Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Tracking Display Ads Is Easy With Yahoo's Full Analytics

Lately I've been seeing a lot of stories being written about the growing gap between search and display spend. During these hard economic times, it appears that more advertisers are starting to move their online advertising budgets towards search instead of display because:

1. Advertisers prefer search advertising over display advertising because of the simplicity of tracking search.

2. Advertisers feel that search advertising performs better than display advertising.

I'm here to say that nothing could be farther from the truth! Tracking display ads is actually pretty easy. And if you feel that search ads perform better, then you may be risking a 22% lift in conversions by not running display advertising with your search advertising.

Let's tackle these myths one by one.

Question 1

Sure, tracking search is pretty easy when using Yahoo Analytics or Google Analytics. All you have to do is add the vendor's tracking scripts to your web site's pages. But tracking display ads is pretty easy too! It only takes two steps using Yahoo's Full Analytics:

1. Add Yahoo's Full Analytics tags to your landing page and your confirmation/thank-you page (which you may have done already to track your Yahoo Sponsored search!)

2. Add 3 special tracking parameters to the end of the display ad's destination URL

Let's say I've already added the Full Analytics tags to my landing page and my confirmation/thank-you page. All I have to do now is add the tracking parameters to my display destination URL which is: http://www.mattlillig.blogspot.com/

The 3 Yahoo! parameters that I need to add to the end of my destination URL are:

- Campaign Name: ysmcpn=Unique+Campaign+Name+Here
- Channel Name: ysmchn=YAH (for Yahoo)
- Tactic Name: ysmtac=AD (for advertisement)

My final appended display destination URL will look like this:
(click on this link and you'll see that these parameters are appended in the landing page URL)

Now how hard was that????

Question 2

Display advertising may not perform as well as search advertising on its own, but run it along with your search advertising and....BAM...INSTANT CONVERSION LIFT!!!!! Did you know that visitors who were exposed to a combination of search and display ads converted 22% more than visitors who were exposed to only search ads?

As an advertiser, are you really willing to risk a 22% dip in sales or leads because you thought that display advertising didn't perform as well as search? Well it does...if you run it along side search!

If I was running only search advertising during these tough economic times and was looking for a great way to drive up conversions, traffic, and brand awareness....I would definitely look into running and measuring some display campaigns. If I was already running BOTH search and display advertising right now during these tough economic times....I would NOT be pulling my display ad budget knowing the information above.

Of course, I would also be using Yahoo's Full Analytics to track this info too! :)

Check out the various studies on the benefits of search + display advertising here:


Allan said...

Matt - thanks again for a very informative post. You're very passionate about the killer combo of search + display advertising. Can you tell me if Yahoo's Analytics will give me more value over Google's Analytics?

todd garland @ BuySellAds.com said...

Matt, you're dead on... those who run effective display campaigns (and who have proper tracking in place) know for a fact that display can actually perform just as well, if not out perform, search. Call me biased, but I definitely have some data to back up this one up ;)