Top 10 Advertising
By: Irin Eschupan
Making advertising choices
based on price –
Pricing is certainly a consideration in where you do your
price alone is a lousy criteria for determining the value of any
ad space, and an advertising mistake that will cost you far more
than the money you think you are saving. What does
matter is their distribution (traffic) and their demographics.
expensive ad that gets in front of your audience and generates
leads is cheaper per
lead than a cheap ad that does absolutely nothing. Free advertising may
not drain your pocketbook, but for the most part it is worth what
you pay for it either, and it should not take the place of your paid
people all want "cheap but effective advertising".
And most of us would prefer to drive a free Lexus as well.
Chances of either happening are about the same.
that costs you money, does so because it performs.
Advertising that costs you nothing, does so because it does
not. If it did, they would charge for it. So if you
are still looking for free or cheap advertising, give it a go, and
let me know if you find something. In the meantime, we'll
all just sit around and watch your competition rake in the
customers while you pat yourself on the back for saving a few
advertising corners - New business and small business owners
need to watch pennies. This combined with the inherent risk
of advertising and a general resentment against advertising
expense, often leads business owners into the huge mistake of
cutting corners on the quality of their advertising.
If you go
cheap, you look cheap. If you do your brochures at home
using a bit of WORDART, it doesn't make a good impression. "Cheap" is the last thing you want your
customers and prospects to think about you.
the home care services field, it is even more important:
you shortcut your self and your own business, what might that be telling your prospect
about your attitude towards their family member?
are ways to cut corners, but they have to be strategic cuts, not
visible ones. Other articles will be written along these
lines, but one such corner that you can cut is to plan your
graphics so they can be used in multiple environments without
A logo that is produced for the Internet
will not work well in print. It is considered low
resolution and it is in a format that doesn't translate to print
However, if you have your graphics designer do a
large one and save it in TIF or BMP format, then it can be
and saved for the web. You now have two versions for the
price of one, and the large one can then be used in or converted
to just about every medium there is.
Misunderstanding of ad
distribution terminology – Distribution terms very from medium to medium
and are often presented to prospective buyers in their best light,
especially when the actual distribution of a publication is low.
Distribution in print
copy may be termed as subscribers, circulation, or sometimes as
printed copies. However,
printed copies can sit in a warehouse, be distributed for free in
an open newsrack, or be thrown away.
How many people saw your ad? That's the only thing
that counts, not how many times they printed it.
If a printed
publication is talking to you about number of copies, do not
assume this number of people that see the publication.
television would be the number of viewers, and in radio, it would be
the number of listeners. However,
in both of these mediums, distribution varies tremendously by
timeslot, or the time of day.
While “drive-time” is considered to be the most active
timeslot for most radio stations, it isn't so good for television.
On the web, old
terminology still exists, and the use of the term “hits” is
often used in such a way that the advertiser is led to believe
that this would represent actual people, when in fact it only
represents the transfer of separate files like a page or an image.
One page could easily
equal dozens of hits. One
person can also view several pages and generate hundreds of hits. If
someone is quoting their “hits” to you, they either don’t
understand the terminology or they are trying to impress you with
the largest number they can find.
They may as well be talking about bits and bytes of data transfer
because it's just as relevant to you a the number of
"hits" on their site.
The two web terms that
you should determine are numbers of “unique visitors” and
person can visit a site 10 times per day and be considered 10
visitors. However, he
is only one “unique visitor”.
Measuring unique visitors is the most accurate way
to compare which websites have the broadest distribution.
So what if one person comes back to the site 10
times per day? It's still one person and only one chance to
do business with them. You want to know how many unique
people are represented.
Pageviews are the
number of pages that are actually accessed by all the people who
visited that site.
