The Basics of Behavioral Targeting for Website Optimization

Mar 28, 2013   //   by Ruben   //   internet marketing  //  2 Comments

Ever been in situation where you shopped online and were presented with an item of something you need? You’re first inclination might be to drop it in your cart since you’ll be using it along with the rest of your items. These affords you the convenience of not having to dig through a massive site to find it on your own, while the retailer picks up a sale they might not have made otherwise.

This situation is the result of behavioral targeting and is frequently used by businesses you want to optimize their website for the customer.

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(Courtesy of Flickr User: StockMonkeys.com)

The Definition of Behavioral Targeting

What is behavioral targeting exactly? It’s a set of techniques that are utilized by advertising networks, online publishers, and content providers to display relevant and targeted information to their site visitors.

When a user first visits a website that uses behavioral targeting technologies, information such as the pages they visit, the time they spend on each page, and the links they click on are recorded. Also of note are the user’s interactions with others online and how they respond to content. Based on this data, a user profile is then generated.

 

Behavioral Targeting in Action

 

Behavioral targeting is most commonly used on eCommerce websites and online retailers for product recommendations. Blogs also employ this optimization strategy in the form of recommended articles that will interest the viewer into exploring the website further.

For example, after reading articles about “how to chose the right job prospect,” more articles that containing recruiting advice will be displayed to the user on his or her succeeding visits.

 

Behavioral Targeting and Improving Conversions

 

Behavioral targeting increases conversions by giving your site visitors more of what they want to see or read about. Blogs, news sites, and online stores have layouts where areas are reserved for dynamic content. This space is where highly targeted content is displayed—be it product suggestions, a list of article recommendations, or a relevant ad.

 

Onsite Behavioral Targeting

 

There are two ways that behavioral targeting can be applied: onsite behavioral targeting and network behavioral targeting. eCommerce sites and online retailers commonly use onsite network targeting. If your goal is to increase site conversions or enhance the user experience, this technique is also beneficial. The first phase of the process involves the creation of generalized user profiles from information that has been pulled from the site’s visitors. Each profile will have a set of preferences and specifications associated with it. Once users arrive at the site they will be placed into one of the profiles and have targeted content displayed for the duration of their site visit.

The technique can also be applied the other way around with the use of self-learning behavioral targeting engines, which provide relevant content in real time as the user browses through the site.
Network Behavioral Targeting

The second type of behavioral targeting is network behavioral targeting. This type is often employed by those who deal with larger groups of people, such as ad servers. Because of the massive size of their user base, they are able to generate an approximate demographic makeup for the users on the sites in their network. Only ads that are relevant to the site’s audience will be displayed once the makeup is determined.

oth network and onsite behavioral targeting are often used simultaneously to optimize both the site content and the ads that are being served.

Finally, it’s important to mention that everyone may think that high traffic means that you’ll have the income coming in, but it goes without saying that these tools at your disposal are highly critical. The final step to any form of internet marketing should always be testing. What may work right may not work anywhere between 3-6 months. So it’s always important to keep an eye out for the amount of traffic coming, whether your websites are ranking and most importantly, whether your traffic is even converting to sales. So never forget, testing is not only crucial, but also an ongoing process that should never end. You can learn more about these tools like behavioral targeting at Maxymiser.com

 

 

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Ruben

This is a guest post by Ruben Corbo. He is a freelancer writer specialized in different topics including technology, online marketing with an AB Testing guide and Product Recommendation Engines, music, art, and motivation. When Ruben is not writing he is producing and composing music for short films and other forms of visual arts.

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  • Jane
    Twitter:
    says:

    A wonderful and a crucial topic for web based businesses. Unless we know how our users react and what kinda action they take, we cannot even think about conversions. All the theory about conversion will work only if we know how our customers/users behave :)

  • Ruben says:

    The pleasure if all here thank you!