How to order the maintenance of contextual advertising: a reminder for the advertiser

Imagine the situation: you delegate the setting and maintenance of contextual advertising to the contractor, while you yourself are engaged in the development of business. In a perfect world, it works. The entrepreneur creates and sells the product, and the Yandex.Direct specialist and Google AdWords ensure the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. In reality, problems begin at the stage of choosing a partner. Difficulties continue at the stage of campaign implementation and sometimes do not stop even after the completion of cooperation with the contractor.

This article will help you choose a qualified contractor, build an effective interaction with a hired professional and control its actions. The memo is useful to businessmen and managers of companies who are not familiar with the subtleties of contextual advertising.

Where to go: to the agency or to a freelancer

Both options work, both have advantages and disadvantages.

When is it better to work with a freelancer

Work with a freelancer if you have a limited budget for advertising and payment for contractor services. The benefits of working with independent experts are described below.

  1. Service availability

    Among freelancers can be found relatively inexpensive professionals. Also among private contextologists it is easier to find performers who use the appropriate pricing method. For example, agencies try not to work for a percentage of the budget, and freelancers practice this approach.

  2. Ability to work without a contract

    Sometimes this option is more convenient. If an entrepreneur is easier to pay off with a contractor in cash or electronic money and do not waste time on paperwork, it is better to find a common language with freelancers.

  3. Third party security guarantees

    When cooperating with a freelancer, this exchange acts as a guarantee. Secure transaction services protect the advertiser from the lack of professionalism and dishonesty of the contractor. Money is blocked on the accounts of the exchange until the freelancer fulfills his obligations. If the contractor fails, the funds are returned to the customer.

The main disadvantage of working with freelancers is the risk of facing non-professionals or deceivers. To protect yourself, work through safe transaction services and evaluate the reputation and professionalism of potential performers. The evaluation criteria will be discussed below.

Where to find a freelancer

Ask colleagues and friends to recommend a reliable and qualified professional. Recommendations usually protect against frankly unprofessional contextologists and fraudsters.

If colleagues do not know anyone, go to the stock exchange. Here are some examples:

  • Weblancer

Artists can be found on the "Search" and other thematic forums, as well as in thematic groups in social networks.

On the stock exchanges as freelancers are often registered employees of web studios. If you want to work with an individual, specify this point at the stage of dating.

When to contact the agency

Cooperate with the agency if you buy complex project promotion services on the Internet. Choose a legal entity contractor if you cannot pay for contextual advertising and specialist services without closing documents. The benefits of working with agencies are described below.

  1. Protection against unscrupulous executors

    Cooperation with a legal entity under the contract does not guarantee absolute protection from non-professionalism and even deception. But the likelihood of running into a frank cheater or amateur compared to working through freelancing exchanges is lower.

  2. Quality assurance

    Agencies serve a large number of advertisers simultaneously. Work with Yandex.Direct and Google AdWords with such contractors is put on stream and algorithmic. This does not mean that you will be served efficiently and will provide the highest possible result. But the presence of algorithms guarantees a minimum level of quality, protection from children's mistakes, an acceptable result in a short time.

  3. Regular communication with the contractor

    Depending on the size of the agency, you will regularly communicate with your account manager or directly with an expert who leads an advertising campaign. Thanks to this, you can quickly change tactics and correct mistakes.

  4. Favorable conditions when purchasing a package of services

    If you buy complex project promotion services on the Internet, managing contextual advertising is usually cheaper.

The specific disadvantage of working with agencies is the higher cost of services compared to freelancers. Many legal entity performers set a minimum advertising campaign budget.

Where to find an agency

First of all, look for the artist according to the recommendations. Colleagues and friends probably worked with good contractors. If the recommendations did not help, use the Yandex Certified Partner Directory and the Google Partner Search Service. Or go to the search engines.

How to evaluate the professionalism of the performer

Let's be honest: before the start of cooperation, it is impossible to objectively and reliably evaluate professionalism and even decency of a potential partner. Reliable assessment is possible by the results of a freelancer or agency for several months. Therefore, basic information on partner performance monitoring is provided in the appropriate section below.

