Yahoo! Small Business has launched a new solution to go with its existing small business services that provide domain name, web hosting and ecommerce products. The new solution, called the Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard is a completely new addition to the product line and is essentially a control center for information about a small business's online marketing efforts. It is aimed at helping small businesses with four core pieces of online marketing.
First: reputation tracking and management. The reputation tracker will track and display mentions of your business from over 8,000 sources online. This lets a small business see where PR and marketing efforts are being effective and where they are not. It also lets it find quotes and publicity to use for additional marketing in the future.
Second: local visibility. This tool audits directory listings all over the internet and lets small businesses manage how they are presented. If a business needs to update information about itself across multiple locations and directories the tool can help do that all at once.
Third: website traffic reporting. Small businesses need to use web analytics solutions to track their presence online. The new service lets small businesses do that using either Yahoo's or Google's analytics solutions. It provides a straightforward set of reports with visibility into things like what keywords are driving people to a site, which sites are referring customers, etc.
Fourth: marketing campaign tools. Yahoo! Small Business has partnered with Constant Contact, one of the leading email campaign solutions and with Orange Soda, a leading social, SEO and SEM solution provider to make their tools available to Marketing Dashboard customers and the Marketing Dashboard integrates campaign metrics and reporting.
"Our partnership with Yahoo! Small Business on Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard is really a perfect match: both organizations are driven by a commitment to helping small businesses succeed," said Len Bruskiewitz, Senior Director of Partner Programs, Constant Contact. "This dashboard will give small businesses a clear understanding of the effectiveness of their online marketing campaigns, especially those created in partnership with Constant Contact."
Yahoo! Small Business customers who got a chance to try the product out in beta are excited about the potential. C. Wayne Holsapple of Specialty Fireplaces in Phoenix, AZ said, "I am excited about the possibilities that the Marketing Dashboard presents. It's a new tool that will allow me to do pinpoint marketing. It shows me potential new things to do that I wasn't even aware of before."
He's also really interested in the potential to take his business in new directions. "The Dashboard changes the way that I will direct my advertising dollars. It's a new way to guide and direct my business marketing in just a few minutes. Marketing could never have been done this way using print or yellow pages."
Nick Seivert of Twilight Productions in Tucson, AZ is already seeing some benefits from using the analysis tools. "The Marketing Dashboard gives me better insights about who is visiting my web site, and this has helped me make important changes to the site itself. Previously, the metatags I used on my site didn't include the word "Tucson". But when I looked at the site traffic information in Dashboard, I saw that "Tucson" was often one of the keywords visitors were using. Because of this, I changed the metatags on our web site so that it would be easier for people to find us through search engines. Similarly, I learned that nobody searched for the term, "caricaturist", and that instead people typed in things like 'cartoon artist'. We now have much more visibility into what attracts people to our website."
Easy access to this kind of insight has been hard to come by in the past. While most small businesses can cobble the same insights and information together themselves they need to do it using several tools and are unable to see the information all in one place. On top of that Yahoo! is offering 24x7 free in-house customer support for the Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard.
Shannon Parker Hane, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Yahoo! Small Business said, "We have spoken to an awful lot of small businesses over the past ten years and for our nearly 1.5 million small business subscribers, the biggest concern continues to be how to get new customers."
Hane continued, "Despite the proliferation of online marketing, small businesses often don't have the time, resources, or expertise to navigate all the options for promoting their businesses online. By combining these resources in one place the Dashboard helps save small businesses time that otherwise would be spent collecting data from multiple sites and services and evaluating options from many vendors, and it provides them with insights and opportunities by providing a holistic view of their business and marketing data."