For a couple of years, I’ve been telling anybody who would listen that the correct measurement for local audience reach on a newspaper web site was percentage of daily unique visitors from the paper’s DMA.
More importantly, that the “visited in the past 30 days” metric, which the industry has been using for a couple of years, was meaningless.
In it’s latest integrated newspaper audience study, Scarobourgh takes a step in my direction — it is now measuring DMA audience based on “past seven days visit.” That’s a hell of a lot better than 30 days reach.
So of the top 25 markets, who has the best local online reach?
- WashingtonPost.com, 20 percent
- SignOnSanDiego.com, 16 percent
- AJC.com, 15 percent
- Boston.com, 14 percent
- Azcentral.com, 14 percent
No surprises in the top 5. They’ve long been among the leaders in local audience reach, because they’ve been the longest among big metros at making that a priority. To reach a local audience, you’ve got to be local, think local, act local — and you’ve got to do a heck of a lot of local marketing.
LATimes.com and tampabay.com are two sites that stand out as particularly lagging — about 4 percent for each.
Here’s a link to another version of the report with more markets covered. Some of the numbers vary by a percentage point from the link up above. I imagine that’s a rounding issue since for my top five above, I added two percentage columns together (exclusive online and duplicated online).
The first link I saw to this study was from Robb Montgomery, who notes the finding that a newspaper.com generally reaches more young people than you might imagine.