Before moving to Dubai, I worked in the UK for several years in the search marketing industry. Dubai was a huge cultural and career shift for me, but it has provided me a lot of opportunities to meet amazing people and develop my SEO expertise.
Dubai’s SEO landscape
The UAE and Dubai have a very dynamic search engine landscape. Content is produced in both English and Arabic for most of the commercial websites, so multilingual optimization is essential for most clients’ SEO strategy. There are several large and smaller sized agencies servicing clients, however, most of these are not specialized in SEO, but rather offer a palette of digital services.
When I came here in 2012, I have noticed that SEO was often not a top priority for brands. Since digital marketing investments were mostly allocated towards PPC and Paid Social, SEO was often in the background. These paid marketing activities show relative quick results and used for short to mid-term advertising campaigns. This has started to shift slowly as clients started recognizing the value in long-term organic search programs.
Dubai’s SEO landscape has proven to be very challenging, but also very educational and full of great learning experiences in the last 6 years I have been here.
My SEO work in the agency
I have started my work here in Dubai by building up a strong SEO team within Omnicom Media Group. My focus was on introducing technology and automation to service clients more effectively. I also trained and mentored my team to become one of the most skillful SEO teams in Dubai.
We have worked across several clients, including McDonald’s, Hyatt, BDF, SONY, Mercedes and Sephora, just to mention a few. The agency setting helped me to get involved with several industries, business models and therefore required us to deploy many different and customized strategies.
Apart from standard SEO, we slowly increased the portfolio of services to include inbound marketing, CRO, and integrated channel optimization for PPC social media and website development.