Compare the following two graphs taken from Google Analytics.
Hits from StumbleUpon
Hits from Digg
At first glance, an appearance on Digg.com looks great! All those lovely hits. 5 times more in a few hours than StumbleUpon sent over a few days. What you don’t see there is the bounce rate. That is the rate at which people visit your site and never come back.
According to Google Analytics, the StumbleUpon bounce rate is 29.94% while a whopping 77.58% of Digg users visit once and leave. I’d rather have the visitor who comes to my site, browses around and then hopefully subscribes.
It’s also easier to gain attention on StumbleUpon and it is likely to continue to send traffic to your site long after your Digg submission disappears into the nether regions of that site never to see the light of day again. That bump on the StumbleUpon graph a few days later was yesterday as people came back into work after the weekend.
In this example, there’s a large difference between the number of visitors Digg and StumbleUpon sent, but StumbleUpon can send you a torrent of traffic too. After I stumbled Grandad’s How to survive your first Guinness post, his site received an extra 16,000 hits plus his subscriber count jumped by a few as people enjoyed what they read.
Update! Grandad sent me a graph of his traffic over the last month. That big spike is the “StumbleUpon Effect”, but the extra traffic afterwards is more interesting. That’s from his new-found regular readers. Glad I could help!