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Understanding Web Advertising

family looking at computers
Are your ads ideally suited to a desktop?
If so, you may be missing out on 60 percent of your target audience!
Not even Grandma and Grandpa are always sitting at their desks when surfing the web; they're on the move!

"We get 10,000 pageviews daily."
"Our site receives 100,000 hits daily."
And so go the claims in web advertising.

Is there a way to track this? You bet!
And we'd like you to understand it.

Read on for a brief tutorial in web advertising.

Fully Responsive website: A website that looks the same on a desktop, tablet, ipad, iphone, Android, and laptop. Santa Clarita Guide is a fully responsive website.

"Mobile-friendly" "Mobile Site" or "Fully Responsive"

Mobile-friendly: A site that displays correctly on a mobile (handheld) device like an Android, iphone, tablet, or ipad. It does not require you to scroll and zoom to easily see links and text.

Mobile site: Content from a website designed to show best on a mobile (handheld) device like an Android, i-phone, tablet, or ipad. The challenge with this type of site is that it typically does not have the same appearance as the desktop site, so the user must click around the site looking for what he needs. Often, frustrated users click on "view full site" or "view desktop site."

What are the Best, Most-Effective Ads?

Santa Clarita Guide recommends a combination of text-based and display ads. Why? Because in June 2013, that was the preference of 67% of internet users. Read more here.

We provide this opportunity to our Advertisers.

"Hit" vs. "Pageview"

Hit: When users access a Web site, their computer sends a request to the site's server to begin downloading a page. Each element of a requested page (including graphics, text, and interactive items) is recorded by the site's Web server log file as a "hit." If a page containing two graphics is accessed by a user, those hits will be recorded once for the page itself and once for each of the graphics. Webmasters use hits to measure their servers' workload. Because page designs and visit patterns vary from site to site, the number of hits bear no relationship to the number of pages downloaded, and is therefore a poor guide for traffic measurement.

Pageview: When the page is actually seen by the user.

(Excerpted from The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Wiki Glossary)

Comment from Santa Clarita Guide:
Definition of Pageviews:
Basically, a "pageview" is equivalent to an "impression" in print terms. There are two pageviews that should be of interest to you:

  • The total number of pageviews the website receives annually. While this number is the largest number most often quoted by sales representatives of websites, it would not be indicative of the number of times your ad was specifically viewed.
  • The total number of pageviews your ad received, or is estimated to receive.

Site Analysis Software

Google Analytics™: Google™ provides free software to assist web designers in understanding how people found the site and how they explored it. This program has become a standard in the industry. At Santa Clarita Guide, we encourage our advertisers to become savvy Internet advertising buyers. Ask for the Google Analytics™ information of web sites seeking your advertising dollars!

Websites that download and use this free Google™ tool can identify:

  • Number of pageviews*
  • Traffic sources (countries, states, and cities)
  • Pages most viewed and the traffic sources for these specific pages*

This enables you, the ad buyer, to determine if you wish to be on their most viewed pages or on the pages specific to your industry.

Ask for proof of the claims made. Ask to see the Google Analytics™.

*Google Analytics™ does not count all pageviews. Please see note on Cookies in the section below.

Most computer users now understand that they can raise their security level on their computer by disabling "cookies" from accessing their computer. IAB defines cookies as "A cookie is a text-only string of information from a website via a "response header" that a web browser transfers to a cookie file on a client PC. The client PC browser has sole discretion to store these response headers from one or more websites."

You should be aware that Google Analytics™ does not count computers that have disabled cookies from accessing their computer. Therefore, the statistics provided by Google Analytics™ may be considerably lower than statistics provided by other vendors. However, if you request Google Analytics™ from multiple web sites for comparison purposes, the playing field should be leveled.

In Summary

It's About More than Pageviews!
Ask how many advertisers your ad space shares. At Santa Clarita Guide, you purchase the space, so every time someone visits the page, your ad will appear. Some websites sell one space to numerous people, so it may appear to one out of every three (or even 90!) visitors.

Two web sites approach you for advertising. Site A tells you they have 10,000 pageviews monthly, Site B 40,000 pageviews monthly. Site A offers you an ad space for $500/month; Site B the same size space for $250/month. Is the second the better deal?

It might be, but it may not be. Ask a few more questions:

  • How many advertisers share the same space?
    If the first site sells the space exclusively to you, your ad will be viewed potentially 10,000 times. If the second site sells the same space to four businesses, your ad may be viewed 10,000 times. You now have your first comparative number:
    Site A = $500/10,000 pageviews; Site B - $250/10,000 pageviews
  • Where are the ads located on the page?
    If Site A places your ad at the top of the page, and Site B places your ad at the bottom of the page, you'll need to view the page and determine how likely it is that a viewer will scroll to the bottom of the page to see your ad. It may be likely that at least 50% of the viewers will not scroll to the bottom of the page. Now it seems the sites are offering the same rate.
  • How targeted is the site or page to your audience?
    Are you a kid-friendly attraction located on a page targeted to someone seeking the latest stock market figures? Or are you a kid-friendly attraction located on a page targeted to parents seeking something to do with their kids? You may spend more when reaching your targeted audience.

That's the end of our Tutorial
But we welcome your questions! Web advertising is our business, so we'll do our best to educate our clients just as you will do your best to direct your clients.

Ask us! No question is too direct.

Endorsed by
County of Los Angeles SCV Chamber of Commerce California Travel and Tourism Commission
In association with
SCV Tourism Bureau
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