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Search Engine Optimization in Dubai

SEO for Dubai Businesses: How to Increase Your Web Rankings

Connor Peterhans

27th April 2023

Given that over 90% of organic traffic goes to page one – with over half going to the top three organic spots – your position on search engine results pages (SERPs) is inextricably linked to the success of your business.

Before you can think about securing more conversions and sales, you must first appear for profitable keywords that are relevant to your business. Increasing your web rankings for these search terms is what will help increase brand visibility and drive high-quality, targeted traffic to your website.

Notably, however, more and more UAE businesses are investing in search engine optimization, which has led to an increasingly competitive SEO landscape. In order to rank for the right keywords, you will need a well-thought-out SEO strategy.

In this guide to getting ranked in Dubai and throughout the UAE, we will cover the following topics:

  1. What is website ranking?
  2. The importance of website ranking
    1. On-page SEO
    2. Off-page SEO
    3. Technical SEO
    4. Local SEO
    5. Multilingual SEO
  3. Do PPC ads affect organic ranking?

What Is Website Ranking?

When we talk about website rankings, we’re referring to where web pages appear on search engine results pages (SERPs). If you’re a lawyer in Dubai, you may want your web pages to be at the top of Google’s search results when users search for ‘commercial lawyer DIFC’ or ‘corporate law Jumeriah’, for example.

Website rankings change depending on what a user searches for and the location they are searching from, so you’ll want to target a range of keywords that are relevant to your business and aim to secure the top spots on SERPs.

website traffic diagram

How Important Are Website Rankings?

When it comes to generating website traffic, organic website rankings are extremely important. In fact, they’re likely to be the most important factor. If you aren’t ranking highly for relevant keywords, you’ll struggle to drive traffic to your site, which equals fewer conversions and fewer sales. 

Studies show the first result on Google’s search results pages secures an impressive click-through rate (CTR) of 28.5%, with the second and third results achieving CTRs of 15% and 11% respectively. However, the 10th search result on Google’s search results pages receives a CTR of just 2.5%. Drop any lower in the rankings and your CTR (and website traffic) will decrease dramatically.

Of course, however, high website traffic rankings are only beneficial if you are bringing the right sort of traffic onto your website. By targeting keywords that are highly relevant to your business, you can ensure that the traffic you generate consists of users with a ‘high purchasing intent’. In other words, these are users that will be easier to convert into customers. 

For a B2C eCommerce business, ‘buy [insert product] online Dubai’ would be an example of a keyword with high purchasing intent. This phrase is location-specific and includes the product that potential customers are actively looking for.

How Do You Increase Web Rankings in the UAE?

Your web ranking is dictated by search engine algorithms – complex mathematical formulas used by search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to determine the relevance and ranking of web pages in response to a user’s search query.

These algorithms are continually expanding to encompass new elements and ranking factors. While Google doesn’t reveal exactly how its search algorithm operates, it’s widely believed that there are more than 200 ranking factors that affect a web page’s position on search engine results. 

Given that identifying, understanding, and implementing hundreds of ranking factors is quite daunting,  we will take a look at the main types of SEO that impact your website rankings:

  1. On-page SEO
  2. Off-page SEO
  3. Technical SEO
  4. Local SEO

Each type of search engine optimization incorporates a variety of ranking factors. It’s essential to integrate on-page, off-page, technical, and local SEO into a holistic SEO strategy if you want to maximize your online visibility.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO relates to the information and content contained within your web pages. To boost search engine rankings, you need to ensure that your web pages:

  • Support your keyword targeting
  • Meet the requirements of search engines

So, before you can conduct effective on-page SEO, you need to undertake keyword research to identify the search terms you want to target.

Keyword Research

The keywords you target have a considerable impact on the volume and quality of the traffic you generate, so don’t make assumptions when it comes to what users search for. Instead, use professional-grade tools that provide data-driven insights, like SEMrush or Google Keyword Planner

When you’re choosing which keywords to target, remember that they can be segmented into two categories:

  1. Short tail keywords
  2. Long tail keywords

Short tail keywords (e.g. ‘lawyer’ or ‘commercial lawyer’ are broad and fairly vague) but they tend to have a high search volume. Long tail keywords, such as ‘divorce lawyer in Dubai’ are more specific. They may have a lower search volume but, as they are more detailed, users often have a higher purchasing intent when they use long tail keywords to search for online content.

lawyer SEMrush UAE keyword analysis
divorce lawyer in Dubai SEMrush UAE keyword analysis
Meta title and description graphic

Link Structure

Your link structure helps search engines to determine what your web pages are about, which ensures they rank for the right search terms. By linking to both internal pages on your site and external pages on other sites, you can increase web rankings and guide users through your on-page conversion funnels.

Schema Markup

Scheme markup is a form of structured data that makes it easier for search engines to assess your website’s content. As a result, using schema markup on your web pages can improve your rankings and allow you to generate more organic traffic. By using this type of code, you can make your web pages more visible on search engine results pages, but you can also secure more prominent positioning via ‘Featured Snippets’. 

Off-Page SEO

Once you’ve got your on-page SEO covered, it’s time to look at what’s happening outside your own website. Link building is one of the most important elements of off-page SEO and securing high-quality backlinks can be an effective way to increase website rankings.

Backlinks are links that point from one website to another, indicating to search engines that other websites consider your website to be a valuable resource. In other words, search engines interpret backlinks as a vote of confidence or endorsement from other websites.

However, it’s not just about the quantity of backlinks – the quality of them is even more important. High-quality backlinks come from reputable websites that have relevant content and high domain authority.

