It has been said that a business only becomes real once it exists on the Internet. While we wouldn’t necessarily go all-in on such obvious hyperbole, an online presence is definitely important.
However, it’s not enough to simply have a website; people also need to be able to find it. And that’s where search engine optimization (SEO) enters the picture.
SEO is a great tool to improve a website’s position in search engine results for those with a low budget and for whom investing in a complete search engine marketing (SEM) solution isn’t a viable option.
Google is undoubtedly the first search engine people think of when we talk about SEO. However, although it’s the search engine most people use on their desktops or laptops, there are plenty of other options, including Ecosia, an eco-friendly option, and South Korea’s Naver.
Korean Search Engine Market Share in 2020
An effective SEO campaign is specially designed to fit the behavior of the target audience. Using South Korea as an example, InterAd will explore how the main SEO specifications differ around the world.
Digital usage in South Korea is very specific and has some key differences from other countries. While Google stills gets a certain amount of traffic from South Korea, the most popular search engine in the country is Naver, mostly due to its advanced features and ability to better understand the Korean language.
However, SEO seems to be less effective on Naver so the majority of businesses opt for pay-per-click (PPC) marketing instead.
Over the last few years, Google has seen an increase in its market share in the region, most likely due to the ever-increasing popularity of Android smartphones. Investing in SEO for NAVER Mobile and Google is a great way to help a business get ahead of the competition, even when operating on a low marketing budget.
In 2015, the Pew Research Center concluded that South Korea had the world’s highest smartphone ownership rate with every participant in its survey between the ages of 18 and 34 saying that they owned a smartphone. That is why, when designing an SEO campaign for a Korean audience, several search engines should be considered, and mobile users should definitely not be an afterthought.
Each and every search engine will have its own unique specifications. In some cases, SEO would be enough to get a significant return on investment, and in others, it would be better to go for a more complete SEM campaign.
Specialized Digital Marketing
Those designing digital marketing campaigns need to know which search engines their target audience is using and should direct their campaign towards them. Therefore, knowledge of the different search engine algorithms and a multi-platform approach is essential in order to improve a website’s visibility.
Digital marketing is useful for both personal and business websites. Although the website owner can create a digital marketing campaign themselves, it is often worth deferring to a specialized freelancer or firm with experience in this field, especially in the unique scenario presented by regions such as South Korea.
A good digital marketing firm knows how to design the perfect SEO campaign for a specific audience in order to improve a website’s performance across multiple search engines with differing specifications.
Professional expertise is also useful to avoid search engine penalties and help websites recover from them on the rare occasion that they rear their ugly heads. This is a specific process that differs from one search engine to another, and that often requires those filling reconsideration requests to contact the search engineers and managers directly.
South Korea is one of many examples where creating an SEO-friendly website is not as simple as following a single search engine’s guidelines. Instead, it’s necessary to consider the tools that your target audience will be using to access your website and adapt it to perform best in those environments.
This is even more important for international companies that want to reach a worldwide audience as they will need to perform well across a larger number of search engines, each with their own ranking metrics.
Sometimes, is it simply easier and more effective to hire a specialized digital marketing firm with the knowledge and experience to create a solid digital marketing campaign based on a business’ specific circumstances.