"Building Targeted Website Traffic
With Yahoo Search Marketing"
Did you know that more than 4.7 million people use Yahoo
every Day? That's more than 2.4 billion searches a month.
Not as far reaching as Google, but still a good place to
invest some of your pay-per-click dollars in order to advertise
on Yahoo and their network of websites.If Google is number
one in the pay-per-click market, Yahoo comes in a strong
Yahoo's program is called "Yahoo Search Marketing"
originally, “Overture”, and before that “Goto”.
You'll find that Yahoo's partner network is not as large
as Google Adwords. Some of their partners are: of course
Yahoo itself, Disney.com, USA Today, CBSNews.com, MTV.com,
Amazon, Ebay, Viacom, and Comcast.
The program works very similar to Google Adwords. You select
your keywords, write your ads, pick the minimum bid you
want to pay per click and you're up and running. Great minds do think alike.
Relevant keyword selection is again of the utmost importance.
You'll want to choose a variety of keywords/phrases in order
to reach more potential customers. Try to get "inside your customer's head"
and think like they would, then choose keywords they might
search for. If you find after a certain period of time certain keywords are not performing, delete them.
Just like Adwords, you can select keyword match types,
but unlike Google's wider selection, here you have two choices.
1) Advanced Match Type: Your ads appear
for a wider range of keywords. For example, if your keywords
were “dogs”, “toys”, and “food”,
your ad would be displayed for any of the following searches:
"exotic dogs", "toys for dogs" or "food for animals".
2) Standard Match Type: Only displays
your ad for exact matches to your keywords. If your phrase
is "natural dog food", the searcher must type
it in exactly that way. I believe this makes for a more
You also have the option of excluding keywords, and can
block up to 250 domains from displaying your ads. If you
need help choosing keywords you can use their "find keywords wizard". You
type in a keyword and it comes back with suggestions along
with traffic volume for those words.
Now let's move on to your ads. Again, just like Adwords,
you'll want to include keywords in your title and description
as they will appear in bold when the ad is displayed.
Ad titles can be up to 40 characters. You can enter a short
or long description, up to 70 characters for the ad body.
You also enter a "display URL" (what is shown in the ad), and the “destination URL”
(which is not shown to the public, but where the searcher
is taken after they click on the ad).
All ads must be named and the description should correspond
to the ad group’s keywords. A campaign is made up
of one or more "ad groups". If you need help putting your ads together, you can use Yahoo's "ad
Every ad has its own "quality index" which shows up as
one to five bars (more bars=higher quality). A high quality index score
is important as a low score can cause your ad ranking to drop, or
prevent your ad from running at all.
So what goes into "quality index"? According
to Yahoo, it's your ads expected performance plus the ads
ability to meet the needs of the user (which also takes
into account your ads click through rate and various relevant
factors). You'll want to test different ads to find those
that perform best.
The "Quality Index" also plays a role in your
"ads ranking" and the bid amount required. Improving
the quality of your ads can help to lower your minimum bid
requirements and improve your ranking. So you can see why
writing good ad copy is so important. Yahoo's ranking model
is based on both ad quality, or relevance, and the bid amount
So how much is the minimum bid? For the "Content Match",
it's a minimum of ten cents. For "Sponsored Search",
it can be lower or higher than ten cents. Minimum bids on Yahoo tend to run a bit higher than on Google,
and they can vary depending on many factors such as: keyword
relevance, (as measured by quality of the ads in the "ad
group" they're associated with), the number of bidders,
and the amounts they have bid. Your ad conversions do not
play a role here.
Your keywords will appear as "active" when your bid is
greater than or equal to the required minimum bid for that particular
keyword. This can change, so you will be notified if the minimum bid is
set to increase and given the opportunity to adjust your bids
accordingly. You'll find these notifications on the "Dashboard Page" of
the control panel.
Compared to "Sponsored Search", which displays your ads
on search results pages, “Content Match” places your ads on
related information based websites that are included in Yahoo's
distribution partner network. Some of these partners are: City Search,
CNN.com, Earthlink, Homegain, Homestore, National Geographic, MSN and
others. Just like Adwords, you can turn off either “Sponsored
Search” or “Content Match”. You can also set up a
separate bid for your "Content Match" clicks (min .10). For more
Finally, again you'll want to pay attention to your "landing
pages", test different versions to see what converts
best. Use "Analytics" for setting up conversion
tracking. Your landing pages must not include any pop-ups
Two other excellent resources for Yahoo's Search Marketing
Yahoo's Search Marketing Blog: http://www.ysmblog.com
Traffic Quality Center: http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/trafficquality
In conclusion, if you're involved with pay-per-click search
Marketing, you'll want to add Yahoo's Search Marketing to
your traffic plan. While not as far reaching as Google,
they're a strong contender. Besides, as they say you never
want to put "all your eggs in one basket". When
it comes to pay- per-click marketing, diversification is