Sorry, we could not find the combination you entered »
Please enter your email and we will send you an email where you can pick a new password.
Reset password:
 

plus

 
Plus Report - By Thomas Baekdal - January 2012

Debunking The Unique Visitor: Finding Your Real Readers

If you are publisher of content online, either as a newspaper, magazine or just a brand publishing a blog, you are likely to look at two measurements above any other. Those are "absolute unique visitors" and most popular content based on "unique page views."

But those two numbers are pretty much the worst thing you can look at. While the data is useful for further exploration of your statistics, the numbers alone are likely to lead you down the wrong path.

Many people are mistakenly assuming that unique readers are the same as a value audience. In December 2011, The Guardian wrote a very interesting article about the shift in media, but then made the same mistake as most people do when they wrote:

The knock-on impact of the decline [in print sales] has been a push for digital readers that have seen newspapers like the Daily Mail win five million unique visitors a day - compared with its printed sale of two million - but struggle to generate revenues to match.

The reason digital is struggling is simple. "Unique visitors" is not comparable to "print readers". A print reader is a paying reader. A unique visitor is just anyone who happens to come across the website for any reason. Those are two completely different things.

In this article we are going to debunk the myth of the unique visitors. We are going to take it apart and see if we can find the real valuable reader somewhere inside the data. How many of your unique visitors are actually real readers? And, how many of those are likely to buy your product (or buy a subscription)?

The data is ...sketchy

Here is a sad fact about web analytics. It's based on a world that no longer exists. When the internet was first invented, all traffic was assumed to be the result of this simple formula:

As a result, all analytic services track unique visitors by setting a cookie that identifies one browser on one device and then assumes that equals one unique visitor. That might have been true in 1995, but today we live a widely different world.

Because of the social world, we no longer think of "browsing the web" as an activity we do on a specific device. If someone shares a link with you on FB, you are not going to wait until you get home to click on it. You just use whatever browser, app and device you happen near at that moment. But this wrecks the old model for unique visitors. Instead of being one browser and one device for every person. It is now one person using any number of browsers on any number of devices.

 
This 15 page report is exclusive for subscribers. (login)

Try it free for one week

Register to try out Baekdal Plus completely for free for one week.

Subscribe
for just...
$9
MONTH
Subscribe
for just...
$99
YEAR
You get one month for free

 

Baekdal Plus is your premium destination for trends and analysis for the media industry. Every year you get 25 reports about the future media trends, business and editorial strategies, monetization analysis and insights about how to use analytics specifically for publishers.

As a subscriber, you also get full access to all the Plus reports (more than 200) published over the past 8 years, as well as the ability to share what you read.

I'm a company, can we pay via an invoice?

Yes, of course, please write to plus@baekdal.com and I will send you a regular invoice that you can pay via your bank. I will need your company name, address and VAT number (if within the EU). Also, please note that due to this process being manual, this will be for an annual subscription only.

Is there an Enterprise Plan?

Yes, please write to plus@baekdal.com for details. But for 25-99 users: the price is 20% off the subscription price ($79/year per user), 100+ users is a fixed price at $5,000 (for all combined).

Can you create a report just for us?

Yes, please head over to Baekdal Media to read about consulting where I can help you with strategy reviews, trend and strategy reports, and strategic guidance for you media company or a specific publication.

 

 
 
 

The Baekdal Plus Newsletter is the best way to be notified about the latest media reports, but it also comes with extra insights.

Get the newsletter

Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé

 

—   analytics   —

plus

analytics:
A Deep Dive into the Future of Subscriber Analytics

free

analytics:
Fascinating Traffic Experiments by Publishers

plus

analytics:
Publishers, You Need 'What Should Happen Next?' Analytics

free

analytics:
Data that looks like it means something, but doesn't

plus

analytics:
How Editorial Analytics can Help you Define your Editorial Strategy

free

analytics:
The problem with Medium's New Metric: Public vs Private Analytics