Use StumbleUpon to Drive More Traffic to Your Website

kathryn by Kathryn Hawkins on August 29, 2011
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The popular discovery engine StumbleUpon is a great resource for finding tasty new recipes and amusing cat videos, but did you know that it’s also a savvy way to send extremely targeted traffic to your small-business site? In fact, StumbleUpon drives even more social media traffic than Facebook does.

Every time users hit the “Stumble” button, a new web page — featuring an article, photo, or video — is sent to their browsers. Any topic is accepted, and users can stumble broadly or specifically, choosing from dozens of categories, from pet grooming to vacation ideas, to narrow the field. Here are some tips for getting your site stumbled upon, over and over again.

Create one-of-a-kind, visually appealing content. “Stumblers,” as they’re called, seek new and different material. Unless your products are truly unique, don’t submit an e-commerce page to StumbleUpon. Instead, surprise and astonish them with beautiful artwork or a few astonishing facts about your industry that you’ve published on your site’s blog. Informational graphics, in particular, are ultrapopular on StumbleUpon (check out some great ones here). Although not all of your Stumblers will end up buying from you, backlinks from a popular blog post will help raise your entire site’s SEO ranking.

“Stumble” other people’s stuff. No one likes a shameless self-promoter: Offer more than your own original material on the site. Find compelling content about your industry, then submit and review it. You should also spend some time using the Stumble web browser toolbar, rating and reviewing the content that pops up. This will help you become a more powerful user and make others more likely to follow you. When they do, they’ll automatically receive the content that you submit.

Share only truly special content. Once you’ve built up a network of friends and followers, you’ll have the option to send them pages directly through the StumbleUpon toolbar. Use this privilege sparingly: Share only content that you truly believe will interest others, and don’t do it more than once every week or two. If you’d like, you can ask fellow users to share the page with their friends, but make sure you’re willing to return the favor when they ask for similar help.

Use the StumbleUpon shortlink. StumbleUpon has a shortlink system, su.pr, which allows publishers to send links to content on the StumbleUpon platform through any social media service. You can schedule submissions in advance and post them to Facebook and Twitter with a single click. People who view the content will have the opportunity to give it a “thumbs up” on StumbleUpon, which generates more traffic. You’ll also have access to detailed analytics that tell you how many people viewed the content on each platform. This data can help you determine which types of content you publish are the most popular. By clicking on StumbleUpon’s “Reviews” tab (a thought-bubble icon to the right of the category list in the toolbar), you can even track who’s looking at your web page and read users’ no-holds-barred opinions.

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