From Reflections of a Newsosaur

The ecstasy of digital publishing is that it enables the granular measurement of everything from traffic to ad clicks. The agony is trying to figure out which metrics matter. That’s the vexing issue we’re going to tackle today, but, first, let’s get real:

There are more questions than answers and more opinions than facts. Given ongoing advances in technology and analytics, best practices for audience measurement not only will continue to evolve but also to provoke ongoing and vigorous debate. The latest thinking on audience measurement is described below, but you can be sure it won’t be the last word.

As messy as this topic is, it behooves publishers to pay attention to improving audience measurement is so they can effectively and strategically manage their businesses in an ever more demanding business environment.

With that said, here’s what we know about the state of the art – and I do mean art, because audience measurement is anything but an exact science.

Unique visitors

The most basic metric in measuring traffic is the number of individuals who frequent a digital destination, but the raw number captured by the typical server is deceptively high.

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