Using StumbleUpon and Digg to increase exposure of your online business, web site or blog

StumbleUpon is a great social media service for web surfers to find new and interesting web sites without having to use a search engine. The way it works is StumbleUpon intelligently searches for web sites in its database based on the user’s interests – the user can select their interests and then “Stumble” based on the selected interest they want to “Stumble Upon” (as the name implies). The best forms of advertising do not need to cost a lot of money, and StumbleUpon and Digg are perfect examples of free, simple and very effective ways of generating traffic and revenue. Whether you have a blog, web site, e-commerce store or business web site, there are plenty of free ways to promote your web site and gain traffic and revenue.

What about Google AdWords and other commercial advertising methods?

It depends on what your online business or web site is and what kind of audience you’re aiming for. As well as the web design and other interface aspects of your web site, you need to consider the advertising strategies you’re going to use and whether it would be effective or not. If you’re targeting tech-savvy people, you may find AdWords not as effective from a click-to-purchase ratio, and because many people ignore AdWords advertisements. But as much as they are successful forms of advertising, it is a paramount importance to ensure that your advert is suitable for the kind of audience – and I’m not referring to content suitability, but more regards to the description and title of your advertisement – does it sound attractive? What audience are you trying to target? Make sure your description and title is perfect for the kind of audience you’re targeting and make it stand out – you want to get people’s attention on search engine result listings. However, that said, there are many, many free ways to market your products and services (or web sites and e-commerce stores), some of which can include:

Being on social networking sites.

This is PR and marketing exposure, and customers like personal interaction from businesses to feel like there is a connection between companies and their customers. It helps towards customer loyalty. However, there are also disadvantages to this, including the weakness to businesses for being on social networking and media sites – bad PR exposure. A customer has a huge advantage by “tweeting” your business on Twitter regarding bad customer service, because others will see it – not only just who are following the person in question, but anyone searching about your business or any related topics. So expect bad PR and deal with it effectively. But saying that, any business that can’t provide good customer service shouldn’t be in business – anyone in business should care about what they’re doing.

Search Engine Optimisation.

We do say this a lot, but because it is true. Search Engine Optimisation (also called SEO) is an important variable as to how highly-ranked your web site is compared to other (competing) web sites, blogs, e-commerce stores and businesses. Many companies will have entire marketing departments to assist them on these aspects, because a highly-ranked web site is vital for many online web sites and e-commerce stores, because it is a known fact that many people only check the top half of the listings on any search term to try and find what they’re searching for. Search engines like Google determine the relevancy and importance of web sites (and therefore how high your web site is in search engine result pages for relevant search terms) based on some key attributes (although there are many signals search engines use to algorithmically determine whether your web site is more important to other similar web sites) – Google’s algorithm is incredibly complex. Some of these attributes include the content of your web site or blog, how many quality backlinks you have with other web sites – especially similar web sites – (“backlinks” refers to link-backs to your web site) and many other attributes that affect your search engine rankings.

However, content is especially important.

You need to make sure you have relevant, high-quality content – and if you have a blog, make sure you update this content often. Google does indeed still take into consideration meta tags and meta descriptions, so use them if necessary. However, for a blog, only do this for the blog homepage, otherwise articles will have the same meta description which can affect the relevancy of your blog articles.

Going back to StumbleUpon.

How do I add my web site on to StumbleUpon?

To add your web site onto StumbleUpon, first sign up to StumbleUpon and once logged in, go to your Profile. From the left of your Profile page, you’ll see an “Add a new page” link. Click this to add a page to the StumbleUpon database.

From here, select what your web site is about and then choose some tags. Make sure you select an interest and add tags that are absolutely as relevant as possible for the page you wish to add to StumbleUpon. This could include an article on your blog and so forth.

Using StumbleUpon and Digg to increase exposure of your online business, web site or blog
Written by: AFRIDA YANTI
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