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Old 7th June 2005, 10:34 AM   #1
tearles
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Question Google Adwords vs. Yahoo Search

I'm new to this forum.

I have a question regarding Google vs. Yahoo. We're a startup software company targeting businesses, and we have had tremendous success with Google Adwords (7-8% CTR on search results, 25% conversion rate). Naturally, I want to scale that as much as possible, so I continued to bump up our Google budget until I think I now have hit the ceiling on available clicks through that medium.

The next logical step was to take those same ad campaigns to Yahoo Search. We took the top 40 performing keyword strings (in terms of impressions, which roughly translated into top 40 clicks, as well) in each of our Adgroups and started Yahoo campaigns. The results were dismal, and we struggled to even meet the minimum monthly billings required for Yahoo. We have suspended the activity for now, but would really like to understand why that didn't work.

I have only two theories: (i) Yahoo's search audience is significantly different from Google's, maybe more consumer-oriented versus business-oriented, and (ii) Yahoo's search market share is much, much smaller than Google's.

Is it typical to see such dramatic differences in the two PPC services? Why? Suggestions as to what we could or should do?

Thanks from the newbie.

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Old 7th June 2005, 11:01 AM   #2
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I had the exact same experience a few months ago (under the Overture name). That's about all I can surmise too: The audience is different, and they don't buy as much.

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Old 7th June 2005, 11:37 AM   #3
tearles
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thejenn just posted an article in this thread: "New Article - Yahoo SM vs. Google AdWords" that seems consistent with our experiences.

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Old 15th June 2005, 01:54 AM   #4
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Default I have the opposite problem

We have been using Overture for years now and I took our top 20 conversion keywords and put on Google, I have experitmanted with many differnt avenues so far as putting them in "" or [] for more direct searches but still have not got one conversion despite churning through twice the daily Overture budget?? We are catered to small businesses also I'm just doing somethign wrong and after finally getting through to Google they were'nt much help besides reading to me what the FAQ's said about match types.

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Old 16th June 2005, 10:43 PM   #5
tearles
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Default Here's what I did with Google ...

Webdefy,

When I took over our Google stuff our conversion rate was quite poor, although our CTRs were high. I did a few basic things to change that:

1) I did an experiment to determine what messages customers responded to the best. To do this, I inserted about 20 different ad copy variations for each adgroup and let Adwords self-optimize on CTR for about 2 weeks. Adwords will eventually pick the winning ad by giving it proportionately more impressions. (This is a feature that Yahoo doesn't provide, which frustrates me. On the other hand, you get a lot more characters in a Yahoo ad, so you can cover more bases.) After a couple weeks, I started deleting the lowest performing ads until I was left with the 1 to 3 best. (Recognize that inserting all these ads, which will include low-performing ones, will knock down your overall CTR during the optimization period.)

2) I made sure that the essence of the search terms was repeated in the ad copy, ideally in the ad title. (This improves CTR, but not conversions.)

3) I made sure that the landing page repeated, clearly and often, both the keyword string and the message that had resonated with customers (see item 1). This consistency of message seemed to be the key to driving up conversions. Since we have 3 or 4 active adgroups with different keyword themes, and each of those adgroups has 1 or 2 messages that seem to resonate, that meant that we now have 6 or 8 unique landing pages. They're all basically copies of each other, with keyword and message phrases sprinkled in strategic places. (They are not linked to from within the broader site, but merely serve as an entry point into the site.)

After about 2 months, the search (not content) CTR has leveled off at about 8% and the conversion rate at around 25%.

One very valuable side benefit has been that adding those multiple landing pages with a high density of keyword strings has meant that our organic search results have improved significantly, as well. In our top performing adgroup, we also are consistently in the top 3 organic search results. I read somewhere that searchers click through the organic results 70% of the time, compared to 30% for sponsored results.

Hope this helps,
tracy

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Old 17th June 2005, 02:26 PM   #6
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Default it just occurred to me ...

I assume that you have tested your conversion tracking on Google to make sure it works ...

tracy

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Old 17th June 2005, 03:42 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forum, tearles and webdefy!

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