Yandex SEO tools to position your website on the Russian market

Anastasia Kurmakaeva

Written by Anastasia Kurmakaeva

Yandex is the leading search engine on the Russian-speaking web, popularly known as Runet. Approximately 60% of Russian Internet users use Yandex, compared to 30% who prefer Google. It also enjoys significant popularity among some of the countries of the former Soviet Union, such as Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and even Turkey. Yandex was founded in 1997 as a search engine and later in 2000 as a company. Since then Yandex has been growing and expanding steadily and steadily over the last fifteen years. What conclusion can we draw from this? If we are going to create an international web portal with content in Russian and we manage to position our site correctly in Yandex, we will obtain very good results in terms of audience from users in Russia and some of its neighboring countries.


Only 30% of Russian-speaking users use Google, compared to 60% who use Yandex.

Yandex and its SEO tools

Currently, Yandex offers a large number of additional services, applications and software in the same way as the Californian giant, including Yandex.Video, Yandex.Fotki, Yandex.Maps and others. However, in this article we will focus especially on those Yandex tools that will help us to position our website in its search engine, or what is the same: let’s learn more about Yandex SEO tools in depth and what use we can make of them if we want the international positioning campaign of our website is successful in Russia.

How does Yandex.Metrica work?

Starting with the basics, Yandex.Metrica is a free tool similar to Google Analytics, which allows us, among other things, to track the traffic that our portal receives, as well as the audience and the behavior of the users who visit us. It is quite simple to use and we can focus our tracking only on the traffic we receive from Russia, or use Yandex.Metrica to complement the data we already get with Google Analytics for all types of traffic. The more data we have about the users that visit our portal, the better we will be able to appeal to their interests, thus gaining more audience.

Yandex Metrica is a tool for analyzing user behavior.

Yandex.Metrica offers in its reports recordings of user sessions in which we can observe their behavior in detail: cursor movements, scrolling, heat maps, and much more. It is undoubtedly a very useful resource for a more specific monitoring of what most attracts our target audience, and will guide us in correcting elements with room for improvement.

Yandex.Metrica has a functionality that consists in recording the sessions of the visitors of our portal, in which we can see their behavior in detail.

Since 2013 a special version for mobile applications has also been available, Yandex.AppMetrica, which gives us the possibility to monitor the traffic received by our website from mobile terminals and tablets, including the analysis of web pages, apps, advertising, QR codes, etc.

Yandex Webmaster Tools

Yandex.Webmaster, in turn, bears similarities to Google Search Console (formerly known as Webmaster Tools). It is a service that offers a set of tools that allows web page owners to notify the Yandex robot about new pages or pages that have been removed (sitemap), configure the indexing of a site, and improve the results that are presented in searches. If you are looking to gain traffic from Runet users, registering with Yandex.Webmaster is essential. Among its functions we highlight notifications, messages and tips about Yandex and its algorithm, security warnings, indexing status, snippets, among many other utilities to improve the configuration of our portal.

Keywords and content in Yandex

Leaving aside the more technical part, we continue with two tools that go practically hand in hand: Yandex.Direct and Yandex.Wordstat, whose functions are equivalent to those of Google AdWords. The first one helps us to create our own advertising campaigns, with bidding strategies and keywords; and Wordstat helps us to define that list of keywords through a study of market statistics. A common mistake among SEO consultants is to think that having a listing previously defined through Google AdWords means that we can skip this step in the optimization of our site in Yandex. While it is true that having previously worked on the keywords will get us some work ahead, recycling that list that we have prepared during the optimization of a site for Google will not help us. Yandex is a platform in its own right, with its own particularities, just because it is focused on the Russian language. We will get very different and much more reliable results with Wordstat, so it is very important to perform a new keyword study for Yandex only. Wordstat is easy to use, and gives us the possibility to see the search potential and volume of impressions per keyword (or several at once), see the popularity of searches by region with a color map view for an effective search strategy. geotargetting more precise, as well as to see the historical popularity of one or several keywords.

Yandex Wordstat will help us to carry out keyword studies for our portal.

Having a defined keyword list with the help of Google AdWords does not ensure success in Yandex, so it is important to perform a specific keyword research for Yandex.

Finally, as an annex, the Yandex.Speller tool is a spell checker that can always be useful to make sure that the content of our site is written correctly. Yandex attaches considerable importance to quality and error-free content. This tool is available for Russian, Ukrainian and English languages, and also offers applications that can be conveniently installed on your own website between HTML elements or in editors such as WordPress or Drupal.

All Yandex tools are available entirely in Russian and English. Dare to try them!

Human Level Communications has been offering international SEO services since 2005, as well as the integral management of international search engine positioning campaigns. If you have an international Web project, we will be happy to help you position your site in other countries and languages.


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Anastasia Kurmakaeva
Anastasia Kurmakaeva
Former SEO consultant and translator at Human Level. She is a specialist in translation and SEO, with a special focus on the Yandex search engine. She is fluent in Russian, Spanish and English, being fully bilingual in the first two.

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