What is Contextual Targeting and How to Use it?

What is Contextual Targeting and How to Use it?
June 1, 2019 MadMarTech

Contextual Targeting is one of the best targeting strategies available on Google Ads. It is called content targeting in the user interface of Google Ads. Contextual targeting is when you show your ads to people who are consuming content in the relevant field of your product. For example, If you are reading a blog post on smartwatches, then a Samsung Galaxy watch ad shows up on the right-hand side of the page. So, Samsung Galaxy is using contextual targeting to target the related posts/web pages.

You could do Contextual targeting/Content targeting using the following 3 ways:

  1. Keywords
  2. Placements
  3. Topic

Let us deep dive into each of the above to understand how it works and how you could use them for your next display campaign.

Contextual Targeting Using Keywords

Using keywords on contextual targeting, you could target the websites which have dedicated content written in and around that keyword. There are two ways of using this:

  1. Have a list of prepared keywords and copy paste it in the keyword tab
  2. Use your custom landing page to get ideas from Google.

Using, either way is good for the campaign, however, we would recommend using a combination of both keywords and landing page URL to reap out maximum benefits out of this tool.

A disclaimer: Using custom intent audience keywords are powerful as compared to contextual targeting as they lead to higher conversions. For more info on this, check this post. 

Now let us have a look at how to use contextual targeting using keywords.

Let us consider that you would like to promote the new sunglass collection for men. You have already done your keyword research and have a basic keyword list.

Step 1: Add the list of relevant keywords in the tool

Once you have added the list, you would get an estimated reach on the right-hand side of the interface.

 

contextual targeting by adding keywords

Step 2: Use “Get keyword ideas by adding a topic.

In this case, we are adding sunglasses. Once the idea is generated, go through the list of generated keywords which are ranked based on the relevance and add them to your keyword list

 

contextual keyword targeting using topic targeting

 

Step 3: Add the relevant custom landing page of your site and add your competitor site.

Start by adding your landing page first and add the keywords to your keyword list using the “Add all ideas” button. Repeat the same process to expand your keyword list by adding your competitor landing page for sunglasses as well. By doing this, it will expand your reach exponentially.

contextual targeting using competitive URL for keywords

 

 

 

 


 

Contextual Targeting Using Placement

Using Contextual targeting, you could cherry pick the placements you want your display Ads to be. There are multiple placement options you could choose from:

  1. Website
  2. Youtube Channels
  3. Youtube Videos
  4. Apps
  5. App Categories

Let us now discover how to use each of the above categories in detail.

 

Website Placement

These are the list of websites where you want your display ads to be placed. You could enter the URL of the specific website or type in the topic and Google will pull out a list of relevant websites. Ideally, you could add all of them as the website placements have higher relevancy as compared to other placement options listed above.

For example: Here is the list of websites Google thinks is relevant to promote a suit campaign.

website placement for contextual targeting using placement

Youtube Video Placement

As the name suggests, advertisers can target certain videos of their choice and the display ads appear to the users who are viewing that particular video. Here is a list of 1000+ videos that are around the topic “suits for men”. Not all the suggested videos may be relevant for your brand or campaign, so choose wisely.

 

Youtube video placement using contextual targeting for display ads

 

Youtube Video Placement

As the name suggests, advertisers can target certain videos of their choice and the display ads appear to the users who are viewing that particular video. Here is a list of 1000+ videos that are around the topic “suits for men”. Not all the suggested videos may be relevant for your brand or campaign, so choose wisely.

 

Youtube video placement using contextual targeting for display ads

 

App Placement

Advertisers can target users on mobile apps that are designed for the said topic. All you need to do is add the keyword/topic and Google will suggest all the relevant apps. Here is an example:

app placement for contextual placement targeting

App Category Placement

Google groups the apps into multiple predefined categories and you could target the apps that belong to your category of business. This placement is only recommended if you are running a branding campaign as they are quite broad in terms of targeting.

 

app category placement for contextual targeting


 

Contextual Targeting By Topic

You could target sites, apps, and videos that talk about a specific topic using contextual targeting. However, these are very broad subjects and not ideal for conversion campaigns and are primarily used for branding purposes.

Here are parent topic categories with a list of sub-categories:

topic targeting using contextual targeting

You could enter specific keywords to filter out relevant topic categories for your campaign.

topic targeting using contextual targeting

 

 

 


 

Conclusion

Contextual targeting is very powerful to yield maximum conversions if used correctly. We recommend testing multiple combinations to see which one works best for you. If you are unsure, create one ad group with one targeting strategies and increase the bid for the placements that have the best performance based on the set ad group goal.

If you would like to know audience targeting strategies, which works better than contextual targeting to drive conversions, then read this post.