Yep, here I go again … Using the tech stuff to infect the blogosphere 🙂 . But I promise to be gentle and try to use more generic info that will be helpful to any blogger, regardless of your technical experience.

If you read my blog regularly you will notice that I put big emphasis on using tracking my stats and analyzing results for any change I make to my blog and usually I get rewarded for my scrutiny. If my work helps your own efforts and saves you time – your comments will be greatly appreciated. Information I share in this article is directly related to my own efforts and tracked for close to 3 month but since every blog can be targeting a different group of people (niche) – you results can be quite different.

Since I don’t spend much on advertising (and what I do spend goes toward buying text links) my blog heavily depends on Social Networks as traffic source. While I managed to score some nice hits with Search Engine and other prominent blogs, my logs clearly identify that about 46% of my total traffic for the period of almost 3 month come form Social Networks with StumbleUpon being the dominant leader.

So it makes only a logical to actually integrate this network into my theme design consideration. While it is already present as part of Share This plugin I wanted to make it a LOT more visible and accessible to my visitors. (Hint: if you like my post, your vote is greatly appreciated via options I present 🙂 ).

Without going overboard I have made some changes to my blog theme in form of adding a clearly visible button on EVERY post, inviting to Stumble as well as an option to add me as your StumbleUpon friend on Sidebar(I will return the favor). See screenshot below

sumble_theme.gif

But in order to implement the change I had to get rid of couple other options, since screen real estate is at premium cost. And this is where stats analysis comes in. Changes were made based on 2 different scenarios – one is for main Index page and one for single posts and pages.

Based on log data I have found that “email page” and “print page” were 2 options rarely used and Print option always came from a full post view. It actually makes sense since before deciding to spend the ink people read the entire post first. Email page is already available as part of Share This plugin, so removing direct link to it from pages made even more sense and so the changes were implemented based on a known pattern of readers behavior.

I guess now the only thing that remains to be seen – how well this strategy will work and how it will affect the traffic flow. While log data shows historical performance it has no way of predicting your reaction, so you comment and stumbles will be greatly appreciated (a shameless plug, but I just had to slap it in 🙂 ).