If you’re targeting Russia,
then you need to focus your SEO efforts on the country’s most popular search engine, Yandex.
However, that’s easier said than done, as SEO works very differently on Yandex compared to Google.
This means that SEO can be a challenge to people who are only familiar with search engine optimisation for Google.
This video will explain the most important things you need to bear in mind when doing SEO on Yandex.
First of all, let’s look at hosting.
The speed and accessibility of the server are what matter to Yandex,
rather than the location of the server itself.
Therefore, you can use overseas servers,
as long as they’re reliable and able to provide good support to your website.
Second, your domain.
It’s advisable to use a local .ru domain for your website.
A short and easy-to-remember domain is best.
If your website contains region-specific content,
then it’s best to use a regional subdomain structure like moscow.domain.ru
Third, crawling and indexing.
Yandex still crawls mainly static HTML links. AJAX crawling can help you get around this problem.
You should know that Yandex is slower at indexing than Google.
This means that if you make changes on your website,
you may have to wait longer for these changes to show in the results.
Also, Yandex maintains its index more strictly
by actually removing pages from its search index which don’t get traffic or have poor engagement.
Therefore, you should make your pages as valuable as possible, to encourage visits and user engagement.
Fourth, meta data optimisation.
Yandex prefers naturally-optimised websites, so be careful not to over-optimise your website.
Text should be of medium length, rather than long,
and you should be aware that meta descriptions are completely ignored
as Yandex selects its own text from a website to show in the search results.
H-tags and title tags are the most important meta data.
Fifth, your content.
Yandex is strict about its penalties and has content duplication and keyword stuffing filters.
It’s much easier to get caught by these filters than in Google.
Therefore, unique content that is naturally written and provides a good user experience
is a priority for Yandex SEO.
The optimum length is between 300 and 500 words long.
It’s recommended to write specific regional content, as search results vary between regions.
And finally, links.
Yandex likes internal linking, so you should include internal, keyword-ed links on your pages.
External backlinks in Yandex are valued by how much traffic they actually deliver to your website.
This means that if your website has external backlinks from high-authority websites,
but they don’t deliver referral traffic, they won’t contribute to your website’s authority.
Be aware that paid links are considered a black hat SEO technique and will result in your website being penalised.
Can you think of any other ways in which Yandex differs from Google in terms of SEO?
Let us know in the comments below!
And remember, we have an in-depth guide about the SEO differences between Yandex and Google on our training platform.
Check it out using the link in the description.