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Understanding Key Website Terms

Whether you’re operating your own online business, wanting to start one,  running affiliate programs, or wanting to advertise in e-zines – or sell  advertising in your own e-zine or on your web site, it’s important to know  and understand the relevant terms used in e-business today.

Hits:

You see this term everywhere, and often, it is misunderstood and misused.  Each hit to a web site doesn’t necessarily represent one visitor. Generally,  hits refer to not only the web page itself, but all files requested,  including all graphics. Therefore, if a page has 25 graphics, each visitor to  that page represents 26 hits – one hit for the page and 25 for the graphics.  As you can see, hits can be very misleading when representing web site  traffic.

Page Views – Also known as Impressions:

As the term indicates, this refers to the number of times each page on your  site is viewed by a visitor. If your site has 20 pages, and a visitor goes to  all pages, that visitor generated 20 page views. Keep in mind, every time  that same visitor returns to your site, they will again generate more page  views, regardless of the time between visits. Please note that some affiliate  programs use the term page views or impressions synonymously with unique  visitors.

Unique Visitors:

This, by far, is the best and most reliable measure of traffic. A unique  visitor is one visitor to a web site, regardless of how many pages he or she  visits or how many pages or files/graphics the site contains. Unique visitors  are counted only once for a specific period of time – depending upon how the site statistics are configured. Generally, a visitor is only counted once in  a thirty day period, no matter how many times they may have returned during  that time. Keep in mind, this time period varies wildly in the industry, so  when talking about unique visitors, make sure you know how long it takes for a visitor to be counted again.

CTR – Click Through Ratio:

Used primarily in affiliate programs and advertising, this is the ratio  between the total impressions of a banner or link and the number of times a  site visitor actually clicks on (or executes), the banner or link. For  example, if a banner/link had 10,000 impressions in a month, but the  advertiser’s banner/link was only actually clicked 2,000 times during that same period, the CTR would be 20%.

CPC – Cost Per Click:

This represents the amount of money (or other consideration), an advertiser  would pay to the site owner each time their banner or link was clicked by a  site visitor.

CPI – Cost Per Impression:

This represents the amount of money (or other consideration), an advertiser  would pay to the site owner each time their banner or link was viewed by a  site visitor.

CPM – Cost Per Thousand:

This is the amount an advertiser would pay a site owner for every thousand  units. I’m using the term UNITS to represent whatever the site owner and  advertiser agreed to base payments on – per click, per impression, per  subscriber (in e-zine advertising), etc. For example, if you were being paid  $.20 cents for each click through, and in a month your site generated 10,000  click throughs for a specific advertiser, you would be paid $2,000.

There are many more terms you should become familiar with, but these are the  most commonly used terms with regard to web site traffic, affiliate programs,  and web site and/or e-zine advertising.

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