Contextual marketing involves displaying targeted ads based upon search terms that visitors have recently entered into a search engine. The rationale is that by displaying ads linked to the user’s interests and browsing behaviour, this will reduce user annoyance with online advertising and improve click through and conversion rates. AdSense from Google is a contextual marketing platform which serves ads based on search terms recently used.
Behavioural targeting is a more advanced form of contextual marketing where ads are displayed based upon a combination of sites visited/content viewed and search terms entered. Every time a user visits a site, clicks on an advert or enters a search term a cookie is stored on the visitor’s computer so that the ad engine can track their behaviour and serve relevant ads to them. Behavioural targeting relies on networks of affiliated websites which agree to store the relevant cookies to track user behaviour.
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