Search engines are implementing more rich media – video, pictures, reviews, maps, etc. – in search results and Yahoo’s Rich Ads in Search (RAIS) is one of the programs leading the charge. Currently in beta testing with only a few advertisers, RAIS is planned for full back end integration starting mid Q4 ‘09. At this time, RAIS will shift to a CPC & bided marketplace model which should open the floodgates to all advertisers. Here is some of the basic information on the program as you consider including rich media in your Yahoo SEM brand campaigns.
Video served on RAIS will initially show as a thumbnail…
Until clicked. The video opens up and extends the page, essentially pushing down all other listings. Videos can be viewed full screen without leaving the search page & can also be shared with social sites and blogs.
- RAIS will host any length of video. Videos under one minute generally work best but Yahoo reports having some clients running branding videos up to 4 minutes long.
- If video is not used, other templates include an image variation where a brand logo highlights the SERP ad and the searcher is given various actionable, deep linking options.
- Up to 4 additional landing page links can be included to show in the results so customizable links can drive traffic to top converting pages.
- RAIS ads will only currently show in the upper North placement of your brand SERP.
- Keywords included in the RAIS program will run on exact match only.
- Only brand & brand modified keywords can be included in RAIS campaigns. For example, the site ChadsRadBikes.com could have ‘chadsradbikes.com’ & ‘chadsradbikes’ but also ‘chadsradbikes homepage’, ‘find chadsradbikes.com’, ‘chads rad bikes newsletter’, etc. & even misspellings. Some of the initial participants are currently running over 400 keywords in their RAIS campaign.
- RAIS ads will replace existing sponsored search ads on the brand terms selected. Regular text sponsored search ads will appear on advanced match queries and on partner networks for those brand terms.
- Currently, the keyword set & marketplace determine pricing. RAIS beta now has a minimum cost of $15K/month but this will rise depending on spend of the KW set you want served. Higher volume keywords are more expensive and some low volume keywords will not increase pricing at all.
Here are a few additional ‘best practices’ to consider when using video in SEM:
- Online Video is generally displayed at 425 (width) by 355 (height). Import your video as close to this as possible to avoid stretching.
- Have call to action at end of video to instruct the viewer on ‘next steps’.
- Post quality content only – Why should people care? Videos should have a quality picture, sound, music as well.
- Make it easy for users to grab video and share it on rich media and social sites.
- Make sure your URL appears in the video – generally best placed at the beginning since engagement falls off rapidly after 10-15 seconds.