Yahoo Search Marketing (Overture) Strategies for PPC

By Affilorama Group
Yahoo Search Marketing (Overture) Strategies for PPC


 *** NEWS FLASH ***

Over the weekend, Yahoo have announced changes that (interestingly) render much of this blog post obsolete! Watch out for my blog post on this subject tomorrow. In the meantime, the following blogpost gives you some strategies for your Yahoo PPC campaign that will work for the next week. After that, it's all going to change!


Last week we talked about MSN and the role it has to play in your PPC strategy. This week I'm going to talk about the other big alternative to Google AdWords -- Yahoo Search Marketing. Yahoo sells paid placement advertising links that appear on its own site and which are distributed to others. These are sold through Yahoo Search Marketing. Yahoo purchased Overture as part of an aquisition in October 2003. People use "Overture" and "Yahoo" interchangably when talking about Yahoo's PPC engine -- don't get confused. Yahoo Search Marketing also provides sponsor links for many other search engines, most notably: AllTheWeb and AltaVista.

If you remember those percentages from last week, you'll know that Yahoo has 24% of the PPC pie, so it's a really important one to get your head around. Yahoo works a little different to AdWords -- a lot of affiliates find it intimidating at the start because of this.Google AdWords uses some sort of fuzzy logic to decide it's ad placement positionings, calculated from such things as:

  • Length of time the advertiser has been advertising with this Adword. Sometimes it takes up to a month to realise the full potential of an adword in Google.
  • Clickthru rate
  • Max cost per click

Yahoo Search Marketing simply uses an auction system to decide which ad gets displayed highest. If you bid more money per click, you will rate higher. It's as simple as that.

For instance if Mr X bids $1 per click on "Dog Training" and Mr Y bids $0.95 and Mr Z bids $1.10. Then Mr Z's ad will be #1, Mr X's ad will be #2 and Mr Y's ad will be placed #3.

With this difference in mind, there is a different strategy that you should use in Yahoo Search Marketing.

Yahoo Search Marketing Strategy #1

Qualify your ads.

In Google it matters what your clickthru rate is and you are rewarded for having a higher clickthru rate with lower costs per click. In Yahoo Search Marketing, all that matter is how much you are prepared to pay per click.

Hence it is very important that you bid higher amounts than you would in Google, but you ensure that your traffic is of a higher quality by qualifying your listings. You can do this in many ways.

1. By mentioning the price of the product. If somewhere in you Yahoo Search Marketing ad you mention something like: "Only $37!" or simply "Costs $37" or something to that effect, then people who aren't at all interested in paying any money for anything won't click on your ad.

2. By mentioning more product details. Remember that in Yahoo Search Marketing you get to take up more space describing a product, so you should describe what it is so that people know what they are clicking on.

3. I personally recommend only promoting in Yahoo Search Marketing USA and Yahoo Search Marketing UK, they seem to have a higher proportion of buyers than in other countries.

4. Mention how the product is delivered. Eg If your product is an online product, say so, some people are only interested in physical products.

Remember, if you are profiting a large amount per click AND if you want to increase your clickthru rate, simply remove some of the qualifiers, such as price, above.

Yahoo Search Marketing Strategy #2

Get conversion tracking going!

Most website owners will be happy to add their affiliate's Yahoo Search Marketing conversion tracking code to their purchase page. This means that you will be able to tell precisely which keywords are making the sales and which aren't. And also how much it is costing you per sale.

Yahoo Search Marketing Strategy #3

Write a different ad for each keyword.

I know this is time consuming, but in the long run, it is highly beneficial. First of all, make sure that you use the keyword(s) in the title and ad copy.

Then the keyword(s) comes up in bold when someone searches for it in Yahoo. For example, search for "Learn Guitar" in Yahoo and notice how with the sponsored links, the words "Learn" and "Guitar" come up in bold in all the ad listings.

Yahoo Search Marketing Strategy #4

Try to get the #4 or #5 position. (even #6 isn't bad)

This increases the likelihood of your ad being seen. The top 3-4 ads get displayed at the top of Yahoo searches. And then the next couple or so get displayed at the bottom of Yahoo and right hand side.

There is a significant difference between being placed 5/6 and being placed 7/8.

Yahoo Search Marketing allows you to "bid to position" on a particular search term. You can do this once you have set up your keywords. I strongly recommend bidding to position #5 at the very least. In fact you'll get quite good traffic from them. There is no need (unless you are profiting wildly!) to spend more money to place your ad in the top 3 positions which usually get fought over fiercely.

Yahoo Search Marketing Strategy #5

Make sure that all your bids are set to autobid.

This means that you won't be spending more than you want to for any term, and you will pay less money if your competitors aren't spending as much.


I hope that helps! 24% of the PPC market is not insignificant, so definitely give it a go.

All the best, and have a great weekend!


Mr David W Gale 17 years ago
Great post Mark! I have just started using Yahoo PPC ads in the US & do get good traffic from it. Yahoo ppc ads will show for searches in Overture, Infospace etc to. If you have a successful Google campaign chances are you will make more profit rolling out to Yahoo & MSN. Kindest, Dave