Yahoo Rolls Out Content Advertising Improvements

Has Yahoo’s PPC Content Match algorithm produced better results for you? We’ll let you know what we find. Here’s what Yahoo said today:

These subtle changes are designed to lead to better Content Match performance

Sometimes a product launch is big, like our recent launch of APT from Yahoo!. And sometimes it’s understated, like the improved version of our contextual advertising product, Content Match, which we’re announcing this week. It’s not a new brand, and it looks virtually the same in the user interface. It just works better—at matching your ads with interested customers and helping you achieve better return on your ad dollars.

Better Matching for Higher Click-Through Rates
We’ve been gradually moving Content Match to a new matching technology over the past few months. The new technology not only attempts to understand what the content is on a page, but also, who is viewing it, which helps you get your ad in front of the right customer. Content Match now combines a better understanding of web page and ad content with insights from users’ geographic and behavioral profiles.

This combination can lead to more relevant clicks. Since we started rolling out the new technology, we’ve generally seen increases in Content Match click-through rates—and some advertisers have seen those rates climb appreciably. What it does for you can depend on a lot of things, including the keywords you select, the ads you write, and the settings you choose.

Improved? Ask these Advertisers
Results matter for Bankrate.com, which provides financial services to consumers. A long-time customer of Yahoo! Search Marketing, Bankrate takes a very performance-driven approach to search engine marketing. The company tested Yahoo!’s improved Content Match services this past August and September, and experienced significantly increased conversions during that period. “Yahoo!’s Content Match Network refocus on quality and relevancy has improved the delivery of the right message to the right person at the right time,” says Rafael Zorrilla, Bankrate.com’s Director of Interactive Marketing.

Lulu.com, a marketplace for digital content from authors, artists and musicians, has used Yahoo! Search Marketing for more than four years to point users to its services, which include free web storefronts and social networking offerings. Lulu’s Director of Search Engine Marketing, Dan London, has used Content Match on and off for the past two years. Recently, he noticed significant improvements to the service, including appreciably lower costs of conversion.

“In the last couple of months, I noticed that targeting our users through contextual ads was improving and that we were seeing more clicks at lower costs,” he says. “Although we had spent time improving the keywords in our campaigns, we knew that there had to be something more to it. After learning that Yahoo! had made improvements to its matching technology, it’s clear that it’s been part of what has driven this overall effectiveness.”

Why Content Match?
Content Match can help you reach a wider range of traffic than you could previously reach with search alone, and can help raise your brand awareness. You can:

§ Tap into the customers who visit Yahoo! and its content network for activities beside search, such as email or news.

§ Gain impressions at a relatively low cost and grow your brand.

§ Complement your offline and search campaigns.

Content Match has been a great service for Lulu, according to London. “Yahoo!’s Content Match has allowed us the opportunity to reach potential customers who do not turn to search engines to find what they need,” he says.

What Do I Need to Do?
The new matching technology is already running, so all you need to do is start a Content Match campaign. Because Content Match isn’t necessarily meant to target users when they are actively searching for your business, it may convert at a different rate than Sponsored Search. Keep in mind these basic guidelines when you set up your campaign:

§ Create Content Match-only campaigns to manage bids and budgets separately from Sponsored Search.

§ See how much you can afford, and adjust your bids as you learn the value of this traffic for you. If you add a Content Match campaign, you may need to adjust your budget accordingly.

§ Write specific ads and select targeted keywords for those ads, so that the ads are more likely to appear in the type of content where you want them.

If you’ve been using Content Match, you may already be noticing a bump. If you’re not using it yet and it fits your business, it may be worth a try.

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