As the online population grows, it is nowadays crucially important to have a direct access to research results and analytical reports on the Internet surfing behavior. Being present online requires many critical data to ensure that the visitor interaction brings the expected result and profit margins. Therefore, an unhampered access to the latest reliable quantified information to monitor the Internet usage and behavior across all the digital media is claimed to be vital to the overall success and growth of business.
There are several authoritative sources, providing information on the worldwide Internet access and usage tendencies to the Internet marketers, advertisers, agencies and publishers as well. They have successfully developed advanced tracking technologies to conduct a high-quality online audience measurement. In particular, they examine your site performance, effectiveness of content and product placement, usage trends, audience circulation, search engine performance, visitor loyalty and behavior, and provide you with an independent analysis of your data, made by a reputable third party. Such a profound quantitative and qualitative scrutiny of the user's behavior and perception of your Internet-based business will definitely maximize your decision-making process and insure a sustainable development.
Choosing a particular organization that specializes in online audience measurement, it is desirable to check whether the selected company adopted the main guidelines, suggested by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in its study, in order to bring more consistency and accuracy to their Internet measurements. Adherence to these instructions is claimed to be essential, since consistent and accurate measuring the Internet audience is one of the important factors that have an impact on the effectiveness of advertising spending on the Internet. As Interactive Audience Measurement and Advertising Campaign Reporting and Audit Guidelines (January 2002) based on the IAB Online Ad Measurement Study shows that five key metrics in the online audience measurement process exists. They are ad impressions, clicks, visits, browsers, visitors and users' measurements, and, finally, page impressions.
On the whole, the study reviews the current measurement criteria and main practices in the online advertising and audience measurement reporting. It also contains the comparability analysis of the existing metrics, used by the industry and offers common industry definitions and guidelines for analyzing and reporting data.
This document is principally intended at the Internet media companies, as well as the ad-serving organizations, and is considered as a well-done guide to the currently accepted practice. However, Internet planners and buyers can also use the results of the study to be able to evaluate the quality of the Internet measurements provided and the reliability of the online audience measurement, in particular.