Ad targeting by content page and website category

Each website has a different content layout and structure. However, they all share the same goal. That is displaying the most effective and profitable ads. Visitors see offers that are most relevant and optimized for them. Advertisers are happier because their ads are viewed by the most desirable audience. Website owners earn more from the premium inventory. That is why having more control over your ad inventory is critical. The ability to control which ad displays on which page, section, or category, can maximize revenue.

In this example, we have a website that lists and rates thousands of ski resorts around the world. There are country-level pages, state-level pages, individual ski resort pages and one world-map page. Some sample page URLs:


Advertising Requirements

  1. Advertising at a Specific Resort: advertisers want to purchase exclusive advertising on the page of a specific ski resort
  2. Advertising by Country/State: advertisers want to purchase ads displaying on a country/state page
  3. Remnant Advertising: standard, run-of-site, non-premium, and network ads


The above requirements can be met using zone chaining. Four cascading zones, each subsequent one being the secondary zone for the previous one. If you break down your ad inventory into smaller segments, you can extend the zone chain longer than 4 in this example.
  1. Zone A contains ads that each has a restriction telling it to show on a specific page using ad placement URL targeting
  2. Zone B and Zone C contains ads that each has a restriction telling it to show on pages with URLs matching a particular state/country
  3. Zone D contains other ads (non-premium, run-of-site, ad networks)

Ad Selection Process

You paste the serving code for Zone A into the page. AdSpeed ad server will follow the zone hierarchy that you setup above. On a specific resort page, if there is no ad that matches this page, it will check in the next zone (Zone B then Zone C) for the state/country specific ad. If none is found, an ad from Zone D will be selected.


If you have a fewer number of sections and categories, it might be easier to break them down into different individual zones (i.e. one zone per section/category) instead of using URL restrictions. The initial setup time may take a little longer, but maintaining the zones is made a lot easier by simply linking and unlinking the ads into their corresponding zone(s).

A URL restriction can be applied on an individual ad, a zone, or a group of ads. When applying a URL restriction to a group or zone, all the linked ads will share this URL restriction.

If you are not sure on how to integrate our ad server to your website and if you need our personal consultation on the best and most suitable setup for your website, please contact us.

April 21, 2022 (first published November 2011)


  • What is ad targeting?
    "Ad targeting is the process of narrowing down the available ad pool from many ads to just one single ad to display. This process is done automatically by the ad server for every single ad request. " More
  • How does geographical targeting work?
    "Targeting ads by specific viewing locations can be very powerful. The ad is relevant to the viewers and the publisher can show more ads within the same ad placement. " More
  • Ad Inventory Management
    "As with any publisher, your goal is to maximize ad revenue stemming from all of your ad spaces on your website. To get there, you need to optimize your ad inventory. " More