Contextual targeting allows advertisers to only place their ads on pages that meet their topical criteria. For example, advertisers can choose to have their ads served only on pages that match chosen categories such as Buying/Selling Cars, or Desserts & Baking, depending on the subject matter and target demographic of their tactic.

Third-party providers analyze the content of URLs whenever an impression comes into the system. After they evaluate the content, they return with several categorizations along with a number that indicates the relevancy score of each attributed category. Using this data, Basis DSP knows the topics or categories that any URL falls into before bidding on it. If a page does not meet your tactic's criteria, the DSP will not bid on it.

Note: Third-party providers sometimes retire previously available segments. When this happens, the segment will appear as hidden or unavailable. See Hidden and Unavailable Segments for more information.

To add contextual segments to your tactic:

  1. Go to the Tactic Editor:

    1. Select Main Menu [] > Campaigns.
    2. Select a campaign, then open the media plan.
    3. From the tactic's Options [], select Edit.
  2. Click Contextual.

  3. Select a provider to view their contextual segments. Hover over a segment to view details, including a description and pricing information.

  4. Click Add (+) to select the segment you want to use.

  5. To select a set, click Contextual Set and add the set you want to use for this tactic.

  6. Set up your targeting rules in the panel on the right.

    • Select whether you want to Target or Exclude each segment.
    • To create a group of segments, select the segments you added to your tactic and click Group selected segments.
    • Set the AND/OR relationship between each segment or group of segments.
    • Click x to remove a segment from your targeting rules.

    For example, this tactic would bid on impressions on URLs that are categorized as Law, Government, & Politics, as well as URLs that are categorized as News:

  7. Click Save to apply your contextual targeting rules.

Contextual Sets

When you've arranged your segments and logic in a way that you might want to use again, click Save as set to create a new contextual set. A set includes:

  • one or more contextual segments
  • target/exclude rules
  • AND/OR targeting relationship between the segment rules

You can use a set in as many tactics as you like. When you apply a set to an existing tactic, its overwrites all previously selected segments. You can also edit the targeting rules for that tactic. This does not change the rules for other tactics that use the same set.

See Audience, Location, and Segment Sets for more information.

Best Practices

When running a tactic with contextual targeting, we highly recommend that you choose “Run of Network” or a high volume of general sites. The real power of contextual targeting lies in the ability to find targeted pages on sites with a variety of subject matter. In other words, targeting automotive categories on (for example) would be redundant. Targeting more general sites, like news outlets, forums, or blogs, is where you have the best chances of finding relevant pages: in a larger pool of general content.

Running tactics with only one (or a few) contextual category targets helps you isolate which contextual categories are working and which are not. For easier optimization, make a new tactic for each contextual category you plan to target, or group similar contextual categories together. For example, Automotive::Performance Vehicles, Automotive::Vintage Cars and Automotive::Car Culture could all be grouped into a single tactic as they all relate to automotive enthusiasts.

Brand Protection

Brand protection is a special type of contextual targeting that shows your ad on sites that don't contain certain types of content.