Separating facts from fiction regarding Bahamas web marketing.
Figures Lie and Liars Figure
One local website (site A) claims to receive 150,000 hits per month. Another, (site B) tells you they generate 100,000 page views per month. Yet, another site says that they had 10,000 unique visitors in a month. Which site actually provides the best advertising opportunity for your company? Maybe none of the above.
That’s because figures such as the ones listed above do not provide enough information to make an informed decision about web advertising. Let’s examine each of the statistics mentioned above to see why.
Site Statistics – What Are Hits?
Hits are individual requests made to a web server. A request comes by the act of someone pulling up your page(s) in their browser. A request for one page might invoke several hits, such as hits for the individual graphics that appear on that page, or the sound files that accompany the page. So if you have a page with six graphics on it and someone pulls it up, it will ‘tick’ off seven hits; one for your page and six additional hits for the graphics.
If we use the example of 7 hits per page, website A, claiming 150,000 hits per month, would have generated 21,429 page views during the month, less than one-fourth the number of page views that website B achieved.
Neither page views, nor hits, have a direct comparative relationship to unique visitors, which is the number of visitors using different IP addresses that visit your site in a given time period. This is a tricky statistic because, often, as is the case with our local ISP BTC, customers all use the very same IP address every time they logon to the web. So, hundreds of visitors are being counted as one. Also, as with Cable Bahamas, IP addresses are often rotated on a first-come, first-serve basis, resulting in a single IP address being used by several different web surfers in the course of the time period being monitored.
And even the word “unique” can be misleading because “unique” can be uniquely defined. Some webmasters count a unique visitor every time a new IP address
visits the site for the first time in a given month. Others, count a unique visitor as someone who is making a visit for the first time for that particular day. It depends on whether they are monitoring the statistics by the day, or by the month. Taking the number of unique visitors for the day and multiplying it by 30 would NOT be an accurate indication of monthly unique visitors, because you would be counting repeat visitors, over and over, every day of the month. Yet, this is what some webmasters do in order to claim higher numbers of unique visitors.
From an advertiser’s standpoint, page views are probably the best statistic to monitor, as they tell you how many times a particular page was viewed by web browsers. In fact, many web advertising programs, such as Google’s AdWords, use page views (impressions) to determine the number of times your ad appeared to
website visitors. This is, in many respects, comparable to print advertising. But, sad to say, even impressions can be interpreted in different ways and the numbers need to be qualified in order to be of value to marketers.
Page views can be somewhat misleading because, each time a visitor reloads a page or returns to the index page, to select another link, it is counted as a page view. Some advertising statistics programs compensate for those repetitious page views, some do not.
Page Views Per Visitor
Another statistic to look at is is page views per visitor. For example, say you own a restaurant and are interested in running an advertising campaign on a Bahamas vacation website that features a page titled “Bahamas Restaurants”. Well, that would be a good fit. Now, it depends on the amount and quality of traffic the page generates and the cost of reaching that traffic, usually measured in cost per thousand views or impressions (CPM).
The site’s webmaster claims the site generates 150,000 page views per month.
But, what they don’t tell you is that the site receives, on average, one (that’s right ONE) page view per visitor. This is the type of site that may have search engine rankings due to using an ever-changing series of spam techniques that keep the site just ahead of the search engines, who spend millions of dollars per year trying to eliminate these types of sites from their search results. The site may have high search rankings, but most of the search links lead to the site’s Home Page, which has proven to be ineffective in leading visitors into the site. In essence, people come to the Home Page and leave immediately.
Consequently, your ad, on the inside restaurants page, would appear on only a small fraction of the 150,000 page views per month.
Of course, a good website will provide you with an accurate method by which to monitor advertising results. For example, the BahamasB2B Advertiser’s Control Panel (ACP) enables advertisers to view the number of times their ad appeared (impressions), how many times people clicked-through to the advertiser’s site (click-through ratio) and from which page the person clicked-through from (referring page).
The Big Picture
One needs to examine the fullest range of statistics made available by a website in order to determine the best advertising value. Websites that do not provide you with all the information you need and some method of tracking your results should probably be avoided.
However, websites lacking stellar traffic figures should not automatically be avoided, especially if the traffic they do have is highly targeted or other factors are advantageous to your specific marketing plans. It all depends on the cost per thousand and the conversion ratio of the traffic involved. This is in concert with the old adage, “Quality vs. Quantity”, meaning it is better to have a few high-quality prospective customers who convert to actual sales, than dozens of surfers who merely use up your bandwidth.
For a free, no-obligation discussion of your company’s advertising goals and how BahamasB2B can help you meet them, please contact our web advertising guru.