Behavioral Targeting is the ability to target users based on their behavior on your website (this is one form known as on-site targeting).  "Behavior" in this context is referring to the interactions visitors have with your website as well as off-site factors such as  where visitors came from.  Targeting is the method of offering your visitors personalized site experiences based on their behavioral traits (such as particular content or advertising).  The concept of behavioral/on site targeting is exactly how business should be done: offer a customized solution to your end users so that they are truly engaged with your website. While at ad:Tech Chicago I heard Phillip Suchet of Kefta provide some excellent reasons why behavioral targeting is becoming absolutely essential:
  • Acquisition costs are rising and conversion rates are decreasing
  • The power switch from Push to Pull Marketing
  • The change from mass marketing to personalized marketing

There are so many factors to consider when behaviorally targeting users - so which ones should you consider? The factors and metrics are completely site specific, however below are a few factors that you should consider when developing profiles for your various visitor segments:

  • Referring Sites
  • Referring Keywords
  • Internal Search Queries
  • Pages Viewed (type/category of content)
  • Preferred method of communication: Email vs. Phone vs. Webinar
  • Purchase Patterns based on seasonality
  • Demographics: Age, Sex, Education, House Hold Income, Marital Status
  • Recency
  • Frequency
  • Products added to cart
  • Time Zone
  • Time of Day on website
  • Offline Influencers: TV/Radio/Magazines

Here is an excellent example of how you can leverage on-site behavioral targeting for your website, let me paint a little picture for you: Your organization operates a travel website where you can research/book cruises, hotels, and trips to various tropical locations.  Besides textual content, users can watch videos, subscribe to your newsletter and get the daily weather report via podcasts. 

Now Imagine being able to offer customized web experiences to all of your users.  For instance, you know that 'Jonathan Bowers' spends a lot of time on cruises to Hawaii, he often does his research in late November, he uses your site search tool for finding out more information about pricing, his preferred method of communication is by email and from his online profile you know he is married, has 2 kids, makes 200K/year and lives in Portland Oregon.  As soon as Jonathan signs into his profile in November you show him family cruise deals to Hawaii and business class flights from Portland.  You offer Jonathan a personalized experience and now is more likely to book a vacation using your website.

The scenario above is an optimal situation however personalized experiences can still be offered based on the content visitors view, content which they neglect, products they add to their shopping carts, and seasonality.  Web Analytics plays a big role in behavioral targeting because it allows you to cookie your visitors so you can track their trends/patterns on your website.

Resources for Behavioral/On Site Targeting:

- Omniture TouchClarity
- WebTrends Marketing Lab 2
- BlueLithium - Anil Batra: Behavioral Targeting 101
- Kefta
- Clickz: Target Behavior on the Site Level
- Avinash Kaushik: The Promise & Challenge of Behavior Targeting (& Two Prerequisites)
- Offermatica

August 7, 2007

Manoj has been in the Digital marketing industry for over 10 years with experience at some of Canada's largest companies: WestJet and Shaw Communications. Manoj first started in the search marketing industry with Enquiro Search Solutions, where he spearheaded web analytics, SEO Training and the development of cutting edge search marketing solutions for clients. Manoj is also an entrepreneur in the Mobile and Local Deals space.

Manoj is a Professional Speaker having participated at events such as Web Analytics Congress (Amsterdam), Emetrics, Web Analytics Xchange, WebTrends Engage, Internet Marketing Conference, Social Media Innovation Summit and Search Engine Strategies. He has also contributed to several leading online publications such as: Search Engine Land, Marketing Pilgrim, WebProNews, Search Engine Guide and the Web Analytics Assocation.

He founded and successfully sold Web Analytics World (a top 100 Digital Marketing Blog – and was voted #39th Most Influential Digital Marketer in North America – 2009 (see:


Dear Manoj,

Lots has changed since 3 years, but if you wanna try something new, I got invites for . Just let me know... Its not very easy to try this onsite behavioral targeting.


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Search Engine Guide > Manoj Jasra > How do I Leverage On-Site/Behavioral Targeting?