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Middle East & Arabic PPC Company

Choose IstiZada to manage your pay per click campaigns in Arabic and in the Middle East. IstiZada has the unique market knowledge of the region combined with an advanced understanding of Internet marketing.

middle east and arabic ppc

What makes IstiZada different

  • Extensive Knowledge of Middle Eastern markets online
  • English & Arabic speaking account managers
  • Arabic content focused
  • Experience working some the largest global companies
  • Google Ads Certified
  • Conversion & ROI Focused
  • Obsessed with the Arab World

Challenges involved with running PPC & SEM marketing campaigns in the Middle East

  • Bids for the same keywords can vary drastically by country
  • Clicks and conversions happen at different times of the day than in Western countries
  • Cost per Acquisition goals will fluctuate greatly when compared with Western countries
  • Many search results pages will have few or no competitors
  • Arabs that are new to the Internet can tend to click on ads without the intent of buying
  • Ad texts must be crafted carefully as to not encourage unnecessary clicks
  • Keywords can vary by country

Major Arab Markets we target with our SEM campaigns

gulf cooperation counsel

The Gulf  

With a vast amount of oil wealth and a high demand for Western products and services this market is key to any company looking to start off successfully in the Middle East.  With a population that is expected to grow to 53 million by 2020 it is a region that can’t be ignored.  The Gulf’s oil wealth has contributed to a high level of prosperity and has help to generate a well educated middle class in countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. Though the GCC is still a commonly used term, the GCC region has started to fragment some due to tensions between Qatar and the other GCC states. This rift between Qatar and the other states started in 2017. Though this fragmenting creates some new challenges to doing business across all gulf countries, it does present some unique advantages to savvy marketers in the region.


levant marketing

The Sham

The Sham(or the Levant) region of the Middle East includes Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria.  This region constitutes a mass of Arabs who are hungry for products and services from the West.  Beruit, Lebanon is known as the Paris of the Middle East with its citizens high tastes in fashion.  In fact it has become a regional hub for beautification services and plastic surgery.  Jordan on the other hand is an immigrant nation with Arabs from all over the region living in it.  The country boast strong ties with the west and a free trade agreement with the United States.  Jordan’s population is very Internet savvy and Amman the capital is becoming known as a center for tech start ups.


north africa marketing

North Africa

North Africa, though techinically outside the Middle East, is the most populous Arabic speaking region.  Egypt the largest Arab state has experienced rapid population growth over the past decades and its 80 million inhabitants dwell mostly in urban areas a long the banks of the Nile River.  With this urbanization of the North African populations we are seeing Internet usage rates increase rapidly.  With the lowering cost of smart phone devices many Moroccans, Algerians, and Egyptians are having their first Internet experience on a mobile phone.  Will your ad show up when they search the Internet for the first time?



are you

Are you a PPC agency that needs help in the Middle East?

Having worked in America IstiZada  knows that it can be nearly impossible to run a successful PPC campaign in another language other than your own especially one written in a foreign Arabic script.  In light of this we seek to make things easier for PPC agencies that are looking to provide their clients an opportunity to enter the ripe market in the Middle East.  IstiZada speaks the same marketing speak you speak and knows the SEM industry’s best practices in and out.  We seek to provide our agency partners with the best customer service and transparency into all relevant metrics including CTR’s, CPC’s, CPA’s, ROAS, etc.

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Mobile Ads in Arabic

No discussion of paid Arabic advertising would be complete today without mentioning the boom in mobile smart phone usage in the Middle East.  Many Arabs will save up for months and months or even go into debt to buy the latest smart phone.  According to Google’s Our Mobile Planet research on Saudi Arabia smart phones have reached a 60% penetration in their population.  According to Google’s report 93% of smart phone users notice mobile ads and 70% of Saudi Arabians have looked something up on their mobile phone after seeing an offline advertisement.

mobile ads in Arabic


Display Ads

Depending on your industry, a combination of both Arabic text ads on Google search and display ads on the Google Display Network (GDN) might be the most effective for reaching your audience in the region. With the right targeting and proper ad messaging, display ads can often drive qualified traffic and conversions to your website. Below you will find some examples Arabic ads we’ve used on the GDN.

Arabic Display ads


PPC competition in the Middle East

For 7 years IstiZada has been updating this article. Most years the competition for the keyword evening gowns in Arabic in Saudi Arabia was much less than the competition for the same keyword in English in the United States. In 2020 everything has changed and now for certain keywords in Arabic like this there is more competition in Arabic PPC listings than there are in English ones in the US.  Check-out these comparisons:


Keyword: Evening Gowns – فساتين سهرة – Location – Saudi Arabia – 2020

arabic google paid search results 2020



VERSUS – Keyword: Evening Gowns  Location: United States – 2020

Google paid search results 2020 us


In the above examples we notice that for the same search query in Saudi Arabia we see 4 text ads and 9 image shopping ads in Arabic. In the US for the same search query in English we see only 2 text ads and 5 image shopping ads.

Important Note in 2020 about competition: Despite the above example, there are still many product and service categories where there is almost no competition in the Middle East for Arabic keywords. However, some hyper-competitive categories like in the case of Wedding Gowns above have become more competitive in the Middle East than elsewhere. We will continue to watch this trend and update you.


