Media buying is an effective form of advertising for anyone that is ready to take the time necessary to research opportunities and match them to the right audience demographics. When you invest that kind of money into a single ad placement, however, it’s important that you have good metrics in place to measure the effectiveness of your ad over time. That’s where the following three measurements come in handy.

  1. Unique Page Views

When you purchase a media buy, you are paying for impressions – the number of times your ad appears on a screen somewhere. That number doesn’t necessarily represent the raw number of unique page views however. Say, for example, someone revisits a site five or six times from a bookmark – reading the same article as a reference. It isn’t impossible for them to see your ad and click on it, but it’s less likely the more times they return. Unique page views represent the net number of times the page is viewed by a new person.

  1. Time on Site

At the same time, it doesn’t matter if there are 20,000 unique page views per day if those people only spend three seconds on the site. The total average time on site needs to be high enough that your target audience will see, read, and make a decision about your ad. If they click away from the page rapidly, your ad is less effective. Sometimes you’ll find that a very popular website has certain pages with exceptionally high bounce rates and low time-on-site measurements, despite the popularity of other pages. Your media buy may not be far from the mark – you just need to pick a different page.

  1. Location

If your ad targets US buyers only, then it does you little or no good if 80% of the impressions  you are paying for come from overseas. Most websites only announce the total impressions for a page when selling ad space – they neglect to tell you where those impressions come from. It is your job to ask and make sure you target the right visitors. If the site is in Quantcast, you can research this more in-depth on your own.

You can make a media buy in a few minutes on a site like BuySellAds.com but you probably shouldn’t without first researching these metrics and matching them with your advertising needs. If you’re not sure, you can always contact the site owners directly and ask them as well.