During the past ten years, due to the situation in Syria and the middle east, the digital landscape was not following with the rest of the world, especially on the SEO side of things, Therefore SEO in Syria holds great opportunities for businesses and SEO’s, most SERP’s – Search Engine Result Page – are wide open, even for highly competitive business niches.
We’ve been recently analyzing the landscape for a client building a website and competing for Cars for Sale, Real estate, Jobs, and other sectors that are no longer available around the globe, due to the fierce competition, advanced optimization, and again domains with tons of links.
Those business sectors are highly competitive in other middle eastern countries and unbeatable in the U.S and Canada since 2010.
It’s also an exceptional habitat for SEO testing, Google has different indexes for each country, so for the TLD .Sy, which is obligatory by the government for any business in Syria – the regulations are hideous – but it carries great opportunities for SEO testing, in an isolated environment! with less ranking factors affecting the search results. it’s still early 2000’s in Syria for SEO.
The SEO and digital marketing sector is combined of Freelancers, SEO Consultants, and SEO Companies. but any SEO entity would need a website, and better be discoverable for search.
We searched for proper SEO in Syria websites, and the results are either directories, or Indian websites ranking in Syria with their .com domains! no searches has triggered local maps or knowledge panels! that should tell a lot about the state of local SEO too.
The client also told us that he searched and posted SEO job postings looking for SEO personnel, but even seasonal digital marketers were asking what is SEO! Digital marketing in Syria is mostly Social Media – Facebook – and offline advertising.
We discussed Arabic Content SEO untapped opportunities in a previous post, give it a read.
It’s worth mentioning that sophisticated SEO’s and other professions has left Syria after the civil war, and there was no demand for digital marketing services in Syria, but the situation is changing and many investment are pouring in Syria, and some websites are winning so it’s definitely worth the risk to invest Digitally in Syria now in 2021.
SEO in Syria Training & Knowledge
Similar to the whole Arabic and international SEO landscape, there are no certificates you can acquire to master Search Engine Optimization practices, Big G will not offer courses for businesses to take advantage of search.
But, there are many great resources available on the internet, unfortunately, Arabic resources are either poor, obsolete, or just wrong! if you cannot learn in English your chances are zero in learning proper SEO, Syrian education was never well-know in English Language, so the gap will keep widening between English SEO’s and Arabic SEO’s, even multiplied when talking about Syrian SEO’s.
But here is the bright side, SEO and the internet are open sources, individuals can achieve a lot with internet access and dedication to learn, unlearn, and relearn again, and the SEO competition is fair for all, if you know few SEO practices, it’s more than enough to rank and drive traffic in Syria for Local Search Queries.
No Google Ads in Search! it's all SEO in Syria
SEO’s aim for Search Results that has no Ads running in the SERP’s, organic conversion always converts better, but imagine taking 1st position with no ads on top of your website! that’s the current situation in all local search quires in Syria!
Due to country restrictions, Google cannot run ads in Syria! so if your website answers the searcher’s intent you can even aim for featured snippets or position zero! now you need to implement the right structured data and relevant Schema Markup so your webpage would be considered for snippets! statistically only 15% of queries triggers a snippet, but if there is an Ad running then priority goes to the Ad, that’s an SEO theory we are currently experimenting in Damascus, will keep you posted on this testing in upcoming posts.
Also, it’s worth mentioning, Ad-sense in not available in Syria also, but on the bright side of monetization, that means publishers can charge more from their client directly, CPM rates are around 20USD, while if the advertiser had the option to publish on the same site via Google Ads, for less than 2USD CPM, those rates were long gone from the Middle East region since 2014! but in Syria it’s the only way to monetize your website from local advertisement.
It also pays well when a Syrian witha European IP address visits a local website and engage with it, with more than 10 Million Syrians living abroad, but making searches locally in Syria, like cars and properties for Sale in Damascus.
After investigating some business niches in Syria, we were amazed that facebook pages, and low authority websites, are ranking for queries that require a high E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, Trust) Score, for example when searching for card dealers in Damascus, websites with authority of under 10 are dominating the SERPs!
For such competitive niches that has high search volume and high price ticket in Europe, you would need a DA of 50 to be considered in the competition, which takes years of tiered link building to achieve, in Syria on the other hand, it’s enough to acquire hundreds of links, of few good ones, to prove authority and trust worthiness, and increase your over all ranking ability locally in Syria.
You can rank Arabic SEO without links generally, and it’s much easier ranking in Syria, check out our previous post on Ranking without links:
Despite the low demand on products and services in Syria, SEO in Syria cost to benefit proofs to be a very effective way to drive more sales and leads to your local businesses.
A quick look on Google maps in Damascus will show that most businesses are colored grey, which means it’s not verified! this carries huge opportunities for lead generation businesses like Doctors, Medical Practitioners, Locksmiths, Cleaning Services, Auto-Repair, lawyers, and many more.
Our methodology to rank locally is that we always ask the client to search the maps, if half of the winners have a website, then we must create one.
In Syria, you can rank a Google My Business listing without even having a website or even reviews, what would take us months to accomplish in other Middle Eastern capitals, can be achieved in Damascus in a couple of days! let that sink in for a minute.
We believe SEO in Syria has great potential, feel free to connect with our team