How To Set Up Smart Banners in Yandex.Direct by@aleksandr-maslov

How To Set Up Smart Banners in Yandex.Direct

Aleksandr Maslov HackerNoon profile picture

Aleksandr Maslov

My job is the Internet!

Below we will describe in detail how to set up smart banners to provide the highest conversion rates.


If you run ads in Yandex.Direct, do not limit yourself to standard campaigns in YAN and search engines. Have a closer look at smart banners. These are interactive ads with automatic generation and pay per
click. This article describes such a format and its potential users, as well as
points to be taken into account when creating campaigns.

What are smart banners?

Smart banners are media ads with dynamic content for search websites and Yandex Advertising Network (YAN). You need a feed to run a campaign. Based on it, Yandex.Direct automatically creates smart banners and smart ads for each product.

Smart ads are similar to classic YAN text and image ads, but they are created automatically and suit the interests of a specific user. In addition, smart banners occupy the entire advertising block, and smart ads share it with other advertisers.


Smart banners and smart ads

Such an advertising campaign is targeted at users who have already viewed products on your website or similar products on competitors' websites. Yandex.Direct analyzes user's requests and shows what it
might like.

How the audience is selected to show ads?

Yandex.Direct offers two principles to select the audience:


Ads are generated for everyone who has already viewed specific products in your online store. Data on each transaction on the website is sent to Yandex.Metrika, and from there to Yandex.Direct. Therefore, the retargeting principle is more effective if behavior statistics are already
collected on the website.


Ads are shown to users who searched for similar products on the Internet. This principle is suitable in three cases: if statistics have not yet been collected, target the audience of competitors; if you need to attract a new audience; if there are few products and services.

Who are smart banners for?

The format is available for most online stores and businesses.
The subject can be any, if it does not contradict the Yandex.Direct

First of all, smart banners will be useful to large online stores with a large and regularly changing product range. Such ads help to make the offer specific to the user. For example, they show the products forgotten in the cart.However, smart banners are effective for websites with a small range of products or services. If this is your case, choose an audience based on a behavioral principle and show ads to those who are looking for something similar from competitors.
In order for any dynamic advertising (including smart banners) to work well, you need a detailed and elaborate product feed. We’ll tell you how to prepare it and what else to do before running the campaign.

Getting ready

Prepare the feed

The feed is a file with all the information about a product range. It contains the main product characteristics: for example, name, description, price, manufacturer, image or link. Here are Yandex’s feed requirements:

The data set in the feed determines what information will be displayed in the ad. If the file is partially filled, the necessary information will not be displayed in the ad or the product will not be included in the search results at all.

If you have a large online store with a large number of products, enable a file download via the link and configure auto-update. So the range, prices and characteristics will always be relevant.

If there are few products and services, create the feed manually or using an online generator. But in this case, you will have to update the file yourself upon all changes.

Setting up the advertising campaign

Select Smart Banners in the Create Campaign tab in Yandex.Direct.

Add a name

The name should be clear and simple: it’s easier to navigate when there are several campaigns.

Specify a schedule of ad displays and region

At the initial stage, set a round-the-clock ad display: this way you will collect more complete statistics. Choose a region where your target audience resides.

Choose a strategy

Unlike dynamic ads in YAN, smart banners do not have manual rate management, and 3 strategies are offered to advertisers:

Conversion Optimization (CPA, Cost Per Click) — maximum targeted clicks per week at a given price. Suitable for starting if statistics are accumulated. Choose a lower target if you have less than 10 purchases per week. Specify how much you are ready to pay for the chosen target.

Click Optimization (CPC, Cost Per Click) — maximum clicks per week, taking into account limitations on budget, average cost per click, or target number of clicks.

Profitability Optimization (ROI, Return On Investment) — maximum conversion with profitability close to the target.

Specify the platforms

Smart banners can be displayed on different platforms: search engines, YAN, on both platforms. To track user behavior and collect high-quality statistics, create separate advertising campaigns for different platforms.

Stop showing ads in mobile apps

You can partially disable ad displays on certain platforms and in external networks. For example, in a mobile app, a user clicks on an ad in order to skip it more quickly, and thereby spends your budget.

Create an ad group

if you have one feed for all products, create an ad group and configure filters — the product selection criteria to generate smart banners.

To cover all products, you can create:

  • many ad groups with a single filter and therefore a single product category;
  • many filters in one group (up to 50 filters).

When creating an ad group, specify a clear name, feed and tracking link parameters — dynamic UTM tags.
Headers for smart banners or texts for smart ads are automatically generated. But you can change this: specify feed fields to take the necessary headings and descriptions from.

Configure filters

To configure filters, choose the audience you’d like to display the smart ad group to:

Interested in similar products. Ads are shown to those who have viewed similar products on other websites. The ads are displayed both in search engines and in networks.

Viewed products on my website. Retargeting by product cards of your online store. The ads are displayed in networks only.

Both audiences. In networks, ads are displayed to everyone who has visited your website or searched for similar products on the Internet. In search engines, ads are displayed only to visitors who were interested in similar products.

Now configure the criteria to display ads. For example, products of a particular manufacturer or only those in stock. For more information on how to effectively configure filters, see Yandex Help.

Create ads

At this point, you work on the appearance of your ads. Choose the desired category and the maximum number of formats.

In addition to the required fields, specify the ad display interval. Add a display of discounts by checking the “Old price” and “Discount” fields.

It happens that the headings or descriptions do not look as you expected. In this case, add the desired text to the feed, and when making creatives, specify a field to take information from.

If all the ad formats look good at the preview, your campaign is ready, submit it for moderation. Now track changes in statistics and change creatives, texts and keywords, if necessary.

Let’s discuss how you can improve the effectiveness of campaigns.

Ad optimization

Smart banner campaign analytics are similar to YAN and search engine ads.

Build campaign statistics in the Report Wizard. Specify the period, the necessary parameters and select the attribution model. Perhaps your campaign was not the first in the click chain.

Stop the campaign in case of high expenses and click rate, but low conversion rate. Track filter performance and adjust your budget.

Important: the analysis quality depends on the
correct feed and properly configured e-commerce.

Using special tools, you can simplify the advertising campaign development. For example, to quickly and efficiently build a semantic
core for thousands of products.

For such purposes, eLama has a language generator.
This is a tool that independently selects a detailed list of key phrases,
compiles ad texts and exports created campaigns to the advertising system.


In order for smart banners to provide maximum
conversion rates, follow the basic rules:

  • test smart banners in various topics,
  • separate search engine advertising campaigns from
    YAN campaigns,
  • choose a strategy that meets KPI,
  • change automatic headers if they don’t fit,
  • manage ads based on statistics.