Updated on:

Saudi Arabia PPC Advertising

If you’ve chosen to do business in the Middle East, you’re probably aware that there are several driving factors making developing businesses in the Gulf region a good choice, especially when it comes to digital advertising. Saudi Arabia is no exception: with a high GDP per capita of over USD $30,000, a large, educated middle class, and almost complete internet network coverage, this Gulf country is at the forefront of the e-commerce boom in the Middle East. As of 2024, Saudi Arabia has a smartphone penetration rate of over 95%, making this country a great choice for an online marketing campaign. Saudi Arabia PPC services are an excellent tool to help you extend your business’s reach, and IstiZada can help you with the cultural and technical knowledge to apply to your advertising in the country.


The Target Market- Demographics of KSA



Saudi Arabia is a dynamic nation with several major cities. The capital city is the central city of Riyadh. Other major cities include Jeddah, Mecca (the place of pilgrimage for Muslims), Medina (another major pilgrimage site), Dammam, Tabuk, and Khobar. The country has a population of over 37 million people which is still growing. Nearly 85% of the population live in urban centers, and around 40% of the people living in Saudi Arabia are foreign nationals (expats). Most of the population is between 20 and 60 with a national median age of 30 years old, and the country is populated by slightly more men than women. That’s a large, middle-aged, tech-savvy population to market too.


What is PPC Advertising?

PPC stands for Pay Per Click advertising. These are advertisements placed on the web, where the company advertising pays a fee for each time the ad is clicked. Companies bid for ad placement in better places with higher traffic.


One of the most popular places to place PPC ads is on search engines such as Google. You’ll see them when you open a search query, advertised as a part of the search results. Because of how these advertisements are placed, they’re designed to get a lot of traffic.


Mobile Ads



Considering the prevalence of Smartphones in Saudi Arabia (holding the third highest smartphone penetration in the world), mobile PPC ads that show up on your phone can be an excellent way of reaching an audience in the country.

Another potential placement for PPC ads is on social media sites, meaning your ad would show up on a social media feed rather than within a search query display window. Considering that over 94% of the Saudi population is active on social media, this could be a strong component of a successful Saudi PPC campaign. Notably, the most popular social media platforms in Saudi Arabia right now are TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat, as the younger demographic tends to favor these over Facebook. However, Facebook still has a very large user base and general influence in society. The ad below is an example of a social media ad from a Riyadh-based company on Facebook.

Social media ad from a Riyadh-based company on Facebook


Display Ads

Beyond mobile ads, display ads, ads that will show up in Google Searches on desktop computers, might be the key to getting conversions for your product or company. If properly curated, these ads are highly targeted and accessible, leading to real customers and growth. Below is an example of a display ad for the Arabic word “Laptop” in Saudi Arabia. As you can see, there is a whole banner of ads that pop up first in the search query result window.

Display ad for the Arabic word “Laptop” in Saudi Arabia


Advantages of Display Ads

  • Reach people in various locations: This enables you to reach a wider audience than simply Google Search users. As it can reach individuals worldwide on Google-owned YouTube or Gmail.
  • Utilize machine learning solutions across targeting, bidding, and formats that can assist your campaign in smoothly delivering the best campaign results.
  • Create campaigns based on your objectives: Build awareness for your company, product, or service to increase revenue, leads, and website traffic.
  • Identifying the audience segments that perform the best and reach your conversion objectives.
  • Bidding that optimizes for conversions or conversion value in each and every bid using machine learning, as It facilitates time savings and performance enhancement.


Is PPC advertising in Saudi Arabia right for you?

There are a couple of factors to consider when thinking about PPC advertising in Saudi Arabia. You should think about where your ads would show up, if those queries are often searched by the demographic in the country, and if there’s enough of your target audience accessing the internet in the region.


After you’ve determined all that, it’s important to consider if PPC advertising is in your budget. When you approach us for a PPC advertising campaign, it might be helpful to see whether we’ve worked with a similar product or company to yours in the region and can have insights into how successful a campaign might be. PPC can also complement your Saudi SEO efforts.

Common Errors in PPC Advertising in Saudi Arabia

It may seem simple, but there are a ton of common errors that come with PPC advertising. A lot of those errors we see come from a lack of cultural or linguistic knowledge, to make effective ads. As you can see in the ad examples above, the Arabic language is key to online marketing in Saudi Arabia. That’s where we come in.


How IstiZada can help with your Saudi ads

Simply put, IstiZada knows the Arab world. You could even call us obsessed! Beyond just fluency in the Arab language, here at IstiZada we have lived and worked in the Arab world, and spent time immersing ourselves in the various cultures and customs of the entire Middle East, Saudi Arabia included. We have the insight that you need to flourish in this area.


Moreover, IstiZada is a conversion-focused agency, so you’ll see actual, tangible results from our campaigns. We set aside a dedicated project manager for each client, that remains with you through the life cycle of your projects, and gets to know you, your team, and your goals.


Finally, with IstiZada you can expect nothing but excellent ad copy. Not only can we tell you where and how to target your ads, but we’ll also make sure that your ads are targeted, appropriate, and engaging to the Saudi Arabian culture. No more lackluster, out-of-context translations- we use the best practice in ad copy in Arabic to drive results. If you are looking for a Saudi Arabia PPC agency, you’ve come to the right place.

Contact us to learn how we can help you reach your goals in the KSA market.

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.