Pay-per-click Advertising: Yahoo! Targeting Gets More Focused

Companies are frequently looking for ways to position their products in front of consumers that will most likely result in a conversion or a purchase. While there are several different options for targeting pay-per-click campaigns, the recent advances in Yahoo!’s audience targeting capabilities warrant a close look today. Before we delve into these advances, let’s first look at how targeted advertising works with a PPC campaign.

What Is Targeted PPC Advertising?

PPC campaigns increase return on investment by targeting keywords used specifically by a segment of searchers. Bidding on more specific, less competitive keywords makes a company’s pay-per-click ads more relevant to people who know exactly what they’re looking for. In other words, bidding on the phrase “cheap plane tickets boston” helps your business target individuals who are seriously looking at traveling to Boston and not just general travelers who are basing their vacation destination solely on wherever they can find cheap plane tickets.

Yahoo! is taking audience segmentation a step further by allowing advertisers to target specific demographics, zip codes and time frames. That means an airline offering cheap plane tickets to Boston can bid on those keywords specifically when they know searchers are looking. For example, say the Chicago Bulls are playing the Celtics in Boston. With new advances by Yahoo!, that airline can target the sports-minded demographic in specific zip codes of Boston and Chicago at the times they’re using the Internet most.

Start Targeting

Yahoo!’s three new advanced levels of targeting (demographic, geographic and time-based) can help pay-per-click advertisers achieve more conversions while decreasing the amount of wasted ad impressions delivered, which ultimately will help you decrease campaign costs and increase returns.

  • Demographic targeting typically involves focusing on specific audience traits such as age, gender, household income, and job title. Yahoo! expanding these targeting features by allowing advertisers to bid on keywords in both search and content networks based on demographic data like gender and age. While Google allows for demographic targeting, this feature only pertains to its content campaigns, not search.
  • Geographic targeting involves delivering an ad to a website user based on his or her location. Yahoo! just announced that it will now be offering geo-targeting at the zip code level. While geo-targeting can be as broad as targeting a user in a specific country, it can also get as detailed as targeting users in specific states, cities or designated market areas. Yahoo! is taking this one step further by allowing ads to be placed in front of users in specific zip codes. Additionally, Yahoo! is offering zip-level geo-targeting at the ad group level, allowing you to further refine your campaign and target users in a specific ad group using their zip code. Google’s current geo-targeting is offered at the campaign level rather than the more specifically defined ad-group levels.
  • Ad scheduling (also known as dayparting) involves running ads at specific times throughout the day when your target audience is actively engaged. While Yahoo! and Google both offer this feature, Yahoo! now allows ad scheduling at the ad group level. Yahoo! also offers ad scheduling in accordance to the time zone the user lives in.


The recent advances in Yahoo!’s audience targeting go beyond what the Google AdWords platform is currently offering. If advertisers are considering launching a targeted PPC campaign, Yahoo!’s latest targeting advancements can capture a more specific audience, leading to decreased campaign costs and increased return.

Lisa Wehr
Lisa Wehr
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