I’m almost embarrassed to say I had no idea that Yahoo had added a new feature to it’s search capabilities back in October of last year.  The reason?  I pretty much use Google all the time.

So while I’ll probably continue using Google, the new Yahoo Search Assist function is very useful from an online marketing research viewpoint.  Used effectively, you can learn some good secondary and tertiary keyword terms you can use for your own website’s optimization efforts and pay per click campaigns.

Take the example in the pictured screen grab (above).  If I was a dentist in Hackensack, NJ, interested in attracting relevant search engine traffic to my own site, by typing in the keyword phrase “dentist hackensack, nj”, the Yahoo Search Assist tool automatically suggested several other related search terms in a drop down menu for that phrase, namely, “family dentist hackensack, nj” and “pediatric dentist, hackensack, nj”, among others.

These “long tail phrases”   (fancy word for longer search term phrases) offer two benefits:

1.  Less people are looking for them so pay per click costs are lower (assuming you’re doing ppc campaigns).

2.  While less people may be searching for these longer phrases, the searches will be a lot more targeted generating higher percentages of click-throughs.

BOTTOM LINE:  Use the Yahoo Search Assist to get ideas on keyword phrases to bring a smaller but much more targeted and motivated audience to what you have to offer.  Another example of how to further refine your lazer-focused online search marketing efforts.