I do many different types of training sessions. Many of the times it is in company, which means that its a large company which centrally organizes which products and tools they use. Sometimes I do ‘open’ training sessions. In these sessions I usually get small business owners. They are looking for ‘free’ or ‘cheap’ tools with which they can track their online performance: analytics of sites of course, but also online mentions, brand reputation. There are many free tools out there which you can combine and which can be quite useful. Most of them however are very ‘global’, not local. Yahoo now decided to get into the local opportunities by offering (US only for now) a “Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard”, a tool which will show you how your local online marketing is doing. Within the dashboard a small business can track how they are doing in the search engines, look at their online reputation and find new ‘opportunities’. Yahoo puts it as followed:
Some of the key features included in the free Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard include:
– Search engine and directory listings: Enables monitoring and provides recommendations on new listing opportunities, covering over 100 sites (including Yelp, Yahoo! Local, and more) – Online reputation management: Pulls information from up to 8,000 sources (including Facebook and Twitter) – Site traffic analysis: Enables users to understand key website performance metrics (including Google Analytics) – Small business-focused news and advice: Provided from Yahoo! Small Business Advisor – Campaign tracking: Provides email marketing, SEO, and SEM campaign tracking (must subscribe to these services)
The tool is free, but off course if you want more, there is the paid option which shows you even more local stats and lets you integrate campaigns. Shannon Parker Hane, Director of Product Marketing, Yahoo! Small Business says:
“We created the Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard to help small business owners who feel overwhelmed by online marketing options and monitoring a wide range of sites and social networks to keep up with customer feedback, Now, within a single tool customers can conveniently evaluate their marketing options, campaign results and online reputation without having to search across the Web for information.”
Take a look at Yahoo’s video about the product:
Conclusion: it is too bad that Yahoo is offering this just in the US because for the small businesses it can very well be a good start.