SEO and SEM for Russian search engines

5 reasons why Yandex.Metrica is a MUST for your Russian site

yandex-metricaYandex.Metrica is a free web analytics tool developed by Yandex. It is very popular among Russian webmasters and business owners, but a lot of European companies tend to forget about it and rely on Google Analytics when measuring performance of their Russian websites.

In my opinion, both tools have their pros and cons, and I usually recommend to use both Yandex.Metrica and Google Analytics when working in the Russian market, but in this article I would like to explain why Yandex.Metrica is important for your Russian business. Here is why:

1. Encrypted keyword data is available in Yandex.Metrica

About a month ago Yandex announced that from now on they are going to encrypt all their search queries.

Today 40-50% of all search query data from Yandex shows up as (not set) in Google Analytics and all the other 3rd-party web analytics systems. Both organic and PPC traffic are affected.


From now on, the only way to know referring keywords for SEO and PPC traffic from Yandex, Yandex.Metrica is a must.


2. Conversion data in Yandex.Direct

In one of my previous posts I already tried to clarify the confusion with Yandex.Direct conversion tracking. For those used to working with AdWords and other media that requires implementation of conversion pixels, it comes as a surprise that in order to see conversions in Yandex.Direct interface one has to implement Yandex’s analytics tool.

Once Yandex.Metrica is installed, three new metrics show up in Yandex.Direct on the right of the standard metrics:

  • Depth (number of pages viewed)
  • Conversion rate
  • Cost per conversion


Installing Yandex.Metrica also enables advertisers to use Conversion Optimizer for their Yandex.Direct campaigns.


3. Awesome and free usability and conversion optimization tools

Yandex has been talking about importance of usability and user experience for years, and in order to give webmasters better understanding of what they are talking about, they included a bunch of awesome usability tools into Yandex.Metrica.



One of the features that is truly irreplaceable is WebVizor. Similarly to the well-known in the West tool, WebVizor records videos of visitors’ actions on the website.


WebVizor gives great insights into user behavior on the site, which can help making decisions for creating new designs or optimizing conversion rates.

The other tools that are very useful are:

  • Click path analysis: similar to Bahavior Flow in Google Analytics. Shows how people navigate between different pages on the website.
  • Link map: highlights the most clicked links on analyzed page together with their traffic share and click history for selected period of time.
  • Click map: standard click map. Shows where people click the most on the analyzed page.


4. Retargeting on Yandex Content Network

Conversion rates in Russia are usually lower than in Western Europe or US, so retargeting might be a handy addition to any company’s digital strategy.

Yandex provides retargeting feature as a part of Yandex.Direct, but to use it, advertisers are required to install Yandex.Metrica. Once installed and configured, it is very easy to start with retargeting campaigns that will run across Yandex Content Network (YAN).

YAN’s requirements for publishers are much higher than Google’s, so the quality of sites and hence traffic in Russia is generally better. Due to that, in the Russian market retargeting with Yandex in many cases shows better results than remarketing with AdWords / Google Analytcs.


5. Yandex.Islands module

Announced last year, Yandex’s interactive snippets aka Islands have not really taken off just yet. Although the technology for creating very cool snippets for Yandex search results is already in place, there are very few live examples as of today, but they are surely coming up soon.


Yandex.Metrca provides a nice analytics package for Yandex Islands that includes clicks stats, search phrases and information about users’ interaction with filters in the snippet.



So if you are serious about your efforts in the Russian market, Yandex Metrica is a must for your web site!

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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3 Responses to “5 reasons why Yandex.Metrica is a MUST for your Russian site”

  1. RAZZU says:

    Respected Anna mam,
    Firstly iam very Happy to meet you..I Think its a new email for you.
    My Profile :this is Razzu Billa from india Provience of Telangana(Hyderabad). Please give me some info about Yandex Web analytic s.My site .Iam applied Yandex web analytic s but my site result was everything showing “0” .
    Kindly please give me suitable information.
    Iam waiting your positive reply,
    Thanks and Regards,

  2. Anna Oshkalo says:

    Hi Razzu, that sounds strange. Please check and make sure you followed all the steps.

  3. Marco says:

    Not only for Russian sites! Here are 3 things Yandex Metrica does better than Google Analytics

    Great post Anna, thanks for sharing!

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