Marketing’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed! Part 1: Vocabulary

So I’m sure, that if you’ve watched TV any time during the early 2000’s, you probably stumbled upon “Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed!”


This guy seem familiar? Other than hauting your nightmares.. or is that just me?

It apparently made magicians SO angry, the he became the Gob Bluth of the real world.  It was an interesting show to say the least, even if it did burst the imagination-bubble of many children, believing that David Blaine could actually fly, or saw people in half.  But, no matter.  This isn’t about David Blaine or that masked guy – it’s about vocabularic (is that a word?) sleight-of-hand that some companies use in order to get you to advertise with them.  So here goes nothing… it’s Marketing’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed!


I know you probably can’t tell, but I spent hours on this.. or did I?

Now, my amazing Photoshop skills aside, I’m being 100% serious about this “exposing marketing secrets” thing.  But to get started with Part I: Vocabulary, I have to start with a story – one many of you may be familiar with.

So, a couple years back while working in my corporate job, I receive a phone call from an online directory of businesses. As I was managing the marketing of this company, the online directory was anxious to talk to me (and get my company’s business). The guy said things along the line of: This directory is the best directory out there, generates millions of dollars each year for the companies listed in their directory, and it only costs $499 per month!  And the best part – they get 10,000 pageviews each and every day!

Now, I’m sure that on the surface, this sounds like an awesome deal, and it just may be.  My point to this is only the following: Sometimes, whether they know it or not, owners of websites can be misleading to the public by saying their site gets X number of pageviews each day.

What I mean by this is that there is a major difference between pageviews and visitors.  To illustrate this, let’s picture a bookstore.  So, I walk into said bookstore and start browsing around.  I see a particularly interesting book, pick it up and start reading.  When I pick up and read that book, I am 1 reader (or 1 website visitor).  Once I have finished this book, I have read 200 (ish) pages (or 200 pageviews).

Note: According to one site, the average number of pages that one website visitor sees is closer to 5 – and after monitoring the traffic of hundreds of websites, that number seems about right. This means, that on average, across all of the internet, on any given site, 1 visitor will look at 5(ish) pages before they leave.

But why is this a critical distinction?  Because when someone calls you, asking you to advertise on their site, they typically try to sell you on the number of pageviews their site has, not the number of visitors, because it is always a larger number. I mean, which sounds better: 1 visitor, or 200 pageviews?

So what is one to do? Firstly, ask how many visitors visited the site – they will either tell you the number, dodge the question, not know the answer, or try to tell you that it, in fact, is 10,000.  Any of the latter three probably is a red flag about that site.

Now, I’m not saying that everyone who sells advertising on their website does this – I’m only saying that I have encountered this scenario several times before–both in my own business and helping others. And I know there’s a big misconception out there.

But my whole point?  Don’t be afraid to ask these questions, just so you can make sure you know where your marketing dollars are really going.




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