Before the start of cooperation, you can get an idea about the agency or freelancer. The obtained information will not protect one hundred percent from deception and unprofessionalism, but they will provide minimal insurance. To check contextologists, use the suggested list.

  1. Evaluate the reputation of the artist

    If we are talking about a freelancer, check out his profile on the exchange. Pay attention to the reviews. If a specialist has negative evaluations, study them first. Do not cooperate with freelancers who are accused of dishonesty.

    It is more difficult to assess the reputation of the agency, since you most likely will not see any negative reviews on the site. Use the search engines, explore the pages of a potential partner in social networks, chat with colleagues.

  2. Check certification

    Choose certified agencies. Certification information companies usually publish on the site. You can check it in the catalog of certified partners of Yandex and Google. For example, our agency is a certified partner of Google. To verify the authenticity of the potential partner's certificate, use the catalog search.

    Prefer agencies whose employees own a personal certificate for contextual advertising. Information about the certification of employees of the company is also published on the sites.

    When choosing a freelancer, also prefer certified professionals.

  3. Explore the portfolio

    Agencies and freelancers usually publish their best work in the portfolio. Pay attention to the scale of business advertisers, the results of the campaign, the duration of cooperation.

  4. Work experience in the market

    The longer an agency or freelancer works in the market, the better for a potential advertiser.

  5. Examine ratings

    The recommendation is relevant if you want to work with well-known companies. Use the rating to choose a partner.

  6. Discuss collaboration with potential partners.

    Preliminary negotiations are unlikely to help assess the professionalism of the agency as a whole and individual employees, if you do not understand contextual advertising. But you can get a general idea of ​​potential performers. It will help to decide on cooperation.

The head of the Muehle Russia online store, Olga Druzhinina, when selecting a contextologist, assessed the candidates' professionalism by the following criteria:

  • Questions asked to understand the company's objectives.
  • Examples of projects, announcements, results.
  • Examples of reports, analyzed indicators.
  • Flexibility in building cooperation.
  • Evaluation and comments on the site to which you want to drive traffic.
  • Quality feedback, punctuality.

Contextual advertising specialist Tatiana Mikhalchenko reveals insider secrets about assessing the professionalism of contextologists:

"Frankly speaking, cases and portfolios should not be trusted. Most often, you will not find details in them. None of the clients will want to" burn chips "in his niche.

And what is served in the form of beautiful numbers in the plate, you can just invent.

The proposals should be specific, colleagues should immediately provide their vision of the strategy of advertising campaigns. I'm not talking about KP, in which there are 356 key phrases and at their level the average cost per click is affixed.

You should be clearly offered the types of campaigns from which you start, and argue why. Naturally, preliminary performers should analyze the data that you have in Analytics and Metric. This will help choose the best strategy. "

What to talk with the executor at the planning stage of cooperation

Imagine that you have decided on a performer. It's time to discuss specific issues about which further.

How to pay for contractor services

Almost perfect option for you - pay for targeted actions. In this case, the agency receives money when the user contacts the sales department, makes an application, registers in the system. Targeted actions are negotiated during the campaign planning stage.

When paying for targeted actions, you can not even control the work of the agency or freelancer. The partner receives money only for conditional calls to the office, so he is interested in the effectiveness of the campaign.

Not all contractors agree to work with pay for targeted actions. With this model of cooperation, the contextologist assumes all the risks, and this is disadvantageous to him. A more equitable way of risk sharing is provided by a fixed-payment model.

For a fixed amount, the contractor adjusts the campaign and manages its effectiveness. Payment does not depend on the budget and the actual results of advertising. Therefore, when working at a fixed rate, it is important to monitor the contractor and monitor the achievement of targets.

Payment for a percentage of the budget is the least acceptable option for the advertiser. With this approach, you take all the risks. Here are the main ones:

  • The contractor gets too little, he has no motivation to delve deeply into your campaign. We talked about this in the article "Agents vs. Aggregators".
  • The contractor is interested in your spending on contextual advertising as much as possible. He gets a percentage of the budget. To master the budget faster and get the next tranche, it is quite unreasonable to raise the stakes.
  • The contractor’s earnings do not depend on the results of the campaign. Yes, you can go to another artist. Partners are ready for this, they have a conveyor.

