Monday, April 21, 2008

Use Yahoo!'s Full Analytics To Track Yahoo!'s Seach Submit Pro Program

While many of you know that I support Yahoo!'s current web analytics products called 'Conversion Only' and 'Full Analytics', many of you don't know that I also support two other products here at Yahoo!. One product is our Sponsored Search API while the other is what we call SSP...or Search Submit Pro.

What is SSP? Well for those that have worked hard to manage their SEO (free or organic or algorithmic) listings to meet Yahoo!'s web crawler needs, SSP is a paid inclusion program that allows you to easily manage those organic listings without having to tweak your backend system (meta tags, etc).

Many of you may not know that you can use Yahoo!'s 'Full Analytics' product to track the performance of your SSP listings.....from click to conversion. You can even get ROAS (return on ad spend or ROI) data for e-commerce sites that pass us revenue information.

But before discussing tracking of SSP using Full Analytics, let's discuss what value SSP brings to those of you who do normal Yahoo! SEO optimizations.

A few Yahoo! facts:

1) Here at Yahoo!, our search mission is to: Deliver the right message to the right people at the right time.

2) Did you know that on that on average, 7 out of 10 clicks on a Yahoo! search results page go towards a natural search ad vs. a paid search ad?

3) Time Spent: Consumers spend their time almost evenly across the algorithmic and sponsored search results (40.5% on Sponsored and 53.4% on Algorithmic). With consumers spending more than half their time on algorithmic results, the importance of managing your presence in organic results is clear.

4) Yahoo! Department Store Study: When the advertiser participated in both Sponsored Search (paid) and SSP we found:

- 27% increase in CTR (Click Thru Rate)
- 11% increase in Conversions
- 39% increase in Revenue

As you can see via the information above, there’s definite value to managing the whole Yahoo results page (paid and organic listings). But managing your paid (SEM) listings is a bit easier then managing your listngs for SEO.

We all know that SEO is complex....

- SEO involves heavy backend work (meta tags, titles, descriptions, etc) to make sure that your site is picked up by our crawlers.

- Not all sites are “crawler friendly”. For example, flash heavy sites. Some of your content may not get picked up via the organic crawler.

- It may take up to 6 weeks before the Yahoo! crawler picks up your new site changes. A new sale could be over by that time!

Let SSP take the complexity out of managing your Yahoo! SEO (organic) listings and get your message to the right people at the right time...

- SSP allows you to index all of your URLs, titles, descriptions, and keywords so that the crawler does not miss them.

- Once you send us your site information (destination URLs, titles, descriptions, keywords, etc), we’ll crawl that info every 24-48 hours vs. every 6 weeks!

With SSP you have control of your messaging....

- Like Sponsored Search (paid), the SSP program allows you to manage your messaging (destination URLs, titles, descriptions, keywords). The ability to control your algorithmic messaging allows you to keep messaging consistent with your Sponsored Search listings.

- Why run through the process of doing the backend SEO work (for the crawler to pick up in 6 weeks) when you can simply send over new titles, descriptions, and keywords and have the new messaging ready in 24-48 hours?

Quick Links: Add additional messaging in your SSP ad.

- You can tack on up to 3 additional links, below your ad, to help push additional products or promotions. Quick links are great for leveraging holiday promotions, sales, discounts, new products, etc. A recent Yahoo! study showed that the presence of Quick Links led to a 15% increase on clicks to the search results. Below is an example of an ad with Quick Links enabled...

Use Full Analytics to Track Your SSP Ads

Once you've joined the SSP program, you can use Yahoo!'s Full Analytics to track the performance of those ads. Because you're supplying Yahoo! with your URLs for those organic landing pages you only need to do two things:

1) Add Yahoo!'s Full Analytics tags to your landing page and confirmation/thank-you page

2) Add special Yahoo! tracking parameters to the end of your landing page destination URLs

The parameters that you'll want to add to the end of the URLs are:

1) ysmcpn=Your+Campaign+Name+Here

2) ysmchn=YAH

3) ysmtac=PI

YAH stands for Yahoo! while PI stands for Paid Inclusion.

An example of a landing page URL with the parameters appended to it would look something like this:

If a visitor now searches for my blog on Yahoo!, clicks on my SSP (organic) ad, and converts on my site by filling out a sign up form (if I had one)... my Yahoo! reports I would see:

Campaign Name: Matts Blog

1 Lead (a click on the ad)

1 Conversion

For more information on how to get started in the SSP program, please visit:

Eric Hamilton's blog video on SSP at:


SSP program details and pricing at:

Friday, April 11, 2008

Yahoo! Acquires IndexTools Web Analytics

As many of you have already heard, the next big web analytics consolidation purchase took place on Tuesday with the announcement that Yahoo! has picked up the industry respected IndexTools.

This is very exciting news for me because I have first hand knowledge of the IndexTools product and I support Yahoo's current web analytics products.

A few years ago I worked for an SEM agency in San Diego called EngineReady ( By the time I got there, EngineReady had already made the smart move of partnering with IndexTools so they could take advantage of IndexTools' web analytics product and include it as part of their SEM consulting services. I say "smart move" because EngineReady was one of the early SEM agencies to understand the value that web analytics had on helping online (pay-per-click) advertisers' improve their CPA and ROAS goals.

As part of the EngineReady/IndexTools partnership, my role was to help IndexTools improve their US presence (and increase revenue of course) by selling and supporting the IndexTools product. At times it was an easy product to sell because it had many of the similar features that you would find in WebSideStory's HBX product and Omniture's SiteCatalyst a huge fraction of the cost! Other times it was a difficult product to sell because it didn't have the big brand name and more "well known" clients using it like HBX or SiteCatalyst did.

But I'm hear to say now that nearly EVERYBODY knows who IndexTools is! So congratulations to the IndexTools team for continuing to not only build great products but to continue to build that brand name. They've come a long way in 3-4 years since I worked there!

With that said, Yahoo has big plans for the IndexTools products. There are many different properties across the Yahoo network where the IndexTools products will help to play a large role in supporting the millions of Yahoo users around the world.

I already have some great ideas and I can't wait to start working with the IndexTools team to build those ideas out!