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Feb-26-2010 01:21printcomments

Internet Advertising

When buying advertising online at Salem-News.com or elsewhere, there is plenty to know.

Internet Advertising
Courtesy: Royal Business Blog

(SALEM, Ore.) - Internet: No media in history has offered business so much in the way of advertising, for so little.

There are good investments and there are bad ones, but if you know what you are looking for, you can get the name of your business in front of thousands for a fraction of what it costs to place an ad in a newspaper or on television.

There are many questions and business leaders, even those who are highly educated and well versed in traditional advertising options, often find the new media a bit baffling, and that is fair.

First, consider that there are approximately 185 million active Websites in the world. That is a conservative number, some sources place that the number in the neighborhood of 220 million.

These sites range from Google, Facebook and Yahoo at the very top, to very small sites that often fill a specific purpose and are not necessarily visited by the public. They come in all languages and arrangements and are based in practically every country on the earth now.

This places Salem-News.com's popularity and ranking in the upper ½ of the top 1% of all Websites in the world, based on the conservative number of 185 million sites worldwide.

Some are highly specialized, used by industry and education. Others, like Salem-News.com, exist to fill a particular need for the public.

The things that determine the popularity or ranking of a site are numerous, but they largely relate to site design, quality of content, frequency of content, number of sites linking in, and length of time online.

Websites that have a substantial number of visitors, receive a Google ranking and an Alexa.com ranking.

The Google rank is a simple one through ten. Salem-News.com is ranked 5/10 on Google.

The Alexa Traffic Rank is a measure of a website's popularity. The rank is calculated using a combination of average daily visitors and pageviews over the past 3 months. The site with the highest combination of visitors and pageviews is ranked #1.

According to Alexa.com:

Salem-News.com is ranked 19,715 in the United States

Salem-News.com is ranked 87,398 in the world.

This places Salem-News.com's popularity and ranking in the upper ½ of the top 1% of all Websites in the world, based on the conservative number of 185 million sites worldwide.

What does that mean on a daily basis? For us, it means an average of between 16 and 18 thousand unique visitors a day. While visiting the site, these visitors often look at several stories. The result is an average of around 48,000 pageviews a day.

Some news agencies shoot themselves in the foot by charging visitors to look at content when it is more than a week old, in fact this is common with corporate media newspaper sites, less common with television station Websites.

Some would-be Web content producers believe they can launch a Website and quickly rise to the top. In reality, most sites don't get very far.

Web ranking, the kind that instantly launches your material to the top of the Google search pages, is not easy to attain.

It is hard earned in our case by publishing thousands and thousands of stories seven days a week for almost six years. I remember when the Google robots checked Salem-News.com once an hour.

Today they check for new content every two minutes.

When you hear the term "hit" in regard to Internet traffic, you are talking about pieces of artwork, I know a lot of people still don't fully grasp this one, as the word hit is extremely over and inaccurately used and has been for years.

A hit is not a visit. Each time you load a Web page, from any site, it will likely have artwork in the form of JPEG images. It could have one, it could have fifty.

Each time a person dials that site up for the first time, it counts each piece of artwork as a 'hit.'

If the visitor returns to the same site and they haven't cleared their browser, it will look at the site without counting the artwork again individually. Are you lost yet?

The bottom line is that a hit is not a visit. If a salesman is trying to sell you Web advertisement, you want to know about their ranking, and you want to know what level of traffic the site sees. You are looking for a "unique visitor count", not a hit count.

Other sales people will talk about "impressions" and I don't know why they need to make things so difficult. Remember, site ranking and pageviews, that is what you need to know about.

Stories do have individual page counts, this information is available via Google Analytics. In our case it is possible to easily track the top 25 stories of each month on a daily, even hourly basis.

There is a lot to know about all of this, it is new and emerging and finally on the verge of seeing its day. The Internet is increasingly becoming the main tool for news and so many other daily needs.

Some of our clients advertise in our quick links section for under $100 a month. This keeps the client's Web page information on our front page, and strongly influences the traffic and even the ranking of their own sites.

Other advertisers invest more and purchase banner ads that run almost the width of our Web news front page. There is a wide range and I believe one of the highest impact ads are the ones in the center of a news story.

I hope this answers a few questions about the increasingly popular Internet and the associated advertising possibilities that await business.

We see our client range growing to include national and international clients as our news is widely consumed all over the globe, rather than just the U.S.

We welcome inquiries about advertising, you can write to tim@salem-news.com with any questions.

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Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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February 26, 2010 7:47 am (Pacific time)

Could you provide details on the number of ad "click-through" responses that each of your existing advertisers have experienced?

How many unique local visitors do you have?  The views that are not local mean nothing to most businesses who only attract locally.

Editor: Great questions.  The 'click through' trend really ended a couple of years ago, it was something that saw few results, because people in many ways are still hesitant to click Internet ads - so many in the early days were bogus and harmful to computers.  The approach from business entirely discounted the general idea of branding and simply having their business seen.  When it is 11:30 a,m. and you are reading a news story online, and a local hamburger joint has an ad in the middle of the story with a sizzling burger on the grill.  The odds that you will probably eat there during lunch are good.  It turned out that the only people who were following through on the 'click through' idea were young adult males who by and large never really bought anything anyway. 

Advertising is about being seen.  One secret here is having a really great ad.  Also, people don't hesitate to click on something local.   I don't believe that is viewed as dangerous. 

We have some very good testimonials from our advertisers, most are long term and they have good things to say.  Simply having an ad on our site raises the ranking of the advertiser's site, by a lot!  This is one of the many reasons that it makes sense to advertise, above and beyond the value of the ad itself. 

We do have a lot of international and national traffic, but a decent portion of it comes from Oregon.  We receive a good amount of daily traffic from Portland and Salem also shows well.  There are specific breakdowns available.  I will try to address those in a future piece.  We are seeing about 16,000 unique visitors per day this month, and I would say between 8 and 10k or more are from the Willamette Valley and Portland.  I hope that explains a bit, thanks for your questions.     

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