I have been getting questions late about the value of sharing a link from your blog article or landing page to social and bookmarking sites like Stumbleupon and if those sites are hurting your website.
Yesterday, I had a great question from Sylviane on my article titled, “If Content is King, Why Isn’t Anyone Reading My Blog?” She asked:
“I really would like to hear you input on this. I used to post every single of my posts from my 3 blogs on StumbleUpon, but then I stopped because I was reading left and right that Stumbleupon was dead, and that it increased the bounce rate. Now, I see that you have it listed first on your list here, so what’s the truth about this site? I really would like to know once for all.”
Stumbleupon hasn’t been the only site I’ve seen question this. Any site that you can submit a link to will cause a person who is interested in that title and description and wants to read it to click the link and check it out. They may or may not visit other pages on your website?
A bounce rate simply is the percentage of people who visit your site and only stay on one page. The higher the percentage, the fewer people clicked through to another page.
Why is My Bounce Rate High, Does it Really Matter and Is There a Different Problem?
My response is simple… It is not because of the social or bookmarking site that your bounce rate is high. Let me repeat that again, it is not the social or bookmarking site that is making your bounce rate high.
The real problem is that you are not thinking through a strategy of how you will move them through your site.
If people are clicking through to your site, then you did something right in your content marketing, for that article. They read what they wanted and they moved on.
Personally, I don’t worry much about bounce rates. With that said, your site visitors have to have a reason to move through your site. Many blog articles don’t cross link to other related articles and are not part of an ongoing conversation like this one is with yesterday’s article; “Content is King, Why Isn’t Anyone Reading My Blog ?”.
If you want bounce rates to come down, you must provide opportunities for that to happen. Remember, someone came from Stumbleupon to read one article they were interested in. It’s not Stumbleupon’s fault if we don’t give the site visitor a reason to look further.
The Solution: You Must Have a Strategy
The problem is not the site you left the link on. Using a social site or bookmarking site is critical to getting out your message as I explained in yesterday’s article. You must, must, must market your articles if you are to get readers. You also have to have a way for them to engage with you on your website by allowing comments and links to other articles on your site.
Your content marketing strategy was incomplete. You were awesome off-site but dropped the ball on-site.
Here is an interesting thought; what if you posted so much good stuff over and over again on Stumbleupon or any other site that their regular’s had to keep checking you out? If that happened then your bounce rate is a false one short-term because they keep coming back with each new interesting article. As they do so, you may be creating a loyal reader who may start bookmarking, coming back on their own, and be convinced they need your product or service. Just a thought.
You must have a strategy? If you don’t have one you need one. It is the difference between regular visitors and readers and people who will buy from you.
UPDATE: This became an unintentional 3 part series thanks to all of the comments and questions:
If you have a comment, idea or a question I would love to hear it and interact with you. Please leave it below.