Introducing a new internet marketing cheat sheet as part of a joint SEOnews and eLama special project. Today the leading paid traffic specialist eLama Nikita Kravchenko and Svetlana Smirnova from the Service of Care will tell you how to recognize spikes and drops in impressions in Yandex.Direct, as well as why such display anomalies occur and what the advertiser should do with them.
Almost every advertiser who runs ads through Yandex.Direct is faced with such a problem – a surge or decline in impressions (impressions suddenly become more or less). Often, advertisers cannot determine the reason for such changes and consider it to be some kind of anomaly. Although, in reality, the cause of the downturns and spikes in impressions is not difficult to determine. We will discuss this below.
Where to find information on peaks / valleys
First, let’s tell you what reports you really need to look at in order to confirm the spike / downturn in impressions or determine their cause.
Report Wizard in Yandex.Direct
First of all, you need to use the “Report Wizard” in Yandex.Direct. This report helps you compare the two periods.
Select the required period, columns and slices in the settings.
It is very important to choose the same time period for which you are looking at statistics, otherwise the data will not be accurate. For example, if you take one week for period A, then for period B it should also be equal to one week.
In this screenshot, we can see the decline in impressions – there were clearly fewer impressions in period B than in period A.
You can also use Yandex.Metrica reports for these processes if the counter code is set in the company parameters.
Use Direct reports… These are special reports that are used to assess advertising traffic from Yandex.Direct. These reports are useful in that they do not include impressions and clicks that were filtered by the Yandex.Direct system as invalid, that is, the report will contain only clicks for which the user paid.
To determine the downturns and surges, we will use report “Direct, summary” – here you can also compare two periods.
Causes of anomalies
1. Making changes by the user
Typically 70-80% of users who have contacted eLama Care for a bounce / spike have made any changes to campaign, ad, or ad group settings. These can be changes in:
- Rate adjustments
- Daily budget
- Region of impressions
- Schedule of impressions
All this leads to the fact that the amount of traffic received by the client changes.
Separately, we note the change in the rate. On search engines, ads are selected based on a combination of CTR, bid, and quality factor. As soon as the bid decreases, the whole combination also decreases, and, accordingly, the impressions become less. In networks, the situation is similar – it is the cost of a click that affects the reach, first of all. If the cost decreases, the ad is shown on fewer sites and the impressions are reduced.
To see what changes you made, for example, two weeks ago, you can use the “Change history” function in Yandex.
We go to the Yandex.Direct advertising account, click on the gear opposite the advertising campaign and select the “Change history” item. We get a list of almost all the changes that you made:
The history will not show changes in bids, keyword list, or ad text.
We advise you to keep your file with all the changes made, so that at any time you can see what was done and on what date.
2. YAN cuts off ineffective sites
When a campaign is launched, it has a large number of impressions, then over time the system accumulates these statistics, processes it and cuts out ineffective sites or ineffective users. Thus, the advertiser spends less money, the number of impressions decreases, but at the same time the advertising becomes much more effective. Therefore, in this case, the drop in impressions is even good.
3. Lack of funds on the account balance
The user did not transfer funds on time, the funds were delayed on the way, or there was simply a long activation of the account. All this could lead to a decrease in impressions.
4. Rejected ad groups or groups marked “Not shown based on user interests and audience selection criteria”
It so happens that the launched ads after some time receive the status “Low impressions”. When a group generates a predicted low number of impressions, Yandex.Direct decides not to display ads from these groups in order to optimize the use of its capacities. Such ad groups should be monitored, for example, using the eLama Recommender.
This reason is relevant for seasonal businesses, when the popularity of the purchased goods depends on the season. For example, winter hats in spring and summer are much less likely to be searched on the Internet, respectively, and ads with such a product will have a drop in impressions. If you are not sure whether your product is seasonal, use the Yandex.Wordstat service and look at the history of user requests in it:
In Yandex, to reduce impressions, sometimes it is enough for only one competitor with a higher bid to appear. Thus, it is necessary to constantly check whether the bid you have set is sufficient for a high percentage of coverage and to update it in time.
7. Clicking (click fraud)
It can also be the reason for the drop in the number of impressions, but this happens extremely rarely.
What other reports can help identify anomalies in impressions?
Search queries report – in it you can see for which specific phrase / search query there was a surge / decline in impressions.
Also with this task can help report “Phrases by day”:
Report “By sites” – according to it, you can determine on which site there was a surge / decline and assess the quality of the traffic received from the site.
Read the previous cheat sheets:
How to set up event tracking for form submission in GA4
How to make banner ads in 5 minutes