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Managing PPC Just Got Up to 90% Easier – Yahoo and MSN Partnership and What It Means for Your Business

February 24, 2010

Yahoo and MSN recently announced a partnership where Yahoo will start displaying MSN pay per click ads across their search engine, search partners, and network of display ads. This yields great opportunities with all advertisers using pay-per-click marketing for their online lead or sales generation, by making campaign management up to 90% easier.

Why Google is So Easy and “Addictive”

Managing pay-per-click programs across multiple advertising platforms can be a hassle for B2B organizations. Generally Google has the most traffic (65-ish percent of the overall market), and offers various tools making campaign management extremely simple. However, since this platform is so easy and the traffic is the greatest, there is also substantially higher competition.

Cheaper Leads via Yahoo & MSN PPC, But Drawbacks As Well…

Yahoo and MSN each now have roughly 10-12% of the overall search engine market. What we didn’t realize for some time is B2B decision-makers use these search engines and cheaper leads can be found if we can combine the traffic at a reasonable internal cost. We’ve seen costs-per-lead up to 6 times lower on Yahoo and MSN compared to Google, so consider these other search engines as a positive contributor to your overall lead generation strategy. However, there are problems which keep many B2B companies from using Yahoo and MSN, which we and other marketers experience.
  • Mangement is cumbersome – MSN recently developed a desktop tool to make campaign management easier but it can be buggy and/or cumbersome. Yahoo has a similar tool in a limited beta release but nobody knows when or even if it will reach full release in light of the recent partnership.
  • Importing from Google is not easy – Both Yahoo and MSN realized people tend to create campaigns from Google first, so they developed import tools to convert campaigns from other pay-per-click engines, but they never seem to create a 100% seamless transition. For example, we’ve never been able to get Yahoo import to work, and their support team never helps us figure the cause. They will upload our campaigns for us which is good, but it is hard to collect stats when we’re constantly uploading data on top of each other. Other issues like MSN’s use of negative keywords make it more difficult to tightly control traffic.
  • Yahoo doesn’t make international marketing easy – Google and MSN let you show ads for any country in the same place as you show ads for the US. Yahoo makes you create separate accounts in  each group of countries. For example, I have Yahoo accounts for the following, making overall management very complicated.
    • US and Canada
    • UK/Ireland
    • Australia/New Zealand
    Yahoo also now seems to have minimum spend requirements as well for these international accounts, and you have to fill each account with a minimum initial charge. This bogs down cash flow, especially when you’re not sure if a market has enough traffic to be worth your time and effort. This also creates campaign management issues by bleeding your time away.

Payoff from the Partnership for Your Business

When MSN starts showing ads on Yahoo this year, you will now only have one interface to manage, and one set of challenges importing your Google Adwords campaign. This is an instant 50% improvement, and probably more like 90% when you consider how clunky management in Yahoo can be.

For Additional Details, See the Following Email Received from Yahoo

Save valuable time and effort.
    • You’ll use a single platform–Microsoft’s adCenter–to manage your campaigns, giving you greater efficiency and a better ROI. • With just one buy from one sales force, you’ll reach users on Yahoo! and Microsoft sites, as well as other premium partner sites.
Benefit from rapid innovation.
    • Yahoo! will deliver new features and innovations to the world’s favourite online destinations, content and web products, used by hundreds of millions of consumers to connect to the people and things that matter to them most. • Microsoft will innovate the underlying technologies that drive high quality algorithmic and paid search results.
Reach more customers.
    • Search ad inventory from both the Yahoo! and Microsoft networks will be joined in a new, unified search marketplace with the aim of giving you access to search volume increases in the UK and French marketplaces, and is predicted to give you up to 40%* more search volume on a global basis than on Yahoo! alone. • To help drive future growth in search volume, Yahoo! will continue to significantly enhance the search experience on our leading web properties.

Want Help Managing Your Lead Generation via PPC Marketing?

If pay-per-click management is either not producing the results you would like, or is keeping your team from producing more fruit in the areas of your expertise, call or contact us for a review of your pay-per-click campaign. WSI B2B Marketing can help with anything from one-time campaign tune-ups, to complete management with analytics. We can even prequalify leads to improve performance your sales team, and integrate lead capture systems with your CRM.

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