2020 Product Listing Ads Update


For 2020 product listing ads showing up in Google search results in Arabic for many industries despite not being available a few years about in Arabic. It appears that though they still aren’t available in all industries, these product listing ads are starting to appear for some search queries in certain industries. The page real estate that these product listing ads takes up in Arabic usually isn’t as much page real estate as you would see taken up in English search results. This is likely because fewer products are competing for the space, so fewer are shown. In 2020 we are seeing that the use of the words “for sale” in the Arabic keyword often contributes to product listing ads appearing.

See the snapshot below for the mobile phone industry in Arabic. You can clearly see product listing ads showing up in the search results in Arabic for this search term. Note, we also used the words “for sale” in this search as well. PLA ads in Arabic are likely to be very effective because of the limited competition. As you can see in the picture below, just one company is taking up all 5 PLA ad slots. In competitive markets like the United States, you will typically see all ad spots for PLA ads taken up by different competitors.


product listing ads 2019 arabic



Arabic PPC in 2020

With big ecommerce brands like Amazon investing more heavily in the region we should see more competition in Google’s paid results through out 2020. Increases in the cost per click will undoubtedly be the result as we’ve seen in previous years as more companies see the opportunity to make a good return on investment from Google advertising in the Arab world . As competition in the region increases on Google, strategy will become more important since seeing the opportunities in the midst of the competition will require working with experts that have experience running ads throughout the region.

May 2020 Update

Due to global economic changes around the world as a result of the Covid-19 situation new opportunities have opened up with PPC. One thing many in the marketing industry are noticing is low cost per click ad costs as some companies have cut their advertising. Combined this with the fact that many consumers are now have a preference for online shopping and are spending more time online. Currently, we’ve found that industries relating to health and fitness are booming in the midst situation in the region. Health food products and supplements that Arabs would normally buy at a store are being bought online. eCommerce companies in many niches may find this is an opportune time to attract Arab customers with targeted Google ads. Since Google Ads runs the advertisements on Youtube, now is also an opportune time to get low cost per view ads in the region as Arabs are spending more time on YouTube than ever before.



Is Arab focused PPC Right for Your Business?

Paid search marketing in the Arab world can be extremely lucrative for companies in a variety of industries but it definitely isn’t for everyone.

Here are some questions we consider to determine if paid search ads will work well for each industry we deal with.

  • Is there significant search volume for keywords related to your products or services in Arabic?
  • Does it appear from the search results that the searchers’ intent matches what you are offering?
  • Will the cost of running a successful advertising campaign be within your marketing budget for the region?
  • Have we worked with a company in a similar industry that would give us insights into how successful we could be with your campaigns?


What you can expect from working with IstiZada


Arab Obsessed

We’re IstiZada, we’re obsessed with the Arab World. We’re a team of marketers hyper-focused measurable online marketing across the Middle East. You benefit from insights gained from working across many websites and industries targeting the Arab world.


Conversion Focused

Conversions are the most important metric from our standpoint. If our advertising isn’t driving sales, leads, or some other type of conversion, we aren’t getting you the results you are looking for. Traffic, impressions, clicks, and other metrics are useful in many cases but they aren’t indicators of a successful campaign. Proving our value to you with conversions is an essential part of the campaigns we run.


Arabic & English

We run both Arabic and English ad campaigns across the Arab World. Yes, to get the most reach and to have the most success we recommend using a combination of both Arabic and English ads. IstiZada has both native Arabic speakers and native English speakers on our team so we can target and tailor ad messaging accurately and effectively for each language.

Complete PPC Transparency

When it comes to pay per click advertising we provide clients with complete transparency into their account and campaigns with us. This means that our reports include metrics like clicks, avg. cost per click, click thru rate, total impressions, and most importantly the number of conversions. To add to this if for any reason you want to leave we will give the account over to you with all the appropriate access so you can run it.


Dedicated Project Manager

Each client we take on has their own dedicated project manager who will lead the strategy for your account. This same project manager will remain with you throughout your campaigns with IstiZada. Each project manager takes a keen interest in the accounts they take on and their individual success is closely tied to the success of your campaigns. Our clients like that we have project managers who not only help them with the services they signed up with us for but also advise them on various other ways to increase their marketing success to drive more revenue for their companies.


Ad copy – Ad copy – Ad copy

Even before the invention of digital advertising, marketers as earlier as Claude C. Hopkins discovered that small changes in ad messaging could make a huge impact on how successful those ads were. In light of this, testing different ad copy with different audiences is important to getting the most success from your online campaigns today.

We’ve come across many companies that have been running Adwords ads that were just translated from English by a translator that had no clue of which words in Arabic would be the most effective to use. In an effort to save money, these companies end up losing much more money because they waste money running ads with words that fail to compel their audience to action. Having well written Arabic ad copy that uses action evoking words is just as essential as well written English ad copy. Effective Arabic Google Ads management makes use of the best ad copy to drive results.


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Jordan Boshers

Jordan Boshers is the Chief Digital Strategist at IstiZada, a digital agency that helps companies market to Arabs. He has 10+ years of experience running successful digital marketing campaigns in the Arab world. His insights into Arabic SEO helped him grow previously unknown websites to dominate Arabic niches on Google including growing one site from 0 to more than 1 million users monthly. Jordan has consulted for hundreds of companies including helping corporations like Amazon, Berlitz, and Exxon Mobil with their Arabic digital marketing. Learn more here or on LinkedIn.