Autotargeting

Autotargeting is an ad serving technology that is not based on keywords. It analyzes data in the ad and on the landing page and determines whether the ad matches the search query, user interests, or website content. Using autotargeting, you can attract additional targeted traffic by serving ads to an audience not easily reached through keywords.

How it works

For serving in search, autotargeting in real-time selects the ads that best match the user's query in terms of title, text, and landing page. Many factors are considered when selecting ads, including possible synonyms, word forms, related subjects, and negative keywords of the campaign and ad group.

For example, an ad with a text about space travel that leads to in-space.ru may be served when someone searches for tours to Mars.

In the settings, you can choose a specific query category for autotargeting to run for or leave all categories enabled.

Autotargeting runs in parallel with keywords and has the same priority with them. Statistics for autotargeting impressions are calculated separately.

Why should I enable autotargeting?

Autotargeting doesn't rely on specific wording, but shows your ads for queries that have very similar meaning to the subject of your ad. It lets you cover a large number of long-tail keywords that are difficult to predict when creating your keyword list, because many of these are unique search queries. If the average CPA for autotargeting is too high, but ROI is too low, decrease your autotargeting bid.

Note. Autotargeting works more effectively if a Yandex.Metrica tag with configured goals is installed on the website. Read the Help to learn how to start using Yandex.Metrica.

How to enable autotargeting

Autotargeting is available for the following campaign types on search and in ad networks:
  • Text & Image Ads.
  • Ads for mobile apps.

We recommend adding autotargeting to all ad groups along with keywords. When you create a new ad group, autotargeting is enabled by default. To enable autotargeting for your existing groups:

  1. Select the campaigns that host the desired groups.
  2. Select the groups that you want to edit.
  3. Click Actions → Edit.
  4. Enable the Autotargeting option in each ad group.

  5. To enable autotargeting in search results, select the categories to apply it to:
    • Targeted queries: The ad perfectly meets the user queries. For example, for the advertiser in-space.ru running the “Space travel” ad, the targeted query would be buy a space tour.
    • Alternative queries: The user is looking for a product that can be replaced by the advertised product. The ad might also meet the query in this case. For example, buy a tour to the Moon.
    • Related queries: Queries for products that might interest the user in relation to the advertised product or service. For example, buy a spacesuit.
    • Queries mentioning competitors: Searches for the advertised product offered by competitors. For example, buy a space tour Fast rocket.
    • Broad queries: Queries showing interest in a product exemplified by the ad. For example, choose a tour.

    If ads are added to the group, examples of queries that would trigger autotargeting are shown for each category.

  6. Save your changes.

Learn more about query categories.

Managing bids in a manual strategy

If you use a manual strategy, then set a bid. If you use separate bid management, set individual bids for autotargeting on search and in ad networks.

To set a bid:

  1. Select the campaigns in the campaign list and go to the Keywords tab.
  2. In the --autotargeting line, click next to the bid value.
  3. Enter the bid and click Apply.

We recommend setting the autotargeting bid at about the same level as the keyword bid.

What to do after you enable autotargeting

After autotargeting is enabled, ad serving starts based on the campaign and ad group settings. To achieve the best results, the system conducts a detailed set of calculations that are used to optimize your settings regularly. This is why we recommend that you leave autotargeting turned on for a few weeks.
You can view autotargeting statistics in the Report Wizard and the Search queries report.
Report Wizard

Add the Impression criteria slice and the Impressions, Conversion (%), Goal cost, and Conversions columns. This shows you the total impression statistics. Note the Impression criteria column: if an ad was served through autotargeting, the column contains an icon.

Build a report using the Targeting categories cross section and the same columns (Impressions, Conversion rate (%), Goal cost, Conversions). You'll see statistics of impressions for the keywords selected in all categories. Queries that don't fit into any category are shown in the “Undefined” category.

To get data for each query category, add the Targeting categories filter criteria to the report and select the categories you need.

Compare conversions and goal cost for keywords and autotargeting in different categories. If the goal cost for autotargeting is too high, reduce the bid for it.

Search queries

Add the Impression criteria slice and the Impressions, Conversion (%), Goal cost, and Conversions columns. You will see which search queries triggered your ads. Note the Impression criteria column: if an ad was served through autotargeting, the column contains an icon.

Build a report using the Targeting categories cross section and the same columns (Impressions, Conversion rate (%), Goal cost, Conversions). You'll see statistics of impressions for the keywords selected in all categories. Queries that don't fit into any category are shown in the “Undefined” category.

To get data for each query category, add the Targeting categories filter criteria to the report and select the categories you need.

For obviously irrelevant search queries selected by autotargeting, we recommend disabling the category resulting in such queries, or find out negative keywords.

Learn more about evaluating campaign performance