With its release of Panama, Yahoo brings us a step closer to a more consistent, competitive and innovative search landscape. Using a platform similar to Google’s, marketers can gain insight and apply best practices across the top two search engines.
Under Yahoo’s old ranking scheme, how an ad looked or where it directed the user didn’t matter as much as the pure dollars bidding up the rank. Now that there are other factors influencing the ranking, including proven relevance and better quality ads, results will continue to improve. As much as anything else, that’s supposed to be the beauty of search: It truly creates a win-win for consumers, advertisers and publishers alike.
So how can marketers get the most out of Panama?
? Set up Ad Groups based on specific granular themes: Before Panama, marketers could associate individual keywords on Yahoo search with a unique creative. With Panama, creatives are assigned at the Ad Group level. As such, multiple keywords are associated with one creative. Therefore, marketers should develop creatives based on narrow or granular themes by using the keyword-insertion tool to customize popular keywords within an Ad Group.
? Run multiple creatives within each Ad Group: Because multiple keywords are now associated with single creatives, some click-through rates will trend downward. To increase impressions and CTRs, advertisers should run more than one creative within each Ad Group.
? Test and be patient: Give Panama time to normalize and auto-optimize your account before making any judgment regarding the efficacy of the new Yahoo system or making drastic changes to your account. We suggest waiting at least four weeks before conducting a thorough analysis. And make sure to evaluate at least seven days of data against seven days of data from the same account before conversion to Panama. This will allow you to filter out any external factors that might be causing fluctuations (e.g., weekend traffic). Marketers also should test the effect of bid position on CTR and, ultimately, ROI. Once you find the optimal position, refresh creative every so often to maintain your CTR.
If you find that CTR has not improved, we suggest isolating high-volume keywords and moving them to their own Ad Group with customized creative. It is possible one or two keywords are dragging down the entire group. After about four weeks, repeat the steps.