Something nice happened on May 24th 2008 – I got stumbled! The fallowing is a detailed analysis of the traffic that StumbleUpon.com sent me during the 13 days that I was Stumbled.
What is StumbleUpon.com?
StumbleUpon is a social media toolbar that is used by more than 5 million people to find new and interesting websites. It lets you specify your interests and afterwards presents you with a button that takes you to a random page that matches your pre-selected topics and that have been recommended by other StumbleUpon users.
StumbleUpon allows you to give a thumbs up when you like a page and thumbs down when you don’t. This teaches the program what you like and ensures that it will refer you to websites that most match your interests.
The more thumbs up a website gets the more traffic StumbleUpon will send it.
Total Effect from Being Stumbled
On May 24th one of my articles – Top 10 richest countries of the world – got stumbled.
During 13 days from May 24th to June 5th FinancialJesus.com got a total of 4313 visits from StumbleUpon.
During this time the total number of visitors to FinancialJesus.com was 6787 – over 63% of my traffic came from StumbleUpon.
Highs and Lows
During the 13 day period I got an average of 308 visitors from StumbleUpon. During that time the number of visitors StumbleUpon sent to FinancialJesus.com was in no way consistent.
Best day – 1082 visits – 8th day after being Stumbled
Worst day – 30 visits – 13th day after being Stumbled
Daily unique visitors from StumbleUpon.com
As you can see there are actually 2 peaks on the graph. The higher one on May 30th and the first one on May 26th.
This is because there were actually 2 different articles Stumbled. The first article was Stumbled on May 24th and the second one on May 30th – that’s why the sudden jump in visitors. The second article that was Stumbled – 3 experiments with money – experienced a lot more sudden increase in traffic than the first one.
During the first day the post 3 experiments with money (2nd article that was stumbled) got a total of 981 unique visitors from StumbleUpon. I was initially expecting the article to get a slow but steady flow of traffic just like I got with the first post, but I was wrong!
Different kinds of traffic
StumbleUpon has the ability to drive different kinds of traffic.
1. Consistent traffic
Here is a graph of the traffic that my first article generated. Notice that after the traffic slows down by May 29th, it suddenly gets a small boost and stays consistent for 5 days.
The day this post got a sudden boost – May 30th – is also the day my second article got Stumbled. Could there be a connection?
The average StumbleUpon visitor spent 2 minutes and 21 seconds reading the article - slightly less than the post’s average of 2:44.
The bounce rate was 83%. This means that 83% of visitors from StumbleUpon decided to leave FinancialJesus after reading the article without bothering to read other posts. After taking a look at Navigation Summary in Google Analytics I discovered that for some reason 9% of visitors reloaded the post. This probably means that the actual bounce rate was over 90%.
I managed to get the average bounce rate down to about 75% by May 28th and keep it there by putting a larger than usual link at the end of the article to one of my other posts.
9.93% of all the people clicked on this link:
I also use the Similar Posts plugin to recommend other posts but it seems that writing the link larger than usual has a good effect on click through rates.
2. Sudden burst of traffic
Here is a traffic graph of my second article getting Stumbled. Notice the sharp increase and then the sudden decrease of visitors. The traffic to this article form StumbleUpon is totally different from the traffic I got with my first post.
The article in focus gathered fast popularity on May 30th in StumbleUpon.com – It got picked to StumbleUpon Buzz which is kind of like the front page of Digg. Some sites picked the article up from Buzz and that gave me additional traffic.
Additional traffic from hitting StumbleUpon Buzz
Popurls.com – 93 unique visits
Jimmyr.com – 55 unique visits
Charlierb3.blogspot.com – 29 unique visits
Theweblist.net – 20 unique visits
The average StumbleUpon visitor spent 2 minutes and 41 seconds reading the article - slightly under the post’s average of 2:54.
The bounce rate was 89%.
I managed to lower it down to 75% by June 3rd by taking a similar approach as mentioned earlier – I put a larger than usual link at the end of the article to one of my other pages.
Unfortunately this link couldn’t get the overall average bounce rate down, since almost 90% of visits came before I added the link – on the first day of getting Stumbled.
Here is a graph comparing traffic from StumbleUpon to both articles
Article 1 is green Article 2 is red
By May 29th I wasn’t expecting much StumbleUpon.com traffic anymore to the first Stumbled article, but it seems that the discovery and popularity of the post 3 experiments with money gave a boost to our first Stumbled article. It remains unclear whether these events are connected to each other or not. It could be possible that the StumbleUpon algorithm is built in a way that when a certain page on a domain gets a sudden rush of “Thumbs Up” it will also increase the amount of traffic sent to other Stumbled pages on that domain.
A boost in RSS feed readers
During the 13 days of being stumbled I got 26 new RSS readers. That was a big jump from the 13 readers I had a day before getting Stumbled. On my best day Feedburner reported a total of 52 subscribers (a 400% rise). It seems that some of these people unsubscribed the next day – RSS readers dropped from 52 to 33. After that the total number of RSS feed readers kept crawling up – on June 4th it had climbed back up to 39 (300% rise).
It took an average of 165 unique visitors from StumbleUpon for one person to sign up for my RSS feed.
StumbleUpon can generate different kinds of traffic. It can give you a steady flow of visitors or a sudden peak. The visitors are not eager to click on links to other posts but their behavior can be influenced by adding an extra large link to another article at the end of the post.
StumbleUpon also gives a decent amount of RSS readers of whom some unsubscribe a few days later. Depending on your current amount of readers the boost can be significant or you may not even notice it!
After 14 days of getting decent traffic the flow of visitors has dropped significantly but has yet to come to a standstill.
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