In recent months Yahoo have been hitting the headlines more for their boardroom drama and patent trolling than their innovations and services. But with the recent introduction of the Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard, they have created a product that many small and medium businesses and startups who lack the resources to invest in more pricey web site analytics should definitely take a look at.
Yahoo! already offer a host of services for small businesses, including Yahoo! Finance and Mail. With the Marketing Dashboard they aim to provide a way for businesses to track the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and discover new opportunities for growth.
The service is divided in four separate areas, the most interesting of which is reputation management. This is where a business can monitor how visible their online presence is to potential customers. The dashboard will display search engine results and directory listings for a business, enabling users to get a broad view of how they are being presented to interested surfers.
Additionally, users get access to aggregated results from over 8000 sources detailing ratings, reviews and online mentions. These are categorised according whether they are positive or negative. It’s a very useful way to get information that’s usually dispersed across the web and use it to shape public relations and marketing strategy. Unfortunately, to see the reviews themselves, users have to pay a fee, but the free service, which shows levels of customer satisfaction, is sufficient to get a good idea of what customers are saying.
The dashboard also includes the usual website analytics in collaboration with Google Analytics and other services — tracking visits, bounce rates, and movement through a site, as well as the effectiveness of PPC campaigns and other marketing efforts. Users of the Yahoo! Merchant Services can also track their sales and revenue.
Yahoo! have partnered with email marketing provider Constant Contact to provide detailed analytics of email marketing campaigns, including click-through rates and forwards.
All-in-all the Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard is a great addition to the toolbox of any new or growing business. If you’re tired of throwing your marketing budget at the wall to see what sticks, this service will give you the data you need to allocate limited marketing funds efficiently, without the need to spend any extra cash.