Well, it’s finally here – this week, Yahoo and Microsoft finally opened up the transition process to move existing Yahoo Search Marketing accounts to Microsoft AdCenter management. If you have a Yahoo account, you probably had to click a button sometime this week indicating your intentions for the future of your account. A lot of you probably already have experience with Microsoft, but if you’re new to the platform there are three things you should be aware of before you complete your transition.
- Keyword Match Types – Yahoo has always been the odd man out when it comes to keyword match types. “Standard” and “Advanced” aren’t the industry standard, and could be a bit vague and confusing at times. Fortunately, Microsoft works with more familiar definitions of keyword match types. In AdCenter, you have exact match, phrase match, and broad match. Exact match means that your ads will show only when a user enters the exact keyword you’re bidding on. Phrase match means that your ad will show when a user enters the exact keyword you are bidding on, plus any additional words before or after that particular phrase. And broad match means that Microsoft will show ads on queries that it finds somewhat relevant to the keyword you’re bidding on. If you’ve worked in Google, you’re already familiar with these definitions. Yahoo match types kind of sucked anyway – good riddance!
- No More “Assists” – Alright, this one I’m actually going to miss. Yahoo was the only major search player that regularly included “assists” in their search marketing stats. An assist is when a user clicks on an ad after searching on a keyword, leaves your site, then returns and converts under a different keyword. The last keyword gets the conversion attributed to it, but the first one gets the assist. Analyzing assists is useful because it lets you determine the value of certain keywords that may seem like they’re not doing too well. For example, you may get a lot of assists on a keyword like “barbecue grill reviews,” since a user is still in their research phrase and not ready to convert. Even though that keyword might not be converting, it is definitely generating business by building that initial awareness of your site. AdCenter does not have this reporting capability yet – hopefully they’ll be adding it in soon as they appropriate Yahoo’s search marketing technology.
- Change Your Conversion Tracking! – With all this excitement in the transition, you’re bound to forget something during the change. Don’t forget to change your conversion tracking snippets! If you’ve been using Yahoo conversion tracking to keep tabs on your metrics, the same system won’t work once you’re using AdCenter. AdCenter has a different tracking snippet that is just as easy to install. Just go to your HTML code on your conversion page, remove the Yahoo code, and paste in the Microsoft code. It’s an easy task to do, but just as easy to forget.
Even though the transition is starting now, Yahoo traffic won’t be fully directing to Bing for a while now. Microsoft/Yahoo is gradually sending a small percentage of traffic to Bing, and then ramping up the percentage as time goes on. This gives you plenty of time to read up on Microsoft AdCenter if you’re not already familiar. But don’t put it off – this stuff is happening now, and you don’t want to be left clueless when the time comes.