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Overview of Yandex advertising opportunities



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In our previous review, we introduced you to the advertising opportunities of one of the largest players of the Runet - Mytarget. Today we will tell you about the advertising opportunities of Google’s main competitor in Runet, Yandex.

Do you know what mistake foreign companies make most often when entering the Russian market? For advertising purposes, they use only the capabilities of the Google network, completely forgetting about the largest search network of the Runet - Yandex.

On average, in 2018, more than 40% of Runet users used Yandex for searching. Therefore, if you are going to promote your offer on the Russian digital market, then setting up an advertising campaign in Yandex is the first step that you should take.

In this blog, we will talk about the main Yandex services for business promotion and analysis of advertising activity:

  • Yandex.Direct - contextual advertising and YAN (Yandex advertising network).
  • Yandex Audiences is a service that allows you to customize advertising campaigns aimed at a specific segment of the audience. It provides targeted hit of your ad.
  • Yandex.Metrica is a Yandex analytics service that will help to fully evaluate the effectiveness of advertising campaigns.

Yandex.Direct – let us go to the consumer in Yandex

Yandex.Direct - the largest provider of contextual advertising Runet. In general, its functionality is very similar to that offered by Google Adwords. The main principle of work is the issuance of relevant ads in the search (contextual advertising) and Yandex advertising network (media or banner advertising).

Let us consider the placement formats in Direct.

Text and image ad

This is a universal ad, which is shown to your potential customers on Yandex search and search sites of the advertising network, which allows you to reach millions of Runet users. Flexible settings allow you to tailor the campaign to your target audience.

The standard text-graphic message necessarily includes 2 headings, ad text and a link to the advertised resource. Optionally, you can add an image and video (only for displaying in the YAN) - which we will discuss in more detail below), tags (to clarify product features) and quick links (links to relevant and/or useful pages of the site).

Also in the ad, you can add the phone speed dial feature. This feature is available in advertisements on mobile phones and smartphones. At the same time, remember the time difference! It will be a shame if you are sleeping when the customer calls.

This type of ad is shown on search queries that contain entirely your keyword phrases or auto-targeting - the system will analyze your site and determine for itself which query is relevant to your resource.

In networks, your ad will appear on sites whose content matches your key phrases. You can also set up to display ads on retargeting (the same as remarketing in Google Adwords) and audience selection.

And yes, we forgot to mention about the geography of hits. Geo-targeting allows you to customize the display of an advertising campaign for a Russian-speaking audience anywhere in the world.

Image ad

Image ads are banner ads of various formats. They are shown in the Yandex advertising network, which includes such giants of the Runet as, Rambler, LiveJournal, Gismeteo, Avito and tens of thousands of other resources.

The system allows you to make 12 creations of various sizes, which makes it possible to display ads in different blocks of the Yandex network. The system selects relevant ads for display based on the theme of the site or the interests of the user.

Video ads

This format of advertising placement is perfect for increasing audience coverage and increasing brand awareness. Video ads are short 15-second promotional videos that are shown on the Yandex video network in the InPage and InStream blocks.

In this case, videos can be made interactive by placing on them, for example, a button or another clickable element.

According video ad clickability is 18 times higher than HTML banners. What makes this placement format a great tool not only to increase the reach of the audience and increase brand awareness, but also to solve the most important performance objectives.

Dynamic ads

If the set of services and products on your site is constantly changing, then this type of ads will perfectly complement the standard advertising campaign, so you don’t miss a single customer request.

The essence of it lies in the fact that you do not need to create a separate ad manually for each proposed position - just specify the target source (website or feed) and the system itself will produce relevant ads.

They look dynamic ads as well as text-graphic, with only one difference - they are created by the robot.

To generate dynamic ads, you can use the entire site or its individual pages by setting the Targeting Conditions.

Smart banners

Smart Banners in Yandex.Direct (better known on the market as performance banners) is one of the most convenient formats for retargeting and sales promotion. The banner is created from the downloaded feed (file with information about products and services) and automatically adjusts to your audience. That allows you to show each user an individual offer, for example, products that were forgotten in the basket.

Smart banner display audience is selected according to two principles:

1. retargeting users who have already been on the site and viewed a particular product or service.

2. behavioral - the system shows ads to users who are interested in similar products on the Internet.

Retargeting in Yandex

Retargeting allows you to show your ads to users who have already visited your website. Retargeting is not only an excellent opportunity to return a client, but also a tool for sales and cross-sales. For example, if a client bought a trip to Thailand from you, you can remind him to get excursions at the resort through retargeting.

The collection of information for setting up retargeting in Yandex is carried out by two services: Yandex.Metrica and Yandex.Audience. We will speak about them below.

Mobile Application Advertising

Advertising on mobile applications is shown on search and in the YAN on mobile devices with which the application is compatible. An ad consists of a headline, ad text, and an action button that leads to the application's download page in the appropriate store.

On the search for ads are shown on the basis of auto-targeting * or on requests that contain entirely your key phrases.

* Autotargeting is a tool that allows you to display ads on a Yandex search automatically, without adding key phrases. It analyzes ad data: headline, ad text and information on the advertised site page. Based on the data obtained, the algorithm predicts the probability of a transition for a particular search query, selects the most suitable search queries and displays advertisements for them.