When websites with high domain authority link to your site, it improves your ‘experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness’ (EEAT) score, which further boosts your website rankings. Links from low-quality websites, such as link farms or spam sites, can actually harm your website’s ranking.

Many people assume that guest posts (and luck!) are the only way to secure backlinks but this isn’t the case. You can increase the number of quality backlinks to your site by:

  • Enticing customers to leave reviews
  • Listing your site on industry-related websites
  • Completing online business profiles
  • Linking from your social media content

In addition to this, online advertising and influencer marketing can also be viable ways to secure backlinks for your website.

Backlinks graphic

Technical SEO

Your website’s technical performance and functionality have a big impact on user experience (UX) and, therefore, is an important component of your web page rankings. Firstly, you’ll want to ensure that your site is both ‘indexable’ and ‘crawlable’.

Indexability & Crawlability

For a web page to be shown on search engine results pages, it needs to be indexed. So, Google needs to be able to discover your web page, crawl it to determine what it’s about, and process it to access key information. 

If your web pages can’t be crawled, this affects their indexability, so it’s vital to ensure that search engines can crawl and index every web page you want to appear on search results. Create a robots.txt file to tell search engines which pages to crawl and which pages to ignore (and be sure to check it regularly!). 

To maximize indexability and crawlability, also be sure to:

  • Use canonical tags to indicate which web page is the ‘main’ version when content is similar or duplicated. Ca
  • Submit a sitemap via Google Search Console
  • Use internal links to guide crawlers to new content 

Once you’ve made sure your web pages can be indexed and crawled, you can move on to other elements of technical SEO that will help to boost your website rankings.

Mobile Functionality

Google says that your website should be ‘mobile-friendly’ if you want to secure high rankings, but what does this really mean? 

Mobile-friendliness simply refers to how well your site functions on mobile devices and what type of user experience (UX) it delivers. 

Websites designed for desktops don’t tend to be user-friendly when they’re accessed via a mobile device, which negatively impacts the UX. With responsive web design or mobile design, however, you can ensure that your web pages deliver an optimal UX on mobile devices. 

The introduction of mobile-first indexing to the Google algorithm means that Google now primarily uses the mobile version of a website’s content to determine its relevance and ranking, rather than the desktop version!

Google mobile friendliness test screenshot

Loading Times

Page loading speed impacts your website’s UX and organic rankings, so take the time to optimize page loading times wherever possible. The probability of bounce increases by 32% as page load time goes from 1 second to 3 seconds, so reducing page loading times is critical to keeping users on your site. 

To keep your page loading speeds as fast as possible, you’ll need to:

  • Compress and optimize images
  • Cache web pages
  • Use redirects sparingly
  • Defer loading for JavaScript and CSS files
  • Remove unnecessary plugins

Website Structure

A straightforward website structure makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site, but it also improves the UX by making your site easy to navigate. Plotting your site’s structure using a map or diagram is the easiest way to identify any issues or complexity. Then, you can adjust the structure to simplify the customer journey, improve crawlability, and boost SERP rankings.

Local SEO

Local SEO is extremely important if you want to target users within a specific area. While some businesses may have a global audience, the vast majority of companies cater to a target audience in a particular town, city, country, or region.

Ranking highly for ‘commercial lawyer’ may mean you generate a high volume of website traffic, for example, but how many of these users are you going to convert into clients? By targeting keywords like ‘commercial lawyer Dubai’ or ‘corporate finance lawyer DFIC’, however, you can generate targeted traffic that consists of users who are actively looking for related products or services.

Out of all the searches on Google, 46% are looking for local information, which highlights just how important local SEO is. When users are searching for a local business, local SEO will ensure your web pages rank highly for their query.

Using geographical qualifiers within your keywords is one way to improve your local SEO performance but there are other factors to consider too, including:

  • Incorporating location pages into your site structure
  • Completing your Google Business Profile
  • Creating location-related content
  • Updating online citations with your location
  • Use consistent formatting for your company’s contact information

Enhancing your company’s profile in your local community can have a direct and positive impact on your commercial performance but it can also improve your web rankings, particularly for local and ‘near me’ searches.

local SEO graphic

Pro Concern: Languages

When targeting customers in Dubai or the UAE more generally, it’s crucial to account for languages in your SEO strategy due to the multicultural and multilingual nature of the population. This means not only translating your website into different languages but also optimizing the content for specific keywords in those languages, particularly Arabic.

Additionally, you should use hreflang tags to indicate the language and regional targeting of your content can also help search engines understand which version of your website to display to users in different regions and languages.

Do PPC Ads Affect Website Rankings?

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising also allows you to appear at the top of search results pages for your target keywords and can, therefore, generate high quality website traffic. Although PPC ads don’t impact your organic rankings, they do provide an alternative way to increase website traffic and brand recognition. 

PPC ads can be displayed instantly following a campaign launch, so they’re an efficient way to secure your position on search results pages while your SEO strategy takes effect. As SEO can take time to deliver maximum results, many businesses choose to use both PPC and SEO as part of a holistic search engine marketing strategy to accelerate their online performance and increase online visibility.

Trafiki Digital: SEO Agency Based in London & Dubai

Improving your website rankings allows you to generate more organic traffic but don’t focus on quantity over quality. It’s important to remember that the type of traffic you drive to your site will affect how many users you convert into clients and customers.

As you can see from this post, there are many elements to consider if you want to increase your web ranking. With multiple businesses vying for the top spots, you’ll need a solid and innovative SEO strategy to achieve your goals and outperform your competitors. Our in-house SEO experts are here to help.

To find out more or to start increasing your website rankings today, contact our experienced team today.

2024-01-22T17:22:02+00:00April 27th, 2023|Blog|

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Website & Content Strategist
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