Contextual Targeting in 2021: Here’s What You Need to Know

Contextual Targeting in 2021: Here’s What You Need to Know

Contextual Targeting in 2021: Here’s What You Need to Know

5-easy-ways-to-generate-website-traffic
Liz-headshot

Meet the Author

Liz Hersh is the founder of Hersh PR and Marketing, a digital marketing agency. Together with a team of marketing professionals she helps clients generate leads and increase revenue. 

Remain Relevant and Visible with Contextual Targeting 

Advertisers see the best results when they showcase their brand alongside relevant content that their target audience pursues online. However, in today’s environment, this also means balancing concerns over third-party data and reaching consumers without intruding on their privacy. You probably know what this entails. How many times have you gone on a social media platform and seen advertisements related to your recent internet searches?

While cookie-based advertising has been the norm over the last decade, concerns over data privacy have led to contextual advertising making a comeback.

What is Contextual Targeting?

Contextual targeting isn’t new. In fact, it’s an approach used by marketers for decades. Think of vendors in a trade magazine, make-up in a fashion publication or a sporting goods manufacturer at a sports event.

In the realm of digital advertising, contextual targeting means that you’ll be selecting where your ads appear, or dynamically adjusting your ad creative to better align with the content and keywords on a website.

Contextual Targeting vs Behavioral Targeting

For the last decade or so, behavioral targeting has been the industry standard. This approach selects ads for users based on past purchases, browsing behavior and even in-store movement from data captured by mobile phones. Behavioral targeting allows organizations to “purchase” intent via cookies, mobile/location data, purchases on third party websites, payment processors and other shared data sources.

Behavioral targeting isn’t going away, but it will be more difficult to accomplish with recent changes to cookie policies and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For this reason, contextual targeting holds several benefits over behavioral targeting.

Benefits of Contextual Targeting

Companies can protect their brand, enhance their favorability, and engage more consumers with contextual targeting.

Relevancy: This approach places advertisements that are relevant to the content, making it much more genuine than behavioral targeting. Remember that behavioral targeting utilizes cookies and other stored data to push advertisements, which is not the case with contextual targeting.

Remain Privacy-Friendly: Because you are creating and placing ads yourself in contextual targeting, it values the privacy of the buyer much more. The content of the website is used for targeting rather than past behavior.

Pro Tip: The better you can understand the context of a page, the better your ad matching will be. 

How to Get Started with Contextual Targeting

One of the reasons many marketers turned away from contextual targeting is because requires a little more effort than behavioral targeting. While both forms of advertising aim to serve relevant ads to audiences at the right time, behavioral targeting leverages data to select most, if not all, ad placements and bidding strategies.

Here are some initial steps you can take before you engage with an agency. Unless you’re extremely familiar with the nuances of digital ad campaigns, you will likely need a trusted partner to guide you.

Review/revamp your buyer personas: Contextual targeting is successful if you know exactly who you want to target and what their exact interests are. Remember, the goal of this kind of targeting is to marry content with advertising to make sure that the visitor’s problems will be solved. Every organization should have a clear and concise description of their target audiences.

Understand your buyer’s journey: It’s also helpful to understand the various stages a buyer will experience prior to purchasing your product or service – from education to consideration to decision. Organizations should focus on creating a consistent experience for potential customers, ensuring all channels work together to bring customers through the buyer’s journey across different touchpoints on different platforms.

Brainstorming topics and keywords: To place your ads on relevant websites, you’ll need to tell your advertising system what topics and keywords are important. Topics are broad categories like “sports” or “yoga”. Keywords are for more precise targeting within your broad topics. Together, topics and keywords will help determine where your ads should be placed.

Your Next Steps 

If you want to keep your brand visible and relevant, then contextual targeting is an ideal option. It’s about making sure that the right product/service is shown alongside the right content of any given website or social media page — without intruding on privacy.

Hopefully the tips above will help improve your digital advertising. Have more questions about contextual targeting? Reach out to us directly.

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SEO for eCommerce: Keyword Research and Why it Matters

SEO for eCommerce: Keyword Research and Why it Matters

SEO for eCommerce: Keyword Research and Why it Matters

5-easy-ways-to-generate-website-traffic
Liz-headshot

Meet the Author

Liz Hersh is the founder of Hersh PR and Marketing, a digital marketing agency. Together with a team of marketing professionals she helps clients generate leads and increase revenue. 

Keyword Research is the Foundation of Your SEO Efforts 

Businesses currently exist in an environment that is driven by two things: Visibility and internet traffic. These elements are necessary for generating leads and moving merchandise. 

Search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO, will improve both elements. When the content on an eCommerce website is optimized, it is more likely to appear on the first page of search results for a set of search terms, which will improve visibility and traffic.

Keyword research is the X-Factor when it comes to the overall success of an eCommerce business. While keyword research requires extensive knowledge of search engines and industry tools, there are several basic concepts that every entrepreneur should understand to quickly evaluate their current situation and understand where there’s room for improvement.

Understanding User Intent

To understand keyword research, you need to understand that user intent drives Google searches. Some users will be looking for general information about a topic while others are looking for very specific information related to their keywords. 

Search engines are getting better at understanding user intent, but it’s also incumbent upon the business to test keywords and understand what delivers results. Transactional queries are important to eCommerce websites because a user might be looking for a specific item, color, brand or style. Over time, retailers can begin to understand the journey a customer takes to learn about their product and eventually make a purchase. 

