Different Types of Banner Ad Targeting

For online businesses, the importance of targeted advertising cannot be stressed enough.

In order to effectively target your audience for online banner ads, you must conduct extensive research into your consumer base and their needs and wants. There are many types of targeting audiences on the World Wide Web, and some of the popular ways to do this are detailed below.

Contextual Targeting

This type of targeted advertising utilizes a system that scans the content of the webpage for keywords and displays ads that are relevant. An example of this is when you see an ad for running shoes or a sporting goods store as you are reading about training for a triathlon on a webpage. One of the most popular forms of contextual advertising these days is Google AdSense, while MSN AdCenter and Yahoo! Publisher Network are commendable alternatives.

Geographic Targeting

In geographic targeting, audiences are targeted by advertisers based on their location. This includes the visitor’s country, region/state, city, postal code, IP address, or other locale-identifying criteria, and delivering content based on these. Let’s say a local business has the ability to service only a single city and wants to promote its brand. The business owner will do better to restrict the visibility of their ads to those living within their serviceable area, rather than advertising globally. Another benefit of geographic targeting is that it gives advertisers the ability to create different advertisements for different groups of people, and have their ads displayed in different languages.

Demographic Targeting

This type of advertising targets people based on such information as their gender, age range, race, income, ethnicity, occupation, marital status and children. Some examples include: a cosmetics company that targets women; a company that sells supplements and multivitamins that targets baby boomers; a clothing company that targets women with children offering children’s clothes; and, a company that markets their more expensive products to those with higher incomes, while marketing their lower-priced products to those with lower incomes.

Behavioral Targeting

This targeting technique has to do with the visitor’s browsing behavior, which includes the websites they visit or searches conducted, purchases made and displaying relevant ads. In contextual targeting, the ad displayed is directly associated with the content on the page, whereas in behavioral targeting, the user’s prior online activity is the determining factor as to the ads that are displayed on the webpage. For example, a user has searched for ski goggles. After he or she clicks off of the page and browses the Internet and ads for ski goggles follow them to unrelated websites that they visit, that is called behavioral targeting.

Keyword Targeting

Keywords are what Internet users type on the search bars of search engines. In advertising, keyword targeting is the targeting of content that includes specific keywords. Google AdWords is the foremost form of keyword advertising in the world.
These are only some of the most popular forms of targeting audiences. Often, combining two or more strategies can help you more effectively reach your potential customers.