If possible, choose payment for targeted actions. This model is not available to all advertisers. Between a fixed rate and work for a percentage of the budget, choose the first option.

Specialist in contextual advertising Tatiana Mikhalchenko frankly speaks about the principles of payment of services of contextologists:

“Forget about the commission once and for all. There are many unscrupulous contractors on the market. I do not rule out that there are a couple of people who work normally. But most of the commission contractors will simply increase their monthly budget and offer many new test options. The proposed options won't work "because the contractor wants to increase his check, and not vice versa. Therefore, the best option is a fixed payment. You must immediately approve the list of works that you will receive for the agreed amount."

What accounts will the contractor work with?

It is beneficial for an agency or a freelancer to bind clients to itself. One tool is an ad account with customized campaigns and high performance. If the advertiser cannot take the account with him when he stops working with the contractor, he will have to start work from the beginning.

Choose contractors who work in your account. Make sure that this moment is specified in the contract. Account control saves work results when changing partners or switching to independent advertising management.

Purpose, objectives and budget of the advertising campaign

Advertising campaign planning is a critical factor in its successful implementation. Be sure to formulate the goal and objectives yourself. That is, fix on paper, what results you want to achieve using Yandex.Direct and Google AdWords.

The right question to the contractor is: "I want to increase the number of smartphones sold by 100 units per month, what budget will be needed for this?"

It is wrong to talk like this: "There are 15 thousand rubles a month for advertising, what can you offer?"

That is, plan advertising campaigns and a budget based on the goals of the business. If you cannot formulate a goal and objectives on your own, discuss it with a contractor. Do not talk about the budget before fixing the planned result. This is a cart in front of the horse, dancing from the stove, advertising for the sake of advertising.

Advertising Performance Indicators

Discuss with the contractor what criteria to use to evaluate the effectiveness of advertising. At this stage it is necessary to get acquainted with the special terminology. The metrics that are conveniently evaluated with the artist are listed below.

  1. Number of visitors

    The key criterion for the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. It must meet or exceed the target.

  2. Clickability ads CTR

    The ratio of ad impressions and conversions in percent. If an ad with 1000 impressions provided 50 clicks to the site, the CTR is 5%. The clickability is estimated by the principle "the higher the better." There is no normal indicator, since the norm varies depending on the subject and the situation on the market. Discuss with the contractor what CTR is considered to be the target.

    The higher the clickability, the less you pay for transitions. Search engines profitable to show ads with high CTR, even if the rates of competitors are higher.

  3. Conversion rate CR

    Ratio of visitors and target actions as a percentage. If out of 1000 visitors 20 place an order, CR is 2%. The conversion rate depends on the quality of work of the contextologist and on the characteristics of your site and product. If the site is selling the old Zaporozhets at the price of Lexus, not a single contractor will provide a high conversion rate.

  4. Cost of conversions and impressions, CPC and CPM

    The lower CPC and CPM, the cheaper contextual advertising costs. The cost of transitions and impressions depend on the subject and situation on the market, as well as on the quality of the contractor’s work. Discuss your targets and follow them.

These indicators can be assessed together with contractors. Also, the effectiveness of contextual advertising should be monitored using financial and economic metrics, which will be discussed below. It is better to track them without contextologists.

Where to send visitors

This is a critical issue that must be discussed with partners. Moreover, if the contextologist is not interested in the site, think about its professional suitability.

For contextual advertising to work, visitors must find on the site the products and market prices that are in demand. This is not all. The site should work without errors, be convenient and useful to users. Discuss this with the contractor. And useful information on the topic, see the article on the readiness of sites to "Direkt".

How about remarketing and retargeting

Just ask the contractor how he will use this tool. The singer will do the rest himself.

What about alternative traffic attraction tools?

Contextual advertising works while you pay for it. Comprehensive online marketing generates paid and free traffic. In other words, you can pay for package services once, but always receive visitors. If you work for the future, contextual advertising is more profitable to buy in a package. Talk to your chosen contractor or contact our consultant.

