Contextual Targeting

What is Contextual Targeting?

Contextual Targeting – Targeting feature that matches your ads to other relevant sites on the Display Network using your keywords and/or topics.

Contextual targeting is a form of personalized advertising that enables your Google PPC ads to appear on relevant sites. To get started, input keywords or topics, and set your campaign to show ads on the Display Network. Google will then analyze the content on a website and match that against your ad using keywords, topics, language, and location.

For example, if you’re running a local marketing campaign for your coffee shop, you might create a PPC ad. Then, if someone who lives nearby is reading a blog about the best types of coffee, your ad might show up.

This is a good example of contextual targeting because Google used the person’s location, so your ad is only showing up to people who are in the vicinity of your shop.

Additionally, in this example, this person is interested in coffee and wanted to read about different types of coffee, so an ad for a coffee shop isn’t disruptive to the user experience. This makes it more likely that they will respond positively to your ad.

Contextual Targeting vs. Behavioral Targeting

While contextual targeting is done through matching keywords and topics, behavioral targeting is when ads appear to users based on their online behaviors.

Behavioral targeting could include browsing history, links clicked, time spent on the page or site, how recently they’ve searched for something, and how they engaged with a site overall.

Visitors with similar patterns are grouped together, so advertisers can specifically target a group of people with a certain browsing history. This is typically called retargeting.

For instance, let’s say I was in the market for new shoes. (And, let’s be honest — I’m always in the market for new shoes.) I begin searching for new shoes by typing in “running shoes” or “hiking boots.” I’m just beginning my research, so I don’t make a purchase. Later that night, I go on Facebook, and all I see are ads for hiking boots and running shoes. That is behavioral targeting in action.

Let’s say I’m in that same situation — researching new shoes. During my research, I start reading a blog on the best type of running shoes. On the right-hand side, I see a few ads for new running shoes, as well as a nearby running store in my area. That is contextual targeting.

But how does contextual targeting really work? One word — keywords.


Contextual Keyword Targeting

Contextual targeting is done through keywords and topics — or central themes of a website.

When you get started with your PPC ads in Google, you can select highly targeted keywords and topics so your ad only shows up on sites related to those themes.

These keywords will define where you want your ads to appear.

For example, if you’re running an ad for dumbbells, you might select keywords like “dumbbells,” “strength equipment,” or “workout equipment.” Then, your ad would only show up on sites with those keywords.

You can also input negative keywords. In this case, you might include “barbells” as a negative keyword term, so your dumbbell ad doesn’t show up when someone isn’t even searching for dumbbells.

If you choose to run an ad solely based on topics, instead of keywords, you might run that same dumbbell ad and choose a theme of “health and fitness.” Going this route means that your ad will be less targeted and could have less impact and fewer results.

According to Google, each ad group should contain anywhere from five to 50 keywords. You can use the Google Keyword Tool to help build your keyword list.

To build your keyword list, don’t use long-tail keywords like you might for organic campaigns. With paid advertising, you’ll want to use shorter, sometimes broader keywords.


Is your company in need of help? MV3 Marketing Agency has numerous Marketing experts ready to assist you. Contact MV3 Marketing to jump-start your business.

Refer: Hubspot

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