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Questions about managing cost per click

How is cost per click calculated?

Yandex.Direct click cost is not fixed; it is determined based on the results of an auction among advertisers. The CPC is a bid that allows your ads to participate in the auction. For automatic strategies, the CPC is determined automatically based on the settings, and for manual strategies, you can set the CPC yourself in CPC, max on the campaign page. When setting bids for impressions on search, you can refer to the prices shown in the interface.

The CPC for a specific position is the forecasted bid that will allow your ad to win this position. The forecast is based on the current situation, and it doesn't account for certain factors such as bid adjustments or competing ads from other regions with extended geotargeting. This means that sometimes the ad might not win the desired position, even if your bid is high enough.

Rules for calculating CPC for guaranteed placement and premium placement

The price of every position depends on competition with other advertisers over the specific keyword. This is why the price for positions varies for different keywords, and might change over time.

  • For Text & Image ads, the position prices and click prices are calculated according to search queries that match the keyword. For example, if you set a First Position bid for the query buy matches, then for the query buy fireplace matches, the ad may not be included in Guaranteed Placement.

  • For ads for mobile apps, position prices and click prices are calculated according to all search queries including the keyword. For example, when calculating prices for the phrase buy matches the comptetition between the phrases buy matches, buy fireplace matches, buy waterproof matches, etc. is taken into account.

If your keyword contains stop words that aren't in the user's query, getting the selected position can't be guaranteed. For example, even if bids for the keyword courses on website development are high enough to get premium placement, your ad might only be shown in guaranteed placement for the query website development courses.

The position price is also affected by:

  • Your ads' indicators for that keyword: the quality coefficient and forecast CTR in the specific impression.

  • Indicators of all competing ads for the same keyword with the same display region as your ad: their bids, quality coefficients, and forecast CTR in this impression.

When calculating forecast CTR, impressions and clicks of all the ads in the group are taken into account for a particular keyword within the last 28 days.

The forecast CTR is calculated separately for guaranteed and premium placement. The price for guaranteed positions is based on the forecast CTR in the guaranteed placement block, and the price for premium placement positions is based on the forecast CTR in premium placement. The Yandex.Direct interface shows the overall forecast CTR.

The Quality Coefficient is a multi-factor parameter accounting for the ad relevance to the query, keyword and ad statistics, the ad relevance to the landing website page, etc.

Position prices and click prices are calculated for all active ads of a group. If there are no active ads in a group, then the prices are calculated for all ads in the group.

Attention! 

The availability of the premium placement and guaranteed impressions blocks does not depend on whether there are any competing ads. In some cases, these blocks may not contain any ads.

For more information about conditions for displaying ads in Yandex.Direct, see Ad Serving Rules.

After my campaign started, the cost of guaranteed or premium placement started going up

This means that your ad has a very low CTR. To lower the cost of entry, you can improve the text and refine your ad's impression criteria. For more on this, please refer to the How do I make my ad more efficient? section

Effect of geotargeting and time targeting

The forecast for position prices in search results only uses ads that have the same display regions as your ad or campaign. Ads that could be displayed from other regions (with extended geotargeting) participate in the auction, but they are not included in the forecast of position prices.

If an ad isn't displayed due to time targeting, the bids for this ad's keywords are still counted when forecasting position prices in the Yandex.Direct interface. For Text & Image campaigns, you can disable counting competing ads that are stopped by time targeting.

Excluding stopped ads

In Text & Image campaigns, you can exclude competing ads that are stopped by time targeting when calculating price forecasts in the Yandex.Direct interface. To do this, check the box marked Do not take into account competitors' automatically stopped ads when setting bids in the "Advanced settings" section on the campaign settings page. Please bear in mind that the CPC for a certain position may vary considerably during the day. This may lead to your ad not being displayed in the desired position.

For more details on how the competitors' bids are taken into account, please refer to the How the Yandex.Direct auction works section.

Search CPC

The Search CPC field on the bid setting page shows the cost that will be charged at that present moment for a click on an ad on the results page for search query that perfectly corresponds to a keyword (not accounting for stop-words). The Yandex Search price is displayed only for the text & image ads. If the group is composed of several ads, its interface will display a generalized Yandex Search price for all of its active ads.

In this case, the effective Yandex Search price may be as follows:

  • Lower than the guaranteed placement entry cost: the ad will be alternated with other advertisers' ads in positions between 5th and 9th.

