Contextual Advertising: What it is and Why it Matters

Contextual Advertising: What it is and Why it MattersBusiness owners want to increase sales and increase brand awareness. That’s why they use contextual advertising, not fully understanding what its features, advantages and disadvantages are.

Contextual advertising is a type of advertising on the Internet, which effectively attracts interested customers to your resource with the aim of increasing sales.

Advertising campaigns are created and configured using services such as Google Adwords.

This type of advertising has many settings and allows you to choose geography, ad delivery time, interests, type of advertising depending on the device: phone, laptop, tablet.

The results of using contextual advertising can be traced after the collection of primary analytics. Figures will tell the truth about the impact of ads on the user. This means that you do not have to wait until your resource becomes popular or will be released to the top search engines.

If you need:

  • quickly attract potential buyers;
  • increase sales of specific goods or services;
  • increase the number of repeat sales;
  • to increase the recognition of the company or brand;
  • quickly and effectively state its startup,
  • then contextual advertising is your tool.

Contextual advertising has a positive effect on the organic issuance of the site in the search engines, which is especially useful for young resources.

How does the system know what a person needs?

She analyzes the activity. In particular, search queries for keywords.

Those who are often interested in smartphones will see suggestions for a portable battery, headphones and other mobile accessories. The visitor of the site of booking of habitation – the announcement with recommendations of apartments, hotels on requested location and price range.

Types of contextual advertising

Search engine

Appears in the search results window after entering the query in the search bar and pressing the “find” button. For example, if you ask Google “local SEO services in Tampa”, it will show several suitable ads over regular links. Search advertising corresponds to the user’s request. The cost of a click on an ad depends on the position. The higher the rate, the more likely the position in the SERP is higher.

What affects the position of the ad in the SERP?

  • value of the bet;
  • Quality Score for the ad and landing page
  • minimum ad rating;
  • the expected effect from the selection of extensions and ad format.

This means that you can bypass competitors who place a higher bid if the advertising materials and keywords are more relevant to users’ requests.

The ad rating is recalculated every time the ad is eligible to show. Therefore, the position of the ad can vary depending on the level of competition at the time of search, as well as the conditions under which the user enters a search query.

Ads can appear at the top and bottom of the search results page.

The cost of the click completely goes to the ad placement service.

The principle of the contextual advertising in the search is extremely simple. The advertiser’s contextual ad is bound to the keywords that the Internet marketer sets in the settings of the advertising account or the keyword phrase. For example, “local SEO service”, and when a user searches for a query that matches the keyword or keywords, the ad is displayed.

Thus, the user receives the information corresponding to his request, and you get the interested user in your offer, which can become a real buyer, of course, if he is satisfied with the range and prices.

Ads on the Google Display Network

The Google Display Network (GDN) – can be a text ad, a static or animated banner, and can also have the form of an ad that is hosted on search engine partner sites and social networks, such as Youtube. The share of Google’s partner sites ranges from 75% to 85% of worldwide traffic.

The cost of the transition on the ad is divided into 2 parts. One part goes to the advertising network, the second – to the webmaster of the site where the ads are published.

A pleasant feature of advertising on the Display Network is the ability to automatically and manually select the online advertising platforms. Thus, the advertiser can independently choose sites according to various criteria:

  • by keywords;
  • on subjects of sites;
  • on interests of users;
  • according to remarketing list.

GDN advertising is characterized by the availability of settings for a more accurate selection of the audience according to interests and preferences, purchasing power, age, geographical location.

The Google Display Network creates search demand. If there are few search queries, or there are none at all, then the Google Display Network is a tool that will attract people interested. And then there will be requests in the search.

Google Display Network and search advertising is aimed at new users who are not yet familiar with your site or have not yet looked for your products, services on the network.

While remarketing is aimed at working with those who have already visited your site.


Remarketing is a form of advertising, a method of working with users who once visited your site. Whatever the purpose of advertising – to increase sales, the number of registrations on the site or the brand awareness, remarketing makes a significant contribution to the success of your advertising campaign.

You can refer to users who have already interacted with your company. They will see your ads by visiting other sites and using mobile applications. You can create remarketing lists with specific conditions. For example, for users who added something to the shopping cart on the site, but did not complete the transaction.

From the reports, you can find out how effective your campaigns are, where your ads are displayed and how much you pay for it.

Types of placement of contextual advertising

Advertisements should encourage the audience to act, for example, go to the site or order goods.

Contextual ads have the following formats:

  • Text advertising is an advertising text with a hyperlink linking to the advertiser’s web page;
  • Banner advertising is an ad in the form of an image with a text and a link. Banner advertising can be in the form of a static or animated picture in the format of gif, as well as in the form of an interactive banner with the call to perform a specific action;
  • Video advertising is an ad in the form of a special advertising video with a hyperlink to the advertiser’s site.

Advantages and disadvantages of contextual advertising

Different types of contextual advertising help in achieving different goals.

Features of contextual advertising:

  • pay per click of interested users;
  • the possibility of simultaneous placement in several search engines;
  • advertising on partner sites;
  • the choice of the placement position;
  • Keyword targeting
  • Display ads according to interests and preferences of users;
  • Show ads at the right time in the right place;
  • prompt launch of advertising campaigns;
  • extensive opportunities for analytics;
  • improving the organic ranking of the site.

A list of factors by which the context differs from SEO:

  • You can take into account the region of residence of potential customers. When setting up contextual advertising, you can choose which people will show the ad. This is useful if you focus on specific regions.
  • Fast effect. All kinds of contextual advertising lead to an operational effect: attendance of the resource grows almost immediately. SEO-promotion should be engaged much longer.
  • Ability to work with NOT optimized sites. It is not necessary to optimize the site for search engines – the context operates on virtually any resources, including unindexed ones. But this is not good.
  • Ability to track performance. You know exactly where and where potential customers came from. Especially if you have a call center.
  • Many options for customization. You decide what to say in your ad. You can select a description and specify the landing page to which the user enters during the transition.
  • The advertising campaign can be stopped and launched.

Disadvantages of contextual advertising

  • Users have more confidence in the results of the SERP than in the links that are located in the ad units. The location of the resource at the top delivery positions indicates that it has been properly worked on, while advertising can be ordered by anyone.
  • Increase in cost. The price depends on the competition. If the competition in the chosen field is high. Real estate, hosting, law, food delivery are related to these areas.
  • Reduce traffic after disabling the advertising campaign. Once the budget is over, the transfers to the resource will dramatically decrease. There is an advantage over SEO, which gives a lasting result.

Image credit: TheDigitalArtist

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