at the start, after the launch

In this article we will talk about text and image ads in search and how to reduce advertising costs and increase its effectiveness.

Often, contextual experts only talk about CTR as the most significant factor influencing the cost of a click. But, if you work with contextual advertising, you know that other factors also influence the price:

  • Quality factor. This is an ad and landing page relevance score that goes into the pricing formula and helps prioritize ads and pages that best solve a user’s problem.
  • Efficiency parameter (“domain karma”). This is about the minimum threshold for entering the search.
    The minimum search price is affected by the entire history of domain placement in Yandex.Direct (excluding account). Moreover, if the advertisement did not use a link to the site, the calculation takes into account statistics for the phone number from the virtual business card. CTR for all campaigns for the domain, duration of placement and other indicators are taken into account. With bad karma, the entry threshold for the search will be higher than the minimum 30 kopecks.
    As the quality of advertising increases, the threshold will again drop to the minimum.

Why are we talking about CTR? This is the most understandable criterion for assessing the effectiveness of advertising, which can be tracked over time. The same quality factor, unlike CTR, is not displayed in the Direct interface.

By improving this parameter, we reduce the cost of advertising. Moreover, the cost per click is calculated individually for each advertiser.

Yandex gives priority to ads with good quality scores and CTR, thus encouraging advertisers to create high-quality ads and constantly work on ads and campaign settings.

Yandex “reserves” “space” for advertising in search results, but makes money not on impressions, but on clicks. If the quality of ad units is worse than organic search results, the search engine receives less money, and advertisers do not see the return on advertising, in turn, users may prefer other ways to find information.

What is a good CTR?

There is a predicted CTR, and a real one. The first can be viewed in the “budget forecast” tool. Its value is calculated based on advertisements of other advertisers in the same topic, for the same key queries.

That is, it does not mean that the actual CTR will be the same as the predicted one, because the situation changes quickly, and the forecast is current at the time of calculation.

Using the example of advertising using phrases with the names of competitors

You can also focus on the average of your direct competitors in the niche. How to recognize him? Request a competitive analysis in Yandex based on the list of your competitors after a personal manager has been assigned to you and the advertising campaigns have collected enough statistics.

In it you will receive key data in comparison – for your site, and the average for the group of competitors. Expenses, CTR on PC and mobile, types of advertising used by competitors (TGO, media, search banner, etc.), data on the cost of leads.
This way you will understand what can be improved in your own PR.

Slide from the competitor analytics report

In addition, already at the semantics selection stage, it will be possible to pay attention to phrases for which the predicted CTR will be noticeably lower than for others:

Pay attention to the CTR for the phrase “luminaires reviews”

In this case, a good option would be to look at what comes up for them in the search (whether there are advertisements of your direct competitors), and either separate such phrases into a separate campaign, or remove them from semantics.

Yandex search results for the phrase “luminaires reviews”

Is high CTR always good?

When we started, some new clients often wanted the first positions in search results/advertising for unclear queries, or a high CTR on the media, or something else, divorced from the real goals – leads and sales.

That’s why we made a series of comics. One of them is in the picture below.

Comic from 2011 that went viral on the Internet

Undoubtedly, you can make ads in such a way that there will be a lot of clicks, the CTR will go off scale, but the non-target audience will come through the ad. Yes, you will get a low cost per click compared to your competitors, but there will be no sales.

Therefore, it is impossible to chase this indicator thoughtlessly.

You need a balance between a high number of clicks and targeting your audience – cut off the “left” ones – by the prices of your product or service, by geography and other parameters.

What else can CTR show?

Getting a high CTR at the start



, which currently provides is incomplete. If previously users entered 3-4 word queries, now they are 7, 9, and 12, and the search does not always end with a transition somewhere. There are no phrases in statistics that are entered once and never repeated.

Our main task at the start is to ensure adequate display of ads, including for those requests about which we know nothing. A huge part of them are informational.

Therefore, it is better not to use all phrases not related to the purchase (“photo”, “download”, “specifications”) and others at the start of advertising. This audience is far from the moment of purchase.

Grouping (clustering) – one ad group is one intent (user need). Those. It is not recommended to mix requests into one group that have different meanings and should lead to different landing pages on the site.

An example of two query clusters – “furniture for apartments” and “transformable beds”

Negative words or “safe words” for which you do not want to display advertising. For example, if you have a service station for passenger cars, the list of negative keywords will include “truck”, “truck”, “tractor”, etc. The better the list of negative keywords is developed at the start, the fewer non-targeted impressions, the higher the CTR.

Marker words, which reflect important points for the buyer. The least popular ones can be used in text, quick links, path bar, qualifications, etc. The most popular ones are in the headlines. In the picture above they are highlighted in red.

Campaign structure and setup

We separate search and YAN.

