Naver is one of the most used search engine platforms in South Korea, with more than 90% of people using the platform at least once a week. If you are looking for a platform to boost your digital marketing efforts in South Korea, then Naver is your best option. In this article, we explore Naver and share tips on how business owners can use it to tap into the South Korean market.
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Google is the default search engine platform in many parts of the world. But it isn’t the same in Korea. Naver is the Google of South Korea, accounting for more than 58.25% of web searches in the country.1
Naver is a South Korean platform originally built by an ex-team of Samsung employees in 1999 but now owned by Next Human Network (NHN). As of 2020, Naver handled 58.25% of all web searches in South Korea and had over 42 million users enrolled and 28 million daily visitors.1 In 2021, Naver served 56% of Korean active monthly users, and more than 25 million people in the country had the platform on the start page of their default browser.2 Meanwhile, only 34% of Korean online users search for information using Google.2
Naver has grown so much in popularity over the years and has expanded its offerings beyond being just a search engine. This search engine now doubles as live commerce, video commerce, price comparison, and e-commerce platform. Never also accommodates various features such as Webtoons, Messenger LINE, Dictionary, Blog, and Mails, further strengthening its position as a top search engine. This platform is also the world’s first comprehensive search engine as it compiles search results from different categories and presents them on one page.
In South Korea, Naver controls the Search Engine market with about 70% of the market share, followed by Google with 23% and Daum with 7%.2 Also, Naver made $2.3 billion (2.8 trillion won) from advertising in 20203, and according to Forbes, the company’s market cap as of May 2022 is $36.1B.4
If you want to build a presence in Korea, setting up a Naver account is one of the first things to do.
Naver Search Engine is essential for anyone who has a business in Korea or wants to enter the South Korean market. Like Google, Naver offers organic results, paid ads, shopping products, and other forms of search engine marketing. Some of the benefits you’ll get from using Naver as a business owner are:
Digital marketing has become one of the most popular forms of advertising a business in every part of the world, including Korea. Meanwhile, an essential digital marketing tip is targeting platforms people use the most. In Korea, Naver is people's go-to platform to search for tips, new business, products, and so on. Therefore, Naver is an excellent choice to increase brand awareness.
If you intend to expand your business into the South Korean market, Naver is your best bet. Naver makes it easy to target the audience you want (i.e., South Koreans) instead of targeting a broader market. Your ads will appear right in front of your target audience and help you filter out people too far from the location.
Naver allows business owners to measure and analyze their website and ad performance. You can evaluate the performance of your ads and identify strategies to improve in the future.
Naver offers more than just search engine capabilities. Many people use this platform for news surfing, online shopping, social interaction, etc. This makes it perfect for anyone trying to enter or navigate the South Korean market.
Whether you are a local or global seller, Naver offers various functions and features that can help your business grow. Naver accepts foreign business registrations on the website, so you don’t need to worry about being a global seller. Some of the ways to grow your business on Naver include:
Naver Blog is a feature of the Naver platform that lets users share and discover information just like a blog. You can also use the Naver blog’s public page to provide comprehensive information about your business, like your brand story, products, services, and more.
Using the blog is important because it improves your business's overall ranking in Naver's blended search results. Your content and blog posts will show up on search results when a customer enters a query that contains a related keyword. You can share educational content, behind-the-scenes stories, and Q&A sessions on the Naver blog. In addition, Naver offers different designs and layout options to customize your blog to suit your brand imaging.
Naver has a built-in translation tool that makes it easy for websites in other languages to translate into Korean. Translating is quite important because Naver is built around the Korean language. If you have your content in English or another language, you won’t be able to reach local customers.
Like Google, the Naver search engine prefers SEO-friendly websites. So, if you want your website to feature on Naver, you must follow the engine’s guidelines for SEO. Some tips include:
Naver Advertising services help small and medium-sized businesses reach new customers through keyword phrases and user interests. There are different options for advertising, including paid ads to promote your products and Power Content ads to let your website/blog posts rank higher.
