In this economy, as advertisers cut budgets, standardized reporting has become more critical than ever. The wide range of web analytics tools, differences in how they capture and report data, and differences in terminology (e.g., “visits,” “unique visits,” “visitors,” “user sessions”) confuse advertisers, reduce the credibility of numbers, and make “apples to apples” comparisons difficult if not impossible.
Mature offline advertising formats such as TV, radio, and print benefit from a standardized approach to reporting. I recommend that local websites selling advertising adopt a single tracking platform to track and report on their online audience that will offers a simple, independent and accurate numbers (e.g., “people” viewed your Website) along with critical demographic data.
I recommend Quantcast. It’s free and designed specifically for this type of task. Three local websites already use Quantcast. You can view their numbers here:
- Dispatch.com (Data are incomplete, perhaps they just added Quantcast recently)
Removing confusion about online numbers will make the advertising sales process easier for both sellers and buyers.