I wanted to tell you quickly about another very useful tool for Search Engine Marketing. It’s the Overture Bid Tool, which you can access from several different places. I’ve linked a site above that is accessible to anyone; if you are currently doing business with Overture, you can of course access it from within the Overture site.
For those of you who don’t know, Overture is the Pay-Per-Click (PPC) division of Yahoo. Overture was the pioneer in the PPC business, and was later purchased by Yahoo. It is now officially known as Yahoo Search Marketing, but many people still know it as Overture, so the brand has stuck around. It’s a direct competitor to Google Adwords; although it was the pioneer, Overture’s technology has fallen behind Google. Yahoo has a big new upgrade of the service which will be available soon (it was supposed to be released by now, but was delayed). It is supposed to help Yahoo get back in the game and catch up with Google in the PPC business–we shall see. Google surged ahead of it with superior technology that it released at a far faster rate. There may be quite number of you who have utilized Google Adwords but have never tried Yahoo/Overture, since the general perception is that is “where the action is”. These days with the extreme competition for good keywords on the Adwords platform that may be a dubious strategy, but that’s a discussion for another time.
One of the features where Overture has maintained some functionality not available on Adwords is the Overture Bid Tool. This tool is of great use for Search Engine Marketing, in general. It’s very easy to use: you simply type in any search term that you are interested in, and the Overture Bid tool will return a list of advertisers for that the keyword or phrase, with the exact amount that they are bidding.
This can be very valuable in a number of instances. You might for example, use it to scope out a new market, to see if PPC advertising will make economic sense. You can use it to get an in depth view of the marketing strategy of your closest competitors. In a more global view, it can give you an quick overall picture of the competitiveness of a market segment. In many markets, PPC spending can be an excellent proxy for how competitive a particular market space is. So if there is brutal bidding on Overture, you can expect the SEO competition will be almost as bad, and even traditional marketing channels have a good chance of being pretty clogged up as well. And since Overture doesn’t have the volume of Adwords, the bids tend to be lower–so you can expect the competition on the Adwords platform is even worse.
Give the Overture Bid Tool a try–use it for whatever purpose that you like. It’s free, and easy to use. Let me know what use you found for it.