SEO and SEM for Russian search engines

Hidden Costs Of A Yandex PPC Campaign

One of my readers recently asked me how to estimate the budget needed for a PPC campaign on Yandex Direct. Google provides quite good tools for that to anyone who has a Google account, and so does Yandex, just in a slightly clumsier way.

How much my keyword costs on Yandex?

Right on the front page of Yandex Direct, in the top right corner, there are two not very prominent, but important items: Keyword Selection and Budget Forecast. That’s where you start gathering the information.

Keyword Selection in linked to Yandex’s keyword tool also known as Yandex Wordstat. The tool provides keyword ideas and monthly search volumes for specified country or region. Although the suggestions from Yandex Wordstat are integrated into Yandex Direct interface and can be accessed easily at the stage of creating ads, I still prefer compiling my keyword lists using this tool.

Budget forecast is linked to a tool that estimates number of impressions per month, average CPC, CTR and monthly budget for a keyword/ number of keywords in a specified country or region. The tool, once found, is very easy to use: simply enter the keywords and the geotargeting you are interested in to get the estimates:

* On the right there is a box with additional keyword suggestions that are taken from Yandex Wordstat. As I mentioned, I prefer using the Wordstat tool for compiling keyword lists, because even though it is integrated on various stages of creating Yandex PPC campaigns, it is not as convenient. In this case, for example, search volumes for keyword suggestions are not displayed.

Once keywords and geotargeting are selected, simply click “Calculate” and you will be presented with a table like this:

Everything seems to be clear from the first look, try to figure out how much does this keyword actually cost.

Yandex Direct budget forecast FAQ

Indeed, this table that can be a bit confusing. I will try to explain some things I found difficult to understand when I just started working with Yandex PPC.

1. Average CPC is given for 3 placement types. What are these placements?

Unlike AdWords keyword tool, where CPC estimates are given for top position, Yandex calculates CPC for 3 different types of placements, which are defined as:

  • Premium placement: your ad will be displayed to the left of the page directly above the search results.
  • 1st place: your ad will be displayed first on the right side of the SERP.
  • Guaranteed placement: your ad will be displayed on the right under the ad occupying the 1st place.

2. Average CPC is shown in y.e. What kind of money is that?

Y.e. is actually not translated from Russian in this case. The abbreviation is similar to something called “coin of account” (cab be also referred to as a “unit”), and equals to 30 Russian rubles in this case.

Using “units” for indicating prices became a common practice in Russia in the beginning of 90s, when the economy was extremely unstable and due to hyper-inflation it was very hard to set prices in rubles. Paying in US dollars, especially for imported goods, was a usual thing, but due to legal restrictions merchant could not write dollar prices on their price tags. That is how y.e. was introduced.

Today y.e. is still in use in Russia, however not to a very large extent, and most of the time equals a price of 1 USD or 1 Euro.

3. The budget forecast is shown in units. What are these units?

The units are the same as y.e. in the average CPC column, and equals to 30 Russian rubles in this case.

Tips for budget estimation for Yandex Direct

Once you are used to it, Yandex Direct is not really complex to work with. However, there are a few things that can affect the performance of your campaigns, positively if you are aware of them, and negatively, if you are not.

Yandex match types

I already wrote an extensive posts covering match types in Yandex, but it is always good to remind: Yandex Wordstat gives search volumes only in broad match. If you are interested in buying phrase or exact matched keyword, use operators ” ” and !. Although it will not change the CPC forecast, estimated impressions and CTR will vary depending on a match type.

Geotargeting and CPC levels

It is not a secret that the majority of Russian online purchases are made from Moscow region, and the PPC space is much more competitive there too. This is why I usually advise to separate Moscow region into a campaign of it’s own. Just compare: the CPC for “доставка цветов “(flower delivery) in Moscow region is between and  units, while in the rest of the country (excluding Moscow) it is between 0.68 – 2.3 units depending on a placement type. Selecting Russia as geo-targeting would give an estimated CPC of 4.30 – 4.55 units. Bidding according to this estimate would result into too low positions in Moscow (where most of your customers are) and unnecessarily high positions in the rest of the country.

Anna Oshkalo

Anna is a blogger and online marketing consultant specializing in SEO and SEM for Russian search engines. To see more of Anna's posts, follow her on Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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2 Responses to “Hidden Costs Of A Yandex PPC Campaign”

  1. Отличная статья. Я решил ее твитнуть, и надеюсь этим действием никого не обижу!

  2. Anna says:

    Spasibo Mikhail!