It all started when I chose to ‘stumble upon’ my own article in my blog, Kolkata Musing. The article was a humorous post – Effect of worms and viruses – of just 16 words accompanied by a fun photo taken from Funlok that showed a skeleton of a computer mouse.
I didn’t plan the action. It was a Sunday, and so I thought let me give it a try. Earlier too I ‘stumbled upon’ my articles in categories like Offbeat News but no noticeable traffic resulted.
The same was the trend when I tried my luck with other social biggies like Digg and ‘del.icio.us’. Reason enough for me not to expect much when I made this new effort with StumbleUpon.
What happened then was simply delicious. Within 15 minutes of my posting in SU the first torrent of visitors started rushing to my site. This continued unabated for the next 2 hours.
Since I use PMetrics stats apart from MyBlogLog and Google Analytics, it has been easy to precisely track the onrush of visitors.
What did I find? Well, it proved to be a test of sorts for me using a raging social network site, and the results have been fascinating. Here are my findings recapitulating the events that ensued as the visitors came rushing in from StumbleUpon:
1. Not all categories attract instantaneous visitors, certainly not the ones like World News or Offbeat News unless the postings are truly eye-catching or jaw dropping. In welcome contrast categories like Humor or Bizarre or suchlike have comparatively high rate of success in SU. After this posting in Humor I did another in Bizarre with similar success.
2. Nothing can take away the importance of heading and description. Both should be such that there is an air of suspense in them prompting visitors to vigorously click the link to your site to find more.
3. The main action usually doesn’t last for more than a couple of hours, which conveys to me that as long as the story remains on the first page of StumbleUpon’s related category, there will be torrent of visitors. Thereafter it’s a steady trickle petering out gradually.
4. Most visitors don’t stay more than a minute. Perhaps that is perfectly in order because they come to a site they’ve never visited before, and do not find anything of more interest that can retain them longer. In all probability an overwhelming majority of these guests will never again put their feet in my site.
5. Do they click on other links, especially the ads when they are in my site? Sure they do, and for me that’s very important. I’ve the AdSense ads that when clicked fetch me money. After the initial stampede is over, I rush to check the AdSense figures.
I first check MyBlogLog stats and I find that in those 2 hours the AdSense CTR has been 11% of the page-views, which is pretty encouraging. Or is it?
I rush to AdSense figures and there alas only 2% conversion is shown. Which leads me to believe that Google doesn’t like sudden spurt in CTR and therefore filters out most of them.
6. Did I gain anything? My answer is nothing really. It’ll be too naive to imagine that those visitors who came hotfooted to my site from StumbleUpon and left equally hastily would come back again remembering what a great site they have been to.
7. Did I loose anything? Oh yes, the large volume of traffic gifted by SU ate away a good amount of my precious bandwidth.
8. Will I try it again? But of course I will if only to set adrenalin pumping through my body. Who knows some visitors just may come back for repeat visits..! No harm dreaming that, don’t you think?
By the way, SU perhaps puts a quantity-bar on clicking your own articles. I haven’t come across so far but I’ve read somewhere to that effect. In that case, if you are a search-related writer, you can happily favorite your own articles at Sphinn.
Partha Bhattacharya specializes in content writing. This article on StumbleUpon traffic is one among many he has written on how contents affect a website. If you are a website owner you can benefit from his articles in Words2Content.Com that are honest appraisals of content marketing issues concerning small businesses online. His other blog on search engine marketing is a good help for small website owners.