Configuring conversion tracking for Yandex.Direct

Configuring conversion tracking is an essential part of any PPC project. Without conversion tracking it is impossible to properly optimize keywords and bids or calculate campaign ROI.

All major advertising platforms provide conversion tracking possibilities. The most common practice is tracking conversion with a so-called conversion pixel – a snippet of code that is installed on the website and signals the ad platform when conversions occur.

Yandex.Direct platform is a bit different in that sense as there is no conversion pixel to be implemented. Let’s have a look at how marketers track their conversions in Yandex.

Common ways to track conversions in Yandex.Direct

1. Yandex.Metrica

Yandex.Metrica is a free web analytics tool provided by Yandex. Just like Google Analytics and AdWords, Yandex,Metrica and Yandex.Direct are fully integrated with each other, and if having both installed, Yandex will automatically display number of conversions, conversion rate, cost per conversion and average number of pageviews in Yandex.Direct interface.



2. Google Analytics

Of course, not everyone wishes or has a possibility to add an extra analytics platform to their websites. In those cases Google Analytics can be used for tracking conversions in Yandex.Direct.

In order to separate paid and organic Yandex traffic in Google analytics all destination URLs in Yandex.Direct have to be tagged with utm parameters. To ensure correct tagging, I recommend using Google’s URL builder.


Once all the fields are filled in, the URL builder will generate a tracking link that looks like this: If all destination URLs are tagged correctly, Google analytics will display yandex / cpc in source / medium and all conversion statistics will be available for your Yandex.Direct campaigns.


3. Third-party tracking systems and bid managers

Third-party tracking systems and certain bid management software can be also used for tracking Yandex.Direct performance. Currently Yandex.Direct is integrated with the following tools:

  • Adobe AdLens
  • IgnitionOne
  • Kenshoo
  • Marin Software
  • Adspert
  • IntelliAd
  • Refined Ads

Benefits of tracking Yandex.Direct conversions with Yandex.Metrica

Yandex.Metrica is definitely the most preferable tool to track Yandex.Direct conversions. Apart from automatic integration and conversion data sharing between Yandex.Metrica and Yandex.Direct there are a few other reasons to use the combination of the two products:

1. Possibility to use conversion optimizer in Yandex.Direct

Yandex.Direct provides multiple bidding strategies in the system, and one of the latest additions to the list is “Average Cost Per Action (CPA)“. This bidding strategy optimizes impressions and bids in order to achieve a specified cost per conversion and can come in very handy for those, who do not have time for manual bid optimization or are not very experienced with working in Yandex.Direct.

“Average CPA” will only work if conversion data is imported into Yandex.Direct from Yandex.Metrica.

2. Retargeting on Yandex Content Network

Yandex Content Network (YAN) is a large source if inventory, which includes a lot of popular Russian sites, and is exclusive to Yandex. Even though YAN inventory can be accessed via DoubleClick DSP, for advertisers that prefer to work on CPC basis, the only way to run retargeting on Yandex Content Network is by implementing Yandex.Metrica on their site.

3. Most complete search query data

Since mid-2014 Yandex started encrypting 100% of their searches to protect its users’ privacy, which resulted into majority of search queries being shown as (not set) in Google Analytics and other web analytics tools. Needless to say, this situation is not optimal for PPC optimization.


Yandex.Metrica is the olny tool that gives access to Yandex keyword data in combination with other site usage metrics.