Oddly enough, even clients with million-dollar budgets come across mixed campaigns. Under no circumstances should you do this. These are different formats in terms of type, fields used, principles of auctions, compilation of advertisements and work with statistics. Search is about hot demand, the accuracy of keywords matching ads and landing pages, YAN is about visuals, attractiveness and display based on interests.

Competitors and different directions (sofas, beds, armchairs) in individual Republic of Kazakhstan. Otherwise, campaigns will be difficult to manage, analyze, and in the case of advertising based on competitors’ names, it will also be difficult to clean.

Correct landing. Conventionally, if you sell sofas, you need to lead the user not to the main page, but to the appropriate section or page of the model of the desired size/color/material that the user requested.

Adjustments. This means that at the start you can immediately cut off unnecessary audiences based on gender/age/device/paying ability. For example, do not show advertising to minors. Yes, I understand that age is not always determined correctly by Yandex, but still.

Autotargeting. Enabled auto-targeting in search means that your ads will be shown for phrases that Yandex has deemed relevant to your ad. In reality, this turns into uncontrolled displays.
It only makes sense to use it when paying for conversions.

An example of phrases that actually get impressions when auto-targeting is turned on in search


No matter how trivial it may sound, your ad should first be stupidly larger in size. Therefore, it is better to fill out all lengths of text fields as much as possible. So it will be noticeable.

Yandex in the help tells us that a total of up to 65 characters in the title can be displayed on mobile phones. But in reality – 86.

Excerpt from Yandex help

Example of an ad in mobile search results:

Compare the size of the first ad and the second. The second title takes up three lines! Which ad gets more attention?

Relevance and highlighting

This is about the complete use of keywords in ads, and choosing the right landing page. Please note that you can use synonyms when creating ads. They are illuminated. ICE = engine. And the word “ICE” is much shorter, which means you can use the freed length for other keywords!

Highlighting synonyms in Yandex search results

By the way, to save space and attractiveness, you can add special characters to your ads: trademark ™, registered trademark ®, copyright icon ©, apostrophe ‘ and degree °, as well as uppercase numbers ² and the ruble sign ₽.


Benefits. Key phrases from statistics do not always reflect the real needs of the user. It is better to clarify such points with your clients.

Taking advantage of ad copy


You can find a feature in the client’s business that is worth clinging to. There is a very popular restaurant in my city. A few years ago, an accident happened and it burned down, but they began to rebuild it.

One of our clients who builds houses was involved in the process. We requested permission from the restaurant owners to use the name in advertising – as a result, after correcting the ads, the number (and quality) of leads increased noticeably.

Ads in rotation

If there are several text options, but there is no understanding of which one will work better, you can add up to 49 ads to a group. The one with the highest CTR will be shown more often.

Manually generating headers in feeds

Previously, Yandex.Direct automatically generated headings and texts. Now you can substitute several elements from your feed into the fields.

An example of the fields used from the feed to create an ad

Increase CTR after launch

Adding a list of negative keywords.

Incl. for queries that have impressions but no clicks.

As we said earlier, provides incomplete statistics. Accordingly, you won’t be able to collect a complete list of negative keywords at the start. You need to constantly monitor the statistics of impressions without/with clicks, and add negative keywords. This way you not only save your budget, but also improve CTR.

Example of ad impressions based on phrases without clicks

We constantly look at how competitors advertise using the most frequent key phrases, copying their good ideas, adjusting texts and headings to make us look more advantageous compared to our “colleagues.”

Services (SpyWords, Mango Office), which allow you to see what phrases your competitors are advertising for. Undoubtedly, these statistics cannot be called complete, because… the services do not have access to your competitors’ accounts, but remove search results for certain phrases in certain regions at certain intervals.

But the main benefit of these services is that you will not always be able to take into account all the wording of your customers’ requests at the start, and SpyWords will help you expand the semantics and, perhaps, find not the most frequently used and competitive phrases.

Dealing with queries with low CTR and zero conversions for a long period – we transfer such phrases to separate campaigns, to the Campaign Master with payment for conversions, or remove them from semantics.

Adjustments (gender, age, geo, devices) or fragmentation of campaigns. Using the example of one of the clients, the CTR and the number of conversions on search turned out to be noticeably higher than on mobile. As a result, we divided one campaign into two, and display advertising separately on mobile devices and separately on PCs, in order to use the possibilities of adjustments more flexibly.

Conversion statistics by device

Analytics of search partner sites. Yandex has long been not limited only to its search for displaying advertising. The screenshot shows statistics for one of the campaigns. As you can see, on many sites the CTR is very low.

Previously, Yandex support stated that CTR on partner sites is not involved in calculating bids and click prices. Now the situation has changed.

And that is not all…

This means that ineffective sites need to be disabled, or take into account that when displayed on partner search sites, fields that are not shown in advertising on Yandex search may be used – pictures, videos, etc.

I hope you found useful points that you didn’t know about, or successfully forgot. Share in the comments what methods do you use to increase CTR?

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