What Is Contextual Targeting in Google Ads?

January 29, 2024

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Google Ads are one of the best ways for businesses of any size to promote their products or services.

But the secret to a successful marketing campaign is making sure you deliver highly relevant ads to your target audience. One way to do that is through behavioural advertising which takes into account a user’s browsing history. But Google now presents a new type of targeting that could prove very useful for your business: contextual targeting.

Here’s everything you need to know about contextual targeting in Google Ads.

What is Contextual Targeting?

Contextual targeting is a method used to deliver ads in the Display Network. Ads are assigned to a specific placement based on the context of the webpage and the ad itself.

The benefits of contextual targeting can include delivering more relevant ads to target audiences and not having to rely on third parties for the online behaviours of users.

Google will use two sources to determine the placement of a contextual ad:

  • Webpage information – Google will use artificial intelligence to determine a central theme or a topic for the web page;
  • Display Network campaign information – Google uses your keywords to determine the relevancy of the ad and where to place them.

Whether your ad will show on a web page or not will also depend on several other factors:

How Do You Do Contextual Targeting?

To create a contextual advertising campaign in Google Ads, all you need to do is assign content keywords or topics to ad groups. The rest of the campaign structure remains the same, meaning you will need to provide Google with ad copy, images, and a landing page link for your ad.

Which one you choose generally depends on how narrow you want your target audience to be, as the target keywords can help you refine your delivery, while topic-based placements get a bigger reach.

What Is a Contextual Targeting Example?

Let’s assume you want to promote your new line of women’s shoes. Here’s how contextual targeting would look in practice:

Based on Keywords

Your keyword research reveals that keywords like “running shoe women” are relevant for your ads. If you add them to your ad groups, Google will use these target keywords to find web pages in the Display Network that match your terms.

Based on Topics

Google provides several topics and subtopics to choose from. If you want a broader approach, you can simply search for your relevant topic, such as “women’s apparel”, and then Google will show your ads on all its web pages that match this topic.

Is Google’s Contextual Advertising for You?

Google’s ad network provides a lot of useful tools for advertisers, but it stands to reason that not all of them will be useful for everyone.

So is contextual advertising for your business?

Through contextual advertising, you can deliver a highly targeted ad to users who are already looking for topics relevant to your business, only on different websites. It’s a much less invasive way to promote your products and services, but its success lies in how well you optimize your campaigns.

If you want to create Google Ads campaigns that convert, the Australian Internet Advertising team is happy to help. Reach out to us today for more information!

Billy P.

About The Author

William Polson founded Australian Internet Advertising in 2013 and has over 12 years of experience immersed in Digital Marketing.

With an in-depth level of digital marketing knowledge, William has been sort after by and worked for, many large national brands including Subaru, Blooms The Chemist, and Nova 96.9.

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