Yandex Search and Content: 3 Useful Advertising Tips

Advertisers new to Yandex.Direct make the mistake of focusing all their attention on the position of their ad in Yandex search results, at the expense of opportunities presented by the Yandex Advertising Network (YAN). It is, however, a powerful source of traffic, through which one of every four conversions takes place in Yandex.Direct. In this blog post, you’ll find three simple tips highlighting some of the important differences between search and content advertising in Yandex.Direct.

Tip №1 First divide, then conquer: 

The first and most important tip is to create a separate ad campaign for content sites, with its own keywords and ads. Why is this so important? For the simple reason that ads are displayed in search results and content sites according to different rules. Search advertising concentrates on the user’s current query, whereas content advertising is focused on the users themselves—their interests and online behavior.

There is a second, but no less important reason to separate search and content. On content sites, you don’t need to link the price-per-click to the entry threshold for the desired position, meaning that you can set a different ceiling rate and manage your budget with greater flexibility. The setting “Independent management of search and content sites” can help to create a separate campaign for YAN content sites. Simply create a new ad campaign, choose this setting, and disable impressions in search results. Then you can select one of the five strategies for content sites, which conveniently provide optimal configurations for effective ad placement.

Tip №2: Find the key

If you have decided to manage your advertising campaigns separately between search and content, the next step will be to select relevant keywords.

Ad impressions on content sites are facilitated by YAN technologies—for example, data collection, click prediction, and targeting, among others—which allow the system to analyze the behavior and interests of a specific user and show him those ads most likely to work effectively on a specific site at a given moment.

The system determines where, when and for whom your ad will be interesting, so don’t unnecessarily limit your audience when selecting keywords. It is best to focus on combinations of two or three words, and use negative keywords and other operators very carefully.  As a result you’ll broaden your keywords and increase the number of target sites.

Only add negative keywords if you are absolutely sure that they are not found in the target sites. For example, it would be a bad idea to add a minus sign before reference words like forum, reviews, ratings—after all, it’s likely that someone looking to buy a car would want to read opinions of current owners and collect information from various resources.

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Attention must be given to restricting operators as well. Their use on content sites usually decreases coverage of target sites. An ad with the keyword “tours to Egypt” in quotation marks will not be shown on a content site without that exact formulation, but which may contain suitable alternatives like cheap tours to Egyptselection of tours to Egypt, etc.

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The same is true of other operators, such as the plus sign (+), which forces the inclusion of prepositions and conjunctions. As an example, an ad for the phrase grille +for car will not appear in a context ad with keywords like car radiator grille or radiator grille on car. So it is better to just remove the plus sign from the keyword.

Tip №3 Add Emotion:

In contrast with Yandex search, where each ad block has its own place on the page, ads on content sites can appear anywhere, typically in the lower left- and right-hand sides of the page. To attract the attention of the user interested in the content site, ads should stand out.

Remember that the rule “give the most accurate answer to the question” doesn’t really work in content advertising, as there is no clear question from the user. As a result, it is vital to describe the advantages of your offer fully and clearly and avoid the use of boilerplate expressions. Speak to your audience, motivate and surprise them!

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By the way, it isn’t necessary to repeat the keywords used for the ad in the ad itself: text inside the ad won’t be highlighted, and that will leave you with more space to maneuver.

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Don’t forget that you can add an image to your ad for impressions on content sites to establish a visual connection with users. And, as in search ads, you can use sitelinks and and a vCard to make your ads more noticeable.

Summing things up

Effective ad placement in the Yandex Advertising Network is easier when you understand the system’s methods and keep them in mind. Creating a separate ad campaign for content sites, increasing its keyword base, and being creative with the text of your ads will allow you to receive the best results possible working with YAN.