Analytics and Measuring Performance on Yandex.Direct vs Google AdWords

This week Russian search marketing covered some of the major differences between Google AdWords and Yandex.Direct advertising as identified by Yandex account managers. This week’s blogs covered long tail key phrases, match types, and ad groups. The Yandex Google blog series will wrap up with a discussion on search term reports and keyword level tracking! Putting these new tips into practice is sure to improve your success with Yandex.Direct and prevent you from making some of the most common mistakes.

Be sure to tweet us your responses and questions to @russiansearchmk!

Yandex Search Term / Search Query Reports

Search term reports show which search queries are triggering advertisers’ keywords and ads. These reports are critical for optimizing performance of paid search campaigns. Advertisers can find longer tail terms which are not used in their Yandex.Direct account yet and then add them as keywords. Irrelevant queries can be also identified and added in as negatives. These adjustments help make advertising more focused on the target audience and increases ROI.

While the search term reports are available by default in some paid search systems, others require additional actions to pull such a report. This is explained by different technology and logic that different search engines use.

On Yandex.Direct the search query report becomes available when Yandex.Metrica, Yandex’s free web analytics tool, is installed on an advertiser’s website.  Yandex.Metrica is the most popular web analytics tool in Russia, offering customizable reports and an English interface.  Considering how important search queries are when it comes to campaign optimization, installing Metrica is highly recommended.


Yandex.Metrica is a great tool itself and has plenty of unique and useful features. It also unlocks the real potential of Yandex advertising, as it is also used to launch retargeting and look alike campaigns.

Yandex Keyword Level Tracking

Measuring performance at a keyword level is one of the basic advertising needs today. This approach allows advertisers to see how well each keyword contributes to overall campaign success. There are multiple ways to do it and one of the most popular solutions is having a unique URL for each keyword.

It is important to know that Yandex.Direct currently supports one URL per ad. Still, keyword level tracking is possible but just requires a slightly different approach to setting up analytics system and using ad URLs.

Here are the most popular techniques used:

  •  Yandex.Metrica: It offers keyword level tracking with no additional action (even tagged URLs). Metrica has reports with all required post click data by keyword, including conversions and revenue (set up goals and assign monetary values to them).
  • Dynamic parameters in ad URLs: Yandex.Direct supports multiple dynamic parameters in ad URLs. One of these parameters is {keyword}. Keyword that triggered the ad is dynamically inserted into the URL when a user clicks on it. For example, you can have an ad with ten keywords, which has the following URL:{keyword}. In this scenario technically one URL per ad is used, but it is modified right on SERP. This is great for keeping keywords grouped by ads and tracking performance of each keyword at the same time.

keyword level tracking

  • Break up the whole account into one keyword per ad: Each of the ads will have a unique URL. You can go with this solution if you have unique URLs for each keyword (for example, pre generated redirect URLs). However, this can make you account more bulky and harder to control via the interface.

Keyword tracking is absolutely possible in Yandex.Direct. The best solution will depend on ad advertisers’ tracking/bid management system and required level of report granularity.

Advertisers should also check the traffic volumes for keywords before going for groups. The higher the frequency of a keyword list – the more impressions each ad will get, impacting the credibility of results.

Recognizing differences between Google and Yandex can be a challenge after working with one platform for a long time.  Continue to follow Russian Search Marketing to stay informed on any significant changes and other relevant information on Yandex advertising.

In addition to following Russian Search Marketing for information on Yandex.Direct, advertisers can also become Yandex.Direct experts through a special Yandex.Direct course that is offered in San Fransisco, New York, London, Barcelona, Berlin, and Shanghai!