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Sep 30, 2008

New Chart: Web 2.0 Technology Means Fewer Page Views: Is It Worth It?

SUMMARY: Page views can decline when publishers utilize Web 2.0 technology on their websites, which can hurt ad sales. But content quality can rise significantly to enhance the user experience. A key: separate your advertising delivery system from page views.
Selling Online Ads – Does Web 2.0 Help?

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Click here to see larger, printable version of this chart

Closing out our series on online display advertising, we’re going to look at the other side – publishing.

This chart highlights a positive trend toward innovation among the publishers surveyed: As an industry, we need to increase the quantity of ad inventory through increased quality, not more clutter.

Implementing Web 2.0 technology, such as AJAX, or hosting highly interactive site elements entirely in Flash, can have a tremendous positive impact on the user experience. And it will often boost total time spent by a user on a site.

These technologies don’t require page refreshes for new content, however, so there is a downside. The number of page views per site goes down – even if the total content served goes up.

If advertisers judge potential sites by the number of page views they get, this can negatively affect sales. Smart publishers, however, will separate their ad-delivery systems from their page views for the sake of quality, and change the ways in which they sell their inventory to reflect the change. Smart advertisers should buy based on the quality of the audience and the reach against them – not on page views.

To the 14.3% of publishers who implemented Web 2.0 features and saw a hit to ad sales and the 17.5% who are afraid to do so, we ask: Have you separated your advertising delivery system from page views? If you have, educate your advertisers about the benefits of new technology.

The key lesson for marketers: Every organization will need to make the decision about when, or if, to move to a Web 2.0-friendly platform. Interaction with and between customers and prospects is becoming central to many companies, creating a need for Web technologies to power this two-way communication.

Static HTML sites may soon come to seem dated and inflexible. And that means marketers will face the same issues of tracking and attribution that publishers are dealing with today, and they are going to have to approach this transition with the same foresight.

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More Research Data from Sherpa:

MarketingSherpa’s 5th Annual Business Technology Marketing Benchmark Guide 2008–09:

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