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What is Targeting?

Targeting is part of online marketing and plays an important role especially in the areas of SEA and display advertising. Targeting (target = aim) is an attempt to direct the advertising as precisely as possible towards customers or target groups. This targeting is intended to avoid large scattering losses

  • Advertising campaigns should fit the users as precisely as possible
  • Increases the probability of conversions and reduces wastage
  • Important for SEA, display advertising and SEO

How targeting works

First of all an exact target group definition must be made before each targeting. If the addressees of the advertising messages cannot be clearly determined, the targeting of these messages cannot develop its full effect. Targeting can be carried out all the more finely and precisely, the more precisely the corresponding target group is captured. After this determination and analysis, the appropriate marketing action and its optimisation can be carried out. Online targeting was usually based on the use of cookies, but recently other forms of user tagging have been added. Based on this information, the user can be shown the appropriate advertising messages. In the meantime, about a dozen different forms of targeting have become established. Content Targeting or Contextual Targeting, for example, is common. Here, the type of advertising shown depends on the topic and certain terms of the page content. If an article is about a certain product, the advertiser can also place the appropriate banners with purchase incentives in relation to such or similar products. Semantic targeting goes one step further. In this type of targeting, software analyses the meaning of the content. Not only keywords, but complete contexts of meaning are helpful here. Keyword targeting, on the other hand, is simply a matter of previously defined keywords that trigger a corresponding advertisement. In addition, socio-demographic targeting can also be carried out. With this form of targeting, the ads are aligned to the social environment and demographic criteria such as age, gender or status of the target group. The data is usually taken from surveys or advertising networks

Other common forms of targeting

Behavioral Targeting is about the behavior of the user himself. A target-group-specific placement of advertisements here draws on as many individual aspects as possible to create a meaningful profile for the respective user behaviour. The operating systems used or the geographical location of the customer can play a role in the orientation of the advertisement. With so-called predictive behavioural targeting, an attempt is even made to predict user behaviour. Retargeting is a special form of targeting, which targets customers who have not (yet) carried out a certain interaction in an online shop or on a page. We find social media targeting for example in Facebook advertising. Here, advertisers are in a good position to align their target groups based on profile data of users of a social network. Geotargeting is aimed at users in a specific geographical region. The type of advertisements or the target group address is therefore based on the position of the user, which is determined e.g. by the IP address. The technical targeting includes information on the operating system or software used. This makes it possible to deliver display banners in different versions (e.g. Flash or not). In any case, the advertising is therefore targeted as closely as possible to the target group. Of course, there are also limits to targeting. On the one hand, users can feel unsettled by certain insertions, as they often can hardly explain why they are shown such banners etc. Therefore, advertisers should always be aware of the limit when advertising is no longer seen as appealing but rather as annoying, so that no contrary effects are achieved. Caution should be exercised in particular with regard to keyword targeting, as it is particularly easy to achieve unsuccessful and inappropriate targeting here. Misinterpretations, e.g. of user behaviour, are of course always possible and pose a certain risk. For SEOs, targeting is also a very important discipline to prepare content for the target group. If the whole thing is approached correctly and effectively, then the click through rate can be increased and at the same time the bounce rate can be lowered. After all, these parameters are relevant for the search engines ranking.

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