Impact of Yahoo! search marketing change

With the recent change to the Yahoo! search marketing system the launch of Panamathe landscape in pay-per-click bidding continues to evolve. For those that don’t know, Yahoo! has been in development of a new search marketing management system to keep pace with other engines such as Google and MSN that have newer and more flexible systems. Gone are the days of seeing exactly what your competitor is bidding for keywords and being able to price your way into a specific position. Instead, paid search is becoming more like organic by the day. Content, conversion rates and perceived quality of landing pages are replacing who pays the most as the criteria for ranking your sites on different keywords.

What does this mean for schools? Here is what we see as the top impacts to the career college sector:

  1. Elimination of restricted bid campaigns for trade names – Instead of limiting companies to bidding below schools for their brand name, companies will simply not allow bidding. Without being able to see bids, there is no enforcement ability and price is not necessarily the determining factor in who is ranked first.
  2. Higher prices for keywords and leads – In general, blind bidding drives up the cost and creates more revenue for the search engine. As advertising costs increase so will the cost-per-lead clients are paying.
  3. Increased use of agencies for PPC campaigns – Already in the last year more schools are hiring outside firms to handle their search marketing. By making it a more complex system to manage and understand, the need for expert assistance grows.
  4. More landing pages and web development – Relevancy of a keyword to the landing page is becoming very important. Instead of sending all PPC traffic to one landing page or to the main school web site, developing more pages that are specific to the keyword campaigns will help increase results and reduce costs.
  5. Look out for video – It is the new frontier of search and offers much more customer engagement.

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