Link and Display Advertising Research Tools

Anjali McKenzie, Former UX Researcher

Article Category: #Strategy

Posted on

Recently I’ve been focusing on finding Link and Display Advertising opportunities for several of our clients. The other day I came across an article in AdAge, by Noah Brier. Brier brought up a great point, explaining “…display advertising needs to be aware of where it lives. At least it should know what site it's on and what people are there for.” This is one thing I’ve been trying to perfect: finding the right placements for the right clients, and making sure visitos "act" on the site.

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Credit: theavonne

The key success to display advertising efforts is not just about generating targeted traffic, but converting traffic. A lot of this has to do with the strategies we use, which Josh outlined in a recent blog post about the effective use of banner ads and microsites. But on top of that I've put in hours research and played around with a number of online tools. Here are the tools I've found to be the most helpful for identifying Link and Display advertising opportunities.

1.    Yahoo! Site Explorer    
A great tool for checking competitors' inbound links. I usually go through each competitor’s “inlinks” and click on legitimate ones to see if they have any valuable linking/advertising opportunities. Be sure to exclude inlinks from the domain you are checking, in order to avoid sifting through any internal site linking.

2. SEOmoz Juicy Link Finder
Simply type in target keywords and Juicy Link Finder generates a list of up to 200 relevant links. It also includes the age and pagerank for each one.

3. Quantcast
There are a number of traffic ranking services out there, but so far Quantcast proves to be my favorite. It seems to have the most up-to-date and comprehensive data and it allows you to view traffic patterns based on time frame, demographics, geography, business type, and lifestyle. This is extremely useful when trying to determine if a site is worth a paid ad.

4. Google Analytics
Everyone knows that Google Analytics gives us insight into top referring sites. It’s easy to look at these top referrers and think “great, so-and-so is sending me a lot of traffic.” What people often overlook (and something I was doing for a long time) is that there is the opportunity to reinforce your presence on these referring site with a display ad. I’ve used this technique to

5. Google
And of course, we can’t forget the all powerful Google search. Running a few searches of key terms can give you insight into relevant sites that may have advertising opportunities. You may also come across competitors that you had previously missed. 

If you have any tools that you think would be a good addition to contextual advertising list, please share in a comment!

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