This article is an introduction to Jeddah SEO to help your business reach this important market. This massive Saudi Arabian commerce center is one of the world’s 40th fastest growing cities, and with the rapid globalization focus of the greater KSA, there has been no better time to make a name for your business here.
Why Jeddah is worth targeting with your SEO efforts
Jeddah, a port city along the Red Sea, is Saudi’s commercial capital. With a population of 4,200,000 it is one of the largest in the Middle East, falling 5th only behind Cairo, Baghdad, Riyadh, and Alexandria. It is also the crossroads for Muslims worldwide as a gateway to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. As a result, Jeddah is currently the largest airport in Saudi Arabia and receives upwards of 13 million visitors (the majority of them hajis) annually. The city is becoming increasingly globalized as Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 continues to be developed to increase national tourist revenue to nearly 20%.
What makes your SEO so competitive in the Jeddah market
For comparison’s sake, Jeddah has a very similar population to Los Angeles, Berlin, and Hanoi. Googling SEO for these three latter options yields hundreds of results, companies, and competition. However, Jeddah, despite being the commercial hub for the largest country in the Gulf, has nearly no search results. This means the market is highly undersaturated and underdeveloped. This is changing rapidly as internet penetration expands throughout the country. Be ahead of the curve!
Keys to ranking in Jeddah
1. Keyword research
To conduct rewarding SEO in Jeddah, your first step is to learn about what subjects there is demand to learn more about. Thankfully if you do not consider yourself an expert in life in Jeddah, there are online keyword finder tools that exist to do the work of locating these keywords for you. Try using Ubersuggest, SEOWorkers Analysis Tool, or WooRank as free tools for your site. Determining which content is in demand locally will guide you for what to build content around. You also should conduct these searches in Arabic, as that is by far the most used language. There is a substantive population who speaks English as a second language, however.
Here is an example of an Arabic Google search in Jeddah, focusing on Jeddah restaurants:
2. Assigning keywords to the proper pages
Once you have successfully determined which Arabic and English keywords are hot topics in Jeddah, you need map groups of 3-5 related keywords to matching pages on your own site. You want to ensure that each page is relevant to the keywords, or else create your own.
3. Use your target keywords in the Title, URL, and Meta description
To ensure you are maximizing your Jeddah SEO potential, you must be strategic about where and how to incorporate keywords into your pages. The essential places to pepper your keywords are in the Title, the URL, and the Meta description. Your repeated and prominent use of the keywords will help ensure your content is linked strongly to them.
Now that you have the basis for your articles and pages, you need to fill it out with substance through content. Feel free to write whatever you want, but make sure it is relevant to the keywords and incorporates phrases explicitly using them. To cast a wide net for searchers, make sure you expand upon the seed keyword to long-tail keywords. For example, expanding upon phrases like “restaurants Jeddah” to “what is the best place to eat in Jeddah” or “best food Jeddah”.
Note: Saudi Arabia heavily censors their internet, with a special commission to block immoral and inflammatory content. Make sure your website does not end up among the other 500,000 banned!
5. Local Jeddah backlinks
It is important to build local trust for your business among locals. To accomplish this, backlinks work very effectively to signal to local people that you are reputable and vetted. To determine where to locate these link-connections, try searching through the following online pages:
- American Business Group Jeddah
- Jeddah Resource Pages
- Jeddah Job Postings
- Jeddah Expatriate Community
- Jeddah local vendors
- Destination Jeddah Magazine
- Destination KSA
Additionally, target local searches for your specific industry.
6. User experience for Jeddah website visitors
Similar to any website around the world, the experience a user has while using your website is directly connected to their perception of your legitimacy. Having excellent user interface such as using engaging graphics, an easily navigable layout, and legible font are simple but effective methods. Additionally, based on which population you are trying to target, whether or not to have sections in Arabic is crucial.
Other important factors to ranking in Jeddah
Is it critical to use .sa or .com.sa domains?
No. As of now, only very few popular Saudi websites use .sa or .com.sa domains, so it is certainly not crucial to your success. However, it is something to consider, especially if your reach is greater Saudi Arabia, to signal to locals that you know what you are doing.
As of 2020, there are no credible, popular companies that offer hosting physically in Jeddah. The most logical idea for hosting is to host in Europe (more cost-efficient, but generally slower) or host in nearby UAE or Bahrain (faster speed, but more expensive).
Seasonal Search Engine Opportunities
- The Hajj (Islamic pilgrimage) takes place over 10 days at a different time each year. Most pilgrims fly into Jeddah and then take a bus to Mecca and Medina. Nearly two million Muslims arrive to complete this holy rite.
- Eid al Adha
- Eid al Fitr
- Saudi National Day, every September 23
Geo-targeting parts of Jeddah
As the business center of KSA, Jeddah sprawls across 137 different districts. To target a more specific audience, we recommend focusing on a few or one district. To get you started, here are some of the nicest and most popular areas of the city to live:
- Al Shatea
- Al Marwah
- Al Salamah
- Al Balad
- Al Khalil
- Al Tawfiq
With Jeddah becoming increasingly internationally reputable, you want to ensure that your business stays ahead of the trends in the country’s commercial capital. Learn how to position yourself for success while the market is unsaturated.