If the average is close to one pageview per visitor, it
could be that most people are ending up there by mistake for one
reason or another. Some
visitors will only look at one page and this of course brings the
average down. So look
for sites that average 2-3 pageviews per visitor or more and you
will probably have found a site that most people find valuable.
if the site has pageviews per visitor in the neighborhood of 10 or
more, check to see if there is something like a forum where people
come back time after time and see many pages. If this is how
they count their pageviews, advertising here (at least on that
basis) is probably a mistake.
Verification of distribution
– Each media company within each industry measures its own
distribution and reports this number to the sales division.
This is the basis by which they determine their pricing
levels to advertisers. However,
what is to prevent these organizations from inflating their own
numbers when reporting them to clients?
Actually, not much!
is where an awful lot of advertisers make their mistakes.
They don't use their heads when ad ad rep tells them that this
tiny website will send them tons of traffic.
If you are a top
media buyer, you can certainly buy membership with auditing and
consumer media measurement companies that will allow you access to
third party information, but this can get to be fairly expensive
and it only applies to print and broadcast media.
Most home care services companies cannot afford the $40,000 per
year membership fee, just to access this data..
reports are the lifeblood of most broadcast and print media, and
they are known to provide fairly accurate information if they are
asked. In most cases,
the broadcaster will give you a comparison sheet to show what demographics
they appeal to and therefore, why you should buy their product vs.
that of the competition.
On the Internet,
distribution (visitors) becomes much harder to verify.
There are no independent organizations that audit website
statistical information, and no website is going to let anyone
have walk-in access to their server backend. Visitors
can do damage to the site and cost thousands of dollars by
advertising is even harder to measure.
Again, no company is going to give you access to their list
so that you can count them.
You are pretty much
left to common sense and trial and error when advertising on the
Does the website look like it has enough quality and
information to attract users, or is it pretty much a dud?
Portals that have no original content of their own,
generally have very poor traffic.
Small sites may be great, but there is little to attract
visitors. Does the
site have a variety of information on it?
Visitors may come to a large site for one reason and stay for
at the site closely. If nobody else is advertising there or
if the only ads on the site look to be affiliate ads, don't get
your hopes up.
mistakes on the web
Do your own research on the domain as well.
and do a lookup to see when the domain was registered. If the site is only a year old but claims 50,000 newsletter
subscribers, a red flag should go up for you.
If you don’t have it already, download the Google
and let the PageRank tool be active.
When you arrive at any given page, the PageRank bar will
show anywhere from all white to all green and if you hold your
cursor over the bar, it will give you number between 0-10.
site showing 3 or less that claims a lot of traffic probably
isn’t being truthful. A
PageRank of 5-6 is pretty average to above average, and you are
rarely going to find a 7 or above.
A PageRank of 8-9 are generally only seen on VERY popular
sites or main federal government sites. Ebay only ranks a PageRank of 8.
A PageRank of 10 is virtually impossible to find outside of
Yahoo, Google, and a few government sites.
someone is claiming 30,000 visitors per month and they only have a
PageRank of 3, you can bet somebody is making something up.
NOT depend strictly on this information to make determinations as
PageRank is not an indicator of the number of visitors.
PageRank can help rule out sites, but it cannot tell you if
something is worthwhile.
You can also check
your information on Alexa.com.
This is a site owned and operated by Amazon and it is free
to use. Enter the
full domain name you wish to check on into the Alexa search box
and do not include the www part (ex. SeniorMag.com). You
will come up with a 3-month average rank.
This is much like class rank or golf, so the lower the
number, the better.
Alexa measures the
top 10 million or so websites in the world by measuring the use
patterns of several million users.
Going from an Alexa score of 5 million down to 1 million
isn’t too hard to do. However,
when you are at 100,000, dropping even 10,000 points is a major
Sites in the 300,000
or above range, probably aren’t really worth any consideration.
With an average in the 100,000-300,000 range, things are
improving but still be watchful, and don’t put much into it
until you’ve tested the water.
Sites under 100,000 are doing pretty well and you can
consider that the traffic is superior to most.
These and your common
sense are the tools that you need to become familiar with and use
to make decisions on advertising.