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Yahoo Conversion Assists – Better Data, Smarter Bidding

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Uncategorized / January 24, 2008

“Conversion Assists? What’s That?” We’re often asked what the “Assist” column means in Yahoo Search Marketing’s Panama platform. At this stage, this is a unique feature to Yahoo and there are some great explanations on how it works on Yahoo’s blog and as well as some additional discussion here and here. Essentially, once you activate conversion analytics in the YSM Panama platform, you’ll be able to see in the interface which keywords not only drive direct conversions but also which keywords contribute to a conversion on another keyword during a subsequent click.

Can you give me an example?

Let’s say you sell a variety of cell phone brands and models including the Apple iphone and bid on both the following keywords, “buy cell phones online” and “apple iphone on sale”. Now let’s say that a potential customer first clicks on one of your ads after searching for “buy cell phones online” but doesn’t buy anything on their first visit to your site and then refines their search to “apple iphone on sale”, then clicks on another one of your ads and goes on to purchase an iphone on your site.

What you’ll see in the interface is 1 assist for the keyword “buy cell phones online”, and 1 conversion for “apple iphone on sale”. The system will track this trail of clicks, which Yahoo calls “lead events”, for up to 30 events over a 45-day period (if the cookie is enabled on the searcher’s computer of course).

Taking Advantage of Conversion Assists

Before the conversion assists feature was activated, you might have drastically lowered your bids or completely paused keywords that you thought had no value because they weren’t driving any direct conversions. Now, not only can you adjust your bids according to keywords that deliver direct conversions but now have the additional data to also adjust your bids for keywords that mainly assist other keywords in converting. What’s more is that you can also use this information to identify patterns where certain keywords are predominantly assisting others and test different messages in your ads to see if you can get these keywords to convert directly. You might be surprised to find some opportunities that you can start benefiting from immediately.

If only Google and MSN would activate this feature on their search marketing platforms…

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