Yahoo! Says It’s All About Y!ou

Posted by Luis Nieves, Account Manager

On September 22, 2009, Yahoo! issued a press release that details a new global campaign that will refocus the marketing of the site around the very market it serves, you.

This is Yahoo!’s first global campaign, which officially launched in the US on September 28th at a press conference led by Yahoo!’s CEO, Carol Bartz.  The next launch is expected to take place on October 5th in the United Kingdom and India. It is anticipated that this marketing campaign will run for about 15 months and extend into 2010. As it is a global campaign, it will reach major and emerging markets worldwide, including Brazil, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, and Taiwan.

Yahoo! is hoping to introduce its current customer base to the improved Yahoo! site as well as attract a few new searchers in an effort to increase their share of the search pie. Currently, Google dominates the search pie (by approximately 65% according to comScore, August 2009), with Bing slowly eating more of the pie every month.

Some of the new enhancements made in the past few months include the following:

·         Personalized homepage – allows users to access what they have designated as their favorite content and sites on any screen from a single Web location

·         Enhanced Yahoo! Mail – provides simpler photo sharing and editing as well as easier accessibility to helpful and productive applications

·         Improved search algorithm – delivers more relevant and meaningful search results

·         New Yahoo! Messenger capabilities creates instant connections with friends and family via high-quality video calling

·         New Yahoo! mobile homepage – new mobile applications, including the recently launched Yahoo! for mobile, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Fantasy Football, Yahoo! Messenger and Flickr

As an internet marketer, you may be asking yourself, “This is all very interesting and I like some of the new stuff, but how does this affect me as a marketer…what do I really need to know about this Y!ou campaign?” Simply put, Yahoo! is buying traffic for you. Your goal is to create a strategy that harnesses this new volume of potential users.  With more users coming to Yahoo!, they will be consuming more media, and if you are not prepared, you could miss out on an opportunity to put yourself in front of these consumers. Even worse, you could lose to competitors who saw the wave of users coming and proactively re-evaluated their strategies to compensate.

Now is the time to evaluate your current SEM strategy and revisit your keyword list on Yahoo! (i.e. search terms used to trigger ads, negative keywords, alternative keywords, etc.) as well as your ad copy.  This may also be an opportunity to bid higher on some of the higher performing keywords within your campaigns to help crowd out competitors. It will also help ensure your ad copy is placed toward the top of paid search listings should the competition start a bid war and artificially inflate the bids for terms specific to your industry. By making improvements or additions to this area, you will be in a better position to retain or even increase your current ad placement position.

As for your SEO strategy, this may be a good time to revisit some of your high traffic pages.  Are the title, meta and H1 tags optimized? Does the page have one central theme and keyword mapped to the page? Does the page have a high number of quality links pointing in to it? Since the new Yahoo! campaign will last for approximately 15 months, there will most likely be high and low times in which users will flock to the site and use Yahoo!’s new search capabilities.  By having your high volume pages well-optimized within your site, you will have a better chance of improving your position in the search results pages.  It is important that you take initiative to ensure that your content is compelling or needed by users, so that they are either searching for you on Yahoo! or adding your site to their list of trusted sites to access quickly.

Additionally, this could present a time in which purchasing display advertising space on Yahoo! may prove useful as more users will come to the engine. By displaying current offers or sales in front of customers as they are exploring Yahoo!, you will have the opportunity to attract new users to your site, which could ultimately lead to more conversions.

Now all of these suggestions are based upon the assumption that Yahoo!’s new campaign will work and users will begin to use the site more often. We have seen the benefits for MSN and their promotion of Bing, so it is safe to assume that your site will most likely experience lifts in visits from Yahoo!, and your optimization efforts and hard work will pay off.  Otherwise, your efforts helped you perform a little “clean-up” in preparation for the upcoming holiday season, which we know will be popular for all online users, regardless of the engine.

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