Using Yandex, Russia's Biggest Search Engine
Yandex is the most popular search service in Russia. Using it to promote your store can be a very effective move.
Like Google with its AdWords, Yandex has its own target ads system called Yandex.Direct. Understanding how to use it is essential for a successful advertising campaign in Runet, the Russian language Internet.
Another useful tool is Yandex.Metrica. Its service is similar to Google Analytics. It is really helpful when used together with Direct to measure the effectiveness of your campaign.
Here is a translation of a very nice article written by Pavel Bersenev, CEO of Online-Pro, a web-promotion company, explaining how to start a campaign using Yandex.Direct and Metrica and avoid some popular mistakes.
Both Direct and Metrica are available in English, so you will not experience trouble actually working with them. Nonetheless, the ads themselves are of course in Russian, so my advice would be, as always, hire a translator and never count on Google Translate. In one of my future articles I will compile a number of examples of mistakes when relying solely on Google Translate.
What to Measure?
Before you start investigating your site visitors' behavior and their interaction with the ads, define how you will estimate the audience quality:
Install Yandex.Metrica. This is a highly configurable tool to determine the effectiveness of a particular ad and a particular key term for your particular site.
Define what actions you expect from your site visitors when they visit by following an ad link.
- make a call (connect the Count target calls service, which monitors the number of unique/non-unique, not answered calls, their durations and all incoming numbers)
- place an order via shopping cart (use Ecommerce report to monitor customer origin, order content and total)
- send a feedback via form (set clicking the submit button or visiting the "Thanks for feedback" page as target)
- download a file (see the File downloads section in Yandex.Metrica)
So, the common rule is as follows: Measure what shows positive feedback from a visitor who came to the site from an ad link. But don't stick to absolute values. It's dynamics that are important, how things change, not how they are.
After that you can make up a list of key terms to be used in your ads.
I recommend to clean up the list as follows. Enter each key terms in Yandex and check the search results and the ads shown. Sometimes the sense you put in a key term differs from the meaning seen by the search engine and its visitors. For instance, "cookies production" will give mostly information about technology and equipment, not about manufacturers. So using it for a confectionary factory campaign would be pointless.
Then group the key terms so that you could route a person to a certain page.
As a result, you have a 2-column table with a key term group and an address where we want it to lead in each row.
Each group should contain not more than 5-6 terms, otherwise making up a reasonable ad out of them will be too difficult.
Let's Make Pauses Between Words
When making up ad text, keep the following in mind.
Key terms are typed in bold and therefore attract attention. That means that you should include them as much as possible in the ad body and header.
In a contradiction with 1: If you have too many key phrases so that the sentence doesn't make sense anymore, split the group.
To make an ad more attractive, put a call to action in it: "Buy," "Sell," "Only Today," etc. Also, don't hesitate to include pricing, shipping and other features that are particularly attractive.
If your business operates in multiple regions, don't forget to mention the name of the cities.
As another tip, for a first-timer it is much more preferable to use "guaranteed shows," because you do not yet have any proven data about how accurate your term choice were, how well-written the ads are and if the target pages are picked properly.
Guaranteed shows is a ad section on Yandex search results. It's on the right and almost on the top. The point is the ads in this section are displayed any time a search term is precisely a key term. They cost more than so-called dynamic shows, which are placed lower and mixed dynamically.
Launching the Campaign
Here are a couple of small tips.
For the guaranteed shows: The place an ad takes in the list depends on the click-thru rate multiplied by the cost per click. So a well-written ad will be placed higher given all other parameters are the same. If memory serves me, the success of the whole campaign is also taken in account.
It's been noted that the ads opposite the 1st search result line (normally 2nd or 3rd ad in the guaranteed shows list) get more clicks.
Give It Time
The result is to be checked not earlier than in 2 weeks. My experience tells me context advertising never works instantly (that is, in the 1st month).
Create a statistics report using Metrica and Direct control panel: Ad header and body, search term, region, surfing depth, getting to the target page rate.
If your ads are not performing as well as you want, consider these potential problems.
Not many people click on the ad.
Look what's displayed with your ad and try to understand whether the key terms are right and the ad text is well-written.
Make sure the key terms you've chosen for the ads are proper. For example, in case you've put some meaning in the term, but the natural search results return sites on different subject, exclude the trouble-making terms.
Users are confused with the page they are led to.
Find out whether the target page is generally appropriate. It must correspond to the key term as much as possible, and it should be clear for he user. Also try to figure out who and how could come to the page and what they would primarily seek.
The ad is shown a lot, but we have few click-throughs.
Review the ad text, estimate its attractiveness, see what's shown near it, and check if it contains as many key terms as possible.
Different effectiveness of different terms for the same ad.
If click-thru-rates of different terms differ a lot, and all the problems mentioned above are checked, the terms that cause problems should be put into separate ads.
- Put the most effective terms in separate ads, leave only them for the ad header and body.
- Put the least effective ones in separate ads as well.
Improving Targeted Advertising Effectiveness
If you see the terms that bring you the best click-through rate, put them to the more notable positions in Yandex search results.
Optimize the target pages so that it is instantly clear for a user that they came to the right place, exactly the one they've been looking for.
Possible Statistics Errors in Yandex.Metrica
Yandex.Direct statistics differs from the one of Metrica.
The point is that Yandex.Direct monitors all the ad clicks that were not filtered out by the protection system. Only these clicks are taken into account when the surfing depth, conversion and target price are calculated.
Yandex.Metrica — unlike Direct — registers not clicks but "visits" (or "sessions"), and the statistics are built based on them. A "visit" is an act of interaction of a user with the site, which involves 1 or more page views. A session finishes after 30 minutes of idleness. That is, if a user hasn't viewed any new page in 30 minutes after the last one, the visit is considered finished.
There are a number of other reasons a click or a visit is not monitored by Metrica:
- Incorrect counter code installation;
- Ad blocking software on a corporate proxy-server or on a user's machine;
- "Technical issues" - the server is too far, or is overloaded, etc.
Finally, remember that correction and measuring is a constant process.