Yandex.Direct at a first glance.

We all know a lot about Google and Bing, which are the most powerful search platforms worldwide, but shall we keep in mind that to enter certain markets sometimes we need to use something different, more specific, not to say tailor-made. In this article we’re going to take a closer look at Russian search platform Yandex and its’ PPC platform Yandex.Direct.

So what is Yandex exactly and why is it such big of a deal? Well, let us tell you that Yandex holds around 65% contextual advertising market in Russia and many other countries, where Russian is widely spoken. This number makes completely unnecessary any more explanations (and so you won’t get bored with too many arguments, as we still want you to finish this article). And Yandex.Direct, as it’s been mentioned earlier, is a PPC platform, which provides advertising on Yandex as well as their content network.

During the past several years, Yandex have put a lot of effort to interest foreign businesses. They’ve translated all the significant tools and tutorials into English and have been actively promoting their services at conferences all around the world (still, focusing mainly on European and American markets). Here’re some links on their English sources:

Yandex are trying their best to make the system comfortable to work with for a foreign proffessionals and clear for the investors, and still, for Google AdWords adepts, there’ll be a bit more than a few things to catch up. Let’s take a look at the most important ones.

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Related keywords

There’s an instrument in Yandex.Direct platform called ‘Related keywords’, that lets the users to extend keyword matching and include synonyms/substitutes. This works pretty much the same with modified broad match in Google AdWord, for example: keyword Buy Phone Cases on Yandex.Direct will get you similar responses as +buy +phone +cases on Google AdWords.

‘Related keywords’ function is enabled by default for new campaigns. And if you’re not sure where to start, you can check out this link for a Yandex Keyword Tool also known as Yandex WordStat. Unfortunately, now there’s only a Russian version to be found, so for the instruction on how to use it for English-speaking audience, keep up with our articles.

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Negative keywords

Negative keywords are words or sentences that you don’t want your ads to be associated with. Only a couple of years ago negative keywords could only be formed at an Ad level, now, however, negative keywords can be added at all levels: to keywords, ad groups or campaigns.


The ad format is slightly different depending on the type of the ad:

  • Text & Image Ads – 35 characters for the title and 81 characters for the ad text;
  • Dynamic ads – 81 characters for the ad text;
  • Ads for Mobile Apps – 33 characters for the title and 75 characters for the ad text.

Obviously, the length of the ad is way shorter compare to Google new standards (with 70 characters’ title and 320 characters’ text), though in general it works the same way.

Campaign arrangement

In general, campaign on Yandex.Direct appears as a set of advertisements with an uncertain amount of keywords bonded to every ad, the amount depends on your budget. By analogy with Google, advertisements and keywords can be assembled into campaigns (and ads to the ad groups).

Display network

Let us start with a huge benefit of Yandex.Direct on this one: Yandex have a wide content network in Russia and the standards for the website’s selection are quite harsh, so, when choosing a network, you are guaranteed to have your ads shown on decent, trust-worthy sites with a sufficient amount of traffic (and we all know Google’s GDN, where there’s a big chance to get numbers of worthless clicks from hundreds of small, unknown websites).

Conversion tracking

Yandex developed their own analytics kit called ‘Yandex.Metrics’, as there’s no conversion tracking by tracking pixel to which we got used to from Google and Bing. Yandex.Metrix is rather similar to Google.Analytics, and can be concidered a powerful and really useful tool except for the fact that now it’s available in Russian only (let’s cross the fingers, they’ll translate it any time soon).

Of course, 3rd party tracking solution can be used to overcome language barrier, but you shall keep in mind that in this case the amount of conversion won’t be displayed on Yandex.Direct interface.

Despite of all the peculiarities and differences, the interface of Yandex.Direct is quite clear, there’re lots of guidelines in English and general optimization principles stay the same, so it won’t take an experienced marketing specialist long to get used to this platform. However, if you still don’t feel certain about it, and Russian market is your priority, contact us at GetGoogleSeo, and our experts will do their best for your business to get widely known and successful. 

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