Tell us what has or hasn't worked for you.

About the Author:
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003.

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