eCom­merce does not apply to us, we’re in the media space.”

Sound famil­iar? Over the past few months, I’ve met with many play­ers in the media and pub­lish­ing indus­try. Com­pa­nies that pub­lish some of the world’s most rec­og­nized news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines, and run some of the most heav­ily vis­ited web sites. And through­out these con­ver­sa­tions, I heard a com­mon theme – that eCom­merce does not apply to online media prop­er­ties. In other words, “we only care about page views and time spent on page, not revenues”.

Need­less to say, they were very intrigued when I politely dis­agreed. Media is about eCom­merce, I explained. True, page views mat­ter. But for most media play­ers, page views drive rev­enue because they rep­re­sent an ad impres­sion that can be sold to an adver­tiser. In many areas, such as the home page, you may gen­er­ate 10–20 ad impres­sions per page view. So the more page views, the more rev­enue. And that is pure eCommerce!

As their eyes light up, you can tell the wheels are in motion. “So how then do we tie rev­enues to page views? How much is each page worth?”

Great ques­tion. For­tu­nately, web ana­lyt­ics is per­fectly suited for this type of analy­sis. First, make sure each page is tracked as a suc­cess event in Site­Cat­a­lyst. This is core to your analy­sis, and can be done using the stan­dard Omni­ture client-side tag, or if updat­ing your tags is a slow process, you can lever­age an Omni­ture VISTA rule to han­dle it server-side.

Next, deter­mine how much you sell place­ments for on aver­age. This is gen­er­ally very easy to obtain from your ad sales depart­ment. If you can’t find an exact fig­ure, it’s OK to start with a ball park num­ber. Is it $1 per 1000 impres­sions? $10? Remem­ber that a CPM should be divided by 1000 to get the per impres­sion revenue.

Now, cre­ate a new cal­cu­lated met­ric in Omni­ture Site­Cat­a­lyst. Use your page view suc­cess event (from Step 1) with your aver­age value (from Step 2), and call it some­thing like “Page Value”.

Lastly, run a Most Pop­u­lar Pages report with this new cal­cu­lated met­ric and voila! Your new report will high­light the aver­age value of each page – across every page of your site. And because you’ve cre­ated this met­ric as a “suc­cess event”, it will auto­mat­i­cally tie to all your inter­nal and exter­nal cam­paign activ­ity. So the next time you are asked about cam­paign ROI, you’ll have hard num­bers on actual performance.

From this point, you can really do some fun things. If you roll up your pages into site sec­tions, you can under­stand your most valu­able con­tent cat­e­gories. If you turn on pathing, you can ana­lyze the con­tent affini­ties of your vis­i­tors across these cat­e­gories, and the value they are gen­er­at­ing. If you cap­ture demo­graphic infor­ma­tion (anony­mously of course) you can view which vis­i­tor types (gen­der, age, occu­pa­tion) are dri­ving the most rev­enue on your site and in turn, sup­port bet­ter tar­geted and higher CPMs. See, this is pow­er­ful stuff!

Lastly, once you’re com­fort­able with this, you should con­sider assign­ing value at a more gran­u­lar level – and dynam­i­cally. In other words, link your ad sales data to your web ana­lyt­ics data via auto­mated daily FTP feeds. This isn’t nearly as hard as it sounds, and once up and run­ning, you’ll won­der how you ever made deci­sions with­out it. For help with this, or to learn other media best prac­tices, please do not hes­i­tate to con­tact the Omni­ture Best Prac­tice Group. We exist to max­i­mize your success.