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10 Eternal Myths About Contextual Advertising, or Phobias & Misconceptions of the Modern Advertiser



Misconceptions of the Modern Advertiser

The year 2021. Our days. The Internet advertising market grew 14% in the first half of the year. Contextual advertising – one of the most common advertising channels, and it would seem that everything with it is clear and transparent, but alas myths and backstage rumors are still here.

It’s worth understanding what a myth is first. Myth is a narrative that conveys people’s idea of the world, people’s place in it, and the origin of all things and the transcendent. At the same time, the word “myth” has a pejorative connotation: it is a sterile, unsubstantiated assertion, devoid of reliance on rigorous proof or reliable evidence.

In order to prepare a list of the most common stereotypical superstitions, we gathered information from contextual advertising experts, salespeople, i.e., the statements below are the words and thoughts of clients in 2021.

Disclaimer – the article does not take into account isolated cases that could be used as evidence for the truth of a claim. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Especially according to a broken clocks salesman.


Myth 1: You can’t advertise without end-to-end analytics

A lot of businesses work fine without end-to-end analytics. Sad but True. Especially in B2B. When there are few advertising clients, and their checks differ by an order of magnitude, then end-to-end analytics won’t do anything significant to optimize advertising. Imagine you got 10 clients, of which one ordered for $100, one for $10,000, and the rest were somewhere in the middle. What will it give you, and what adjustments will you make in advertising? The other side of the question is that the buying decision cycle in B2B is long. How will you use revenue data from leads that came in a month ago?

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The main conclusion here is that everything is subjective. In some cases, using end-to-end analytics can be (mostly) a waste of money. In others – it can be very justified and show a good ROI. So, evaluate your performance and use the path that is more beneficial to you.

Myth 2: Contextual advertising is expensive.

Yes, it’s not cheap. Especially in the wrong hands. Clicks are expensive and growing every year. But it’s expensive only if it does not pay off. If it pays off – it’s acceptable. Therefore, it is more correct to say that contextual advertising has a rather high entry budget, without which it is extremely difficult to accumulate the necessary statistics in a short period of time to optimize the campaign for the volume of leads, their cost, and an acceptable ROI.

At the same time, there are many topics and industries where contextual advertising works poorly or does not work at all (local beauty salons and unknown clothing mono brands), but other sources work well. For example, targeting. For these topics, contextual advertising will be expensive – no doubt.

Myth 3: Contextual advertising without a good site will not work

Why won’t it work? It will, but poorly, and the experts will quickly bump the number of leads to the ceiling. On the other hand, a good site – is the one that sells, not the one that meets all the design trends. Much depends on the subject, region, and target audience. There are industries and places where ugly-eyed sites with cheesy UX/UI are benchmarks of site-building and some conservative foreman would rather close the page than create a new neural link on the comfortable “paths” of a modern resource if everything is not as crooked and trashy as he is used to.

With that in mind, it’s important to note a truth that applies to more than just contextual advertising and that you’ve definitely heard more than once – you should know your target audience very well (or hire someone who can learn it for you). Without this knowledge, you can make a site in line with the latest trends, but it’s far from certain that your audience will like it.

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Myth 4: Contextual advertising is not necessary for large sites with good SEO

Of course, this is a myth. You only need to look at premium display ads to find hypermarket ads there. The majority of popular search engines audience does not separate the page into ads and organics due to ignorance or unwillingness to understand, and even if they do, they do not consider achievements in organics to be an indicator of trust: the one who is higher, to whom it is easier to reach with the mouse pointer along the shortest path from the path of sight – that is the trust.

In a world without advertising, a site with good SEO optimization will feel fine. In a world with advertising, it’s not bad either, but it will get considerably less traffic than it could. After all, that’s the point of advertising – to get clicks that you just wouldn’t get. So, remember, having an optimized site is very good, but also remember to look at the data on how much traffic your competitors’ advertising activity is taking away from you.

Myth 5. After the promotion of the site can forget about contextual advertising

Why forget about what brings profit? This myth was popularized and continues to be popularized by salespeople because the margin on SEO sales is often higher than that of contextual advertising services, which positively affects the size of the bonus. A client needs to be shown the benefit of risky investments with long-term payback, and its role is taken by the likely savings by reducing the budget for context on those keywords that will come up in the top output. It sounds logical and perfectly flies in the face. But it’s just as mythical as the myth above.

Myth 6: There is no need to pay commission to the agency

This is true only if the advertising is set up with cheap “experts” according to instructions from the Internet, and then in the static. You will either get it done cheaply and poorly, or normally, but for normal money. If the task is complex, and the budget is decent, you need an analytically thinking and financially interested in growth contractors who are not limited by labor costs for the project. And this, naturally, is a big expense.

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Myth 7: “All of my competitors are clicking my ads out”.

Technically it is possible, as well as possible to use behavioral factor boosting bots, but the risk is more to the initiator than the victim of clicks. How does the initiator know that the “click” actually happened, if he does not have access to the competitor’s site stats?  The business of “clicking” itself is in the shadows. Who you give the money to, how the dishonest work will be done, and whether it will be done at all is a big question.

But even if we assume that this happened and the search engine protection system did not reveal the patterns, properties, and parameters of the click that it was a fraud, it can easily be detected by the contextual specialist on unexplained traffic bursts, to inform the support service and get a refund for fake visits to the account.

Practice shows that often employees who are too lazy to type the name of the site in the address bar or search for it are the reason for the low efficiency of advertising. After all, click on it is more convenient. But this is cut off in the settings of the advertising cabinet.

Myth 8: Advertising for your own branded queries, for which your company is at the top of the organic results – it’s money down the drain.

Of course, organic search engine results are important and useful. But as we said earlier, users often do not recognize ads from organics or for other reasons click on the first thing that comes up. So all a competitor needs to do to get your traffic for branded queries is to buy ads. There is no one-fits-all solution here – you have to rely on data on the correlation of potential ad spend to possible losses from “stolen” traffic.

If the data says you should join the battle for traffic, you shouldn’t do it mindlessly. The optimal ways in such cases are:

  1. Show to everyone except current customers
  2. To be shown for those keywords, for which there are competitors in the ad unit.

Myth 9. “First place in a search engine listing is the best conversion rate. All budget for advertising Everest!”

This is not a myth. If you look at a long time frame, the first position has the highest conversion rate. If the budget is unlimited, why not? However, it is worth bearing in mind that the exorbitant cost of the first position will most often go against the “maximum leads for an acceptable cost” approach.

Myth 10: “There is free search engine traffic – totally free. I don’t need advertising.”

There’s a lot to say here, but it’s not worth it. So, just no comment.

Shabbir Ahmad is a highly accomplished and renowned professional blogger, writer, and SEO expert who has made a name for himself in the digital marketing industry. He has been offering clients from all over the world exceptional services as the founder of Dive in SEO for more than five years.

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