Arabic Internet e-commerce and on-line media is a significant, expanding market segment with great potential for localized, Arabic search engine optimization (SEO) and Arabic search engine marketing (SEM). The majority of websites aimed at Arabic markets are still in English, which means that you have less competition and an opportunity to dominate your sector if you localize your web content into Arabic with optimized Arabic SEO. If you follow the right SEO strategy when localizing your website, you will achieve the highest ranking with Arabic search engines.

Growing E-Commerce in Arabic Countries The Arabic Internet market is much larger than many people outside of this region realize; it is experiencing rapid growth. Recent research indicates that there are currently 56 million Arabic-speaking Internet users and this number will increase to 82 million by 2013. That will be a 46.4 percent increase in just over two years!

Although English is widely spoken in the business world throughout the Middle East, many companies outside of the region still have the misconception that they can continue to keep their web content in English-only because it is “the international language of business”. Most global companies have launched products and businesses in the Arabic region via English-only websites with the assumption that Arabic-speaking customers can simply search and find services using English keywords.

Arabic SEO Strongly Preferred by Consumers in Arabic Countries Research has progressively revealed that in most cases Arabic Internet users prefer to search using Arabic keywords to find more specific and accurate results. This is especially true when the search is related to regional topics, cultural-related words, local news or events, and regional products or services. Consumers in Arabic-speaking markets prefer to select Arabic keywords as their first option. Naturally, this requires companies to localize all content on their website in Arabic, and have a culturally appropriate user interface. For specific examples of cultural and regional issues specific to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the other Emirates.

Many Arabic consumers don’t speak English; in some Arabic countries like Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, English is not as commonly used as French. This further underscores the need to have the Arabic language as a primary choice for this region.

Arabic Website Localization Your first step is selecting the right translation agency as a partner to properly structure your website and provide suitable Arabic website localization, as well as create effective SEO optimized for this language and market. Your localization partner will need experience in the Arabic region and Arabic language for several reasons:

* There are six major Arabic dialect groups.
* Arabic SEO is unique and will require different keyword and tag strategies for various markets, like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Morocco, Egypt, etc.
* Some graphics or images may carry negative cultural connotations that are not obvious to consumers outside of the region; your localization agency partner must be well versed in all of these issues.