Common Yandex.Direct Mistakes Due to Google AdWords Assumptions: Blog 1 Long Tail Key Phrases

The blog series you’ve all been waiting for! The majority of PPC specialists logging into Yandex.Direct and working on Russian campaigns base their decisions and techniques on their knowledge and experience with Google AdWords.  The assumption that Google success equates to Yandex success hurts many players entering the Russian market.  While knowledge of AdWords can offer a certain degree of help in transitioning to Yandex.Direct, there are many differences between the two ad platforms that frequently prohibit digital advertisers from reaching their full potential in Russia.

Yandex.Direct account managers, who aid international advertisers with their Yandex.Direct campaigns, run into a consistent list of topics that don’t correspond between Google AdWords and Yandex.Direct.  Advertisers already using Yandex and those just learning should keep the advice in this blog series in mind to evaluate and improve their campaigns!

This week Russian search marketing is taking you through some of the major differences identified by Yandex experts to help successful Google AdWords users become successful Yandex.Direct advertisers too! Every day this week Russian Search Marketing will provide a blog for the following topics: long tail key phrases, match types, ad groups, search term/query reports and keyword level tracking.

Long Tail Key Phrases 

Using long tail key phrases (a Yandex.Direct term) is a common practice in contextual advertising. These phrases usually consist of 3 to 5 keywords that will display ads to users searching for a very specific subject. For example, “tickets to Turkey book online cheap” is a long tail variation of a very generic “tickets to Turkey” key phrase.

Long tail key phrases allow advertisers to focus on their target audience and to tailor the ad texts to user queries. This results in higher conversion rates, improved CTRs, in addition to driving CPC down. All of the above obviously increases the overall ROI of an advertiser’s paid search campaigns.

The concept of using long tail key phrases in Yandex.Direct is very similar to other paid search systems. However, there are differences on how long tail should be approached. The Yandex search algorithm, traffic volumes, and user behavior are different from other systems. This results in users’ queries normally containing 2-3 keywords.

To illustrate this on Yandex, an example was selected and tested in Russian on Yandex.Wordstat, a free keyword research tool.   The example compares search volume for the key phrases  “tickets to Turkey book online cheap”  and “tickets to Turkey” for June 2015.

direct long tail screenshot

1) билеты в Турцию купить дешево онлайн [tickets to Turkey buy cheap online]: 0 impressions

2) билеты в Турцию купить дешево [tickets to Turkey buy cheap]: 133 impressions

3) билеты в Турцию купить [tickets to Turkey buy]: 1727 impressions

4) билеты в Турцию [tickets to Turkey]: 11323 impressions

In the example, it’s obvious that key phrase 1 had zero impressions – it is simply too long.  Shorter key phrases 2, 3 and 4 received the most traffic. Considering the preposition”to” (в) is omitted by default, these phrases technically contain 2-4 words. Turkey is one of the most popular travel destinations among Russians – niche verticals can have even more traffic that can be concentrated around shorter phrases.

Some advertisers translate keyword lists from global AdWords campaigns and use them on Yandex.Direct. These lists usually contain plenty of 4-5 word key phrases.   Usually such queries have zero (or extremely low) traffic volumes.  Users can be searching for advertisers’ goods or services with shorter queries, but not see ads for very long key phrases.

To avoid this problem it is recommended to build Yandex.Direct keyword lists from scratch, based on traffic volumes in a given industry and the selected geo-targeting.  Yandex.Wordstat is extremely handy when building out campaigns – 100-200 monthly impressions is the threshold when a term can be considered long tail on Yandex. 200-1000 is a medium frequency term and everything above that is high frequency.

It can pay off to use long tail key phrases on Yandex.Direct ads but advertisers should make sure to do the correct research and not assume that results on Google AdWords will be mimicked in Yandex.Direct.

Be sure to tweet us your responses and questions to @russiansearchmk! Check in tomorrow for the blog post on match types.