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 may be served when someone searches for tours to Mars.

Autotargeting works in parallel with keywords, but keywords take precedence over autotargeting when selecting ads to serve. 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.

You can enable autotargeting either while creating a new ad group or editing an existing group. We recommend adding autotargeting to all ad groups along with keywords.

  1. Create several ads with different texts in the group. The more texts you write, the better autotargeting works.
  2. Add keywords.
  3. Turn on the Use autotargeting option on the ad group edit page. Save your changes.

Attention. Autotargeting is enabled by default for new ad groups in Ads for mobile apps campaigns.

Bid management

  • When using automatic strategies, set a priority for autotargeted impressions: the system automatically selects the bid based on the strategy settings.
  • 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 less than or equal to 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.

Compare conversions and goal cost for keywords and autotargeting. 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.

If autotargeting selected search queries that are clearly irrelevant, try to find negative keywords for them. Add relevant and high-frequency keywords (with many impressions) to the keyword list.

Based on the statistics, you can gradually expand your list of keywords while autotargeting brings you additional targeted traffic.

Learn more about evaluating campaign performance