The advent of Yahoo!’s new Panama interface has been a great improvement over its predecessor. However, one piece Yahoo! chose not to include was access to their international network via a single account (much like Google does). As such, we advertisers must then seek out these foreign Yahoo! search engines and progress from there. A few days ago, after considerable research and consternation, I set up an account with Yahoo! UK for one of my clients.

The client in question already displayed ads through AdWords to ‘All Countries and Territories’ within the Google network. International visibility accounts for this client’s amount of leads. With the help of Google Analytics’ Geo-Map Overlays and Goal Funnels, I tracked what foreign countries brought in the most click traffic and subsequent leads. Armed with this information, I could easily see what areas I could make the most headway in with an international Yahoo! account. For this client, the UK and Mexico were my highest converting countries outside of the U.S.

I ventured onto and to see about setting up new accounts. Almost immediately I chose to gun for the UK first as I could barely navigate Yahoo! Mexico’s Spanish laden website! Using my above-standard English reading comprehension, I stumbled across the first required action: choosing between a “Self Service” account set-up or an expensive (£79) “Fast Track” option. Fast Track allows novice advertisers the opportunity to have Yahoo! personnel aid in account structure, keyword generation, and ad text creation. According to the sign-up page, this option takes three days from set-up to getting your ads live on the network. I nearly clicked the button for the Self Service track until I noticed that it could take up to ten days for my ads to go live!

In the PPC industry, time is of the essence. Ten days is more than ¼ of a month! Instinctively, I picked up the phone and contacted my friendly, not-so-neighborhood Yahoo! rep for a little bit-o-help. After 5 minutes of conversation, I had a new UK sub-account created under my client’s current US account. All I needed to do was A: add money, and B: email her my bulk spreadsheet of listings for upload. This is the key difference between “Self Service” and merely asking for help. Within 24 hours, my listings were in my account ready to be displayed to those lucky enough to be searching for my client’s services in the UK!

Along the way in this adventure I learned (was reminded of) some important things:

  • The Panama advertising interface is only available to new advertisers in the US and Canada. Everywhere else in the world, ye olde Yahoo! Search Marketing platform is still the name of the game.
  • Yahoo!’s support staff is always available to help you whether you’re paying £79 for the complete ‘help package’ or merely getting pointed in the right direction for free.
  • All of Yahoo!’s separate international advertising networks require their own Conversion Counter tracking code. (Trust me, I almost missed this one.)
  • When dealing with Yahoo! in a different language (a la Spanish), you don’t have to work through the website. Merely calling Yahoo!’s support line will get you directed to someone on the Mexico (or any other country) team who will help you set up your account.

Given that you have a client who is capable of providing a product or service to the world, utilizing Yahoo!’s international network is a great idea. Be prepared to work a little bit harder in the initial set-up of your account, but don’t sweat the small stuff – there will always be a Yahoo close at hand (or phone).

Has anyone else had good or bad experiences in beginning an international PPC campaign with Yahoo!? Did you discover any other helpful bits of information worth sharing?