“Quality versus Quantity” is an ongoing debate online. Whether it’s followers on Twitter or fans on Facebook, the numbers seem to matter to some. When it comes to website traffic though, I think most would agree with me that quality traffic is far superior to volume anytime.
Focussed Content for Improved Engagement
Keeping focussed on your blog topics, Twitter updates or Facebook statuses will lead to website traffic that is interested in the subject you focus on. In turn that traffic should have more chance of engaging with your site, leading to higher conversion rates.
Therefore, the announcement that StumbleUpon is referring more website traffic in the US than Facebook is quite meaningless, as I will show.
They’re bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy…*
Bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors that come to your website and leave without visiting another page. Real data, below, from this site shows the bounce rate for traffic from StumbleUpon compared with Facebook.
As you can see most of the StumbleUpon traffic leaves almost immediately, never engaging with the site. The reason for this is that StumbleUpon traffic is forced. On the other hand much more of the Facebook traffic stays to engage with the content further.
Nature of the Beast
The very nature of how StumbleUpon works means that most of the resulting traffic is low quality. You tell StumbleUpon your areas of interest, and it attempts to deliver relevant content at a click of a button, to your screen. User engagement is low as there is a tendency to scan the loaded page, then click again for the next “Stumble”.
I see spikes in traffic from StumbleUpon every month or so, as a blog post is picked up by their system and forced in front of users. Other than bumping up my visitor rate, there is no further value.
Am I missing something, or is everyones experience of StumbleUpon referrals similar to mine?
*Lyrics from Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too