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Naver SEO – the beginners guide

Over the last year, more and more marketers have begun showing an interest in the opportunities offered by the South Korean market and therefore have begun asking questions about Naver, South Korea’s largest search engine. In this blog we will give you a brief introduction to Naver and how it differs from Google.

Introduction to Naver

Since the launch in 2000 of its “Comprehensive Search” update, Naver’s search results are displayed in groupings of results, similar to Google’s Universal Search, but there are more elements which Naver displays. These can include:

  • Paid
  • Organic
  • Naver Café
  • Naver Encyclopaedia
  • Maps
  • Images
  • Blogs
  • Naver Knowledge IN (Q&A Site)
  • Apps

Boxes also display on the right hand side which show the most popular topics, and topics fed from user groups.

Naver Right Hand Popular Searches Bar

 

These mixed results appear for most searched and mean that it’s more than just organic and paid listings which will get search prominence allowing space for Organic search results to be reduced.

For competitive landscapes you may also find more than one set of listings for Paid Media – the below search is for ‘Online Marketing’ in Korean and shows the results above the fold for this term.

 

Naver Online Marketing Top of Page

It is interesting to note that all of the listed sites with links which were visible above the fold are paid adverts.

This is followed by Naver Knowledge and adverts from the registered websites service. Only then, three scrolls down the page are some organically listed sites – there are only five of these in our search for “Online Marketing”.

Naver Organic Listings

Below this there are web documents which tend to be articles rather than service based sites. The rest of the results page is made up of App listings, maps, blogs and encyclopaedia entries.

Naver is much more of a portal site and activity on other websites is much more important to the search results as the spaces for Organic listings are limited by other results displaying.

Making the most of SERP listings
As there are lots of other services and sites which feed into and influence the search results, there are activities which marketers wanting to get visibility in Naver can undertake that will help them achieve this.

Naver Encyclopaedia
This is like Wikipedia and just as authoritative. Set up a page for your brand as one of your kick off activities.

Knowledge IN
This is fed from a number of sources, including the Encyclopaedia but mainly the Q&A section which is similar to Yahoo! Answers. There are also other services which feed this such as Local Q&A for location based questions, Agony which is an online user generated Agony Aunt and the Naver Dictionary.

Naver blog
When you register with Naver they set up a blog for you.  This is because blogging is really popular in South Korea, hence why blog results feature in the search listings. Blogging on the Naver platform, as well as on your own site can really help to increase visibility. However, as with any blogging platform, don’t start working on a blog in South Korea if you can’t see it through and don’t post things which are not offering users something useful. It’s recommended that blog posting is fully planned into your content calendar and based on both keyword and competitor research in the Korean market.

Naver Café
Naver Café is the Naver social community and is heavily used in South Korea.

Influencers can be connected with and can help your marketing, so as with social media in the West, make sure you are aware of who influences users in your industry.

Building a following (members) can help your visibility. Similar to the blog, don’t set this up and forget about it as that won’t help you. Regular content, particularly competitions will help your performance.

Add unique content which contains keywords as the keywords used in the content, title and headings on your Café page will impact visibility.

Naver Café has lots of categories for content to help you promote your brand.

A note on Facebook
Facebook is also well used in South Korea and Naver reads and pays attention to the Open Graph tags.

Naver SEO Tips
Content is important, make sure it’s unique and in Korean, not English.

Use the social media platforms and ensure your site has Open Graph tags.

Mobile is important in Naver, so make sure your website is mobile friendly.

Naver also favours easy to use websites with fast loading speeds.

Naver doesn’t support the hreflang tag – so use the HTML Content-Language tag in your template.

Ranking factors include:

  • Click through rate
  • Link popularity – and quality!
  • Keyword relevance – content and keywords should match
  • Content freshness and quality
  • Mobile friendliness

This is just a brief intro to Naver, there are more issues which need to be considered as part of your SEO efforts for South Korea.

To find out more about Naver and how Oban International can help you with visibility in South Korea please contact us.

Read more about Naver in our blog ‘Getting started with Naver Paid Search – 10 things you need to know’. We discuss features of the platform you should consider as well as the pitfalls to avoid.