Understanding Ad Targeting Jargon: Audience Targeting, Behavioral Targeting, Hypertargeting and More

Source: CrowdScience
Ad targeting has become the hot new buzz word in the online publishing world. After all, what advertiser doesn’t want their message to be seen by the right person at exactly the right time? In general, ad targeting technologies try to understand characteristics of web visitors and serve them ads based on their interests. In the old days, it was purely contextual advertising – if certain keywords were on the page, then the visitor must be interested in that subject and an ad would be served to them.

These days, there are many ways to target ads and as many buzzwords to go with them. Below are a few of the commonly used terms and their definitions.

Audience Targeting

Audience Targeting allows advertisers to target ads to audiences based on their interests and demographic profiles. These groups of audience are often called segments; for example, a fitness segment would target people interested in physical fitness and associated consumer goods. Audience targeting lets advertisers target potential customers wherever they are online, regardless of the context of the page.

Behavioral Targeting

Behavioral targeting collects data from an individual’s web browsing behavior and infers characteristics about that visitor based on that behavior. The targeting technology then selects which advertisements that fit the visitor’s behavioral profile. Behavioral targeting takes into account a multitude of behavioral factors, including pages visited and online searches.

Contextual Targeting

Contextual targeting is an advertising model where advertisements are manually or automatically targeted to the content of a webpage. The advertisement is usually relevant to the content in which it is embedded. An example of content targeted advertising is travel sites with content targeted advertisements that include flights, hotels, and car rentals.


Geotargeting shows advertisements based on the physical location of the user. This is effective for people or businesses that want to target a specific location.


Hypertargeting delivers advertising content to very specific, interest-based segments in a network. Hypertargeting often reaches a very small group of individuals that have a strong mutual interest or characteristic. For example, dog lovers in San Francisco would be a very hypertargeted segment. Or people who like purple socks.


Ad retargeting involves using a site visitor’s search history to influence the ads that the visitor is shown in the future. For example, if you visit an e-commerce store and look at a particular product, retargeted ads for that product will be shown to you as you visit other websites.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s