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Are you showing your website statistics correctly to advertising buyers?

When assessing websites as a potential advertising platform, advertising buyers consider many factors.  One of their prime buying triggers is your website traffic statistics.  Website traffic and usage is inherently measureable – there are a lot of statistics surrounding the performance of your site and a lot of debate surrounding the best measurement metrics to use.  This is constantly evolving in line with new digital media technology and advertiser needs. 

Only some available website statistics are relevant to advertising buyers and there are several free and paid measurement platforms to consider beyond the statistics which may already come with your site.....

Free Website Traffic Measurement Platforms

Google Analytics – is a free tool which offers multiple functions to measure traffic coming to and using your website.  Particularly for small or niche sites, Google Analytics (GA) should be considered a standard with these statistics reported in place of your own site stats.

Advertising buyers not only want to get an indication of the amount of traffic coming to your site but increasingly important is the engagement level of your site - how loyal and involved are your website users.  When using GA the most relevant statistics to show advertising buyers are:

  •  - Absolute Unique Visitors – the number of individuals (browsers) coming to your site 
  • - Page Views – the number of web pages downloaded or viewed on your site
  •  - Time on Site – the average time spent by each visitor on your site
  • - Geographic Breakdown – Show your Australian domestic traffic as a % of your total traffic

Alexa – a free ranking tool which allows you to benchmark or compare against sites in your competitive market – there is a lot of controversy regarding their methodology.  The accuracy of their results should not be relied upon but they can be used as a guide to understand your competitive market and your position in it.

Effective Measure - is an Australian founded and developed online data measurement specialist providing quantitative and qualitative audience profiling and rich data to online publishers, ad and media agencies, ad networks, advertisers and researchers.

Exclusive MediaScope Offer - Effective Measure will provide tagging and analytics services FREE for all sites listed with MediaScope which serve up to 1 million page impressions per month. Contact MediaScope - for more information

Paid Website Traffic Measurement Platforms

Hitwise (Experian) – a ranking tool which is not considered effective to promote to advertising buyers – but does offer other benefits to marketers, media and business owners.

Nielsen Online - provides the digital industry measurement standard or currency and works closely with major media, advertising and marketing bodies across several media platforms. 

 - Ad agencies and marketers - pay Nielsen a subscription to access a range of audited website statistics and competitive rankings to aid their advertising buying decisions.

 - Websites - pay Nielsen a monthly (min period) or annual fee.  Sites are then tagged, monitored and provided with audited website traffic results according to their rigorous measurement criteria.  Costs can be prohibitive for independent and niche publishers.

Audit Bureaux of Australia (ABA) – The ABA's digital audit service measures traffic based on industry best practice taking into account ongoing measurement issues such as auto-refresh of pages, cookies, domestic audience and incorrect page tagging.  Once these standards or rules, have been applied to your site, statistics are available and highlighted as ‘ABA audited’  in Nielsen’s site statistics and competitive market rankings.

The ABA have made this audit service available to smaller and niche websites with an affordbale monthly cost.  Costs rise depending on the number of page views or impressions you serve per month. See further information here

Online Sales Representation Agencies and Networks - If you sell part or all of your advertising inventory through a third party sales representation agency or network you may be able to access some Nielsen statistics through this relationship.  See MediaScope's Guide to Sales Representation Agencies

Some further tips when quoting your website statistics:

  • - Always source your statistics ie Google Analytics, Nielsen Online
  • - Give a time frame - showing stats from the most recent calendar month is usually best
  • - Don’t round off numbers - looks dodgy
  • - Show your social media stats ie the number of Facebook likes, twitter or linkedin followers
  • - Also quote your newsletter subscriber rate
  • - NEVER EVER use the term 'hits' to describe traffic coming to your site

By reporting your site statistics accurately and where possible supporting initiatives such as the ABA digital audit service, you will not only give confidence to potential advertising buyers you will also benefit the digital media industry at large.

It should also be noted that the measurement of traffic to your site is a key buying trigger but advertisers also need to know 'who' the audience is they are reaching.  This can be achieved through quantitative analysis of your digital audience.  See more information here.


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