Yandex.Direct, the PPC platform of Yandex, has been around since 2001 and is the oldest system of contextual ads in Russia (Google launched AdWords in Russia in 2002). Even though it displays ads to over 22 million people every day and attracts hundreds of new advertizers from Russia and overseas, the user interface is, let’s say, not the most convenient. Managing large PPC campaigns through Yandex web interface is a challenging task. But from now on it will be much easier for all search marketers. Finally Yandex launched a desktop tool for managing Yandex.Direct accounts, similar to those of Google, Bing and Yahoo!. Please meet Direct Commander!
The tool is available for Windows and Mac, but unfortunately the user interface is in Russia only. The first version of Commander is not as powerful as AdWords Editor, but it provides all the basic options you need for day-to-day PPC optimization. With the help of Direct Commander you can easily:
- Change campaign and ad settings (targeting, budgets, alerts, site exclusion, automated campaign management features such as Autofocus etc.)
- View statistics
- Create, edit and manage ads
- Add, remove and modify keywords
- Manage your presence in Yandex Catalog
- Import data from XLS and CSV files
The interface is very convenient, in my personal opinion. Commander window is divided into 3 panels
The panels can be minimized if needed. I really like the fact that you don’t need to switch between tabs, but can edit the campaign at all levels simultaneously.
Of course, since it is the first version, there are a lot of functions that are missing. For example, it is impossible to download campaigns into Excel. Would be also nice to have the Yandex keyword tool (Wordstat) incorporated into the tool.
I am looking forward to more features in Direct Commander, but it’s already a big improvement. The tool is going to be great help to all search engine marketers optimizing for Yandex.