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Choosing the Best Websites to Advertise On — Part 1, Getting Started

Jun 13, 2017 2:00:00 PM

It has never been more important to determine which sites your brand advertises on.

For one thing, transparency into where your ads appear is critical, as ad networks find themselves under fire for placing brand ads next to hateful content online.

Second, audiences are becoming much more selective about the advertising they consume. In fact, 81% of consumers have closed a browser or exited a webpage because of an ad, according to HubSpot data. 

This means that placing your ads on the right sites is more important than ever. 

But current ad platforms make this extremely difficult. The industry is facing a serious crisis because many ad networks can’t guarantee where ads will be placed. The damage to brand equity and company perception can be immense when ad placements don’t align with brand goals. 

And good luck actually deciding strategically where to put your ads based on legitimate, useful data.

That is, unless you have an ad intelligence solution.

What Is Ad Intelligence?

Ad intelligence solutions display data on where brands, including your own, are advertising online. The best solutions display this information for ads across desktop, mobile and video. You can learn more about ad intelligence software here. 

What’s more, ad intelligence can tell you exactly which sites brands are advertising on.

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This screenshot from the Pathmatics ad intelligence platform shows the top sites financial services companies advertised on in April 2017.

Using this information, brands can see where their competitors are advertising, where they’re not advertising and how much everyone is spending on top sites.

Brands can also use an ad intelligence solution to see exactly which companies are advertising on specific websites. In the image below, we’ve detailed the top advertisers on Bloomberg.com for April 2017, as well as how much they spent and how many impressions that money bought them.

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Advertisers are tracked using Pathmatics’ proprietary software to provide insights like these.

With this type of intelligence, brands can better allocate and target ad spend to the sites that provide them with the best possible advertising results.

How can brands achieve this result?

Using an ad intelligence solution to identify top websites on which to advertise is a good place to start. Here are three ways to begin.

1. Determine Your Audience

Some websites cater to the lion’s share of consumers, providing news, entertainment and content that appeal to a wide range of people. But others target specific demographics.

For instance, a site like Yahoo.com may attract many different demographics, and then show your ads to only specific types of visitors that fit your preferences. However, a site like AARP.org (the 11th most advertised site in April 2017) is geared toward a very specific audience. 

It pays to know the difference. Often, you can learn much about who a site targets from its media or advertiser kits. 

2. Look Where Your Competitors Advertise

Using ad intelligence software, search for your competitors. In the screenshot below, we’ve looked at the top sites where TurboTax advertises, including how much the company spent and the impressions it got for that money.

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Using this list, we can start to create a picture of where TurboTax advertises. With this information, we can then begin to determine where our brand needs to advertise.

3. Look for Unexploited Opportunities

Don’t just look at the top sites on any list provided by ad intelligence software. The middle and bottom of the list of ad publishing websites can provide useful information as well. By evaluating the information from Step 1 and Step 2, you may be able to find sites untouched by your competitors that target your ideal markets.

For more information on how to use ad intelligence to benefit your brand, see these related reads:

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Jordan Kramer

Written by Jordan Kramer

An out-of-the-box thinker with a love for disruptive ideas, Jordan's background spans PR and events for the wedding & hospitality industry in Los Angeles and Scottsdale and also launching one of America's most unique food trucks. She jumped from the food start-up scene to the tech start-up scene in 2013 to join one of the most unique companies in ad tech. Jordan is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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