Digg has been invaluable in the growth of my own site and continues to be my favorite news site. I have collected a few tips below that I have found useful for getting the most out of digg traffic.
1. Add a prominent “Subscribe” link
The problem with most digg users is that they aren’t “sticky” – that is, they are not likely to subscribe to a website as they are only there for a particular article. However, simply because of the sheer number of people that will be hitting your article, at least a few will be interested enough in what you write to subscribe directly to the source. For these cases, it is important to add a prominent “Subscribe” link to the bottom of the post in addition to your normal location.
While the diggs themselves caused a noticeable spike in my own subscriber graph, the chart also shows the steady increase resulting from capturing those visitors who found the topic interesting.
This graph shows the same pattern as the subscriber chart. (Note: Keep in mind that traffic dips significantly on weekends)
It also seems that you can build a “reputation” as a digg user, and although this won’t help those who are just getting started, once you’ve collected enough front-page stories, readers will recognize the site and will be more likely to decide to subscribe right to the source.
2. Lower the Bounce Rate
This is easier said than done and will likely require a lot of experimentation as different sites will respond differently. The bounce rate is a figure that describes the number of entrances on a page that resulted in an exit from that page without moving to any other areas of the site (Monster Commerce: Web Analytics Glossary).
Obviously, most digg readers are at your site for a quick read, but you should try to keep as many as you can reading. A few ways to do this include adding a “Related Articles” list under the post in question. I have also found that a “Most Popular” list of articles can be very successful. Digg users are coming to (or making) a popular article and it is logical that they would want to see other successful posts from the author.
3. Pick a Good Title
A front page digg will be accompanied by a significant number of incoming links which will result in some serious search engine juice. Therefore, it is absolutely critical that you choose a good post title
Don’t think that a keyword you’re shooting for will be too difficult. A good enough article will get picked up by hundreds of websites and that kind of linking can lead to some high positions on very competitive keywords.
4. Take Care of Your Comments
Creating a relationship with your commenters will keep them coming back for the discussion as well as future posts. Sometimes it can be difficult to individually answer each comment as most dugg articles receive upwards of fifty comments, but you should at least try to answer those that include direct questions or concerns.
There are always a few vocal digg users who make unnecessarily harsh comments that may distract from an ongoing discussion. I am personally not in the habit of deleting comments and usually let them play out. Be polite and informative and let your loyal readers and other commenters take care of the rough ones.
5. Make another post as soon as possible
A surprising number of digg readers will try to learn more about the site and its articles, so having a fresh article atop the digg will give them somewhere new to go. Also, (and I should take my own advice) it is important to have a descriptive “About” page. The user would like to get an idea of who you really are, so having an interesting bio and even a picture could be very important in building a relationship with your new visitors.
digg is a great website built around an avid community. For webmasters, getting dugg can be the best thing to happen to your site as long as you know how to take advantage of the traffic boost.
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