5 things to look for in an online publisher

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  • Consider Web site stickiness. Does the site provide timely information that is sought after by the audience? Is it easy to navigate, and does it offer lots of opportunities for user involvement? Does it provide just enough information so readers will sign up for more?

  • Look for quality traffic. Does the site reach the people it claims to reach and are they active users? Is the site traffic audited by an organization such as BPA Worldwide? The better the audience, the more responsive it will be.

  • Is the site user-driven? Consider whether the site is set up for the audience or the advertisers. Some sites offer so many advertising opportunities they can turn off users. Advertorials disguised as columns or webinars that provide only product hype and no education can alienate users.

  • Proper reporting is a must. The more media buyers know about how an audience behaves, the better they can customize a campaign to address its needs. Having timely, quality feedback with solid reporting of click-throughs, impressions, time spent on a site and other metrics is key.

  • Look for unique advertising opportunities. Does the publisher offer customizable opportunities that go beyond banners? Webinars, white papers, e-postcards—when done well—can benefit the brand and spur user interest.

    Source: Caroline Riby and Andy Brunn, media buyers, Roberts Communications, Rochester, N.Y.
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