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Sun 10 Nov 2019 10:25 AM

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Social media least effective for boosting web traffic in the UAE, says report

Internet advertising spend in the MENA region in 2019 is expected to reach more than $5 billion

Social media least effective for boosting web traffic in the UAE, says report

Social media is the least effective source for UAE businesses looking to attract consumers to their websites.

According to the latest analytics into website traffic sources by SEMrush, which covered desk top devices relating to web traffic of the UAE’s automotive, banking and real estate sectors over the last 12 months, the majority of visitors are attracted directly or through search to the sites.

The research explored five main sources of web traffic: search, direct, referral, paid and social.

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

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

While demonstrating the strongest referral traffic at 26.88 percent, the real estate sector was mainly led by search at 34.99 percent and direct at 28.37 percent.

Social was the least web traffic source for each sector, measuring less than three percent in each, and accounting only 0.27 percent in banking.

Internet advertising spend in the MENA region in 2019 is expected to increase by 20 percent from last year to reach more than $5 billion, according to eMarketer.

Continuing its growth, regional spend on digital ads is expected to reach 28 percent 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 percent 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,” said Adam Zeidan, MENA corporate communications manager at SEMrush.

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