A MUST READ: Anyone using Yahoo! Ad Scheduling

If you have ever used Yahoo for search marketing, you will already be familiar with its lack of features.  With many rants and raves from search marketers, I think Yahoo has finally got a clue…  With that said, let’s get into what Yahoo is changing and how it will affect us.

1) Day Parting – Yahoo is finally stepping their game up and including day parting in settings.  You will now be able to increase, decrease, or pause bids altogether throughout the day without having to go in manually.  This has been a huge hassle for many when it comes to Yahoo. Many accounts that are in Yahoo need to be turned on and off throughout the day and until now, you would have had to do it manually.

2) Demographic Settings – You will now be able to adjust bid percentages by certain demographics like gender and age.  This feature is possible due to the registration process of Yahoo, where you are asked these questions as you sign up.  Although this will not be 100% accurate, it will be useful in many situations.

3) Zip Code Targeting – Along with demographic bidding, Yahoo is now allowing you to control your bids for certain zip codes.  If you find more actions resulting from certain zip codes, you can now focus and bump up the bid percentage to advertise more aggressively in that certain area. This will be certainly useful for businesses that want to focus on certain cities.

4) Updated Content Network – From experience, the Yahoo content network has been horrible. We have noticed that most of the Ads show up on very poor quality sites, mainly from other countries.  Yahoo is now saying that they have increased their control over which websites your Ads show on.  Their goal is to show your Ads on sites that are relevant to your keywords, which should have been the objective starting out.  Also Yahoo will be decreasing their minimum content bid for $0.10 to $0.05 to try to persuade advertisers with past negative experiences to give the content network another try.

These are the changes that have been promised by Yahoo.  Hopefully these changes will start a trend that will result in better results and ease of use.  Unfortunately we are still waiting on a desktop editor from them.

What do you think of these additions and what else do you think should be added/changed?

The ability to set up an Ad Scheduling / Day-Part bidding schedule within Yahoo was long overdue – but last April it was finally delivered to its advertisers.  Months have gone by and as it did, so did the number of accounts which we audited for errors and areas for improvement; (a complementary Engine Ready service). Eventually I started to see a pattern which may be costing numerous Yahoo! Search Marketing advertisers big.

If you use Ad Scheduling in Yahoo! Please continue to read…

When you setup the daily schedule for each of your campaigns you may or may not notice the extremely grayed out text stating:  <<Display ads based on: The audience’s time zone (default) Edit>>

If you click on the <<Edit>> button you can change this default setting to: Your Account Time Zone

Think about what this setting means and how it’s going to affect your traffic.

Most of the clients where I noticed this as a problem were those who valued calls or leads submitted during normal business hours (9am-5pm). Calls before or after this time go to an answering machine, leads sit until the next shift starts. These inbound “Hot Leads” can’t sit for long before they have no value.

Take a look at this hypothetical client and situation:

* Office Location: California (PST)
* Geo-Targeting: Entire USA
* Ad Scheduling: M-F 9am-5pm

If a Yahoo! advertiser sets up their campaign’s Ad Scheduling as listed above, they will soon start to realize that they are getting leads/Calls beginning at 7am (PST) and ending 8pm (PST)

Take a look the chart below.  It shows you in green when the office is open and in red when it is not.

Your account will be active in some part of the country for an additional 5 hours outside of your 9-5 office hours.  Up to 3 hours after you close, the entire Eastern Seaboard is still seeing your ads on Yahoo.com and their partner sites.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to ensure that your Ad Scheduling settings correctly.

It is interesting that Yahoo! elected to default this setting to “Audience Time Zone” as opposed to “Account Time Zone” – A power user can certainly see how you could leverage this feature and test strategies which you are unable to do in Google nor MSN, but the vast majority of advertisers will neither take advantage of this feature nor see (in the faded gray text) that it is set up to run this way.

Did Yahoo! do it this way to maximize their advertisers spending – by showing ads during the prime time for each time zone? Who knows…

Related to Ad Scheduling / Day-Part bidding schedule within Yahoo, Google AdWords implement Demographic Bidding. This feature was one of the first to allow marketers to use one of their finest tools of the trade to target their customer, but it did not pan out for a number of reasons. We assume that the network was not converting or it simply was not being used to its fullest potential. The info that was provided by sites enrolled in it allowed display and content network ads to be displayed across demographic targets so businesses like wedding planners could target Females ages 20-35 so on so forth.

The addition of google + has been the assumed replacement for this type of bidding. However, we had not seen many clients utilizing this feature and now that retargeting is available in AdWords and we are able to target behavior groups, we have a better alternative.  As demographic bidding falls victim to its own demise we look forward to increased targeting through new Google + features and increased retargeting abilities in the display network. Remember if you are using Demographic Bidding, you will need to save your data by March 28th!  That’s Tomorrow!  if you save in csv form you can use software like strategy analyzer to analyze your results and compare to future data. For more info from google on the demise of Demographic Bidding visit the AdWords Help page.

At the end, this latest feature “Demographic Bidding” is buried in the AdWords graveyards.



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