Behavioral targeting is a method used by online publishers and advertisers to increase the effectiveness of their campaigns. Behavioral targeting relies on capturing website and landing page visitor data and using that information to provide these visitors with advertisements that are relevant to their needs and interests.
Websites collect visitor data including pages visited, amount of time on a page, links that are clicked on, and searches that are performed. All of this data creates a “profile” of the visitor that links to their web browser. Based on this data, visitors are put into an audience segment. When web users from a particular audience segment return to that website or another website that is part of the same network and are using the same browser, the audience segment information is used for advertisers to show an online ad that is relevant to that user. It is assumed that based on previous behavior, that there is a greater level of interest and intent for a particular product or service that is being offered and that the ad is more likely to be clicked on. Because these ads are targeted based on previous behavior, publishers can sell these ads for a higher price.