Using StumbleUpon To Drive Traffic to Your Website

    July 17, 2011
    Chris Crum

StumbleUpon can be a tremendous source of traffic for a site. The content has to be there, of course, but the nature of StumbleUpon enables that content to spread pretty quickly and pretty far.

Is StumbleUpon one of the top traffic sources for your site? Comment here.

There’s been some criticism about how good StumbleUpon traffic really is, since users will often, just continue on Stumbling to the next thing, rather than stick around and explore more of your content. That may be true in a lot cases, but I don’t think it’s fair to make that generalization about StumbleUpon traffic in general.

The fact of the matter is that you can find all kinds of different content on StumbleUpon, and how user behavior relates to it is simply indicative of the content itself. Some content just doesn’t compel the user to continue on to other parts of the site or stay around for very long. That doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. A lot of great content only takes a very short amount of time to consume. It’s putting your brand out there for one thing, and if you create enough content that people want to stumble, that brand will likely appear from time to time in various users’ stumble path.

You might even say that StumbleUpon is fairly targeted, because content is submitted by category, and users only stumble through the categories they are interested in. This makes the likelihood of seeing content they actually like pretty high .

This past week, StumbleUpon released a new app for iPad and iPhone that is optimized for the iPad experience, and it’s received a lot of really good feedback. I probably don’t have to tell you that iPads (and tablets in general) are getting more popular. MG Siegler thinks the app is so good he said, “The iPad was built for something like StumbleUpon, [and] now they have a worthy app.”

“Our revamped app has an appealing new interface designed just for the iPad, which makes it easier than ever to explore your interests as well as see what your friends and similar Stumblers have liked,” StumbleUpon Associate Product Marketing Manager Olivia Morad told users.

StumbleUpon 1.41 for iPad & iPhone is out! Includes fixed twitter sharing and better swipe control on iPad :) 18 hours ago via · powered by @socialditto

How about that: it could even help your Twitter traffic.

Early this year, analytics firm Statcounter said that StumbleUpon surpassed Facebook as the top source of social media traffic in the U.S. with 43% compared to Facebook’s 38%.


“StumbleUpon just surpassed Facebook as the #1 source of social media traffic in the US!,” said StumbleUpon CEO Garret Camp on Twitter.

StumbleUpon just surpassed Facebook as the #1 source of social media traffic in the US! 193 days ago via · powered by @socialditto

In March, the company announced that it had raised a new $17 million round of funding that it would use to invest in its discovery technology, expand to new platforms, and grow its employee base.

“StumbleUpon continues to grow quickly and deliver on its ambitious goal of powering personalized content discovery across all media and platforms,” said Sameer Gandhi, Partner with investor Accel Partners at the time. “Content discovery is a significant opportunity, and we are excited to continue to support the leading company in the space.”

Since then, Google has launched Google+ of course, and along with that comes a feature that isn’t talked about quite so much: Sparks. If Google+ comes anywhere near the popularity of Facebook, and granted it has a long way to go to get to that point, Sparks could actually hurt eat away at people’s stumble time.

Sparks in some ways is the same kind of tool as StumbleUpon. It’s a content discovery tool that shows you thinks based on topics that you specify. Granted, the two products are executed in much different manners, but there are only so many hours in the day, and if the masses start using Google+, Google’s content discovery is always going to be right there handy.

For the time being, StumbleUpon is still doing quite well at driving traffic to sites. We can attest to that first-hand. Here are a few tips that may help your content do better:

1. Create content that people are likely to find entertaining, interesting, important, or just plain cool.

2. Build a network of StumbleUpon friends.

3. Don’t just stumble your own stuff (though I personally don’t think it hurts to do it sometimes). I wouldn’t do everything you create though.

4. Find things that haven’t been submitted to StumbleUpon yet, but you think others will find interesting, entertaining, important or cool, and submit them.

5. “Like” things that have already been submitted that you find interesting, entertaining, important or cool.

6. Use as many relevant topic categories as makes sense when submitting something. This should help target it to the right crowds.

7. Reviews are optional, but it can’t hurt to write them.

8. Making content visually appealing with use of pictures or videos can lead to more stumbles.

9 . Use the Stumble button on your content

10. Promote your own StumbleUpon presence.

11. Use StumbleUpon’s paid options.

Have you found StumbleUpon to be a good source of traffic? Let us know.


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.