Advanced PPC Optimization Techniques for adCenter: Filling the Matching Gaps

Yahoo Search Bing PPCSo far in our journey of advanced PPC optimization techniques for adCenter, we’ve talked about the importance of getting the right negative keywords as well as how bidding by match type can have a hugely positive impact on your campaigns.

Now it’s time to continue our advanced PPC optimization techniques journey with a discussion about adCenter’s matching “gaps” and how to fill them.

Broad Matches: Same Name, Different Approaches

As discussed in depth last time, adCenter and most other ad platforms allow us to place bids based on three distinct kinds of keyword matches:

  • Broad: Your ad will be shown on other similar phrases and variations.
  • Phrase: Your ad will be shown for queries containing a specific sequence of words.
  • Exact: Your ad will be shown only for queries that are exact matches of your keyword.

But just because the ad networks have the same names for keyword matches doesn’t mean that they follow exactly the same formula when serving ads of a particular type. In other words, AdWords’ broad match mechanism works rather differently than adCenter’s. Understanding the specific nuances involved in how adCenter approaches broad matches will help you better optimize your campaigns for adCenter.

Understanding adCenter Nuances Creates Greater Opportunities

AdCenter has a definite tendency to match results against fewer queries than AdWords or other ad networks do – so the keyword development strategy you’re using for AdWords or for the old YSM (Panama) isn’t likely to yield the greatest adCenter results. The reason behind this is simple: adCenter doesn’t perform canonicalization (i.e., it doesn’t map plurals, synonyms and misspellings as being the same), which means you need to specify each keyword variation specifically. If you’re trying to get matches to “truck” and all its variations, in adCenter you will need to specify truck, trucks, truk, truks, and any other common variation of the word.

Tips on Expanding Strategic Keywords for adCenter

When developing your adCenter keywords, it’s important to focus on increasing coverage through expanded keywords. Here are a few tips on ways to go about expanding your keyword reach:

  • Go above and beyond: When expanding your keywords for adCenter, go beyond expansions you may have developed in the past for your Yahoo accounts or competitors. The key here is volume.
  • Do your research: There is no shortage of resources to help you identify new keywords. Check out the adCenter Search Query reports, as well as those from other search engines. Also, be sure to investigate competitor data to see if they have identified any potentially valuable keywords, as well as consulting Ad Intelligence and Yahoo Panama.
  • Focus on normalization opportunities: Once again, in adCenter, “cell phone” isn’t the same as “cell phones” or “cel phone”. Singular keywords are seen as completely separate from plural variations, and even common misspellings are viewed as individual terms. Develop your keyword lists and bidding strategies with these caveats in mind.
  • Recognize adCenter’s bias: In many auction mechanisms, adCenter tends to prefer the exact match over both of the other match types. Keep this in mind, and plan your campaigns accordingly.

In combination with using negative keywords intelligently and bidding by match type, understanding how match types in adCenter differ from adWords and Panama is absolutely critical to your success.

But there’s more: quality scores, minimum bids, and landing page quality are also an important part of your roadmap to success – and we’ll cover these super important issues in great detail next month.

In the meantime, if you have tips, ideas, or questions on keyword expansion strategies for adCenter, don’t hesitate to use the comments below.

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