Mobile Russia and Yandex.Direct Device Targeting

Device targeting is now available for Yandex.Direct advertisers! As of March 2015, Yandex advertisers can adjust their CPC for mobile ads independently as a percentage of their desktop CPC bid.  Before getting into a basic tutorial on how this Yandex.Direct device targeting works, this blog will first walk through the current state of Russian Internet users and their device use to provide you with a background and rationale for why you should utilize Yandex’s mobile targeting.

Russian Internet & Devices

Currently, Russia has 83 million Internet users which is roughly 54% of the total 143 million Russian population.  Out the total 143 million population, roughly 25% are mobile Internet users.  By 2017, mobile Internet penetration is expected to grow rapidly to over 60%, just 7% less than the expected US mobile Internet penetration.

Russian mobile Internet use

Interestingly, it isn’t uncommon for Russians to carry more than one mobile device.  Rather than locking into a contract with one provider Russians typically purchase a SIM card and use it interchangeably between phones.  Many people use both multiple SIM cards and mobile phones.

When it comes to smartphones, Russians utilize their devices for three important reasons: searching for local information, researching products, and making online purchases. 93% of Russian smartphone users turn to their phone to search for local information, 82% of smartphone users research products on their phone, and 39% of smartphone users have actually made an online purchase on their mobile device.

Below is a full breakdown on mobile devices in Russia and mobile data traffic. Smartphone use in Russia is expected to almost triple by 2019.  It’s quite evident that the mobile world is just now taking off in Russia and this is an opportune time to make sure your website is mobile friendly and to target mobile users through Yandex.Direct.


Yandex.Direct Mobile Ads

Mobile users who visit Yandex on their phone will now be served mobile specific ads.  When it comes to ad placement, one mobile ad appears in the guaranteed placement position and two mobile ads appear in the premium placement position. FYI, Yandex considers visits from tablet users to be desktop visits.  However, additional tablet targeting is expected in the future.

Increasing Bids for Mobile Impressions

Be aware that advertisers can’t completely disable impressions for specific devices but rather specify mobile targeting through the bid ratios.  Advertisers can adjust their bids in their Yandex.Direct campaign settings.  Under “price settings for mobile devices” advertisers can either increase or decrease their CPC for mobile ads from a specific percent of desktop ads.  More simply put, the impressions for the campaign are set higher or lower for mobile or desktop ads.

yandex direct mobile ads

The mobile bid is limited to a minimum of 50% of the desktop bid.  If the bid for a keyword is $1 for desktop, the lowest possible mobile bid would be $0.50.  The mobile bid is limited to a maximum of 300% of the desktop bid.  If the bid for a keyword is $1 for desktop, maximum mobile bid would be $4.

The following information on bidding is also important to remember when adjusting your CPC.

1.The bid cannot be less than the minimum or more than the maximum in the advertisers currency.

2. Multiple correction coefficients play into the overall bid as well.  For instance, “time of day” and “display on mobile” can come into play together to affect the overall bid.

3. For automated bidding strategies, the mobile coefficient limits a maximum bid.

Users can also adjust their mobile ad bids through the API and Direct Commander.

Tracking Mobile Traffic Statistics

Users can access and analyze mobile traffic statistics through Report Wizard.  As seen below users can select a specific device, in this case mobile, to get information on their traffic.

Device type - report wizard

Advertisers can then view all their traffic data together, separated by device type.

device type - with results

When adjusting ad link parameters, device types can also be specified. In addition to tracking conversions, this is particularly useful to divide users by device (desktop, tablet, mobile), so advertisers can adjust ads with device specifics in mind.


The biggest benefit for this new tool is that advertisers can test bid ratios on both mobile and desktop device users and then track mobile traffic in response to the ad adjustments.  Advertisers can then adjust accordingly to their findings- potentially placing greater emphasis on mobile ads.  Given Russia’s increasing reliance on mobile Internet use, this tool is sure to benefit the majority of digital advertisers.