Digital Marketing

How to implement Arabic SEO and how it differs from English SEO

The Internet has revolutionized the world as well as the middle east region. In MENA or the Middle East and North Africa, the total internet penetration is 67.2% while for the entire world the average internet penetration is 56.8%. This indicates rapid digital development and massive traffic. To target the regional traffic and build a strong community, middle east companies must immediately incorporate Arabic SEO, and publish content in the native language to gain customers’ trust organically.

Why do you need Arabic SEO:

There are many reasons why you should start targeting your native speaker with well-strategized SEO. Some of them are:

  • 92-96% of the total traffic in the middle east comes from mobile devices, significantly higher than the rest of the world (61%). What is the significance of the numbers? To say briefly, a search from a desktop means the user is looking for a general solution that can be provided from anywhere in the world. But in the case of mobile research, the user is looking for a quick and local solution.
  • The recent pandemic has planted a sense of uncertainty in the customers, creating a tendency to spend. But for the middle east market, consumers’ spending has increased by 49%. For the world, this number is 33%. People are hopeful, which fuels their spending habits.
  • The competition in the majority of the industries of the middle east region is way lesser compared to the world. So it is easier to rank. More importantly, search results for a search in Arabic often seem unreliable to Arabic users. So if you can provide relevant and not spammy solutions in the native language, you can rank very fast.

The first step for successful SEO implementation:

The first step for implementing Arabic SEOs is to examine customers’ behavior in the middle region.

The  key aspects of their behavior are:

  • Social status is important to them.
  • They are mostly religious and want others to be respectful of their religion.
  • Word of mouth will boost your sales as consumerism is considered to be a social activity.
  • The population’s average age is 27.7 years, Indicating a younger crowd with lavish spending habits.
  • Most of them speak Arabic, complemented with basic English, Thus a fundamental need to serve the customers in their native language is prominent.

Understanding consumers’ behavior is the most basic step to strategizing any form of marketing.

Key aspects of Arabic SEO:

1. Keyword preferences:

Many third-party keyword searching tools like google keyword planner can be of little to no use in searching Arabic keywords. As mentioned, a low level of competition is observed In a lot of industries in the MENA region. Thus it is easier to target keywords with high search volume, but for better results beef up your range of keywords list with keywords that encourage taking action, containing words “purchasing”, “local delivery”, “registering” etc.

2. Hreflang tags:

These tags are important because it helps to customize your website and determines which parts of the website are to be seen by certain regions or countries. For example, if you are targeting Arabic speakers globally

<link rel=”alternate” href=”” hreflang=”en” />

<link rel=”alternate” href=” ” hreflang=”ar” />

But if you want your content to be seen in only certain countries you need more customizations on every page of your website. Consultation with a native Arabic speaker, with SEO expertise or Arabic SEO services is advisable.

3. Links, Referral links, and Hosting:

Backlinks and anchor texts to your website from the MENA region are extremely beneficial. But due to weak copyright enforcement laws, websites can easily copy your content with referral links. However, this problem can certainly be solved in a few ways…

  • Backlinks from outside of the MENA region are equally important in ranking your website. Often SEO companies deprioritize getting backlinks from other regions like America and Europe.
  • When creating Arabic links, some essential features must be considered, such as keeping your links short, and if the link is causing problems with your cms and on-page SEO avoid them.

Though hosting your website in Europe and usage of CDN is common practice, hosting your website close to the audience i.e. in the middle east countries can increase your loading speeds.

4. Create informative content:

This is similar to SEO in English. If your content is concise and includes bullet points, short summaries, snippets, and the answer to the user’s query is placed in the first few sections of your content, your website is likely to rank higher.

How Arabic SEO is different from English SEO:

  • Ecommerce: Due to overall low competition, ranking in e-commerce sectors is much easier in the Arabic language as compared to its counterpart in English. However, the problem arises on the logistic side, as most of the transaction happens across borders and products have to be delivered internationally.
  • Creating Leads: creating leads in the Arabic language is a lot easier. You can easily find keywords that will generate leads and attract traffic. These keywords can also be utilized to optimize ranking through mobile searching.
  • Media websites: Due to the lack of media and content any sort of news and content do well in the Arabic language. But the content has to be monetized properly and strategic placement of ads. The primary reason being the CPM payout for the Arabic audiences is less compared to English audiences.

To wrap it up:

Effective SEO can take months if not years. It is a dynamic process, perfected with close observation and experimenting with different strategies. In Arabic SEO, many things have to be considered such as the website’s compatibility if it has the multilingual feature and how well it is presented on mobile devices. But the market gap in serving the middle east customer in their native language presents an enormous opportunity for your business to flourish in the middle eastern market.

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