Yandex.Direct is a PPC platform for advertizing on Yandex and their content network. Yandex hold 65% of contextual ads market in Russia, so if you want to enter this market, that’s probably where you will allocate a big chunk of your advertizing budget.
Yandex.Direct ads in Yandex search results
Yandex have been working very hard for a year or so to attract foreign advertisers, not only promoting themselves at conferences in the US and Europe, but also investing into English translations of the most important tools and tutorials:
When I first started with Yandex.Direct, there were a few things, which I had a hard time to grasp, being used to working with Adwords. Below I will list the key differences between Yandex.Direct and Google Adwords.
1. Campaign structure
Yandex.Direct platform allows you to group keywords and ads into campaigns. There is no support for ad groups. The campaigns looks like a bunch of ads with a number of keywords assigned to each ad.
2. Keyword match types
In Yandex.Direct there are no match types as such. The keyword matching works like modified broad match in Adword. E.g. adding a keyword Cheap Laptop Bags into Yandex.Direct will give you similar results to adding +cheap +laptop +bags into Google Adwords.
There is a tool inside Yandex Direct the system that allows you to broaden keyword matching and incorporate synonyms, which will make it more similar to Google’s broad match.
You can start your keyword research using Yandex Keyword Tool.
3. Negative keywords
Negative keywords can be only created at an Ad level.
The ad format is 33 characters for the title and 75 characters for the ad text. Dynamic keyword insertion is supported.
What is not supported is ad rotation. When working with Adwords, you usually create several ads per ad group and test different messages to maximize your CTR and conversion. With Yandex.Direct it is impossible to have several ads shown for the same keyword at the same time.
5. Display network
Yandex have an extensive content network in Russia. The selection criteria for the websites are very strict, therefore you can be sure, when opting into the network, that your ads will be shown only on respectable and good quality sites with a fair amount of traffic. This is a big advantage in comparison with Google’s GDN, where you get all those useless clicks from thousands small spammy sites!
What is different with Yandex content network is that :
- the ads will only be shown if your keywords match keywords in web page content (like with Bing content ads, really), while Google would rather match a “theme” of your ad group than a particular keyword.
- It is not possible to create a campaign targeting display ads only, which is totally the opposite of what Google recommend when working with GDN. Your ads to be shown on Yandex content network AND search results, or in Yandex search results only.
6. Conversion tracking
In Yandex.Direct there is no conversion tracking as we know it. Instead of tracking pixel you get from Google or Bing, the suggest you to install Yandex.Metrics, which is their analytics kit, in a way similar to Google Analytics. Yandex Metrics is a very good and powerful tool; the only problem with it is that it is only available in Russian at the moment.
Otherwise, you can rely on 3rd party tracking solution, but then the number of conversion won’t be shown in Yandex.Direct interface.
7. Mobile ads
Yandex.Direct does not support device targeting. Your ads will be shown on mobile devices by default if they occupy position #1 or #2.
The interface of Yandex.Direct otherwise if pretty straightforward. If you are an experienced search marketer, it won’t take you long to get comfortable with the platform.