How shall I choose a strategy?

A strategy is a combination of ad placement settings in Yandex. Direct. Bid management, display positions, and the selection of available limitations for your ads all depend on the strategy you select.

Yandex.Direct offers different types of strategies to help advertisers meet their goals. Before choosing a strategy, determine what you want the ad to achieve (for example, attracting new users to the site, increasing the sales of an online store, informing clients of sales), the approximate budget (e.g. for one week or for one click) and where the ads are to be displayed (e.g. on all possible sites or only in Yandex search results).

You can choose a display strategy on your campaign settings page. Only one strategy can be chosen for each campaign, and it will apply to all of the ads in the campaign.

How strategies work

All Yandex.Direct strategies are based on a special mathematical algorithm that forecasts clicks on your ad and conversions on your site.

To generate a forecast, the system analyzes statistics for the keywords selected for the ad. For search sites, the system takes impression data from Yandex search into account. For content sites, it uses impression data from ad networks (YAN and ad exchanges). If there aren't sufficient statistics, it uses a database of analogies and information about click-throughs from Yandex search results. The system also takes the behavior of users who click on ads into account. It chooses the most effective keywords, i.e. those that draw the most clients to your site, and serves ads based on those keywords more frequently.

Forecasts are formulated by the hour for every day of the week. That way, you can see what correlations exist between the number of impressions, clicks, and targeted events in relation to the time of day/day of week. The forecast is regularly re-calculated using the latest data during the placement process.

In order to manage bids as effectively as possible, the strategies make adjustments to ad campaigns far more frequently than you could do manually or with the help of third-party ad management tools. Bids are uploaded to the Yandex.Direct interface every 15 minutes.

Protection from over-spending is built into the strategies by default. The system cannot spend more than 35% of your weekly budget per day, and the bid never rises above 10% of your weekly budget. If impressions are restricted due to time targeting, the system will only distribute your budget on the days when your campaign is running. In that case, no more than 35% of your weekly budget can be spent in a day.

How to use strategies effectively

General recommendations

For strategies to work correctly, the landing pages for your ads need to be available most of the time, and your ad campaign must contain enough ads and keywords. Ideally, the campaign should advertise one website (or mobile app) and show stable indicators over the course of a month.

To achieve the best results, the system conducts a detailed set of calculations that are used to optimize your settings regularly. For this reason, it's important to give the system some time to work everything out. In most cases this takes a few weeks.

If you primarily use infrequent search terms, then the system will need more time to forecast click and conversion figures as well as to determine optimal spending. Expand your keyword list to help the system make better forecasts.

Determine your settings before you launch your campaign so that you won't need to alter them while your strategy is running. It will be more difficult for the system to formulate a quality forecast if you frequently re-launch your strategy or temporarily switch impressions over to a manual management mode.

Setting limits

In order to find the optimal balance between price and quantity, the system needs space to experiment. This means that the fewer unnecessary limits you set, the better your chosen strategy will work. For example, don't set an additional maximum CPC limit under the “Optimize clicks” strategy.

Try to set appropriate parameters – don't set the CPC too low for expensive keywords, or set a low bid when you have a large budget. This would make it more difficult to arrive at optimal indicators.

If user activity on your site or app changes quickly for reasons not directly related to your selected strategy, it may take time to recalibrate, and the limitations you set might not be maintained. This might occur if you update the design of your site, add unpopular keywords to your campaign, or change the targeting.

Independent spending control

If you need to manually control your spending using a strategy, it's better to set a weekly budget, rather than a maximum CPC. We also recommend that you base your average weekly budget settings on your ad campaign spending from the previous month. This way you can compare past indicators with current spending.

Strategy relaunch

The system always recalculates indicators after a strategy relaunches. That way it can create a new forecast and set optimal bids. The age of data is factored into the compiled statistics: newer data bears greater “weight”. If the strategy was not in effect more than 28 calendar days before relaunching, the statistics will be reset.

Strategies relaunch when the following occur:

  • Strategy settings change
  • Switch to manual bid management
  • A campaign launches after having been stopped
  • Funds are added to an account that had a zero balance
  • Site monitoring paused your ad displays
  • Change the settings for geographic targeting
  • Change the time targeting settings (including setting the impressions schedule for holidays).

Internal mechanisms allow the system to readjust quickly, but it still requires some time to put together a new forecast. Your daily expense limit might be exceeded on the day the strategy is relaunched.