Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Situated on the Persian Gulf, next to the Gulf of Oman, the city of Dubai is a renowned global city whose importance to the global economy is almost unparalleled. Because of its strategic position, actively-diversifying economy, and excellent trade relations and prestige, Dubai is an excellent location for any businesses looking to expand or invest, especially into Middle Eastern, North African, and Central and South Asian markets, or anyone looking to do business in the Middle East region.
Though the world of Arabic PPC is always expanding, many new ad campaigns fail to be effective due to several common mistakes. Any ad campaign run in Arabic needs to be optimized just as an English campaign needs to be optimized. We find many companies try to save money by outsourcing translation of ads or by having Arabic ads run by someone without experience running Arabic PPC campaigns. In most cases we’ve seen this ends up costing the company much more in wasted ad-spend, than the company saves from not hiring a professional to run the ads. We’ve literally seen companies waste tens of thousands of dollars on irreverent keywords and targeting in their ad campaigns in an effort to save a small amount on the management side of running ads.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequent mistakes we see in Arabic PPC campaigns in the MENA region so you can avoid these pitfalls in your own efforts.
1. Using poorly written or nonexistent calls to action
When creating ads in Arabic, it’s important to utilize similar calls to action, like “buy,” “find,” or “shop.” Without these calls to action, the meaning of the ad can become unclear to the customer. For example, the ad below is for a company that finances Islamic real estate purchases, meaning they provide a specific kind of financing for Muslim customers. The ad was generated while searching for “عقارات لندن” (London real estate) and it advertises mortgage financing. However, the ad’s wording leaves the user without a call to action, opting to instead state the services offered. For a list of Arabic calls to action you should be using, see this article.
When seeking to target any region of the world online it is a good idea to have an understanding of which regional search engines you need to target. This is no different when targeting countries in the Middle East. Unlike many other regions in the world the Middle East does not have an alternative to Google that dominates the region. Despite this there are some important observations to make about Middle East Search Engines that we will go into more detail about here.
Arab Americans and other multicultural consumers compose a disproportionate share in the United States market. Arab Americans move across the world, carrying parts of their cultural identity with them while assimilating to the host country’s culture. Molding marketing messages to tackle multicultural or bicultural groups in society allows companies to tap into this lucrative market niche. Knowledge of the Arab American culture and ethnic backgrounds is essential to understand how to craft marketing messages to them as an audience, whilst avoiding points of conflict.