Improve SEO with a Localization Strategy for the Middle East

SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”, and it refers to the practice of improving your website’s chances of earning traffic through organic (non-ad) search results.

For your SEO to be successful, you have to make and take many decisions and actions, such as selecting relevant keywords with high search traffic potential and developing high-quality, helpful content and optimizing it for search engines and users—like using local SEO.

What is SEO localization?

SEO localization is the act of designing your website content to cater to a specific locale, paying close attention to cultural norms, preferences and communication styles. The resulting content is what’s known as “local SEO”.

When planning local SEO for a specific area, region or country, you must learn how clients search for a product or service and what search phrases they use. You will be able to reach out to more customers if you include these terms in your content.

Local SEO can have a significant impact on your search results. Assume you are engaged in the automobile business and want to expand internationally, targeting countries like Egypt or the United Arab Emirates.

Both Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are Arabic-speaking countries; however when Egyptians search for cars, they use the word “عربية”, but Emiratis use the word “سيارة”. It’s pretty much akin to the “car-versus-auto” difference between British and American English.

Creating a good local SEO strategy

We’ve created this guide to help you optimize your business for local SEO, which will include local SEO techniques and tools. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have a better grasp on how to optimize your business to reach leads and customers near you.

local seo strategyOptimize your Google My Business account

Google My Business has become a must-use tool for local search. Since Google prefers to share content that it can support and verify, Google My Business is their tool for helping your business satisfy their search users’ needs.

Google prefers to serve users with businesses that they can authenticate, and the search engine often rewards businesses with a sidebar spot on their results pages.

What’s more, the benefits of putting work into your Google My Business profile extend far beyond mere SEO. Reviews help your customers make smarter decisions, and you never have to lose another customer to out-of-date details like your contact information and operating hours.

Perform local keyword research and optimization

Google’s algorithms are constantly being updated in order to give better search results.

To provide accurate responses, Google’s new artificial intelligence has gotten better at “reading” content online and evaluating the meanings behind search terms. Keywords will continue to be an important component of SEO as long as people use them to search for products or services online.

Keywords, on the other hand, differ from one country to the next, as seen in our examples earlier. In fact, there are whole different languages that come into play when people look up information on the internet across the world—if you want to have a shot at making it in foreign markets, search localization is critical.

Every time you localize for a new country or region, you simply must hire local SEO professionals to conduct keyword research. Mere translation has its limits, which is why you can count on a local agency to help you work with figures of speech and local vernacular.

smartphone usersKeep smartphones in mind

In fact, “near me” and “open today or tonight” mobile searches have surged by 900% in recent years. As you can imagine, majority of those people are searching using a mobile device—likely while on the move, or at least when ready to make a purchase. 

This is why local SEO and mobile search are inextricably linked. More often than not, people will access your site through a mobile browser to search reviews, find directions to your location, and look up contact information, among other things.

Google knows this, which is why mobile-friendly websites tend to rank higher and do better at conversion. Keep this in mind and ensure that your site loads quickly and scales well for mobile users—it also makes things easier for your prospective customers as an added bonus.

Utilize Location pages

Create location pages if you have more than one physical location. This makes it easier for your readers to find store details like:

  • Addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Open hours
  • Unique descriptions
  • Parking information
  • Directions
  • Store-specific promotions
  • Customer feedback

Doing this in a systematic way helps eliminate duplicate material across various location pages—leading to a more useful and efficient site. 

If you operate in a single location, it pays to write a geographically descriptive About Us page. Likewise, you’ll do a lot better at ranking locally if you include a Google Map on your website’s location page.

Use geotargeting tools

Geotargeting is a planned response to a user’s geographical location. When a site or platform determines a visitor’s location based on their IP address, Wi-Fi, or GPS data, it delivers content tailored to that location.

Websites that are built with geotargeting can serve specific elements to users depending on where they’re visiting from. The simplest example of this is when a website redirects users in Germany to a German version of their site — but even more precise work can be done, like making city-specific pages, buttons or even color schemes.

Google’s Optimize offers basic geo-targeting of web elements, making it a simple way to get started. You can run tests by city, metro, region, or country. Adobe’s Omniture is also a good alternative in helping your site perform well for location-specific keywords while maintaining simplicity and ease-of-use.

Create localized content

Google is becoming smarter, which means that content marketers can now afford to write for users instead of search engines. While blogging about general issues will draw a following, it’s sometimes more important to narrow your focus and write about local news to attract a local audience.

Promote local industry meetings, news, employees, and other instructive content on your blog to establish yourself as the local authority in your industry. 

Local SEO also involves using top-of-funnel content that goes beyond what your company sells. For example, if you’re a local business looking to recruit new partners to the region, establish a useful resource to help these businesses become acquainted with your community. 

A map of local service providers or a calendar of city-wide events could both provide value to your buyers while also including highly relevant on-page local signals.

The bottom line

Local SEO is an essential component of any SEO plan for small businesses, and should not be overlooked. It’ll help your audiences find you when they search online, and it’ll drive people nearby to your goods and services regardless of whether you run a store or an entire service area. 

When done correctly, local SEO boosts visitor engagement in your website and, as a result, increases conversions and revenue.

If you want to know more about how local SEO works, or if you want to create a sound local SEO strategy for your business in the Middle East, contact Igloo today and let us help you take the first step towards improving your online visibility.


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