Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Finding the right answers, part 1: online reach and frequency

Sometimes the answers are just better questions. As a bit of a followup to yesterday's post on asking the right the question ('where are your prospects online?") I offer this:

(click to enlarge)

Looking at the top 50 properties on the web (in the chart above), Google and Yahoo each reach about 75% of the online population in a month.

So one question, "Where do people go online?" can be answered, "They start with Google and Yahoo." It's as close to a universal destination as we can get online. But beyond where they start, we ask "Where do they end up?"

Looking at the remaining top 48 properties, it’s clear that the online population is going many other places. The top 50 properties account for only 10 visits per month per user. And yet, according to Nielson Media Metrics, “the average U.S. internet user visited 105 web sites in March (2008), viewing a total of 2,437 web pages.” (source here)

So the top 50 web properties account for less than 10% of online user’s destinations.

According to the Netcraft Web Server Survey, a total of 175,480,931 distinct websites were found in June 2008, which did not include domains with multiple sites (like blog networks).

So one right answer is a new, better question:

"How do you reach people where they are spending 90% of their visits online?" In other words, how do you reach them on the 175,480,881 OTHER sites that they may visit outside of the top 50?

Interestingly, (#48 in the Top 50 sites) is of no help on this question.

We'll take that up in part 2.

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