After discussing the issues with contextologists, sign a contract, replenish the account and monitor the effectiveness of advertising.

How to evaluate the effectiveness of advertising

Track the performance indicators suggested above. The number of visitors who came to the site thanks to contextual advertising is convenient to look at Yandex.Metrica and Google Analytics. In analytics services, you can monitor the conversion rate. The clickability and conversion cost are conveniently tracked in the Google AdWords and Yandex.Direct interface.

Попросите исполнителя связать аккаунты сервисов аналитики и систем контекстной рекламы, настроить цели, разметить ссылки и показать вам, где отслеживать важные показатели. Или самостоятельно разберитесь с "Метрикой" и Analytics с помощью предложенных выше руководств из нашего блога.

Keep track of the financial and economic metrics of advertising effectiveness. Pay attention to the dynamics of the number of transactions. If the business is not seasonal, the rate should grow.

Evaluate return on investment in advertising or ROI. The simplest formula for calculating an indicator is as follows:

If contextual advertising brought 90 thousand rubles, and 65 thousand rubles paid for it, ROI is 38.5% (90,000 - 65,000 / 65,000 * 100% = 38.46%).

There is no normal ROI, as the rate varies depending on the industry, market situation and other factors. Look at the dynamics, it should be positive.

Pay attention to customer acquisition costs (CAC), customer lifetime value (LTV), and the ratio of these indicators.

To learn CAC, divide the amount of advertising costs by the number of attracted customers. If they spent 50 thousand rubles and attracted 150 clients, the cost of one consumer is 333 rubles.

To find out the LTV, estimate the income that the client brings for all the time of cooperation with the company. If there is no such data, estimate the income for some period of time. If over the quarter attracted 450 customers, and revenue amounted to 600 thousand rubles, LTV is equal to 1,333 rubles.

The ratio of LTV to CAC in this case will be 4. This is a good indicator. Depending on the industry, the ratio of LTV to CAC should be three to one and up.

Testing strategies, keywords and ads takes time. Therefore, follow the metrics of efficiency from the first day of work with the contractor, and draw conclusions based on the results of several months of cooperation.

Tatyana Mikhalchenko shares the recipe:

"I will share information that will help control the contractors and get them to work. Agree with the contractors to send you a letter every month with answers to three questions:

  • What has been done in the last 30 days.
  • What got from what was done. The dynamics of key indicators is important. This may be an order on the site, subscription, call and so on.
  • What will be done in the next 30 days.

This can be written in free form in a letter or presented as a report in a table or presentation. "

Remember, business employment does not exempt from the need to study contextual advertising. The better you understand Yandex.Direct and AdWords, the easier it is to select and control contractors.

Olga Druzhinina, the head of the Muehle Russia online store, confirms this: “I think that it’s better to understand what is happening, to know at least the basics of contextual advertising. First, it will help you choose a contractor. it is easier for him to do this with an unenlightened person. But the results of the work speak for themselves, you only need to be able to read them. "


1. Who to trust?

You can work with a freelancer or agency. Choose a freelancer if you need to save on contractor services. Risks reduces work through secure transaction services on the exchange. Work with an agency if you are willing to pay for guarantees of safety and competence.

2. How to evaluate professionalism?

Examine certificates, reputation, work experience. Reliable assessment of professionalism before the start of cooperation is impossible.

3. What to talk about at the talks?

Here is a list of questions for discussion:

  • The principle of payment for contractor services.
  • What account does the artist work on?
  • Advertising campaign planning: goal, objectives, budget.
  • Performance Indicators.
  • The quality of the site and specific landing pages.
  • Has the contractor forgot about retargeting?
  • Comprehensive online marketing.

4. How to evaluate the effectiveness of advertising?

Follow the indicators that are discussed with the contractor. Use the Google AdWords and Yandex.Direct interfaces, as well as Metrics and Analytics. Keep track of financial and economic indicators: number of transactions, ROI, CAC, LTV and rationio LTV and CAC.

Change the performer, if within a few months he does not reach the target performance indicators, and the financial and economic results of contextual advertising are unsatisfactory.

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