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Arabic WordPress SEO

Arabic WordPress SEO Header


This comprehensive guide explains the most important things anyone needs to know for the best Arabic WordPress SEO. Follow these steps to guarantee you are positioning your brand towards success in the Arabworld.


Arabic Speakers and the Internet

Nearly one-fourth of the world’s population is Muslim, but less than 1% of total web content is in Arabic. Data indicates this statistic is rapidly changing as more of the Arab World gains access to high-tech devices and the internet. In fact, rapid connectivity throughout the Middle East and North Africa distinguishes the MENA region as an enticing new customer prospect with 60% of the region now online (shown below in a graph by the World Bank). Developing quality online Arabic content beckons enormous opportunities for many businesses and brands worldwide. Having a dedicated Arabic website could be just what you need to jumpstart a profitable business in MENA.


Middle East & North Africa Graph


WordPress and MultiLingual Usage

WordPress is the world’s most used website builder. An impressive 39% of all global sites are assembled on WordPress by organizations and people like you. These millions of WP users come from nearly every country on earth as they create unique content for their audience in their own language. Accordingly, WordPress has grown to effectively support and assist non-Latin alphabets develop a strong web presence. Arabic is no exception, and actually, some of the world’s most popular Arabic language sites have been constructed on WordPress.


Arabic Themes For WordPress

One of the reasons people like building in WordPress is the access to premade templates for site layout that are offered for free or for purchase. Depending on your budget and desired tools, you will find various themes to choose from. However, there are two crucial considerations when making this decision: does your chosen theme support both Arabic script and right to left (RTL) text alignment? Even if you think you may have found the perfect theme, it will not work unless both these two items are incorporated. Do your research ahead of time by either browsing the options or asking an Arabic WordPress specialist to ensure you will not be wasting your time or your money!


The following are two examples of Arabic themes available for purchase through WordPress:


WordPress RTL CSS

Related to the previous step, you need to ensure each web page within your website all have RTL provisions incorporated directly into the coding. If you have a background in programming or coding, this should be an easy step. However, if you are new to backend coding, we recommend seeking help from a computer engineer with experience in developing RTL sites. Additionally, you should ask about the mobile experience, ensuring that the millions of cellphone fans in the Arab world will be able to enjoy and interact with your content.


Arabic URLs

WordPress is a unique website platform as it allows you to adopt an Arabic URL for your site. People wonder all the time if and how much an Arabic URL helps business. Our data analysis of top sites in the Arab world indicates using Arabic URL rarely causes a massive difference in increasing traffic and interaction with your page. The only exception is if you are focusing on only Arabic speakers in a target market that does not speak English well.


However, there are other steps to best optimize your URL. You need to make sure that your permalink structure has been designed to be clear and reflective of your site topic. There is a feature in WordPress that allows you to manually change the URL’s file path for each page. For your URL creation, we recommend you follow the following formula:

example.com/post-name/ or example.com/category/post-name/. These keywords integrated into the URL should be easy to pronounce and should not sound similar to negative or derogatory Arabic words. Generally, simple English word usage will be more accessible to the broader population.


Create and Post Engaging Content

This should go without saying, but make sure you are writing on topics that people actually care about and want to read! Your pages should be substantial, consisting of the top Arabic keywords you have researched and helpful information. The more people who engage with your site, the more likely you are to rank higher. Use the tag and category sorting effectively to manage content by specific topics and ensure they point the visitor in the right direction. There are also ways to elicit visitor responses and thus impressions through either a comment section or a contact page. Finally, ensure that all your content (both text and images) is culturally respectful and understanding of Islam and Islamic practices.


Manual Translation vs Machine Translation

Arabic is a complex language where individual meaning relies heavily on the context of surrounding words. As a result, using an automated translation tool oftentimes does not accurately convey the intended meaning. This text is confusing or awkward when read by native Arabic speakers. What’s more, there are more than thirty different dialects of Arabic used in the vast landscapes of Northern Syria to Oman to Morocco. If you have identified a target customer base in a specific Muslim city or country, it is imperative to know exactly what phrases and sayings to use to entice visitors to you. Typically, the written Arabic taught in classroom settings is formal, and might not accurately reflect your desired tone. Someone fluent with in-country experience is an ideal candidate. This human translator can help you tell engaging stories and bring your products and services to life.


Translated Content vs SEO Optimized Arabic Content

Similar to the previous one, we also highly recommend finding an Arabic translator with in-depth knowledge and experience of Arabic SEO. To understand the most popular and searched for keywords, you cannot simply find what works in English and translate those terms. Instead, you have to actually conduct the research in Arabic itself. Most Arabic speakers will not know the nuances of getting your website to rank highly.


Hiring an expert SEO knowledgeable Arabic translator is an investment well worth it, particularly if Arabic is not your primary language. You will see the payoff in the long run as your site becomes highly ranked in your industry, thereby attracting eager visitors to your page. Save your energy and money by using content from someone who knows what they are talking about.


Optimized Arabic Titles, Meta Descriptions, and Images

WordPress is fantastic because everything is easily customizable, ensuring you can build the site you have dreamed of. With so much flexibility, you need to ensure you are building SEO into all aspects of your site, particularly in the most prominent places. When conducting a Google search, visitors click on the link that most accurately reflects their interest through a split-second judgment based purely on title names, meta descriptions, or relevance of images. Thus, you have to make sure that these three topics are optimized to immediately grab attention and convert them into actually clicking on your site.


Clear and Navigable User Interface

Creating a fresh new Arabic site or revamping old content is a perfect opportunity to have some creative fun! A quality website, no matter your business or industry, consists of inviting graphics, compelling stories, and straightforward language. Each page should be visually appealing, as well as navigable for any Arabic-speaking visitor. If your page is in both English and Arabic, you need to ensure you have an easily-located button that allows an effortless switch between the languages. If you are selling something, you should have a similar toggle for currency as well. Additionally, as many people in the Middle East only use mobile phones, your site needs to be Arabic mobile friendly. Oftentimes, people forget this step and the Arabic text shows up jumbled or misshapen. A quality, navigable website leads to more people visiting your page, choosing to engage with your content, and then sending it to a friend. These all will help your site rank higher.


If you need help getting your Arabic WordPress site ranking highly in the Arab world, contact us to find out more about how we can help you increase your WordPress SEO Ranking.


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.