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Thread: Do advertisers ask for website stats?

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    Marketing Mentor Mikl is a Premium Member
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    Do advertisers ask for website stats?

    Do any of you every purchase advertising? If so, would you advertise in a newspaper without knowing its circulation? Or in a magazine when you had no idea of the sort of readers it attracted?

    I run a few websites which earn their keep by selling advertising. About half of the revenue comes from AdSense, and the other half from individual advertisers. This morning I sent a renewal notice to one of these individuals - a firm that has been advertising on my site for six years.

    The advertiser immediately replied by asking to see the visitor stats for the pages he advertises on. There's nothing wrong with that, of course. It's a perfectly correct and reasonable thing to ask for. So, why am I mentioning it here? Because this is the first time in ten years of selling advertising that anyone has ever asked me for this type of information.

    It's remarkable that any business would spend a large sum of money on advertising, without having a clue as to how many people their adverts are likely to reach. It would be strange if they advertised in that way in a newspaper. But at least you can make some rough assumptions about a newspaper's circulation, if only by looking at whether people are reading it on your bus or train. But with a website, you are totally in the dark. For all you know, the site might get no visitors at all apart from the webmaster and his family. Yet otherwise sensible business people seem willing to spend their money on it.

    Does anyone have any experience of this issue, either as a website operator or as an advertiser? It would be interesting to know whether my own experiences are typical.

    Mike

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    Kay (9 July 2014)

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    aka "meathead1234" Thomas is a Premium Member
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    How big are the advertising contracts?

    If you're talking <$200 a month, then most won't bother asking. Some will look at other metrics which can be useful, especially if they own other sites in the niche (e.g. Alexa/SEMrush), they don't necessarily need your data to know what might work.

    On much larger sites I own, they always ask. I've never had anyone run a test of more than $XXXX for a month without the data first.

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    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    In my experience, often the least savvy ones ask for the most information - even on small deals. And then they don't understand half of it and you have to spend ages explaining. Eg why a huge opt-out list might not be as valuable as they think, or that traffic figures aren't the most important thing (especially if it's all rogue traffic). At times it's just all seemed more bother than it's worth and so much easier to use affiliate programmes and get paid for performance.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

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    I suspect that, at the low end, ads were place by searching for a list of sites operating in the target zone that interested them, then picking the ones with a decent PR ranking. That was not very effective years ago, but it must be worse now.

    I'm surprised that a long term customer would turn round and do that to you, Kay - sounds like the action of a new person in the job. I'd have thought that tracking the hits and actions they've had from your ads would be the obvious approach to deciding whether to continue, and how much to be prepared to pay - but I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that they weren't tracking...

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    Marketing Mentor Mikl is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas View Post
    If you're talking <$200 a month, then most won't bother asking.
    Yes, this particular contract is indeed below that figure. That might well explain it. It still seems a little odd a business would spend even a small sum without knowing what they are getting for it. But I'm happy to accept that that's the way it is.

    Mike

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    Marketing Mentor Mikl is a Premium Member
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    Just to add a footnote to this story ....

    I just received an email from the advertiser telling me that they won't be renewing. I've no problem with that. But it did make me wonder why he asked for my stats in the first place. Given that the aim of his banner adverts was to get people to click through to his site, you would think that he would look at his own stats to see how many people did in fact click through. That would surely be a more useful metric than the number that visited the page where the adverts were displayed.

    Ah, well. It's not a big issue. But it's an interesting topic of conversation.

    Mike

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    Kay (28 July 2014)

  9. #7
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikl
    Given that the aim of his banner adverts was to get people to click through to his site, you would think that he would look at his own stats to see how many people did in fact click through. That would surely be a more useful metric than the number that visited the page where the adverts were displayed.
    I had to deal with the exact same thing. An advertiser asked me to tell him how many times his banner had been clicked on. I think that such tracking software is available but I don't have it in place. I could tell him how many times the page(s) had been viewed and therefore how many times his advert had been displayed but for how many clicks, I told him he would need to look at his own stats, ie referrers. He didn't understand that so I had to further explain that he should look at where his traffic was coming from and see how many visitors my site had sent him.

    Just as I say that many people who run affiliate programmes don't seem to know how affiliate marketing works, I would also say that many people who buy advertising haven't a clue about what they're buying. Maybe there's a need for someone to teach this kind of stuff. I might have a go and slap some AS onto it.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

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  10. #8
    Marketing Mentor Mikl is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay View Post
    Just as I say that many people who run affiliate programmes don't seem to know how affiliate marketing works, I would also say that many people who buy advertising haven't a clue about what they're buying.
    Well, that's certainly the impression I got from my this particular experience.

    Mike

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