Contextual advertising a highly targeted online advertising method that delivers advertisements on websites and other online media (which may include mobile phone browsers, videos, and search results pages). It is one of the most efficient online advertising methods available and proves equally lucrative for advertisers, with a product or service to sell, and online publishers who wish to maximize the revenue generated by their online content.

A Brief Look at Traditional Online Marketing Methods

The simplest online advertising method is to either pay site owners to add a banner or text link to one or more of their pages, or pay them affiliate commissions for sales generated from their site(s). It’s one of the oldest and most basic online advertising methods there is, but it is far from being the most efficient way to generate leads and/or online sales.

Why Contextual Advertising is Superior to Other Marketing Methods

Contextual advertising is superior to other advertising methods because instead of an unchanging banner or text link appearing on specifically chosen sites, advertisements appear on all suitable sites within the contextual advertising network and an inherent part of the advertising system ensures adverts are matched to media that is a close match to the product or service being advertised. This results in a higher click-through rate and ensures a win-win situation for advertisers and publishers alike:

  • Advertisers gain maximum exposure to a highly targeted audience
  • Publisher are ensured only relevant products are advertised and a variety of advertisers ensures a variety of (changing) advertisements.


Further Considerations

Although Amazon provides their affiliates with widgets that utilize contextual advertising techniques, (and these offer obvious advantages Amazon affiliates), the widgets only show Amazon products so the full power of the system is not harnessed. Contextual advertising works best when a contextual advertising network such as Google AdSense is involved to act as a middle man between advertisers and publishers. AdSense was probably the first major contextual advertising network. It remains the most powerful to this day, but it is beyond the scope of this article to go into the many benefits offered by Google AdSense so we will save the subject for another time.