Search more useful than social media tools in UAE

By DG Staff

DUBAI 12 October 2019: UAE businesses continue to attract the majority of consumers to their websites directly or through search, with social media links and click-throughs lower on the scale, according to the latest analytics into website traffic sources released by SEMrush, an all-in-one digital marketing suite.

The research covered desk top devices relating to web traffic of the UAE’s automotive, banking and real estate sectors during the last 12 months. It explored the five main sources of web traffic: search, direct, referral, paid and social. The findings, which highlight how social media platforms’ algorithms increasingly affect consumer conversion, will enable marketers to better target marketers and drive increased traffic to their websites.

SEMrush’s traffic analytics indicated that UAE consumers found their way to automotive dealership websites predominantly by ‘search’, which made up 55.74 per cent of total traffic, followed by direct visits at 16.77 per cent and paid at 14.06 per cent.

The Emirates’ banking sector led the way in terms of direct traffic at 58.71 per cent, with search registering 31.79 per cent and referrals only 8.23 per cent.

While demonstrating the strongest referral traffic at 26.88 per cent, the real estate sector was mainly led by search at 34.99 per cent and direct at 28.37 per cent. Social was the least web traffic source for each sector, measuring less than three per cent in each, and accounting only 0.27 per cent in banking.

“This breakdown of traffic sources is vital for marketers to understand how the online public in the UAE market reach companies’ websites or those of their competitors,” commented Adam Zeidan, MENA Corporate Communications Manager at SEMrush. “By utilising this information, firms in these industries will be be better equipped to draw traffic to their websites and stimulate business growth.”

Internet advertising spend in the MENA region in 2019 is expected to increase by 20 per cent last year-on-year to reach more than USD5 billion, according to eMarketer. Continuing its growth, regional spend on digital ads is expected to reach 28 per cent of total ad dollars spent by 2022, with the lion’s share of digital ad spend forecasted to be search related. In addition, desktop computers’ share of web traffic in the UAE is estimated at nearly 40 per cent of total web traffic versus mobile phones and tablets, according to StatCounter.

“Programmatic advertising has been growing throughout the GCC region in recent years due to the growth of largely UAE-based digital advertising agencies. However, many of the opportunities for digital marketing have yet to be realised, despite high levels of regional digital consumption. There is definitely room for businesses to further tap into the Middle East’s digital marketing boom with the latest online digital marketing tools,” added Zeidan.