Naver offers various services and features to assist small business owners in growing their brands. Some of the features include:
Naver offers a payment portal to help customers make purchases and ensure business owners receive money.
Naver Smart Store works just like an e-commerce platform and allows businesses to set up their easy online stores. You can list your products, promote them and do transactions on the platform.
This feature is useful for business owners with a physical store to add information like the location, working hours, contact details, photos, etc. This will increase your business visibility on local search results.
Knowledge iN is a Q&A platform that allows users to ask questions and receive answers from others.
Naver has an online blog that business owners can use to reach out to their customers through original and relatable content. If you are considering tapping into the Korean market, the first step is to set up your Naver blog.
Naver Tok Tok is a real-time communication platform to interact with your customers, gather feedback, and address inquiries. This chat service is available on mobile and desktop.
If you want to create a mobile website for your business, Naver modoo is the tool! You can also add the website to the Naver search engine to increase visibility and sales.
Naver Analytics works like Google Analytics and helps you analyze your website performance. You get to understand your traffic better, including their demographics, where they are coming from, and how they interact with your website.
Setting up a Naver account is just one phase of reaching your audience on Korea's biggest search engine. The other phase is implementing valuable strategies to help your business stand out. Here are some tips to improve your business on Naver:
The best way to reach your audience is by producing Korean content, the only available language. If you want to make your content appealing to local consumers, then you need your website in the Korean language. You can use the Naver translation tool to translate your website into Korean. Another option is to hire a team of translators with deep knowledge of the Korean language and culture
As mentioned earlier, Naver offers various services and features like encyclopedias, maps, news, blog, etc. Signing up for these different services is a great way to expose yourself to a larger audience. So post regularly on the Naver blog and at the same time on the cafes, the Knowledge IN, and other categories. Also, post different types of content like pictures, videos, news, Q&As, etc.
Blog posts are very effective marketing materials on Naver, and pushing out great content consistently will help you reach more customers. One of the ways to establish yourself as a thought leader is by creating great content related to your brand. Also, remember to do keyword research to push you forward on search results.
Implementing Naver SEO strategies will help people discover your content and brand easily. First, you must understand that Naver SEO differs slightly from Google’s. For example, Naver has different algorithms for different categories of content. This means the SEO strategies you use to promote blog content will differ from those used for news. You can use Naver Encyclopedia to understand how SEO works on the platform. However, some basic SEO guidelines include:
Beyond SEO and great content, Naver advertising remains one of the best tips to reach a wider audience. There are different options of paid advertising on Naver, and some of the most popular options are:
This type of ad charges per the no of clicks it gets. You won't need to pay if no one clicks on the ad.
This type of ad appears on search results and shows above organic content. Naver PPC advertising targets specific keywords/phrases customers likely search for when looking for products or services similar to what you offer.
Brand search engine ad involves building a micro website right into the search engine. Business owners can provide detailed information about their business on this micro-website and even embed images or videos. This ad helps increase brand visibility and enjoy higher click-through rates.
Cogent Network advertisement involves placing ads on content partners so that it appears on other websites and platforms.
*There is no one-size-fits-all, so the best approach is to combine all forms of ads.
Naver works like social media, so building a presence on the platform isn’t enough if you don’t engage with people. No matter your industry, you must engage and interact with your audience to build a loyal community. Naver Café is a great place to start interacting with other people.
Naver is not as popular or advanced as Google, but it succeeds as one of Korea's most used search engines. If you want to penetrate the South Korean market, Naver is a powerful search engine you can use to increase your visibility. This search engine also offers a lot of tools and features to help you improve your performance online.
Alibaba.com is another excellent platform for business owners who want to sell to a global audience. This e-commerce platform lets business owners set up a customized storefront, post their products, and reach a wide audience. To get started on Alibaba.com, open a seller account and take advantage of the tools the global marketplace has to offer.