In networks, ads are displayed to users with relevant interests in mobile applications. Ads can also be shown on YAN by key phrases and conditions for retargeting and audience selection.

Auction in Yandex.Direct

The principle of selecting an advertisement for displaying in Yandex is simple:

  • in YAN, the display of an ad depends on the size of the bid offered by the advertiser,
  • in addition to the search, the predicted click-through rate (CTR) of the ad and the quality factor are taken into account.

Campaign statistics

To evaluate the effectiveness of an advertising campaign at any stage, you can use the built-in tool with reports for each advertising campaign. Here you can view data for a certain period by impressions, clicks, costs, search queries and other data that will help optimize advertising campaigns in Yandex.Direct.

If you are interested in not just transitions, but you want to track leads, then you need to install a special analytics tool - Yandex.Metrica (we will speak about it below).

Where is it more effective to place ads: on a search or in YAN?

As can be seen from the graph below, a significant part of YAN users do not overlap with search users, so our answer is unequivocal: to increase the coverage of the audience, you need to use both tools!

Yandex. Audience - we target advertising campaign

Another interesting service from Yandex, which allows you to create and use the following audiences when setting up an advertising campaign:

  • segments formed from their data, for example, on the basis of unloading from CRM;
  • new customers found using the look-alike technology (based on the existing customer base);
  • segments formed on the basis of Yandex.Metrica or AppMetrica data in order to show ads to those who have been on your site or installed a mobile application;
  • segments formed on the basis of Yandex geolocation data;
  • users who have seen your media banner or video;
  • segments formed on the basis of these providers (DMP).

Such segments allow you to customize ads in Yandex.Direct more precisely and not only bring new target customers, but also return old ones. For example, why not remind yourself of a client who visited you last month a month ago?

Note that the size of the list in Yandex. Audience must be at least 1000 addresses.

Thus, the Yandex. Audience service allows you to:

1. return interested customers (those who have previously visited your site and were interested in your goods or services)

2. to organize an advertising campaign aimed at the sale, distribution of promotional offers, etc.

Yandex.Metrica - we analyze the attendance of Internet resources and the effectiveness of advertising campaigns

Working with this service begins with the installation of the Yandex.Metrica counter (code) on a web resource. The counter code transmits to the Metric data about the pages and events that occurred while interacting with it.

Yandex.Metrica allows you to collect data about site visits and traffic sources, analyze the popularity of certain pages of your web resource, collect and group data about the audience and actions performed by them, set goals and track conversions from the site.

The data in Yandex.Metrica is promptly updated, which allows analytics in real time. In Metric, you can get detailed characteristics of your audience: gender, age, geodata, visitors' interests are calculated by analyzing their behavior on the Internet using Crypt technology. This allows you to customize relevant ads targeted to your target audience.

Another advantage of Metrics is the availability of WebVizor technology (technology of recording and analyzing the actions of visitors on the site) This technology allows you to play all the actions of each individual user in the video format: page navigation, link clicks, and even just mouse movement around the screen. The web browser allows you to eliminate errors and omissions in the usability of the site (navigation and optimization of the resource) and increase the conversion of the site.


Based on the integration of all three services (Direct, Metrics and Audience), it becomes possible to launch advertising campaigns with more complex targeting. For example, we want to call to our cafe, people who are in the area of 1500 meters, who have visited our site in the last 7 days and, say, went to the “Contacts” section. For such a task, setting up a bundle of conditions in Yandex Direct will be suitable, where we will combine both the Yandex Auditorium segments and the Metrica segments. In this way, we can create the most relevant advertising campaign.

Yandex vs Google

Below we have identified 5 key differences in advertising opportunities Yandex and Google.

1. Contextual advertising Yandex.Direct covers not only the Yandex search network. Ads are shown in the search results, Bing, "Rambler" (the largest players Runet).

2. Yandex more strictly selects sites for displaying advertising on the network. Therefore, to set up advertising in the YAN, it does not have to spend a lot of time sifting out irrelevant resources (unlike the Google advertising network).

3. A clear advantage of Google is the ability to advertise on Youtube. Since this video service is incredibly popular in Russia, the effectiveness of advertising placement in it is comparable to placement on a search (for some segments, of course).

4. Another advantage of Yandex is its focus on the Russian-speaking population. Accordingly, the search engine has a better understanding of requests in Russian.

5. In Google Adwords, you can set up geo-targeting for a territory within a radius of 1 km from the selected point on the map. In Yandex.Direct, you can set up an advertising campaign only for a specific region. However, if you connect Yandex. Audiences, then the capabilities of Yandex are greatly expanded in comparison with Google.

Let's summarize ...

If you are a foreign company seeking to reach the Internet audience of Russia and the CIS countries to the maximum, then your check-list should include:

1. Setting up Yandex.Direct

2. Connecting Yandex. Metrics

3. Setting up Yandex. Audience

Or just one point - contact the experts of the RMAA Group and we will select the best tools to promote your business in the market of Russia and CIS countries.

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About the Author

Digital marketing manager, editor-in-chief of the RMAA Group Blog

Author Yulia Vasilyeva
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