What Might Surprise You About StumbleUpon

stumbleuponStumbleUpon has been around for over a decade, and with good reason. It’s one of the main ways that many people casually search for and discover new and interesting content online. But how can businesses make use of this search website?

How StumbleUpon Works

StumbleUpon, unlike your typical search engine such as Yahoo or Google, is actually more of a “discovery” engine. Users do not search for anything in particular; rather, they spend time on StumbleUpon for one reason only: to discover new content that matches up with their interests. After StumbleUpon users document their interests on the site, the only thing they have to do afterward is click the “Stumble” button – sometimes over and over again. StumbleUpon itself works completely based on user preference, based upon whether somebody gives your page the thumbs-up. The more “likes,” the more StumbleUpon will send your page out to other users.

The Usefulness of StumbleUpon Traffic

According to our own Amie Marse, StumbleUpon is  known among SEO experts to produce low quality traffic, even if your page is highly read and generates large bursts of traffic, which of course increases pageviews. This can definitely be a plus if you are trying to increase your search engine page rankings, but what about conversion?

StumbleUpon and Analytics: A Treasure Trove of Data

Due to the nature of StumbleUpon, most users spend very little time on each individual page, tending to either hit “thumbs-up” or “thumbs-down,” and then stumbling all over again. What this can ultimately come down to is high bounce rates, which at first glance is not always the best way to advertise. However, according to Amie, “Business owners should use this to their advantage. Submit multiple landing pages and see what design gets the most attention.”

By spending a few extra minutes checking out your Google Analytics each week, you will see hugely varied numbers coming from StumbleUpon. If a page has a low bounce rate with high time spent on the site, relative to other stats coming from StumbleUpon, you know for sure that this page is a definite winner. If Analytics shows that you are not getting StumbleUpon traffic, it can be worthwhile to pay for some impressions and get your campaign rolling, says Amie.

StumbleUpon and Mobility

While StumbleUpon has had better years, the site is making a huge comeback with a big boost from mobile. Almost 40 percent of time spent on StumbleUpon comes from mobile users. The “Stumble” button just seems to work on mobile devices because it’s doesn’t require any textual input, allowing users to browse freely from anywhere. Of course, taking advantage of mobility with StumbleUpon also means making sure that your company’s site has an accessible and easy to read mobile version.

All in all, StumbleUpon can be a great tool for businesses – if you use it well. By paying close attention to your site traffic and using the data you find, you could definitely come out a winner on this fun discovery platform.

How might your brand make the best possible use of StumbleUpon?

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Tree is a somewhat nomadic graduate student pursuing an MFA in Poetry and Literary Translation from Drew University. A self-identified “diplobrat,” she spent over 16 years living as an expat in countries like Guatemala, Bolivia, and Tanzania. Tree graduated from Smith College in 2012 with a degree in Spanish Language and Literature, a minor in Studio Art, and a concentration in Landscape Studies. In between writing poetry for school and content for CEM, she dabbles in goat herding and freelancing. Other interests include reading, watercolor painting, gardening, and traveling.

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