If you're a small business owner and have an Internet presence (as you should!), then you may or may not have heard of contextual advertising. But before you get started with this effective advertising medium, you need to know what you are getting into.

What Is Contextual Advertising?

Contextual advertising is experienced when advertisements based on the content available on a web page being viewed appears dynamically without any external prompting. This usually takes place in either a partially automated or fully automated manner. Contextual advertisements can lead to comparatively fewer conversions than pay-per-click (PPC) search engine advertisements because of timing problems. There is no real way to calculate how the arrival of the ads lines up with the readiness of potential customers to buy.

People who will be accessing your website through a PPC search tend to be further along the cycle of sales. This generally means that they will be drilling down with keywords that are more specific, actively searching for a business that sells the product they want.

Advantages

In the case of bad timing, most advertisers may consider contextual advertising to be a less effective advertising method if main intent behind it is to get quick returns. However, contextual search ads offer certain tangible advantages, provided you realize that there will be smaller conversions, at least initially.

For example, keywords that are there in contextual advertising generally cost less than keywords that are used in PPC searches. So, an ad campaign that is based on content does not cost more, which means that just a few conversions can result in a decent ROI (returns on investment).

You can't ignore the value of the exposure of your website and products in any online format, especially if it has pages that are rich in content. Visitors reading such content on the Internet are already interested in the topic, products or services. Therefore, there are more chances of them noticing your advertisement or taking note of your site as an avenue for exploring when they are ready to make a purchase.