April 27, 2012

“Contextual Advertising”: What it is, and why it matters to small businesses

by John Theriault,

As social media and Internet advertising gets more sophisticated, the focus is now on what’s called “contextual advertising”.

The premise is simple but the execution is complex. The idea is that if you search for new cars online for example, you’ll start to see related advertising. Ads for similar types of cars and car loans from banks will appear, for example. The same thing happens on Facebook. If you’re discussing cars in your “wall”, you’ll see related ads on the right side of your Facebook site.

This type of advertising is in its infancy, and will grow dramatically over the next several years. Google+ for example, will tie-in ads to what you’ve been searching for on the web. Considering that 65% of all search on the Internet is done through Google, the company has an extraordinary advantage in the world of contextual advertising. They’ll use that to build Google+ ad revenue.

The real focus for this is mobile. By 2015 it’s estimated that mobile search will outpace desktop search. It’s not surprising, when you think about it. When we’re on the road, we’re often looking for places to eat, shop, and other activities. Mobile search will get increasingly more sophisticated and will “recommend” a wider range of related information using multi-media.

For small businesses, start by making sure your site is registered with the search engines, particularly Google Places, Yahoo Directory, and Bing. Also, understand the words and phrases people use to find you. A good site is Google Ad Words, which allows you to search for free. Finally, make sure your site is mobile compatible so that when users find you, they can navigate your site from their phone successfully.

As more and more of business marketing moves to the digital domain, the key is to get highly targeted in helping your customers find you.

Mobile Marketing, News, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing , , , ,
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