No team ever succeeded without a consistent strategy tying their actions to a single goal. An SEO strategy can be divided into three parts.
1. Knowing Your Audience
Localizing your SEO for the Middle Eastern audience is more than just getting the most popular keywords and adding locations to the phrase. Arab consumers have their own unique search habits, traditions, trends and local jargon and dialects, so understanding this market intimately is a necessity for successful SEO.
It’s worth emphasizing the scope of this challenge: in a region with 22 countries, five major spoken dialects and a wide range of consumer habits, it’s essential to have the support of a native Arabic speaker who fully grasps your SEO goals and process. They’ll understand the differences between universal expressions and local or regional slang – the former is likely to be relevant to cross-border sales and the latter important for marketing inside a country – and grounding your strategy in that kind of knowledge is the only way to provide a truly effective counterpart to your English-language SEO.
2. Industry Awareness
Apart from understanding your audience, you have to understand your industry and competition. Hire an SEO expert on your team and use SEO tracking tools find out the keyword rankings, backlinks and domain level of your competitors. It’s common to hear claims that the languages supported by a specific tool don’t matter, but especially for keyword rankings it’s best to use a tool like Topvisor that specifically supports Arabic. Figure out what they are lacking in and work toward filling that void.
3. Market Research
Find the keywords and key phrases you need to optimize your pages for. This will include localized versions of popular global phrases but also phrases that might be unique to the way your audience asks questions or finds information.
Some might see it as a disadvantage to compete online as a small or growing store, but the reality is that, as a local business, you have something that large retailers and other websites simply don’t have: localization potential. Potential consumers and customers will almost always prefer to shop locally (although this depends on the product or service they’re looking for). Taking advantage of your location with native Arabic keywords and localized research is the best way to get to the top of searches in your area.
The first step here is the data you already have. Check out the general terms that your customer support team and existing stable of clients usually use when interacting with your business. Divide these terms into certain categories to help with your targeting later.
Next, conduct research on localized keywords. Avoid simply taking popular English keywords and translating them into Arabic. In most cases, these translations aren’t exactly what people use when searching for what they need. Hire a native Arabic speaker to ensure that you’re rendering keywords accurately and taking local slang into account where necessary – as noted above, such slang may be more relevant to some forms of marketing than others – and follow a process like this one that keeps keyword types and categories, priorities and tracking top of mind.