  • Lower than first place: the ad will be shown in guaranteed placement positions between 2nd and 4th.

  • Equal to the 1st position price: the ad is displayed in the first position of the guaranteed impressions block.

  • Lower than the premium placement entry cost: the ad will be shown in first place, and in some of the geotargeting regions it will be shown in premium placement positions.

  • Below the 2nd position of the premium placement block price: the ad is displayed in the 3rd position of the premium placement block. However, in some regions, the ad may be displayed in the 2nd position.

  • Below the 1st position of the premium placement block price: the ad is displayed in the 2nd or 3rd position of the premium placement block. However, in some regions, the ad may be displayed in the 1st position.

The click price from the advertiser’s account will change dynamically (never exceeding the maximum bid) each time the ad is displayed. The click price depends on the number of competitors, their bids, forecast CTR, geotargeting and time targeting of each specific user query.

Why is priority displayed instead of CPC?

It is possible you have enabled an automatic bid management strategy (such as Weekly budget). This strategy's job is to automatically keep an ad campaign running based on its settings and limits. Thus, it lets you set the keyword priorities and general limits, ie the maximum CPC for every keyword, but doesn't allow you to manage the precise bid for every keyword,

What is the default bid amount?

The minimum CPC in Yandex.Direct is .3 rubles.

Why was a bid higher than the minimum CPC set when creating the ad?

You may change the default bid and assign the price you are willing to pay starting from 0.3 RUB.

Why is the bid needed for guaranteed placement very high, even though there is no competition?

The bid takes into account competition across all the display regions you selected. While you might not see your competitors in one region, they may be present in the other regions. Prices in the interface are set in such a way so as place your ad in the positions you've set, in all the regions that correspond to your geotargeting settings.

Why does the price not correspond with my expectations?

Why does the cost of guaranteed placement coincide with the cost of the first position?

The above may occur for the following reasons:

  • Your ad is the only one with this keyword. In this case, the 1st position placement and the guaranteed placement price may be the same as the minimum CPC. The premium placement price may be higher.

  • All advertisers whose ads were selected for impression in the guaranteed placement block based on the keyword you selected use the lowest position in block.

Why is the minimum bid for premium placement very high, even though I don't see any competition for this search query?

The premium placement entry cost does not only depend on your forecast ad CTR. There is also an entry threshold for this position that is not affected by the presence of competitors. The higher the forecast CTR for your keyword, the less is the entry threshold for premium placement.

Why is only the first premium placement position available, even though the second and third positions are empty?

Premium placement has an entry threshold that does not depend on competition. If the bids set for certain ads are lower than the entry threshold, then these ads will not receive premium placement. If the bids are greater than the entry threshold, then ads for display are selected via a combination of the following indicators:

  • bid

  • forecast CTR in that specific impression

  • quality coefficient

A situation could arise wherein the combination of the entry threshold and your ad's forecast CTR and quality coefficient exceeds that of the ad currently in the first premium placement position. In this case, your ad will show up in the first position as soon as your bid exceeds the entry threshold.

Clicks for the “old” price after starting a campaign

You might get clicks for the “old” price if you changed the bid in a paused campaign, and then restarted it. It takes about 30 minutes to activate new bids. During this time, clicks are charged at the previous rate that was set before the campaign was stopped.

Minimum search CPC

Minimum search CPC is the bid necessary to display ads on the results pages of Yandex search and Yandex's search services.

The system's internal effectiveness rating uses an additional parameter that influences the minimum cost per click for search. The parameter's value depends on a variety of indicators, which are recalculated in real time while your ad campaigns are up and running. The main factors include general statistical data of the advertised domain or telephone number (if one is specified on the “vCard”).

If the effectiveness of the campaign falls below a certain level, the minimum CPC is automatically increased. After that, once the ad quality improves, the price will automatically decrease until reaching 0.30 RUB (0.01 standard unit).

If the CPC you set is below the minimum Yandex Search CPC, your ads will be displayed only on the Yandex advertising network member websites and on the “All ads” page.

To reactivate impressions on the search results pages, you should first increase the CPC and then increase the efficiency of your ad campaigns. In this case, the minimum Yandex Search price may start decreasing again until it once again reaches 0.30 RUB (0.01 standard unit).

Please refer to ways to increase the effectiveness of your ad campaign.

Attention! 

Once the minimum Yandex Search price increases, the CPC is increased accordingly if your bid allows for it.

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