Social Web Apps Design
Online Community Development

StumbleUpon, Not Pinterest, For Page Views

by Saul Fleischman on April 11, 2012

Pinterest is all the rage, as of this writing

People are motivated to visit blogs from Pinterest by one thing: image quality

Let’s remember, every action in liking, re-pinning and sharing in Pinterest is visually-driven. Recipes, kittens in coffee cups, hot infographics, and inebriated people removing themselves from the gene pool – along with brilliant photographic and video work will get seen, shared (read: lifted and “repinned” to others’ boards) and make you the cat’s meow in Pinterest.

Seldom-discussed fact: Pinterest is hardly new. Private beta invites went out in the beginning of March, 2010

I think its just a matter of how long I’ve been using Pinterest and perhaps the OsakaSaul name that people have “seen around” that has caused me to collect likes, repins and a slew of followers within Pinterest.

I have been kicking their tires for nearly two years, and while they’re gotten flashy, I would love to see them be more thoughtful to the user in their user experience. My ideas for just the most obvious Pinterest UX improvements:

  • Close windows after we’ve liked/shared
  • let us multi-share with boxes to tick, rather than having us repeat steps
  • provide us with us more condensed view options – so we can get more done with a lot less scrolling

For me, words are my strength. Article titles drive traffic from many sources, and terms, or “key words” within the body of posts draws natural search traffic. A couple Google Analytics screenshots should speak volumes. For Referral Page Views, StumbleUpon is still doing it for me, with 1,095 pageviews in the last 30 days (just 4 new articles published in that time), and Pinterest, where I have had an account and boards for about two years, does not even make the top 25. Also, note the 1.19 page visits (means some people see other pages after the one they came to see, once on my blog) and an average stay of 58 seconds:

Where do I find Pinterest within Google Analytics? 39th place – seven visits/30 days.

My blog sure does repel visitors from Pinterest; look at that bounce rate!

Seven visits, thanks to my seven boards in Pinterest and dozens of images, most of which lead to OsakaBentures.com. While the Time on site of 10:13 and 3.57 average pages viewed would look glorious, I’m not buying it:

  1. the sample is too small – just seven visits to my blog from Pinterest, so, I’m guessing that one or more people left their computer on and the browser showing my blog and did other things for an hour or so – before closing the browser or going elsewhere on the internet;
  2. my own wife would not listen to me for 10:13 at a time (or read 3.57 of my writing) – even when we were still dating, and she still felt compelled to pretend to take interest in what I had to say.

If you, too, are not using breathtaking images, infographics, or showcasing the People of Walmart in original and shocking ways…

Learn to build a presence in StumbleUpon

  1. Follow people you know, to start, but understand that it will take some time to understand how they are going to use StumbleUpon. I get better and better at looking at a Stumbler’s number of likes, the recency of likes and what they like – and decide if the Stumbler is going to appreciate what I share to them, perhaps “SU-like” on occasion, and maybe not share tons of odd stuff to me.
  2. Every couple days, from Profile > Connections > Visitors, from the pull-down menu, see who you don’t already know (they could be people you are already connected to who simply looked at your likes most recently), and see what their stats tell you. What do they like? How often, and when was the last time they shared content? Follow (or don’t) wisely; you can only follow 500 people in StumbleUpon.
  3. Stumble-review your own post, and also go through your blog circle, etc. and SU-like your supporting bloggers’ latest posts.The first review on a page is the StumbleUpon “Discovery Review” – and counts the most for StumbleUpon SEO. StumbleUpon allows you to add as many tags as you like, but actually uses the first five you provide. These, multiplied by the number of likes you have on the page, once reviewed, increase the likelihood that your page will appear “randomly” before Stumblers who are Stumbling their followed topics.
  4. For reviews on your own posts/pages – or any that you want to be sure get in front of many Stumblers’ eyes – test your tags in the StumbleUpon “Explore Box,” which suggests acceptable StumbleUpon topics from words and phrases that you input.

If your content is not particularly visually dynamic and you are seeing far better results, please share what you are doing differently.

About Saul Fleischman

Founder of emerging social media tool sites. Bootstrapping innovation with lean startup development teams. I do project management, user experience, PR, marketing and community development.

su.pr size it! http://su.pr/1X350m

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  • William Smith

    People miss the point with Pinterest. It isn’t a social network to drive article traffic. It is a site for people to scrapbook interesting images they find on the web, for themselves and then, maybe for others. As far as quality of a click, its much better to have people visit your site after seeing something that THEY decided was interesting as opposed to a random fed link (e.g. stumbleupon). But, mostly people just are misusing Pinterest. It’s a shame, because for what it is designed for, it works quite well.

    • Saul Fleischman

      Many thanks @willoregon:disqus and I’d agree the vast majority of people are abusing Pinterest. It used to be (2 years ago) just a few of us, actually sharing interesting graphics and visual ideas. people now want to market with it. And many of us – me too – want to bring visitors to our blogs, and having tested this, I just don’t see it happening.
      Interesting point you make about SU being random. Hardly the case: people Stumble onto their followed topics, but would have to go out of their way to see what a single person they follow has shared. On other hand, with Pinterest, people are inundated with what is shared by their connections – when they make the common mistake o following people (i.e. their “everything”) rather than individual boards.

  • ProfileTree

    Wow – Great share – excellent you put up actual facts & figures…we have not jumped on the ‘Pinterest’ craze…and were worried we were missing out….not so worried now! :-) Interesting comment on below as well…guess horses for courses…am sure that some sites are doing very well off Pinterest…its just not for everyone.

    • Saul Fleischman

      Thanks, @Profiletree:disqus yes, if you are really visual, have that “eye” and your images are great, Pinterest will be a boon for your blog. Otherwise? SU.

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