Tools for eCommerce SEO Research

Of the dozens of SEO research tools that are available, there are two that stand out as being highly reputable and effective: Moz and Semrush.

These two tools are what agencies use for eCommerce keyword research to ensure that products and services appear on the first page of searches. Here are a few ways they support keyword research:

  • Conduct audits: In-depth audits take time, but these tools automate the process to help quickly identify SEO issues.
  • Identify keyword opportunities: Find high-converting opportunities or keyword variations that can be beneficial.
  • Dissect competitor SEO strategies: Use this insight to formulate your own strategy.

Although anybody can use Moz and Semrush, it does take a significant amount of time to learn the full capability of these tools which is why SEO and keyword research is typically outsourced to an agency partner.

Pro Tip: Explore your competitors top-ranking pages to discover phrases you may have overlooked. 

The Importance of Keyword Mapping

Keyword mapping is an important step in the process. This is where you connect a specific keyword to a specific product or category page. This step brings structure to your strategy, and if your document is organized properly, it will help you track what keywords/pages are performing optimally.

We typically evaluate and select keywords based on monthly search volume and keyword difficulty, but you might identify niche keywords or longtail keywords that provide value. Research tools can provide valuable insight, but the best way to discover what works is to test and evaluate!

Your Product and Category Pages Matter

An eCommerce site is generally only as good as its best performing product pages. Identifying what products are performing well and further optimizing these pages can yield results. 

Optimizing pages that already rank while working on new phrases/products is a balancing act that takes time. The key here is to demonstrate to search engines that you have relevant products and you’re consistently updating your website.

As you continue to work your strategy, you’ll begin to rank for more search terms. And remember that pairing an organic SEO strategy with paid advertising is an effective way to begin generating traffic while you build trust and credibility with search engines.

Getting Started with Keyword Research

Effective SEO keyword research is a process. It takes time to determine which keywords will place your products and services on the first page of any given search engine. Doing the necessary research involves an understanding of your products, buyer intent and third-party SEO tools. This combination of expertise is why many eCommerce retailers opt to partner with an agency. Make sure this partner not only has a proven track record of SEO research, but can show demonstrable results.

Hopefully the tips above will help improve your eCommerce conversions. Have more questions about keyword research? Reach out to us directly.

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WordPress Websites: What to Look for in a Web Design Company

WordPress Websites: What to Look for in a Web Design Company

WordPress Websites: What to Look for in a Web Design Company

Liz-headshot

Meet the Author

Liz Hersh is the founder of Hersh PR and Marketing, a digital marketing agency. Together with a team of marketing professionals she helps clients generate leads and increase revenue. 

Find the Right Partner to Build Your WordPress Website 

Having a strong website is important because it’s often the first impression you will make on potential customers. Whether they found you through a search engine or through a link shared by a connection, your website is typically the first point of contact.  A strong website is well-organized, easy to navigate, modern (in terms of style and layout), functional, branded, and motivates the visitor to do business with you.

A company specializing in website design and development will help you achieve a website that looks great and is suited to your style or brand. A website developer will use the designer’s specifications in order to bring the concept to life. Here’s what to look for when choosing a WordPress web design company:

Are They The Total Package?

It takes a surprising number of specialists to launch a successful website. A content specialist will ensure you nail the marketing messages. A graphic designer can make those words pop. And a developer has the technical expertise to ensure everything functions properly. Make sure the company you partner with is able to handle the content, design and any custom coding needed for your website to function the way you want it to.

Review Their Portfolio

What has the web designer or developer done for other companies? Do you like their past work? While it’s true that the definition of what makes a great website varies slightly from company to company, you should observe a level of design and function that is indicative of a professional. Looking at the projects that your web design and development firm have already completed will give you the best idea of what they can do for you.

How Big is This Company – And How Big is Their Average Client?

Designing a website for a small business is much different than designing a website for a large corporation. The scope of work and resources required are drastically different. If a firm doesn’t understand your needs and how to fill them (one-on-one meetings, the ability to change things on your own in the content management system, follow up help after the project is complete), you might need to consider a firm better suited to work with small and mid-size businesses.

Pro Tip: It’s advantageous to work with a company that you can form a long-term business relationship with. Not all freelancers are interested in long-term relationships because they may not have the resources to support your future goals.

Consider Your Timeline

Do you need this project done quickly? Is there a specific date you have in mind to launch? Making sure that a company can plan a reasonable timeline, or that they can follow the timeline you have in mind, will help the project go smoothly. And don’t forget to ask how the relationship between your company and theirs will continue once the project is complete.

Upfront and Ongoing Investment

Depending on the status of your business, price can be a major factor in deciding who designs, builds, and maintains your website. Websites are a lot like cars, ranging from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the functionality, appearance and security required. That’s why it’s important to clearly define your goals and requirements and educate yourself on the resources required to make it happen. And remember, even after design, development, and implementation, websites require maintenance. They are a tool that can help your business grow and thrive when properly maintained.

We believe the best way to achieve your dream website is by hiring a single company dedicated to the design, development, and implementation of your site.  Contact us today for more information.

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What makes marketing so challenging?

Trying to keep-up with the tools, technology and the limited attention span of your target market are all challenging. Get our tips on how to grow leads and revenue, delivered directly to your inbox.

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Request a Consultation.

Are you ready to take action?
Let’s see how we can reach your goals with a 20-minute introductory call.