Brill Media

How Does Domain Contextual Targeting Work?

How Does Domain Contextual Targeting Work?

In the last post we talked about contextual targeting and what it is. For advertisers, contextual is about targeting people based on the content and context of a page.

In this post we’ll talk about how the technology is deployed.

There are three main ways contextual advertising is deployed:

  1. Based on keyword targets
  2. Domain targets
  3. URL targets
  1. Keywords Targets

Keyword targeting for contextual advertising is about running ads on pages that contain specific keywords, or conversely, that exclude specific keywords.

If a page has the requisite keywords, I want our ads to run on that page.

Let’s say I want to sell coffee to people who are interested and researching coffee.

In this case contextual targeting allows us to serve up ads on pages where people are having a robusta conversation about delicious coffee. Words on the page may include coffee, espresso, latte, roast, nespresso, starbucks, home brew, cold brew, and barista.

It would make sense for a person on this type of page, this Taste Of Home article about coffee to see our ad.

According to Ahrefs, a tool we use to understand directionally accurate page views and domain information, this particular URL gets an estimated 21.9k page loads monthly.

So that means there are people researching coffee, who would love to see your coffee brand on this particular page. So, now there are thousands of individual pages on sites across the web, like this page from USA Today, and this page from a blog, about blogs for coffee lovers

  1. Domain Targets

We’ll take our business, for an example about domain targets.

We want to reach either small business owners, marketing decision makers, or people in the programmatic advertising business.

So, let’s focus on marketing decision makers, which can be senior marketing executives, the C-suite, directors of marketing, VPs, and COOs. These are the people we typically talk to when we run campaigns.

If I want to reach these people I first need to identify the types of places that speak to marketing decision makers. They include,,,,,,,, and

There are definitely more, but this list is sufficient. With contextual targeting to domains we have asserted that anyone who visits our audience.

We simply list these URLs, and serve ads anytime there is an available ad impression for our target audience.

We know that anyone on these pages is either a business person, or more specifically an advertising executive. Our ads should be seen by these audiences.

  1. URL Targets

This is really interesting to me because it gives us so much control over where our ads run.

Let’s drill down further into the example of people looking to reach marketing decision makers.

Maybe we don’t want to serve ads on any page on the sites lists like Forbes, Entrepreneur and Bloomberg

Instead, we only want to serve ads on URLs inside those publications that speak to marketing challenges. We can do that. By identifying the exact URLs that we want to run on our ads will only run if there are available ad calls on those individual URLs.

When I do a search I find these URLs, if we think this is the right signal to reach business decision makers our ads appear on just those pages.

This is narrow-casting advertising delivery, whereas the other two are a broader deployment of contextual targeting.

You can see that contextual targeting can be a very powerful tool for advertisers to reach audiences based on very granular data signals.

What’s more, the ad inventory is abundant in most cases, allowing advertisers to reach a scale of potential buyers in a way that allows businesses to grow.

Supercharge Your Media Buying Today

Supercharge Your Media Buying Today