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Display Ad Targeting Strategies

Perhaps one of the most difficult tasks that any small business owner must overcome is the ability to properly gauge his or her audience. Thankfully, the last few years have provided businesses everywhere with greater technology in an effort to profile online audiences. Today's technology allows for a greater analysis of the constituency of any given business, including on the local level. Never before has localized audience profiling become so simple, and as a result, advertising has made a dramatic turn for the individual. Below is a list of various targeting strategies. Be sure to read through all of them to know which ones are most applicable to your needs.

Contextual Targeting

Contextual targeting applies context clues in search queries made by a potential audience in an effort to determine the needs and desires of the constituents. The primary technology it uses is through natural language programs.

Geographic Targeting

As the name implies, this type of targeting makes assumptions based on physical map location as well as a determination of the target's IP address. This type of targeting is frequently used in online political advertising.


This type of targeting takes advantage of a target's past behavior, namely ads that worked on this internet browser in the past. By finding what previously draws the user's attention, a strategy to meet their needs can be formulated.

Automated CPC Optimization

This strategy automatically purchases advertisements based on all available data. The goal is to find a good balance between purchasing advertisement space and data concerning the target audience.

Audience Targeting

Similar to the retargeting/remarketing method, audience target takes it a step further and specifically observing a viewer's past purchases and other online activity. Typically, audience targeting information can be acquired by an online data aggregation company.

Voter Data Targeting

Voter Data Targeting is a type of advertisement strategy that relies on a target audience's voter registration data. Typically, their voter registration data will be matched with a company that provides databases full of information, which in turn can be used to find appropriate audiences for your product. This type of targeting is particularly common with online political advertising.

When considering your target audience(s), be sure to leave nothing to chance. Ask yourself these questions in an effort to better assess your audience:

  • How big is your projected audience?

  • How much money can you spend on advertisement creation and distribution?

  • Is your ad flight lengthy? And if so, is it appropriate to the audience?

  • How accurately does your research relate to your campaign?

Consider working with an experienced provider like Vantage Local for your online display campaign.

Leslie Van Zee is passionate about entrepreneurship and understanding what makes small businesses successful.  An avid fan of lean startups, she makes sure to get out of the building as much as possible in her role as manager of marketing...

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to leave comments.

Commenter: Paul Strong

2008, March 26

dos that mean it will be aol/yahoo.com funny they need to get it togather it would be a great deal and make both company stronger they would have no compatition maybe just inter fighting between them self i think there was too many ego involve in this not to mention all the money at stake well im ready for a change there both very good isp i been with both isp now for a long time and they have a lot to offer and google has a good bit of special things to offer to oh well i wish both of them luck like they need it paul strong usa