Keyword research is the first step to successfully promote your goods, services and Apps in the Russian market. One common mistake among online business owners is to assume that direct translations of keywords will work just as well in English or in any other languages. This isn’t always the case. For example, the standard French translation of “car insurance” is “l’assurance automobile” the most popular search terms is “auto assurance”.
If you decided to find keywords on your own, then start by translating keywords and brainstorming similar terms. Then check with a native speaker for suggestions. Then it is necessary to ask yourself whether the keywords are relevant to the site content and likely to translate into sales. Free tools, such as Google Adwords and Ubersuggest, allow you to set Russian language and location and check the popularity and level of competition for keywords.
Google is the world’s biggest player, but still in some countries there are search engines which perform better than Google. The most popular engine in Russia is Yandex. Its popularity, probably, is linked to its ability to handle the complexities of the Russian language. Therefore, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the nuances of Yandex.
Yandex’s Thematic Citation Index is similar to Google’s PageRank. But one big difference is it counts out-bound links to relative sites as well as incoming links. However it doesn’t count links from web forums, unmoderated directories or sites which aren’t controlled by humans. And it’s also more effective at geo-tags, and will use a computer’s IP address and geographical information to narrow results. Yandex Catalog allows you to assign up to seven regions to your site, allowing you to target specific cities. Avoid using too many ads, pop-ups or banners on a site, since these are penalized.
When entering the Russian market, it is advisable not only to translate the content into Russian, but also set up a new in-country domain name rather than using subdomains or subfolders of your main site. Yandex strongly favors local sites. Therefore, Yandex gives priority to high level in-country domain names, such as www.brandname.ru.
The good news is, that there’s less competition for top domain names in Russia. It’s more likely you’ll be able to secure a domain with your top-performing keywords . If you find these are already taken, then another option would be registering a domain with your keyword and brandname.