Helping the Garden Grow – Published by Yahoo Seach Marketing

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How our Ad Profiling Program Can Help Your Keyword Performance

Think of your Yahoo! Search Marketing account as a garden — without careful maintenance, it can grow wild. The wilder it grows, the more difficult it is to maintain. Our goal here at Yahoo! Search Marketing is to lend a hand in the garden, which is why we’ve started a program called Ad Profiling.

With Ad Profiling, we analyze high-impression keywords within an account that are performing poorly, relative to the marketplace. We then evaluate whether or not there are steps we can take to help improve their performance and the performance of the ad groups to which they belong.

What is the Ad Profiling process?

Our primary goal is to preserve the keyword by improving its performance. Just as in a garden you might try using more or less water or adding fertilizer, in Ad Profiling, we have several methods we can employ to help keep your keywords growing strong:

  • Fix faulty alt text. Sometimes alt text can do more damage than good in a creative. For example, the following alt text may make the creative more relevant, but as you can see, it also makes it a little more confusing:

Keyword: dvd burning supplies
Alt Text: burning
Title: For All Your Burning Needs
Description: We offer everything you need to burn high quality DVDs and more.

Though no doubt this site wants to fulfill their customer’s needs – this probably isn’t quite what they had in mind. However, when you tweak the alt text just a bit, it makes a lot more sense:

Keyword: dvd burning supplies
Alt Text: dvd burning
Title: For All Your DVD Burning Needs
Description: We offer everything you need to burn high quality DVDs and more.

  • Add alt text when keyword insertion is being used with no alt text in place, leading to a confusing ad. For example, the following creative is a little bit confusing:

    Free Shipping on Stephen King
    Browse our huge collection of Stephen King at great prices.

Since the site in question clearly doesn’t ship Stephen King himself but rather his books, alt text that simply reads, “Stephen King,” doesn’t quite work. However, when you add “books” to that alt text, you get:

    Free Shipping on Stephen King Books
    Browse our huge collection of Stephen King books at great prices.

  • Replace the ad when the existing one just isn’t working. A new creative written with the entire ad group in mind can usually help improve an ad group’s performance. In cases where the suggested creative uses keyword insertion, alt text is added for the other keywords in the account. That new creative is then uploaded with an “offline” status and only turned “online” when the advertiser approves it.
  • Remove underperforming keywords. In some cases, the best thing for the ad group may be to take the underperforming keywords offline. Removing underperforming keywords can potentially improve the ad group’s quality index score, which could lead to better ranking and lower cost per click.

When would keywords be turned off?

Here are some reasons why we would take the underperforming keywords offline:

  • Relevance: if the keyword is not clearly relevant to the site’s offer.
  • Ad group impact: if after reviewing the ad group it is determined that a new creative wouldn’t help the majority of the attached keywords, then the underperforming keywords are turned off.
  • User intent: when keyword-to-site relevance is present, but the offer simply isn’t what the majority of users are looking for when searching on the keyword.

A good example of a user-intent issue would be someone in the market for a new car searching on the keyword “cars” and finding the following listing:

Cars Movie on DVD
Visit electronics-planet.com to find Cars and all your favorite movies.

Though the content is relevant to the keyword, it’s clearly not what the user is looking for. People searching on “cars” are usually looking for actual cars, not a DVD, so a listing offering DVDs will probably not get clicked.

Another user-intent issue would be scope, when it’s just too difficult to understand what the user is looking for. For example, someone searching on “electronics” could be looking for just about anything, so the following listing might not appeal to them:

Best TV Wall Mounts
Strong Flat Screen Wall Mounts Low Prices Always In Stock.

If you would like to keep the keyword, you may turn the keyword back on so long as it is relevant. Please keep in mind that the keyword’s performance may be dragging down the performance of the ad group. Instead of simply bringing it back online, we recommend you create a new ad group with titles and descriptions that are clearly tailored to the keyword.

What don’t we do with Ad Profiling?

  • Change your bid. While one of the effects of Ad Profiling might be a performance-driven reduction of cost per click for impacted terms, one thing we would never do is adjust your bid
  • Turn a new ad online without your approval. We upload new ads to your account, but leave them offline until you tell us otherwise
  • Turn a keyword offline without first reviewing other options.

What impact have we seen so far?

  • Increased marketplace quality.
  • Increased clickthrough rates.
  • Reduced costs for clicks.

The basic idea behind Ad Profiling is to help advertisers improve their account by trimming back the “weeds” so that the healthy plants can grow — not to mention trying to determine which weeds are actually flowers that just need a little more water in order to flourish. We want to help people transform their accounts from window boxes into beautiful gardens and Ad Profiling is just one way that we help you, the gardener, to accomplish that task.

— The Ad Quality Team