Over the past six months I have been putting a lot of time and effort into building a keyword list for a client. This client operates within a niche market and is geo-targeted tightly to a specific metro area. One day I began conducting additional keyword research and suddenly realized that I wasn’t sure in which direction to head. I had keyword block, much like writer’s block.

However, I’m not afraid to request assistance so I asked my Yahoo Account Representative to present an account optimization that focused on new keywords, and my secondary parameter was a cost-per-click of forty-five cents. I had previously requested optimizations from Google and they were very helpful. Since Yahoo has been making strides to upgrade their services and compete with Google I thought I’d give them a day in court.

Overall, the optimization they proposed was a success. If you need assistance expanding and/or optimizing your campaign I suggest you give this a try. Of course, there is a caveat to this suggestion; there are two aspects of an optimization that you should review closely before you give it a green light.

On the positive side, my Account Representative was very responsive and turned the optimization around rather quickly (within 2 days). In the past we’ve had difficulties (to state it diplomatically) with Yahoo’s customer service, but lately we have noticed a faster turn-around in communication and their responses are more thorough.

Also on a positive note, the keyword expansion was well done. They were able to add another 200 keywords to my list. No new campaigns or ad groups were created but they sprinkled new keywords throughout my existing structure.

Now, here are the two items to review closely within your own Yahoo account optimization:

The new ad texts they provided were awful. Here is my laundry list of inconsistencies with Yahoo’s proposed ad texts:

  • The headlines were weak, uninteresting, unremarkable.
  • The ad texts were very short, consistently half of the allotted 70 characters. And almost all of them were missing a call-to-action! That’s PPC ad copy 101!
  • Also, almost every ad text utilized DKI (dynamic keyword insertion) within the headline. DKI is a helpful tool to use for tightly themed keyword groups, but Yahoo was using it everywhere; this is not a smart strategy.

Approximately two dozen ad texts were included in the optimization and I approved only one (with some light editing).

You should also closely review the keyword bids proposed in your optimization. Most of the bids seemed high to me considering my parameter of $0.45/click. Most of my bids were above $.60. I know that my actual CPC would be lower than my bid but I needed to adhere to this parameter quite closely. So, be sure to review any bids included in your optimization, especially if you have a narrow CPC window.

So, what is the verdict? In summary, when you need some assistance with your campaign I suggest turning to your Account Representative and request an optimization proposal. Just remember to review the proposal closely before you give it your approval. After all, it’s only a proposal and you can revise it to suit your exact needs, and who knows your needs and goals better than you?