by Mike Banks Valentine
Gaining advertisers for your web site is always an important goal
for new webmasters. You'll need substantial traffic to support your
ads. Once you've increased your site traffic to a significant level
and can deliver about 10,000 pageviews per month to advertisers,
it's time to go in search of sponsors for your newly sprouting little
New webmasters often install counters on their pages hoping for
high traffic to dazzle the world, but end up dissappointed with
the number of hits to their pages. Things really start to heat up
when you can regularly see between three to five hundred visits
a day. But don't be fooled by those web stats folks, there's a major
difference between "hits" and "unique visitors".
The number of hits and number of visitors are very different numbers.
Hits is determined by the number of files loaded from the server.
If your page has 5 graphics files in jpg or gif format, a banner
from an affiliate program, the html file and a counter -- then that
is, in it's simplest terms, 8 "hits" to your site or page.
Only one visitor triggers those hits, so your ratio of hits to visitors
is 8 to 1.
You'll find that when banner placements are made that most advertisers
require a particular number of "Unique Visitors" to your
page, usually in the range of 10,000 per month. With the 8:1 ratio,
that's 80,000 hits!
The number of visitors and hits are determined by your "server
logs" and it will require software to organize and make sense
of the raw server logs data.
Many service providers and web hosts will provide that software
to their customers for use as part of their fees or benefits of
membership. If your host doesn't provide a traffic analyzing package,
you must install one yourself and that requires access to your hosts
cgi-bin and setting permissions through the server (if you are allowed
and if you know how).
If that is something you can do yourself then it is the only way
to monitor and track your traffic outside of free programs that
those available for free and some paid services to monitor your
site traffic for you. The free services display banner ads on your
results pages in order to pay for the service. Some of these allow
anyone to look at your traffic by clicking on the logo you must
display on your page.
Web stats are usually not public unless the site is trying to attract
Banner placement companies like Flycast and 24/7 media
are two places to check into if you want to know the necessary numbers
to sell banner ad space. You must have a reliable method of tracking
your traffic and then must share that information with them. Once
they begin advertising on your site, they implement a tracking program
of their own to determine how often their banners are shown on your
If your idea is to "cheat" the banner companies, it won't
work. Generating solid traffic is the only way to do well with banner
advertising because of relatively low "Click through rates"
of less than 1% of visitors who see them. If your site generates
10,000 pageviews and one percent of those visitors click on your
advertisers banners that translates to 100 "click-throughs"
for the advertisers and then possibly one or two sales for the sponsor.
With those kind of results, your list of willing advertisers will
be small. Traffic of between 75,000 and 100,000 unique visitors
brings them to your door. Before that point you'll need to actively
seek very targeted advertisers for your site so that you can deliver
very interested and highly motivated buyers for the sponsoring advertiser.
Mike Valentine does Search Engine Placement for the Small Business
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