For those of you unfamiliar with it it is a little toolbar that appears at the bottom of the browser of those who visit your blog which allows them to do a variety of tasks. You can see it in the bottom of the screen shot below (click to enlarge).
The toolbar is customizable so there are a variety of applications that you can add to it.
On my toolbar I’ve enabled a number of applications including:
- Search – allows readers to search your blog (or the web) via Google
- Recent Posts – when clicked it shows the latest posts on the blog (while not as useful on the front page where these posts are already displayed it can help increase page views from single posts.
- Real Time Users - shows readers how many others are online and what they’re reading
- Random Posts - when clicked it takes readers to a random post on your blog
- Link Menu - allows you to add in a variety of key links on your site (like a little navigation menu, I have mine pointing to key categories and sections)
- Digg This - allows readers to digg your posts from the toolbar
- Subscribe - allows readers to subscribe to your RSS feed
- Smart Share - allows readers to share your posts via a variety of means including on social bookmarking sites, twitter, facebook and via email
- Facebook - allows readers to see your facebook fan page without leaving your site via a popup
- Twitter - allows readers to see your twitter stream as well as tweet a link out about your page without leaving your page
There are quite a few other applications/tabs that you can choose from and a number of options within some of them to different features.
You’re also abe to choose a color scheme to suit your page.
There are a variety of ways of installing it into your blog including via a WordPress plugin for those using WP.
I’ve been testing the Wibiya toolbar for about 10 days now so it’s time to look at the ‘result’ and stats that they provide publishers to see what impact (if any) using the toolbar has had.
Here’s a quick screenshot of the dashboard having selected stats for the last 7 days:
The top section of stats provides stats for each of the ‘tabs/applications’. You can drill down a little more on each one like this one for the ‘latest posts’ tab:
Worth noting – the stats in the first screen shot above do look a little more impressive than the reality as can be illustrated by the ‘latest posts’ stats which show that 586 people clicked the ‘latest posts’ toolbar tab but only 83 clicks on other posts were recorded (meaning less than 1 in 7 of the 669 people who clicked the latest posts tab actually visited another page). This is true for almost all of the other tabs. Here’s some examples:
A few comments about these results:
- people were clicking on the toolbar a lot without doing anything. I suspect this was partly a ‘curiosity factor’ at play as the toolbar is new and people are still working out what to do with it and how it works.
- considering the traffic of the site the ‘actions’ were pretty low. Wibiya doesn’t give you any stats on how many times the toolbar loaded (that’d be handy) but as the blog area of dPS (the area it was showing) does over 146,000 page views per day (over 1 million per week) I was a little surprised by the low numbers of actions. They recorded about 3000 actions in the week but considering that most of those were simply clicks on the tool bar the real conversions were not super high.
- the stats could be a lot more insightful – perhaps Wibiya will be adding a premium model where you pay for more detail but I didn’t find that some of the stats that they gave were that insightful. For example:
- it’d be handy to know that not only 83 people clicked on latest posts but to also know which posts they clicked on
- it’d be great to known which links in the navigation links tab were clicked
- It’d be handy to know what those 255 searches were for
- similarly it’d be cool to know which posts were Dugg
- it’d be great to know which posts were shared
- the other considerations that I need to take into account is the fact that I also had reader feedback during the last 10 days about the toolbar. In fact we’ve had a number of threads in our forum area talking about it and the feedback has been mixed. Originally I had the toolbar installed in the forum area as well as the blog – but I removed this after members complained at a ratio of about 9:1. On the blog area I’ve also had both negative and positive feedback about it (something I’ll keep monitoring. It seems that those complaining about it just don’t like anything popping up or obscuring any part of their browser (not surprising – even though the toolbar is pretty slim and is on the least unobtrusive part of the page).
There have obviously been some benefits from having the toolbar. I’m not complaining about having new followers, subscribers and more page views…. however the question I have to ask is whether the results are enough considering the page views and interruption of readers.
I’m going to run it for another week to see what happens when the curiosity factor with readers dies off a little more before I make any final decisions.
Have you experimented with the Wibiya toolbar (or similar ones) – what impact has it had on your site?