Retargeting & Audiences

Retargeting lists are a way to serve your ads exclusively to interested users. For example, you can serve ads to people who visited your site and put something in their cart. Yandex Metrica and Yandex Audience can help you select a user group.

Ads based on retargeting lists will be served on the Yandex Advertising Network and ad exchanges.


Ads related to sensitive topics (for example, some medical aspects or adult dating) are not shown based on retargeting lists and audience selection in ad networks.

How it works

In search results

Retargeting in search results is combined with keywords or autotargeting using the logical operator “AND”. It means that ads are served to users who meet both the retargeting and impression criteria, that is, keywords or autotargeting criteria. For example, if the keyword is buy sofa and the retargeting criterion is visited site, the ad is served to users who typed “buy sofa” in the search bar and have visited the site.

Inside the criteria, retargeting uses the “OR” operator. If your targeting criteria include a keyword and two retargeting criteria, the ad is shown to users who entered the keyword in the search bar and met one of the specified retargeting criteria.

Retargeting in search results only works for Text & Image ads, dynamic ads, and ads for mobile apps.

In ad networks
Retargeting in ad networks is combined with other targeting criteria using the “OR” operator. It means that the ad is shown to users who meet at least one of the selected criteria.

Retargeting lists

Retargeting lists are combinations of goals and segments from Yandex Metrica and Yandex Audience that you can use to define your target audience. To create retargeting lists, you can use predefined or preset segments and set up Yandex Metrica and Yandex Audience.

Ready-made segments

Predefined segments are created based on the most popular user scenarios. You can choose one or more retargeting lists depending on whether you have a Yandex Metrica tag added and which goals are selected. Users who met chosen criteria within the last 540 days fall into this segment.

The Yandex Metrica tag is added:
  • Visitors — This segment includes users of your website. Return users who visited your website before. Use this retargeting list to draw their attention again to your offers.

  • Similar to visitors — Attract users who are potentially interested in your products and services or are similar to users who visited your site. Attracting an audience that's interested in your product helps you expand your reach and get more conversions.

Goals are specified in the strategy settings:
  • Completed the campaign goals — Show ads to users who performed targeted actions on your website before. For example, the goal of your campaign is “Call”. You can give a discount or prepare a special offer for users who called you before.

  • Similar to users who completed the campaign goals — Grow your audience by attracting users who are potentially interested in your products and services. This segment includes users who are not just similar to your website visitors, but are likely to complete the goal you specified.

Goals are specified on the Yandex Metrica tag — E-commerce:
  • Similar to buying visitors — This segment includes users similar to website visitors who made purchases.

  • Abandoned basket — This segment includes users who added products to the basket, but didn't proceed to checkout. Encourage them to make a purchase. For example, offer a discount or free delivery.

  • Viewed products without purchase — Show ads to users who viewed products on your website but didn't buy them.

  • Buyers — Users who completed the “Purchase” goal at least once.

  • Bought several times — Users who completed the “Purchase” goal more than once.

Preset segments

You can use preset segments even if you don't have any segments saved in Yandex Metrica. This way you can target website users that interest you, such as new users or mobile users. Select a preset segment in Yandex Direct, and this segment will be created for your Yandex Metrica tag. You can open the list of preset segments for a tag if you have edit rights on it.

List of preset segments
  • New users: Users that visited the website for the first time in the past 90 days.
  • Returning users: Users that visited the website more than once in the past 90 days.
  • Search traffic: Users that landed on the website from Yandex search results or other search engines.
  • Ad traffic: Users that landed on the website after clicking an ad.
  • Link traffic: Users that landed on the website by following links from other websites.
  • Bounces: Users that opened only one page of the website, spent less than 15 seconds on it, and were not converted. By default, this segment includes sessions that took place within the last 540 days. To narrow this time frame, specify a custom period when configuring retargeting lists.
  • Non-bounces: Users that viewed the website for more than 15 seconds or viewed more than one page, or were converted.
  • Traffic from mobile devices: Users that viewed the page from a smartphone or tablet.
  • Traffic from desktop devices: Users that visited the website from a desktop or laptop.
Custom goals and Yandex Metrica segments
Enter goals or segments in Yandex Metrica:
  • Goals relate to the behavior of a specific user on your site. For example, a goal might be for a user to add a discounted product to their shopping cart or start a new order.
  • Segments for sessions describe the characteristics of a user during a specific session. For example, they describe how the user got to the site (from a social network, from Yandex search), what device they used to view the site (a mobile phone, desktop), and their gender and age.
  • Special segments for configuring data transmission from CRM describe the audience characteristics in the context of uploaded data from your CRM and user behavior data on your site. For a detailed description, see Transmitting data from a CRM in the Yandex Metrica documentation.

How to set a goal for pageviews of pages with discounts

You can create a segment for traffic from social networks

Learn more about Yandex Metrica.

