Arabic Google Ads: How To Improve The Audience Engagement With Ads

Google Ads in Arabic language is considered one of the main digital marketing channels to reach the Arabic audience. Eventually, setting up the Google Ads in Arabic requires key essential practices to make sure you are not burning through your money without reaching your targeted consumer segment.

Starting with proper planning and effective paid ads strategy will help in setting up the Google Ads account effectively. Therefore, I will provide the main top practices to increase your engagement rate!

Firstly and foremost, what I will explain next focuses on Arabic SEM related tactics and I will not talk about the generic ones. Many others have already trod this path before.

1. Think Arabic When It Comes To Your AdCopy

It is the first time the user lays eyes on your brand. Believe me, you do not want to send a first wrong message. The Arabic language is not easy, so Google translate will not really help you to craft a good Google ad. You will need a human to help you generate an authentic message through your ad copy so that you will deliver the right message and boost the engagement rates with your audience. Let’s have a look at one example below:

Below are two ads triggered when you search for the keyword “Book a flight” in Arabic. As an Arabic native speaker, I can clearly see that the first ad is written by someone who understands Arabic well while the second sounds really like a machine translation. Even though it is still Arabic, the second ad lacks coherence and it is full of ambiguity. It totally gives me a wrong impression about the brand, also I do not know what I should expect to see on the landing page if I decide to click on the ad. So, if you want the right audience to click your search ads, make sure that you write an ad copy that is clear, coherent, and can define your own brand.

Google Ads in Arabic

2. How to Optimize The Arabic Keywords Match Type?

No matter what match type strategy are you following, whether it is Exact, Phrase, or BMM Match type. You need to pay extra attention to the fact that due to the Arabic language complexity, the same Arabic keyword can have several prefixes or/and suffix attached to it, the thing that can change the meaning of the word but Google Ads will consider it just one word. For instance:

The keyword “تصليح جوال” which means “repair my mobile” can have multiple versions as follows:

تصليح جوالي , تصليح الجوال , تصليح الجولات , تصليح جواله

Those four terms might look the same but they slightly have different meaning and you cannot be really sure how the close variants of Google Ads will work in your Arabic keywords. So, my advice is to keep testing different match types for the same keywords and keep a close eye on the search term report to add/remove keywords as needed until you reach the best version and match type of your target keywords

3- How To Optimze The Negative Keywords List?

I have an example here of some Arabic ads triggered by the “Booking Private flight” search query in Arabic.

Arabic negative keywords

First ad translation:

  • Booking a private flight. Get quotations now
  • we promise you the highest standard of luxury, privacy, and safety………………………..etc.

Second ad translation:

  • Flights to Cairo, book flights for Egyptians.
  • Book now return flights to Egypt……… etc

What happened here is that I was searching for a private flight and two ads were triggered, the first one is offering the exact service I am really looking for but the second ad is actually not offering PRIVATE flights but just normal public flights. The issue here is that the word “Private” in Arabic should have been added to the negative keywords list in the second ad so that it will prevent their ads from triggering when a user searches for a private flight. This explains why a strong negative Arabic keywords list can save the day and hence save your money too. Thus, make sure to conduct solid Arabic keywords research that taps into all possible negative keywords.

4- Localize The Arabic Ads Efficiently

This might really sound straightforward ! You are now probably saying, “Yeah, I know I have to localize my Google ads into the target language”. This is not that simple though because Arabic language is spoken by 22 different countries and each country has its own version of Arabic and as a result each Arabic country has a its own unique way to search online in Google. For instance the word “Car” in Arabic can be searched online differently based on what Arabic country you are from;

  • Users from Egypt will use the word: عربية
  • Users from Saudi Arabia will use the word: سيارة

Because of those differences, you need to treat the AdCopy, keywords in Arabic localization a bit differently. So, what you can do here is to either use standard Arabic which is common and widely understood between all Arabic counties and this will be a good solution or really learn the differences between the same word or term in the specific Arabic country and this will be a better solution.

5- Why Your Arabic Keyword Research Went Really Wrong?

I have worked on dozens of Arabic Google ads accounts and the most common thing between them is lots of irrelevant keywords and the conclusion I came to is that all keywords research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush and etc do not really work efficiently when it comes to the Arabic language. I have no clue why, but they sometimes really screw the keyword research. You would see inaccurate numbers about the search volumes as well as those tools will be missing lots of local potential keywords.

This will result in building irrelevant keywords in your account, leading to less engagement from your right audience. My recommendation here is to add one more step after using the keywords research tool which is to conduct manual keyword research to capture the real keywords that your target audience would engage with. This will help you to bridge the gap between automated keywords research and relevant target keywords.

Mastering the Arabic Google Ads

While the paid search and display is considered as one of the most effective tactics in reaching the Middle East customers, there is still a gap in the market when it comes to localization of the campaigns. Eventually, Google Ads doesn’t provide specific guidelines for the Arabic Ads and the performance teams and paid search specialists would need to expand their efforts by sharing the experience. Accordingly, this article discussed some of the main practices that could help in managing the Arabic Google Ads.

Hopefully, this helped you understand the uniqueness of the Arabic language when it comes to Google ads and PPC & SEM in general. Stay tuned! Many more tips on how to manage and optimize your Arabic Google Ads campaign are on the way.

