Monday, 21. April 2014
14. 02. 12. - 07:00
When I started out in journalism everybody was interested in one statistic – circulation. That meant how many papers did you sell. Then when the numbers of sales went down those crafty newspaper executives came up with the idea of giving copies away for free – for example at congresses where the advertisers pay the cost of the publication or to airlines and hotels where even if they didn't sell it, they had the chance that somebody might think "this is a good paper" – and take a subscription – and of course they still included these free promotional copies in their circulation figures even if they weren't really "sold".
When numbers still continued to fall they came up with a new statistic – a rather clever one – readership. Papers that had a circulation of 100,000 were suddenly claiming a readership of 500,000. They worked that figure out by trying to estimate how many people read every edition – so it might be that the Sunday Times was picked up by dad but then one of the sections was read by mum and then the children's comic inside was read by two children and maybe an elderly relative living in the spare room – so for every newspaper they estimated five readers. A free newspaper could claim for example that people would read it quickly and then leave it on the train where it would be read by several other people who all did the same. Readership was a godsend.
But numbers still continued to fall – no matter how much they played with them. And then came the Internet and the ways to measure circulation - which is now not called circulation anymore – have multiplied enormously.
And that started heated debate in my office this month – on our server for the Austrian Times we have a little counter that tells us it measures hits and visitors. But we also have something called a webalyser which is a program which offers the number of visitors – and then there is Google analytics which also has unique visitors among other statistics. And none of these figures seem to have anything to do with the other. They all had wildly different amounts – and searching the Internet was absolutely no use at all in finding something to explain the whole problem.
But into the breach stepped our new CMO Yuval Harari with the following that I felt it was only fair to share. If you want to know about the world of circulation as it applies to the online business – then read on.
"Dear Team, Hope this note helps you to make some sense out of all this mess. You are right about the need to know exactly how much and what kind of traffic you have.
Let us set the terminology right, so we can work together better, understand each other and be updated like pros.
Please forget the word "HITS". It is totally not relevant to you, me or anyone. "HITS" is an old word from the 90's. If you must know once and for all what it is, well, A "HIT" is the amount of added elements to a web page. For example, pictures, links, or anything else other than the main content. So in fact, when 1 page loads by one user click, that page is actually worth 4 or 5 or more "HITS", because, as we just learned, the HITS are made of elements on page.
I am almost 100% sure, that the server stats that our server monitors is based on HITS and impressions. That is why this counter seems to have so much traffic …sorry to disappoint. And so we are clear on that - No more HITS!!
So what do we monitor then? Ahh, good question, thanks for asking! Well, a few things, here they are:
Unique visitors: That’s 1 IP, or if you will, computer, that is counted per 24 hours. That means that when you log in to your computer early in the morning, and visit the Austrian Times (AT) site, you are counted as 1 "click" or shall I say "user". From this moment on, no matter how many times you go in and out of AT, you are still considered only 1 user. All your visits are not counted anymore. So, if we know that AT generated 2500 "unique users" a day, that means that 2500 real totally different users came in today. Some of them probably come back the same day, but we count the initial entry only. OK???? Unique users is very important to advertisers as it tells the your REACH, that is, your real power to get real different users from real different places.
Users or visitors : well, this refers to the number of entrees to your site and is counting every entry from no matter what IP or computer. So, if Michael Leidig (Austrian Times News Director) was the ONLY user on his website, and he entered his site TEN times today, he would have 1 unique user and 10 visitors in total. See it as a Brutto or Gross. Okay?
Page views: An advertiser will like to know how many page views you have. THIS IS NOT IMPRESSIONS! , A page view is basically a page loaded. Say Michael Leidig enters AT's home page, then clicks on sports and then clicks on Business and finally exits. So how many page views did you count? That's right, 3. Home page, sports and business. This Page views is important because the more pages viewed, the more ad space available for him.
Impressions : that is the number a link or banner has been displayed to a user. That’s important to understand. You can have 10,000 page views a week in "Travel" sections, but only 6000 banner impressions. How is that? Well, maybe the banner is in rotation with other adverts? Maybe it didn’t load each time and thus wasn’t displayed. If you have 25,000 displays of some page, it doesn’t mean you have 25,000 impressions. Impressions are referred only to banners and NOT to pages. ( you have "page views" for that) So, don’t get mixed up
Many advertisers will buy IMPRESSIONS from you. They don’t care how many page views, or unique users or anything for that sake, they buy 200k impressions, so you give them 200k times the banner in the air displayed. Now, this is tricky, if you put 2 banners for the same advertiser on the same page….he gets 2 impressions! Not 1, because its one page. Get it?
