Yahoo Campaign Conversion Made Easy

Yahoo Campaign Conversion Made Easy
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Roughly two years ago when Yahoo started announcing what features would be available in the Panama interface compared to the old one, I was excited for one in particular: 3rd party campaign imports. This means that you could take an account you built in Google and with “very little effort” and have Yahoo convert it to their format and instantly upload it! Wonderful!

Until I started trying to use it, because then I started hating it.  There were constant errors, file rejections for no apparent reason, unconverted output files from the conversion tool. I got so mad and wasted so much time I was convinced it was faster to write new campaigns by hand.  The most infuriating part is the system apparently reads the files from right to left instead of left to right, and stops at the first error.  So you go and fix the error at the end of the spreadsheet only to find another error when you try to upload, and so on and so on.

Being the obsessive and persistent person I am, I couldn’t stand knowing there was a tool that’s supposed to work and save me time, but isn’t. After lots of experimenting I finally got the right combination of steps to make it work.

Indeed it is possible! Without further adieu, I present to you the 30+ step process to achieve this. Oh…and that’s 30 steps only if you don’t get an error message.

Ready? Here we go:

  1. From Adwords Editor, Download Any Changes That Might Not Be In Editor
  2. Export The Desired Campaigns (If Not All) To A .csv File
  3. Open the File in Excel
  4. Remove All Negative Terms Without Sorting
  5. Save As a .csv File, by saving as unicode text with quotation marks around the full file name, including the .csv extention, and Hit Yes On The Warning Window. (i.e. “YahooUpload.csv”)
  6. Close The File Without Saving Changes
  7. In Yahoo, Click On The Campaigns Tab
  8. Click In The Import Sub Tab
  9. Click On Convert 3rd Party Campaigns
  10. Hit The Browse Button And Find The File To Upload
  11. Click Once And Add .csv To The End Of The File Name
  12. Highlight The File And Hit “Open” To Add The File Into The Converting Box
  13. Put In Any Desired Name In The Appropriate Box And Hit Convert
  14. Once You Receive The Confirmation Screen, Click On Return To Import History
  15. Download The Converted File
  16. Open The Converted File And Look At The Error Columns. If You See “Please Be Sure To Update Your Tracking URLs If You Are Passing The Source Of The Click As A Parameter Or If You Are Using A Third Party Analytics Provider.” Then You Don’t Have Any Issues
  17. If You Do See Other Error Codes then Scroll Down
  18. Go Back To The Yahoo Interface And Click On The Import Campaigns Tab
  19. Even Though The Converted Form Is In The Appropriate Format, Download The .csv Template From The Interface
  20. Copy And Paste The Data From The Converted Campaigns File To The Template File
  21. In Excel, Click On “Save As” And Save The Template File As A .Csv File With A Different Name Than The Imported Campaign (Even If You Haven’t Saved The Imported Campaign)
  22. Again, Click Yes On The Warning Window that Says Formatting May Not Be Compatible With Unicode Text
  23. Close The File Without Saving Changes
  24. In The Yahoo Interface Click On The Browse Buttons On The Import Campaigns Tab
  25. Hit The Browse Button And Find The File To Upload
  26. Click Once And Add .csv To The End Of The File Name
  27. Highlight The File And Hit “Open” To Add The File Into The Importing Box
  28. Give It Any Import Name (Can Be Identical To Your Conversion File Name) And Click Upload
  29. Once You Receive The Confirmation Screen, Click On Return To Import History
  30. You Will See The Status Be Labeled As “In Progress” For A While. Refresh Every 10-15 Seconds Until Completed
  31. If All Goes Well, The Comments Section Will Say “File Processed Without Errors”
  32. If You Have Errors, Open The File To See What Got Loaded And What Didn’t

POSSIBLE ERRORS

Error Message: The Short Description Is Too Long. Please Enter A Valid Short Description. This means that your 70 character ad in Google turned into a 71 character Ad in Yahoo, because Yahoo forces a period at the end of every ad. Play with your ad and get it to fit within the 70 character limit with a period. Yes, exclamation and questions marks are fine too.

Error Message: The Keyword ________ Was Not Added Because It Is Covered By An Existing Keyword In Your Ad Group.

This means that your keywords is already somewhere in the account, and Yahoo won’t allow duplicates. If you really want it in there twice, call your rep and ask to have your account switched to an umbrella account, with a new account opened as a child account (there will probably be small fee involved). Redo the campaign import with the new account instead of the original account. (Remember you’ll need to load conversion tracking for the new account)

Error Message: Cannot Determine Which Campaign/Ad Group Is The Parent

I really hate this one. It means that you probably tried sorting the columns when working on a project and didn’t put it back precisely the way it was. Unless you’re working with only one or two accounts, it’s usually fastest just to start over.

After you correct these errors you need to re-download the Yahoo template and paste ONLY the corrected items. Then…

  • In Excel, Click On “Save As” And Save The Template File As A .Csv File With A Different Name Than The Imported Campaign (Even If You Haven’T Saved The Imported Campaign)
  • Again, Click Yes On The Warning Window That Says Formatting May Not Be Compatible With Unicode Text
  • Close The File Without Saving Changes
  • In The Yahoo Interface Click On The Browse Buttons On The Import Campaigns Tab
  • Hit The Browse Button And Find The File To Upload
  • Click Once And Add .csv To The End Of The File Name
  • Give It Any Import Name (Can Be Identical To Your Conversion File Name) And Click Upload
  • Once You Receive The Confirmation Screen, Click On Return To Import History
  • You Will See The Status Be Labeled As “In Progress” For A While. Refresh Every 10-15 Seconds Until Completed

It’s possible that you get an additional error file, but it should be smaller than the original. Keep repeating the above steps until all errors are gone and you’ll be done! Congratulations!

Keep in mind some important issues:

  • Bulk uploads are limited to 10mb/day/account.
  • A day is defined by 24 hours, not a business or working day.
  • If you are making account updates instead of 3rd party conversions, DO NOT try to upload anything that you don’t intend changing. Attempts can kick back error messages that will make things tedious.

Even though Google is the dominant player, you can still get a lot of conversions from Yahoo, and this should help you expand quickly and easily.

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3 Comments

  1. Afternoon Brian,

    I am with you on the importing Google campaigns to Yahoo, in the end I sent Yahoo an excel file and told them to sort it out. Which they did. The only problem is that I find the bid prices are so different it requires you sifting through the whole upload and changing bids!

    I actually have an issue just exporting a Yahoo campaign and changing all urls and then reimporting the campaigns, I have around 1500 ads to change and using the Yahoo UI is infuriating, do you have any experience with doing this that you would like to pass on!

    Thanks Shane

  2. I just wanted to say I just spent hours going through this same process. Unfortunately I found your post after I had finished. I’ll save it for further reference though as there is no way I will remember this stuff especially as it seems to change every few months.

  3. The process for converting campaigns from Google to Yahoo is nearly impossible if you have to make changes (i.e. changing the source in the destination urls, bids, etc.). Once again, Yahoo goes 90% of the way to making something truly useful, but manages to just infuriate its customers/users.