All foreign companies are sure that it is very difficult to enter the food market in Russia, it takes a long time and you need a lot of money. I always answer that there are a few of the simplest things and cheap ones to start with. But they will give the best and quickest result.
And the very first thing that I always recommend doing to my foreign client is to start talking to buyers from Russia in their native Russian language. And in order to become as accessible as possible for buyers in Russia, start speaking with them in Russian language on the Russian Internet. Make a website or a webpage in Russian language, or at least translate your website into Russian and advertise it in Russian social networks.
Therefore, it was this article that I took as the basis of the chapter “Step 14. Why you need to have a website in the Russian language if you want to work with Russia?” from my new book “Your first 50 right steps to enter the Russian food market”.
I have already told to my foreign client that if you plan to enter the Russian food market, it is very important to translate all your presentations, commercial offers and website into the Russian language. It will be quite enough to get started. Moreover, when you start thinking seriously about the Russian market, I recommend creating a separate website or webpage of your company for Russia. In this post I will explain you why.
In the modern world the Internet is the easiest way to find a way to your customers. Elon Musk once said that with the Internet and social networks any modern person has more influence on the world than US President John F. Kennedy had. I completely agree with that. The Internet in Russia is quite cheap. On average it costs 500 rubles per month for an unlimited tariff, which is about 8 USD. So, most of Russians have permanent access to the Internet.
Yandex vs Google.
The most popular search engine and browser in Russia is Yandex, then Google comes along. But every year fewer and fewer Russians use Google whereas the share of Yandex is increasing. For example, all Android mobile phones sold in Russia have Yandex application installed. I will not go into many technical details of the Russian Internet; I will just share with you the most understandable facts.
1. Search algorithms of Google and Yandex are different, Yandex is better in looking for information in the Russian language.
2. If a website has a Russian IP, Yandex search engine will give it a priority and Yandex browser will open it faster.
3. Websites with RU domain will also get prioritized by Yandex.
4. In addition to Russian IP and Russian domain it is important for Yandex that website texts are in the Russian language. This is important for SEO. So, the keywords of your website should be written in the Russian language.
5. Your website must be linked with Russian social networks. It also helps Yandex find information about your company faster.
6. After you create your website in Russian, you need to “inform” Yandex search robot about it. It is very easy to do and takes a couple of minutes, but in this way Yandex will learn about your company immediately.
One more thing is that under a new Russian law, all companies operating in Russia are obliged to store the data of their websites only in servers located in Russia so that Russian security services can have access to them. By the way, this is the reason why LinkedIn network is blocked in Russia. Their management refused to place their servers in Russia. Storing data in Russian servers allows Yandex and Google search engines to better index your website and display information from your website to your potential customers in Russia.
Design and outlay of your Russian website should be user friendly for a Russian person. Let me give you an example from my practice. I was hired by a Russian company to implement crisis management. One of the problems they had was a very old website. It was probably ten years old and its design was never changed. The company had some sales, but the website was not visited. A website visitor could look through 2 pages only. For a company with 15 years of history that was very little.
The owners of the company said that they wanted the best website like websites of the best global companies. I asked them to write the global brands they meant and famous personalities they liked. They wrote about 30 brands and people. There were Tesla, Apple, Nike, Adidas, Audi, Richard Branson and many more. I quickly found websites of these companies and we studied the styles of those websites to choose the one we liked.
We were very surprised when we found out that websites of these global companies were “simple and not interesting” from our Russian perspective. Personally, I remember being surprised at the simplicity of Richard Branson’s website. A billionaire with many interesting projects has a website that looks like Russian websites 20-30 years old.
Eventually, we did not choose anything and created a new design that everyone liked. Russians love websites with interesting graphics, a lot of photos and videos. Long, sometimes very long texts are very important too.
A webpage or a website?
So, keep all this in mind when you start planning how to enter the Russian food market. To get a good Russian website that is well indexed on the Russian Internet, you will need from 6-8 months. You will have to spend from about 30,000 rubles (about 500 USD) to 1,000,000 rubles (about 15,000 USD) per month for SEO since your website will need to be promoted daily.
If you do not know whether your products will find their customers on the Russian food market and whether your customers will like you products, just translate your own website into the Russian language to let your potential customers and buyers get acquainted with your products. Register in Russian social networks and advertise your website there and give a link to it. This is a very economical and cheap option.
There is also an even simpler and faster option that I offer to all my foreign clients. This is to place your personalized (own) webpage in Russian language on my website. Which is located on Russian hosting, optimized for working with the Yandex browser and which is dedicated only to food and the food industry. If you are interested in knowing in more detail, you can read in the description of my services 1 VIA THIS LINK. This will be enough for a quick and easy start.
Business Adviser on the Russian Food Market
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