Yandex Audience segments

Generate the segment you need in Yandex Audience. For example, you can select:

  • Users of your mobile app.
  • People who regularly visit your selected locations or are there right now.
  • Users similar to your customers based on their online behavior.
Learn more about Yandex Audience.

How to create a retargeting list

To create a new retargeting list, in the left menu choose Library → Retargeting & Audiences → Add retargeting list. You can also add a retargeting list from the ad group creation or editing page.

Sets of rules

A retargeting list can contain one or more rule sets (no more than 50) joined by the “AND” operator.

The system lets you choose various criteria for rule fulfillment — All fulfilled, At least one fulfilled or None fulfilled.

Attention. Criteria under which all rule sets are negative (the None fulfilled option), can only be used for bid adjustments. You must have at least one rule set with the All fulfilled or At least one fulfilled criteria to apply a targeting condition.
Create rules based on Yandex Audience segments, Yandex Metrica goals, or Yandex Metrica segments (you can use any preset or custom segment with 100 or more users).
Note. You can use existing goals or segments from someone else's Yandex Metrica tag. Open the Retargeting & Audiences page, click Get access to Yandex Metrica goals, and request access to the goals.

To each of your rules, you can add users who have similar behavior or interests to users in the selected segment or to users who completed the selected goal. When creating a rule, specify:

  • Only the selected segment/goal, if you want to select the users that were already converted for the goal or got into the segment.
  • Selected segment/Selected goal and similar users to select both the users that were already converted for the goal or were included in the segment, and a new audience of similar users.
  • Only similar users to select only the new audience. Users that were converted for the goal or were included in the segment won't be selected by the condition.

Similar users are identified using Crypta technology.

For each Yandex Metrica goal, set a period between 1 and 540 days. Ads will be served over that period to an audience that fulfills the criteria you specified. Yandex Metrica segments are automatically updated on a regular basis, so they contain current user data.

You can add a maximum of 250 rules in total. Keep in mind that the more criteria there are in your retargeting list, the narrower your audience coverage.

You can view all the retargeting lists you created on the Retargeting & Audiences page. You can add a retargeting list to any ad group in one or more campaigns.


You can create up to 2,000 retargeting lists per account. You can add up to 50 retargeting lists to an ad group.

You can also edit a retargeting list that you created previously. To do this, on the Retargeting & Audiences page, click the retargeting list, and enter your changes. You can also create a new retargeting list that keeps the changes you made by clicking Save as new.

Set up a retargeting list

Tips for setting up lists

You can set a specific time interval during which a goal should be met.

Example of setting time period

Let's say you want to set a period of between 7 and 14 days ago. You need to create two sets of rules to do this. In the first set, add a goal with a period of 14 days and the At least one fulfilled criteria. For the second set, add a period of 7 days and the None fulfilled criteria.

If you combine several goals in Yandex Metrica, only users who complete all these goals in one session will end up in the sample.

Example of Yandex Metrica goal combination

For example, if a segment was created in Yandex Metrica with the two completed goals “Visit a promotional page” and “Order a discounted item”, the selection will include only users who have both visited a promo offer page and ordered a discounted item in the same session.

To include those visitors who have fulfilled both criteria regardless of the time period, create the following two separate criteria in Yandex Metrica: “Visit a promotional page” and “Order a discounted item”. Then combine them on Yandex Direct.

You can't create goals based on negative criteria in Yandex Metrica. Instead, create a goal with a positive criteria and add a negative one on Yandex Direct.

Example of negative criteria
For example, you can't create a goal like “Item not purchased”. Instead, create a goal with the positive criteria “Purchase made” and then add a negative state to it: “Purchase made”None fulfilled.
Note. This sort of criteria can only be used for bid adjustments.

By combining Yandex Audience segments with Yandex Metrica goals and segments, you can create complex criteria for retargeting lists.

Example of combining Yandex Audience segments and Yandex Metrica goals

For example, you can serve ads for discounts to regular customers who have not made a purchase on your site in the last 30 days. To do this, create a segment of existing customers based on data from your CRM. Enter the segment and the corresponding Yandex Metrica goal in the retargeting and audiences section.

Setting bids

Retargeting lists allow you to find users that are your potential customers (for example, people who have already been on your site). By increasing your bids for ads based on retargeting lists, you can reach more users interested in your product or service and serve them more relevant ads. You can set a bid for each retargeting list if you are using a manual bid management strategy. You can't assign a separate bid for retargeting in search results.

You can also use bid adjustments to raise or lower your bid when your ads are served. For example, you might want to target users who are interested in expensive goods or services. It is generally a good idea to set a higher bid for such user groups to attract more traffic.

More information about bid adjustments.


It is possible for one user to satisfy the conditions for the display of several different ads. In that case, the user will probably be served the ad with the higher bid (in other words, the advertiser that considers that user's group most valuable will win the auction).

Have questions?

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