Higher Ed Advertising: Using Yahoo! Bing Network Extensions

I recently spoke at HeroConf in Austin, Texas about the Yahoo! Bing Network and why to use their extensions. Now, I know I already wrote about ad extensions in the past and how schools can leverage them in paid search – but I didn’t explain the advantages and struggles we see with this engine specifically. Here’s a recap of my presentation so you can find out why they’re important and what to expect after implementing.

Yahoo Bing Extensions CTR

In the graph above you can see the bars to the right show what your CTR could look like if you add extensions. The green bar shows what your average CTR could be without utilizing more extensions. All averages come from Yahoo! and won’t necessarily be high, but they give you an idea of what to expect.

Find out more about each type of extension to start implementing change at your school:

  1. Sitelink Extensions: Promote pages on your site and drive searches where they want to be. When would a school use these in higher ed advertising campaigns? One of my clients knows its highest converting page is tuition, and adding that highest converting page as its first sitelink puts it in front of users, getting them to this page quicker and easier. Sitelink extensions are easy to implement and can be added in the UI or editor.
  2. Location Extensions: These can be tricky for higher education, especially if you don’t have a physical location to take someone to. Also, you are looking to get prospective students to click a link and fill out a form to find out more information. This could interfere with the process in place. Below is a graph Yahoo! provided and shows how much of a CTR lift you could see from these by vertical. It’s absolutely worthwhile if you’re a traditional college or university.Location extensions
  3. Call Extensions: 61% of consumers click to call a business. If you have a strong call center, implement these as soon as possible. It’s very normal to see schools not utilize this extension due to a call center’s inability to nurture properly. In most cases, we’ve turned these off due to email and lead generation campaigns working better for us.
  4. RAIS: I always love to address the debate of whether to use these or not. They’re not extensions, but they shouldn’t be forgotten. I almost always see a CPL that’s double our normal branded campaigns. Why is RAIS useful? Brand awareness. If people are more familiar with your logo than your name, I recommend implementing these to gain more clicks and potential conversions. They aren’t as easy to setup and you need a Yahoo! rep to get your brand terms whitelisted. It takes time, but I would test them to see if you find any incremental lifts.

Have you seen success in the Yahoo! Bing Network using any of these extensions? What about RAIS – does the brand awareness work for you?


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