Finding new ways to reach your customers in a competitive digital advertising environment can be challenging. Rather than looking for the next new thing, you might try going back in time and test advertising on one of the original online ads platforms: Yahoo.
This guide will help you understand the basics of advertising on Yahoo, why you may want to give it a try, and how to get ads up and running.
Advertising on Yahoo Overview
Advertising on Yahoo is similar to advertising on any digital ad platform. It offers a variety of advertising opportunities, including search and native ads, in a variety of formats including videos, carousels and slideshows.
As with any ad platform, you need to test different types of ads and formats to find what, if anything, works. But when it does work, Yahoo may help you reach your target audience on a smaller budget than you'd have to spend elsewhere. And since it's not as popular as other platforms, you have have less competition.
Why Advertise on Yahoo?
The behemoth Google Ads often comes up first when advertisers think about search advertising. As a search engine, Yahoo is seriously eclipsed by bigger players. But it’s not just a search engine. Yahoo Finance, Yahoo News, and Yahoo Mail (email) bring in significant traffic. In 2022 it has a reported 700 million active users.
Demographics are one factor that may lead some advertisers to test Yahoo. The Morning Consult found that when compared to Gmail, Yahoo Mail is especially popular with those over age 65, and is also popular with those ages 45 to 54.
Joe Karasin has spent more than 15 years in digital marketing and advertising, and says that Yahoo can be an attractive option for businesses on a budget. He is currently chief marketing officer at CircleIt, a trusted service that helps you send cards and gifts to loved ones for any future date or life milestone even long after you're gone.
“Yahoo can offer an option for those with smaller budgets,” he says.
He gives an example of a campaign he managed for a small business that didn’t have a budget for Google Ads. “We decided to launch on Yahoo, as they had an older demographic, which was the target for the business,” he says. “In the first three months, revenue generated via the ads we published was 6x higher than any previous month's total.”
Who Should Advertise on Yahoo?
When determining the best bang for your online advertising dollars, you’ll always want to take into account factors such as:
Ad formats available
Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
You won’t know all of this information until you test, but one advantage to advertising on Yahoo is that it may cost less than other platforms, giving you some room to experiment on a lower budget.
If you’ve already been advertising on other digital platforms, you’ll also have benchmarks you can use to compare your results on Yahoo to see if it is worth continuing.
Yahoo Advertising Platforms
The first thing you’ll need to do if you want to advertise on Yahoo is get past all the various names it uses. Yahoo AdTech runs Yahoo DSP, Yahoo’s advertising platform. (DSP stands for demand-side-platform, and refers to software that helps advertisers automate ad buying and placement).
It offers a variety of advertising solutions including:
And if those names aren’t confusing enough, Yahoo Native (formerly Yahoo Gemini) is the ad platform for Yahoo that was rolled out in 2014 to merge native advertising with mobile search. It’s undergone changes since that launch but it's the main platform you’ll use if you decide to run Yahoo native ads.
Karasin has had good success with Yahoo Native Ads in particular. “Yahoo has the capacity to have both native and search ads,” he explains. “While search ads on Yahoo are not as effective as they once were, the native advertising is a great feature which can be used at a lower CPA than most other ad platforms.”
Native ads, in case you aren’t familiar with them, are ads that match the look and feel of the place where they appear. They will appear among content such as weather or news for customers who meet your target demographic. They must be identified as content but they fit more seamlessly with the content of the site.
In addition, Yahoo has a variety of advertising partners. Native ads can reach Yahoo’s sites as well as those of publishing partners such as ESPN, ABC News, MSN and Apple News (in select locations). Yahoo also has access to inventory or data with partners such as FIOS, MSN, Marriott Media News and others.
How To Advertise on Yahoo
If you want to test Yahoo Native ads you’ll start by creating an account. If you already have a Yahoo account you can use it to log in. Otherwise you’ll need to create a new Yahoo account.
After you fill out information about your business, you can create a new campaign from scratch or import one from Excel or Google Ads.
You’ll choose your campaign objective, which could be to bring customers to your website, drive app installs or increase brand awareness, for example.
Name your ad campaign and choose whether you’ll run it as a search campaign, native campaign or both.
Define your audience by location, language, device and schedule. Native ads allow you to drill down further with interest, gender or age. You can also use custom audiences; for example from your email list.
Set your budget by day, month or in total. You’ll also be able to set conversion tracking settings.
Then you’ll be able to create your first Ad Group. You’ll be able to bid by pay per click (PPC) or pay per conversion (CPA).
You’ll create your first ad (or better yet, group of ads). You’ll be able to choose from a variety of formats:
App install ad
Yahoo Mail ad
You’ll then choose the keywords you want to target.
Your ads won’t go live until you submit your payment information.
Tip: Use the right credit card to pay for your digital advertising. Dash.fi easily control spend, get higher daily limits, earn cash rewards, and stabilize ad spend at scale.
Ads run on all of Yahoo properties as displayed on all devices, including desktop, tablets and smartphones.
Once your campaign is running, you can login to your account to see how it is performing. You’ll be able to see:
Average ad cost
Post click conversion
Total ad spend
You can also see if any of your ads have been rejected and identify optimization options on the dashboard. You can change your strategy, try new ads, or learn that this platform isn’t right for your product or service,
The bottom line is that advertising on Yahoo may not be a fit for every digital marketer. But it can and does work well for advertisers whose audience is on Yahoo or partner properties. It’s certainly worth exploring, especially for budget-conscious marketers.