The Art of Arabic PPC Management

The Arabic language becoming the 4th language on the Internet and the need for targeting the Arabic consumer is rapidly increasing. Marketers always believe that launching a paid search campaign is one of the most effective ways to generate online sales in as little as few days. Yet, the Arabic PPC management is technically not an easy task and could be sometimes very tricky.

To localize your search engine advertising campaigns, you will need to understand many factors such as the difference between Arabic slangs and popular keywords for each country, landing pages optimization for campaigns and Arabic copywriting for the ads.

How to Manage the Arabic Search Engine Advertising

There are several important tips and variables to consider before targeting the Middle East markets with Arabic search engine advertising campaign such as Google AdWords.

Outsource or In-house?

The first question that might get you confused; what is best option to run a campaign, professional agency or in-house? To answer this question, I have to declare some terrifying facts about this business.

  • I have seen some of the advertising agencies managing campaigns for two or three competitors and not telling about it. There is a conflict in this situation and it is not secure to share data with the agency.
  • Some of the clients don’t have KPIs and they don’t really screen the service provider carefully.
  • In-house teams are not having enough expertise with PPC practices or sometimes they are expats with no in-country experiences.
  • There are numerous PPC advertisers in the market and some of them claim to offer the best services, but not all of them live up to their own promises.

Practically, there is no ideal choice for this situation. My best advice for you is: Get involved! Don’t just hire an agency without understating the market or the results. Your marketing team should be involved in the process of keywords research, target segmentation and even the Ads copywriting. And most importantly, set your KPIs and ROI properly based on your research.

Study the Local Competition

It is no secret that the competition in Arabic AdWords is not highly competitive in many sectors. There is an open opportunity for businesses. The most competitive firms are limited to real estate, hotels, automotive, e-commerce, and electronics while there is no real competition in other firms. The good news about this, that with a small budget you can drive successful results in the local market. However, studying the local market might lead you to drop PPC and go with another approach. Based on the results you can determine even if you need an Arabic paid search or not. I had a B2B company tried Arabic PPC for a while but when I recommended an English campaign targeting the region, they were able to generate 300% increase in the leads. My recommendation was based on the market research that indicated English as the favorite language for business in the Middle East.

Arabic Keywords Research

The Arabic language has almost three times more words than English. The Arabic keywords may sometimes have multiple meanings which generate a major challenge for keywords and relevancy. Another problem with using the Arabic language online is that different regions within the Arab World use different words to explain the same thing. This might be tricky in finding and retrieving relevant keywords that help to target your consumer. For example, for the term “properties” could be “عقارات”, “منازل”, “مساكن” or “بيوت”. Each Arabic market is different; KSA is not using the same Arabic keywords like Egypt. Based on local search volume, consumer behavior, and market nature you have to determine which keyword would benefit your campaign.

Set the Right Settings

Don’t target the whole region as one big chunk. After you study the market and conduct a solid keywords research you will need to set different settings and bidding strategy for each country. Devices, Seasonal Occasions, demographics, and budget could be very different for each Arabic market. Pay attention to the local trends in the market and as well the public holidays and traditions. Target your local segmentations effectively with separate personalized campaigns. Make sure you use the extensions and you are ready with local salespeople to engage with customers. Pay attention to Mobile advertising as most of the market users are using mobile internet.

Original, not Translation

If you are translating your keywords and Ads into Arabic, then you are screwed. Trust me, don’t fall for such huge mistake. Remember always that you are paying for each click. Your list of keywords needs an advanced local research in order to generate the right leads. Invest money and time in researching the search volume for the local market and create original Ads with from the scratch.

Surprisingly, most of the Arabic paid Ads I see every day are too generic and trashy. Advertisers repeat the same Ads over and over with few tweaks. As well, some are just providing translated copies that make no sense. The quality of the Ad copy is a major step to win the competition.

Optimize the Landing Pages

Remember what we said about the original content? Now add to that the converting content. Don’t throw your money on clicks that don’t lead to a real action “hint; sale”!

If your Arabic Ads are leading to English landing page, don’t expect the right results. Your landing page is your sales desk, your display window, your sales numbers and your conversion hot spot. Optimize the Arabic SEO for each landing pages you are targeting in order to increase the quality score which would lead to better ranking and more cost-effective bidding.

Each group of Ads and keywords should lead to the relevant landing page with engaging content and call-to-action (CTA). Invest in creating compelling Arabic pages that would add a value and help in converting leads. Empty Arabic pages with just an image of the product and two lines, will not help your campaign. Optimize your landing pages for the Arabic user’s experience and step ahead of the competition. Always measure the pages analytics and the time spent on the page and don’t only rely on the PPC analytics.

Conclusion: Over the years, I have seen a lot of Arabic SEM throwing money on unworthy and irrelevant clicks. Having a budget for search engine marketing doesn’t mean you should simply launch one. There are many misconceptions regarding Arabic search advertising, which you have to fully address. The Middle East markets are very different in the terms of competition level, culture, and consumer behavior.

Get involved and do your homework to achieve successful sales results with your campaign’s budget. Put in mind that at the end of the day, ROI is what you’ll have to show to the investors and stakeholders.