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Contextual Targeting vs. Placement Targeting

Contextual targeting and placement targeting seem to be the buzz words in online banner advertising right now. But, do you really know what they mean and how they can help your banner ad campaign? Let’s explore.

Contextual Targeting

Contextual advertising in its simplest form means to place your advertising banner on a web site that has similar content. The reason behind contextual targeting with banner ads is that it is assumed that if there is a web site that is addressing a specific subject and you place a banner ad on that web site for a product that also addresses that subject then the readers of that web site are more likely to click on your ad and find out about your products.

For example, say that there is a web site teaching teenagers how to have healthy skin and you place an ad on that web site for an acne treatment, the chances of a teenage reader clicking on your banner is way higher than them clicking on an ad for deodorant appearing on the same site.

Placement Targeting

Placement targeting is similar to a contextual targeting, but a little bit more specific. Instead of matching up your advertising banner with a general web site you aim to match your banner ad up to a specific page within a web site and a specific place on that web page. In this case you are concerned with content and visibility in order to generate a higher CTR.

Let’s look at our healthy skin example again. If you want to use placement targeting for your acne treatment banner ad, then you would find a web site teaching teenagers how to have healthy skin, you would find the particular web page that recommends how to treat acne and then you would request that your web banner be placed as the leaderboard ad, or as a rectangle ad in the top portion of the page. Now your banner ad is even more likely to be clicked on because teenagers that select this page are in need of acne treatment. When they open up the page – bam, there is your advertising banner offering them the exact solution they are looking for.

Which is better?

It’s a tossup. In contextual targeting you reach a broad range of people that probably already have a passing interest in your product, where in placement targeting you reach a smaller range of people, but a very specific group that is actively seeking a product just like yours. The bottom line is both targeting practices are good and for the best banner ad advertising campaign, you should use both to generate a high CTR.

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