I exercise regularly and don’t smoke, but I avoid reading Prevention.com. It’s just too annoying to be reminded of all of the other “smart ways to live well.” When I see “by the editors of Prevention.com,” I have this picture in my mind of a bunch of really healthy people popping out cheerful stories like “5 Vitamins Your Bones Love” and “10 Reasons You’re Always Exhausted.”
Now I have another (annoying) vision, thanks to MinOnline‘s story about how well Prevention is using web analytics. Of course a staff that is so pragmatic and probably always mentally alert would resist “going for the cheap link grab and traffic spike” – the junk food of web analytics.
I haven’t been sleeping well because I think too much (the top reason people don’t get enough sleep and are therefore exhausted), so I’ll just plop in these two paragraphs verbatim from Steve Smith’s MinOnline story, “At the Building Prevention.Com, Only The Abs Are Flat.”
Prevention stays “on its own brand message and [courts] the kinds of audiences that it and
its advertisers really want. ‘We got back to engaging with our customer
in the ways we knew they wanted us to engage with them,’ says [vp/digital Bill] Stump.
Fishing for any and all eyeballs and courting simple traffic spikes in
the search-driven universe doesn’t pay off in the end. ‘You get waves of
traffic, but the tide goes back out and what are you left with?’
Instead, by keeping to the needs of the ‘core customer’ in everything
that goes out to syndication or into the e-mail newsletters, prevention.com is courting the
people who tend to stay.
“Now, each big wave raises the sea level for all of prevention.com’s metrics, says
Stump. In the last two years, overall page views climbed 60%. In the
last year, the number of visits per user went up 12%. But it is the
engagement metrics of which Stump is proudest. ‘The number that warms my
heart,’ he says, ‘is page views per visitor that are up 49%.’ That
means the new visitors are sticking with the site and drilling much
deeper than they ever have before. ‘In general, advertisers want an
engaged audience. They want the metrics that show that people value your
brand and come to you for something that is unique. We own natural
health and fitness and beauty. We are the authentic voice.'”
2 thoughts on “An ounce of Prevention”
Good point…page views per visit alone isn’t my fav metric because most content-based sites have poor navigation, so a large number of page views per visit often means people couldn’t find what they were looking for. However, Prevention is looking at other engagement metrics as well, like visits per user. It’s the combo of various metrics that point to the assessment that engagement at Prevention.com is up.
Whenever I hear “CPM” I always want to ask “cost per thousand of WHAT?” I’m not a fan of cost per thousand page views. That’s just falling into the easy but useless total number of page views trap. Same thing for cost per thousand unique visitors, monthly or otherwise. CPM is great for mass media vehicles but it’s not as useful for niche online sites – and shouldn’t all sites be niche media?
I wonder if the engagement jump had anything to do with additional slideshows? I’ve seen a specific case where an ad network asked to be excluded from slideshows on a site. I think there is a place for slideshows, but the CPM model is not particularly well suited to them.
Your website and resources are great. Thank you,
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