Testing ad impressions without keywords in search

You read it correctly — impressions without keywords! This all would be impossible without the recently added Autotargeting tool. Currently in open beta, autotargeting is a great help for newcomers to Yandex.Direct — it simplifies the process of selecting keywords for contextual ads and speeds up the process of launching new campaigns.

With autotargeting, you have the option of showing ads on search without creating a keyword list. Enabling it means that autotargeting indexes your ad texts and landing pages to determine which user queries are relevant for your ads in real time. In this way, autotargeting works quite similarly to Yandex search.

Autotargeting works alongside traditional campaigns with impressions for keywords. If you start a new campaign, autotargeting can help build up a keyword list for which you can then set separate bids using the "Search queries" report.

Managing autotargeting could not be simpler. Simply create a group, select autotargeting as the impression criteria, set your maximum CPC, and send it for moderation.

Reasons to use autotargeting

  1. Build up a basic keyword list for new campaigns. Autotargeting saves you time without overloading your campaign with useless keywords, as is often the case with parsers. It compares your ad texts to user search queries so that your ads only appear for real, relevant demand. There is no need to worry about random or obsolete keywords.

  2. Speed up the process of launching a campaign and gathering your first statistics. Any professional can tell you that contextual advertising is not something you can just launch and set on autopilot. Of course, you should carefully monitor and control your campaigns, but that doesnt mean that routine operations should slow down the launch process.

    Autotargeting means you can take your time refining your keyword list and getting familiar with the auction by setting one bid and buying all the available target search traffic. Writing good ad texts and setting reasonable budget limits are especially important with autotargeting. From there on you can track the campaign’s performance and tweak your settings.

  3. Get closer to your customers’ real interests. The results of our first experiments have shown that ads selected by autocorrect were more relevant to users' interests than ads that displayed in response to keywords. Trying to replicate these results by manually creating an extensive list of negative keywords would be a waste of time. A better idea is to forget about keywords (for the moment) and instead focus on writing the best possible ad texts. Autotargeting can handle the rest.

  4. Show your ads with greater certainty. Autotargeting in Yandex.Direct does its best to predict not only the CTR of an impression, but also the likelihood of conversion, so your ads appear in the most relevant conditions possible. Furthermore, you can set up goals in Yandex.Metrica and use them to optimize your campaign according to your goals.

Taking autotargeting for a test drive

Given that autotargeting is currently in a test period, you should pay careful attention if you decide to experiment with it. If you are willing to try autotargeting, here a few tips to get you started:

  1. Create several ad groups with different landing pages and texts — the more texts to choose from, the better. Combining different offers into one ad group is not recommended.
  2. Select an automatic bid management strategy. It does not have to be one of the Yandex.Direct strategies. Feel free to use an external bid management tool if you would prefer. In any case, a robot will handle bids in real time much better than a human.
  3. Keep track of your expenditures and conversion costs. Start off with a small amount that you are willing to invest in the experiment. If you already know how much you usually spend, set your average CPC or CPA. If not, set a weekly budget.
Please note that impressions do not start immediately after launching a campaign. It can take up to two days to index ad texts and landing pages.

Your feedback and examples are very important to us as we continue to develop this tool. Please do not hesitate to send any information to the customer service department. Thank you in advance for your help.