Also in the category of impressions, you will find the term CPM. That’s cost per mille (in Latin=thousand), So if someone buys 100k IMPRESSIONS at $1000, he paid $10 CPM
Calculation : Budget / impressions x 1000 = or in numbers : $1000 / 100,000 x 1000 = $10 CPM
Use a quick tool free here http://www.clickz.com/cpm-calculator
Next is CTR, that's Click Through Rate. That means, How many clicks did a banner or link get out of X impressions.
Let's see, Say we have a banner that was displayed only 100 times. That’s 100 impression right? Now, that banner was clicked only once. That would give us a CTR of…….Yes! , 1%. 1 out of 100.
Now let's say a banner was displayed 478,562 times and got 126 clicks. Hmmm, rrrrrr, Well, the formula is easy :
126 clicks / 478,562 impressions = 2.63 CTR
So, to finalize this short brief, What are advertisers after? They will want to know how many unique users you have, how many page views you generate and how many impressions you can deliver, Some might ask for a CTR, but note, CTR varies from one campaign to another based on the attractiveness of the banner and the relevancy to the audience.
Think about this for a moment, what is a better CTR or campaign in general :
A static nice designed banner that says : Get your third night free in Vienna Hilton Hotel
A flashy banner with no clue on it that says : YOU ARE ENTITELED TO GET $200 FREE, CLICK HERE NOW TO CLAIM!
I bet the second banner, the flash one, as will get 20 times more clicks, making a higher CTR, but can you compare it to the low CTR banner of Hilton?
I bet that although the hotel banner will get just a few clicks, they are far better in quality than the ones clicking out of curiosity on the flashy one.
So CTR is not all that too important. Make sure you tell it to your advertiser. Give him the example I just made.
Hope we all speak the same language now, No more HITS eh ?
And that is it really - thanks Yuval for the explanation and I hope it helps others, and even if it doesn't that it brings us on this online news website lots of hits - sorry – I mean unique visitors generating one extra page view and offering impressions that improve our CTR.
Angry business leaders say Austria is too expensive
Austria as an economic location is seriously under threat according to domestic business leaders.
Austrian architecture in the 20th Century
The Architecture centre in Vienna is opening the third stage of it's long term exhibition looking at Austrian 20th and 21st Century architecture.
Czech canoeist drowns in Austria
A canoeist drowned on the Saalach River in Austria at the weekend after his canoe capsized in the water.
Austria to house a further 1000 Syrian refugees
An extra 1000 Syrian refugees will be allowed into Austria on top of the original quota of 500, Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner has said.
Criminal caught after asking police if he should be arrested
A criminal who thought he had got away with four counts of embezzlement and fraud managed to alert police to his crimes after he walked into a police station to ask if there was an arrest warrant out on him.
The Way The GKK Are Destroying Jobs
As the Austrian Times reported on Friday, a group of businessmen fed up at the way companies are being squeezed not only by red tape but also by ever newer taxes have taken to the internet to try and build up pressure for change.
Pink Easter bunny helps Vienna art world pay tribute to Dürer
The Viennese art world has created its own version of the Easter Bunny – by making a giant sized sculpture of the famous Albrecht Dürer painting currently on display until 29 June as part of the exhibition "Dürer, Michelangelo, Rubens"
Pressure Group To Tackle Victims Of Austrian Officialdom
A group of businessmen fed up at the way companies are being squeezed not only by red tape but also by ever newer taxes have taken to the Internet to try and build up pressure for change.
First Hotel in Millstatt Celebrates 130th Anniversary on Summer 2014
Luxury hotel See-Villa in Millstatt, Carinthia opens its doors anew to welcome the 2014 summer season and celebrates its 130th founding anniversary in Austria's summer capital.
Austrian Teen Girls Become Pin Ups For Syrian Jihad
Interpol is searching for two Austrian teenage girls who they believe have been tricked into going to Syria to fight on the side of Islamic rebels.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Austrian Teen Girls Become Pin Ups For Syrian Jihad|
|Turtle flies from Vienna to India to try his luck with the ladies|
|Austria Accused Of Ignoring Giant Nazi Swastika|
|Muslim Brotherhood leader denies move to Graz|
|Two teenage girls go missing as they fly from Austria to fight in Syria|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.