Yahoo Announces changes to ad copy

I received emails from Yahoo this morning stating Yahoo will be cutting off ads at 75 characters. They had started this shortened descriptions some time ago but still allowed for the 'long description' and would simply truncate the ad at 75 characters.

Seems now you will not have the option - all ads will use the 75 character limit.

Per Yahoo: "Beginning in late November 2007, if you have created short descriptions for your ads, those short descriptions will automatically be displayed on Yahoo! Search results (currently the short description will not always be displayed) but if you have not created a short description for a particular ad, the long description will be automatically cut off to fit within a 75 character limit," the emails stated.

Why is Yahoo making the change?
"We are implementing these changes to streamline the search results displayed on Yahoo!, making it easier for users to read and absorb your ad messages. Our research has shown that by improving the search experience in this way, advertisers may see an increase in clicks, while maintaining their conversion rates" the announcement explained.

Top SEO Mistakes

There are surely hundreds of different ways that people can mess up their sites. Based on our experience from working with a number of clients, here are the 10 most common problems that we find:

  1. Broken information architecture - These are sites that fail to map the nature of the information they are providing into an understandable hierarchy making their site navigation bad for users and search engines.
  2. Poor site usability - Results in poor conversion rates, poor lifetime value per visitor, and a less attraactive site for linking to.
  3. Mismanaged internal link juice - Some sites allocate their link juice poorly, resulting in not enough of it going to their most important pages.
  4. Content getting buried over time - A surprising number of sites that create huge amounts of content use publishing systems that buries stuff over time. Such a lost opportunity-don't hide it!
  5. Bad redirects - Why is it that almost every engineer who does not have a background in SEO defaults to using a 302 redirect?
  6. Poor titles and headers - Keyword tools are wonderful weapons. These are valuable for far more than SEO. Keyword tools tell you what language people use when referring to your products and services. Even in a world without web sites, this is something you would want to know. Then you need to make sure you have pages and content that addresses the major topic areas that relate to your business - using that language.
  7. Insufficient content - No content (or tools) means no links which, in turn, means no traffic. It's that simple. What unique value are you offering a visitor to your web site? Why would someone link to your site? The easiest way to build links is to offer a widget tool unique to your industry - perhaps a Firefox ad on or something to that effect.
  8. Duplicate content - It's unbelievable how much duplicate content that some sites create. It's a common killer, and it's a very big factor in poor page rank management.
  9. All flash site - Very, very pretty, but not a great experience for a crawler. This does not mean you can't have an (almost) all Flash site. Just make sure you offer text link navigation options and use a technique like Scalable Inman Flash Replacement (sIFR) to tell the crawler what is in the movie.
  10. Same meta description (and keywords) on every page - These elements are included in duplicate content filter checks by the search engines. And, of course, the meta description is important because it often gets used as the description that the search engine uses for your web page, so make sure it describes the unique info to be found on that page.

Writing Compelling Retail Ad Copy

With MSN's new vibrancy for search and their lofty goals of achieving the No. 2 position in search marketing their adCenter Blog is beginning to show a much improved tendency for providing QUALITY information.

Their most recent post regarding ad copy surrounding holiday provided some useful tips and clever uses of dynamic insertion.

1. The number one influential element is to mention the product name in the ad title or ad copy. Dynamic Text Insertion can be a great way to ensure ads looks targeted & relevant.

2. Like on the high street pricing, promotions & special offers attract. People just love a good deal! Ads including an offer for a limited amount of time or next day/free delivery generally perform better than using, for example, pricing on its own.

3. Is your business a well-known, well-loved household name or brand? Use it! It can say more than you can express in a few lines and you may gain instant trust from the consumer.

4. Use call to actions (CTAs) to invite consumers to your site and to let them know what they’ll find on your there. Successful CTAs for retail campaigns in the UK are:
‘buy’, ’compare’, ‘save’, ‘order’ and ‘find’. For the US ‘save time and money’, ‘buy’ ‘save’, ‘order’ and ‘find’ work well.

5. Shoppers might complain about Christmas decorations in the high street in late September or Easter eggs in January. However online seasonality trends show that a big event such as Christmas impacts sales as early as September. The below table shows the main retail revenue drivers and when you should be thinking of getting your ad copy ready

Understanding Yahoo Search Marketing's Quality Score

Following in Google's foosteps, as Yahoo often does, with the release of Panama Yahoo began utlilizing a quality score system for ad placement, cost per click, etc. Why is this quality score number important? Because ads with a higher quality index can receive higher ranking in sponsored search results for a lesser cost. Advertisers can see what their ad's quality index is, on a scale of one to five, within their account interface. But knowing how to improve that index is another matter.

Yahoo offers some tips to understand and improve your quality index in the Yahoo Search Marketing blog.

Your ad’s quality index reflects its ability to meet the needs and desires of users – that is, how well it helps them find what they want, quickly and accurately. If your ads don’t meet the needs of users, users are less likely to click them. Fewer clicks means fewer customers and conversions.

When this happens, nobody wins: not you, not us and not the user. High-quality ads, by contrast, can help create winners out of all of us. The quality index was set up to encourage advertisers to better meet the needs of users – who are, after all, the reason we are both here.

Tactics to improve quality index include: detailed, relevant keyword grouping within an ad group, including keywords in ad copy creative, utilizing excluded keywords, and using ad testing (another new feature recently added to Yahoo's search marketing interface.) Yahoo also suggests gathering intelligence about competitors' ads, and including special offers in your ad copy.

Posting Lag.....

I'm sorry I have not been actively keeping up with my posting .. I have been busy with a blog re-design, as well as designing my own search marketing consulting website (which you can see here: Pay Per Click Services. Feel free to leave a comment about what you think of the site, where I can improve, etc.

Here's to more frequent postings:) !

Blog Directory