Who provides the best traffic? Digg, Reddit or StumbleUpon?Mikey 19 comments
I am penning this article to share with our readers Rusty Lime's experience with user retention. That is to say, how significant traffic from three popular social networking sites , Reddit and StumbleUpon has affected our stats and how many people from each respective site has been converted into a regular visitor.
Before I begin, let me be clear on something. The information provided in this article is based purely on the experiences associated with this web site as are any generalisations I make. I do not imply that it necessarily applies to other web sites. But it may serve as food for thought for other bloggers out there trying to make sense of the social networking response.
Arguably the biggest of the lot, I have mixed feelings about Digg. If you judge success by the number of front page exposures, then we have had very low success with Digg. But when we did have success (tens of thousands or over a hundred thousand visits in a few hours - thanks mrbabyman!) it was great for that day only, with the stats slowly returning to normal over the following day. Looking at the stats, Digg seldom turns a new visitor into a returning visitor. I consider a returning visitor one who can back several times during the same month.
There are many reasons why this might happen. Maybe our content isn't what they are into, or maybe, and this is the theory I lean more towards, 'Diggers' are only in it for the quick fix. As a former Digger myself I can understand this. My lunch hour would usually entail jumping from one popular submission to the next, while rarely bothering to see if the site I have been directed to has anything else interesting to offer. It's just a time issue, nothing more.
One thing positive though is Diggers like to comment, but they will pick up on any technical inaccuracy (be it true or not) because they are technically minded people. My kind of people.
The vision in my mind of a typical 'Redditor' is one who hits a link, arrives at your site, glances at the content, goes back to Reddit, repeat for another link at a pace and schedule you could set your watch to. When talking about frequency, we do get significantly more traffic from Reddit than Digg on a day to day basis. But one front page story on Digg will in just a few hours easily surpass 2 weeks worth of Reddit traffic, to which our battered server can testify.
Redditors however rarely comment, if at all.
StumbleUpon was one of those sites I deliberately avoided early on. Submitting our own articles on StumbleUpon has returned some good results, but our submissions pale in comparison to one getting picked up by a high profile user. When this happens, we easily get more traffic spread out over a week than we get from Digg. As an example, one particular article had 115,000 visitors from Digg over about 6 hours, but the same article which got picked up on StumbleUpon over 2 weeks later saw 55,000 visitors spread out over a week.
Stumblers love to comment, and they love to let you know where they came from: "I stumbled in!" is a typical start to a comment. And they love to look around. They are a unique breed of web surfer who are on a mission to find anything and everything interesting to share with others. Not only that, Stumblers keep coming back and many subscribe to our newsletter and RSS feeds. In fact while composing this article we got 2 more newsletter subscribers who say they came in from StumbleUpon.
Who do we like more?
For us, StumbleUpon wins every time. Although they usually offer lower numbers than Digg, they also offer greater return visitors and loyal subscribers. As far as Digg and Reddit are concerned, we are happy to have their traffic and the spike afforded by the sudden influx of traffic always looks good on the stats, but Stumblers have been the most kind and have proven to be long term beneficial. Essentially you could say StumbleUpon provides quality traffic.