Kuwait SEO Guide
Kuwait SEO is both similar and unique to SEO in other countries in the the Arab World. In this guide we will discuss many of the factors that can help a website rank well in Kuwait and in many cases the rest of the Arab world. If you are looking to get help with SEO in Kuwait or if you just want to get more traffic from wealthy Kuwaitis to your website this guide should be helpful.
Why you want to rank on Google in Kuwait
Kuwait is part of the wealthy group of Arab countries call the GCC. In our experience it is the 3rd most important country in the gulf for a few reasons, but the most important reason is its GDP per capita which is about $33,500 and it has no personal income tax. This makes it so the discretionary income of the average Kuwait is large. This is higher than Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Oman. It also has the 4th largest population in the GCC with just over 4.1 million people. Finally, because the country is so small, many physical retailers can’t carry as wide a selection of products as retailers in large countries can carry. This means that Kuwaiti’s often go online to find products that local retailers couldn’t afford to keep in stock. Ranking on Google in Kuwait will help you attract these Kuwaiti customers seeking more options.
How Kuwait is different from other Arab countries online
A few things make Kuwait different than other Gulf countries.
- It’s basically one big city
- It’s not a big tourist destination
- Its more isolated than the other GCC countries
- Bigger multinational ecommerce companies typically don’t have a local presence in Kuwait.
- Due to a lack of variety in the local market Kuwaitis are used to buying online more than other countries in the region.
Keys to ranking in Kuwait
The Arabic Language
The Arabic language is essential to your SEO efforts in Kuwait. Kuwaitis are Arabs and their first language is Arabic so marketing to them with Arabic pages on an Arabic website is going to be most effective. Like in many other Arab countries this is likely the most important factor for increasing your traffic from Kuwait. In general there are far fewer websites in the Arabic language so the competition on Google is far less than in English.
Despite the importance of Arabic, many Kuwaitis are schooled in English and prefer to use English online so optimizing for English keywords is important too. About one third of the residents in Kuwait are foreign workers so your plan to reach them in English will be important to your SEO as well.
Link building to rank in Kuwait
Unlike other countries around the world getting local links from Kuwait doesn’t seem to be a huge ranking factor in Kuwait. We think this is because of the small number of Kuwait based websites in general. We find that getting regional links from other Middle East countries can help you rank better and in tests we’ve found that international links from outside the region are usually effective if the links are attracted naturally.
In general we find that .com’s and other non-local specific domains can perform well in Kuwait. However, if you have a multi-domain presence and you are seeking to have a strong presence in Kuwait it can make sense to buy a .com.kw domain. Buying a Kuwaiti domain extension requires using a trustee service and that the company has a trademark registered. It is also more time consuming and costly than buying a .com so in most cases its not worth the effort unless you have a physical presence in Kuwait.
Up until recently regional hosting options in the GCC weren’t available for smaller websites so for most websites we would recommend hosting your website in Europe if you are targeting Kuwait. However, recently Amazon AWS started offering hosting in Bahrain and Alibaba now offers hosting in the UAE. Both companies’ server locations are close to Kuwait so for larger websites doing a lot of business in the region it can make sense to host in the GCC.
Local SEO in Kuwait
If you have a physical presence in Kuwait setting up a Google My Business profile to show up in the local search results pack can make sense. If you don’t have a physical presence in Kuwait but you see many of the keywords you want to target have local map results that show up in Google you can invest in setting up a virtual office address through serviced office companies like Regus and then set up a Google My Business account with that address. That said for many types of online businesses it isn’t worth the effort to do this.
Geo-targeting parts of Kuwait
Kuwait is a small country with basically one big city with a lot of urban sprawl so geo-targeting for SEO purposes won’t be as effective as it is in large countries with many cities. That said you can geo-target by the districts within Kuwait in some cases.
Some Kuwait City’s Districts you may consider targeting include:
- Al Farwaniyah
- Al Jahra
- Al Ahmadi
- Mubarak Al-Kabeer
Two of the wealthy suburbs of Kuwait City include
1- Residential Shuwaikh
2- Abdullah Alsalem’s Suburb
If you’d like help with your SEO in Kuwait in Arabic and English contact us to learn more about our services.