Is Behavioral Advertising Right for your Site?

Monetization Tips & Guides
Last updated: August 12, 2022 | by Kean Graham

This post was most recently updated on August 12th, 2022

“With great power comes great responsibility”

The power of the internet especially when advertising is immense. The amazing things publishers know and can learn about their users cannot be matched by any channel. This opens the door to granular targeting which is a very powerful form of marketing.

Now, for those of you who aren’t sure what behavioral advertising is, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Here is an example that should make it clearer:

  • Step 1: A user logs onto AirCanada.com to check flight prices but doesn’t end up buying anything.
  • Step 2: A temporary cookie is put onto the user’s computer notifying that the user has been on AirCanada.com.
  • Step 3: The user logs onto your site.
  • Step 4: Your ad software finds the AirCanada cookie and displays an AirCanada ad attempting to get the user to finish their purchase cycle.

As you can see these type of ads have the potential to be very targeted which results in more money for you, the publisher. What ad serves if the user doesn’t have any of these cookies? Whatever ad is chosen to serve behind it. Therefore, publishers wouldn’t lose out if they served behavioral targeted ads. So what’s all the hoopla against it?

Many users are scared about the whole “Big Brother” aspect of the internet. Publishers and ad networks are able to know “too much about users”. Ad networks have reacted to this in two ways:

  • 1. Re-branding behavioral advertising by calling it “retargeting”. It does sound much nicer, doesn’t it?
  • 2. Having a link on their ads with an opt-out option.

So, it really comes down to your users. Would they generally be comfortable with a form of advertising that reads their browsing history and displays relevant ads? Keep in mind, Google AdSense and most ad networks do practice behavioral advertising but you can opt-out of those programs.

If you do end up allowing behavioral advertising on your site, remember to include that you do so on your privacy policy. Like I said:

“With great power comes great responsibility”

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