In recent newsletters and Help Guide additions, Yandex has demonstrated a commitment to several familiar phrases: “use additional features,” “enable as many extensions as possible,” “the more extensions you use, the more likely your ad is to appear.”
Variations on these phrases appear so often that you might not even pay attention to them. In the next two posts, we will take a look at what these extensions are and why Yandex keeps recommending that you use them, i.e. what’s in it for you.
Let’s start from the very beginning, like in children’s activity books — find all the differences you can between these two ads!
Okay, I’ll save you the time and effort — the difference is that Exhibit A is a basic ad, and Exhibit B contains several enabled ad extensions.
Both ads are managed via Yandex’s self-service ad management vehicle, Yandex.Direct, and both promote the same company and lead to the same destination. As you can clearly see, Exhibit B occupies much more SERP real estate, provides more information, and grabs users’ attention far better than paltry Exhibit A. So, what are these extensions that make Exhibit B so much more likely to be effective? Let’s take a look at them one by one.
Increase in CTR: up to +12%
First, let’s talk about vCards. If the company you are advertising has brick and mortar locations, then vCards are an absolute must for your ads. vCards immediately provide the users who see your ads with information they need: your phone number, address, and the closest metro station (if your store is located in Moscow or Saint Petersburg).
The address in your vCard serves as a link to the corresponding desktop or mobile version of Yandex.Maps, one of the most popular online maps services in Russia.
Moreover, adding a phone number to your ads means that users on mobile devices can get in contact with you with just one tap on your number.
Increase in CTR: up to 11%
As you already know, the ad title at the top of your ad is itself the primary link to your desired landing page. By adding sitelinks (up to four of them) that appear below the ad title, you provide users with one-click access to other sections of your site.
Let’s say, for example, your business sells clothes online. Your product range includes men’s clothing, accessories, and footwear. If I search Yandex for “Nike Air Jordan shoes,” then it is highly unlikely that I want to see pages with jeans or leather belts. By adding a sitelink that gives direct access to your footwear selection, you offer me a reason to click specifically on your ad: I can get to the section I need faster.
Increase in CTR: up to 35%
To make your sitelinks even more effective, Yandex recommends adding what they call “sitelink descriptions” — tiny texts appearing below each sitelink that gives users a clue of what each sitelink offers. In those cases when sitelink descriptions appear, your ad dominates the ad block and grabs the user’s attention.
When do sitelink descriptions appear? Here you should understand two terms. The first is “navigational query,” which refers to search queries that without a doubt refer to a specific site, e.g. “booking.com”. Navigational queries trigger ads to appear in what Yandex calls “expanded format” (with all possible extensions), in first position in premium placement.
That’s all that I’ll cover this time. The next post will feature information about the rest of Yandex ad extensions, including callouts, expanded ad titles, and display links.