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How to succeed with Naver SEO in South Korea

With an internet penetration of 82.5% and a staggering wireless broadband penetration of 99.3%, South Korea is one of the most mature online markets in the world. The country is very active in terms of e-commerce, with the average South Korean internet user spending half an hour every day doing online shopping.

If you want to succeed in targeting users in this lucrative East Asian economy, you need to think local. Naver is the country’s most popular search engine, with a market share of 70%. For this reason, it is Naver – not Google – that should be the focus of your SEO efforts in the country. Doing SEO on Naver is not something you can blindly rush into – there are some very specific and unique techniques that you need to employ in order to succeed and it is these tricks of the trade that I will be sharing with you today.

Naver’s SERP layout

The layout of Naver’s search engine results pages (SERPs) looks very different to what we are used to seeing on other search engines like Google. Naver’s SERPs are split into different sections such as Naver Knowledge, Naver Café, Naver Blog, websites, images, videos, maps and news. (More in-depth analysis of Naver’s products further down this blog post!)

Naver SERP sections

If you fully optimise your website using the following on-page and off-page Naver SEO techniques, it is possible for your website to appear multiple times in these different SERP sections.

On-page SEO tips for Naver

Website submission

In order to appear in Naver’s search results, your website should be submitted to the search engine (https://submit.naver.com). If your website is not submitted to Naver, it is not guaranteed that it will be crawled, indexed and displayed by the search engine. It usually takes two weeks for your website to appear in Naver’s result pages after it has been submitted. The website submission page is written in Korean, but do not worry – if you do not have an in-house native Korean speaker support is available.

Keep it Korean

When you are targeting Korea, it is essential that all your content is in Korean. If it is not, then the language barrier will instantly discourage your audience from reading any further as they may not understand the content and will not think that it is relevant to them. Failing to use Korean on your website will also damage your SEO efforts as a website’s language is a strong indicator to Naver of its geo-target.

Meta data and keyword optimisation

Meta content is added to your website template and is used by Naver’s spiders to help it determine the content of the page and whether it should rank for particular search queries or not. Each webpage should have different meta content, which consists of a title tag, keyword tag and meta description tag. You should optimise your meta data to maximise the chances of your pages ranking for appropriate search terms. However, as Naver – like most search engines – does not like “keyword stuffing”, it is important to avoid over-optimising to ensure that your website is not penalised.

Quality matters

The quality of the content you publish on your site is of critical importance. You should focus on creating high quality, accurate content that is rich, useful and provides users with real benefits. Not only is this essential for user engagement and retention, but Naver does not even index low quality pages.

Other Naver algorithm factors

The following factors are also taken into account by Naver’s ranking algorithm:

  • click-through rate
  • link popularity
  • keyword relevance
  • content freshness

Naver account opening for off-page SEO

Just like Google puts trust in websites that use Google products, such as +1ing and using authorship mark-up, Naver also puts more trust in websites that use Naver products and gives these sites a higher ranking. In order to use these all-important Naver products, such as Naver Blog, Naver Café, and Naver Knowledge, you need to have a Naver Account. The first step of your off-page Naver SEO process should therefore be to open a Naver Account.

Off-page SEO tips for Naver

Naver Café

Naver cafe

Naver Café is a popular social community tool. People can join different Cafés, which usually provide information on a specific topic and encourage members to share ideas, knowledge and opinions within the group.

Having a Naver Café for your brand will allow you to interact with South Korean users, offering a good alternative means of providing customer support, as well as networking with your customers and increasing your brand awareness in the region.

You should keep your account active by posting high quality content and posting new content regularly – many Cafés uses sweepstakes, vouchers and promotions to increase their number of followers. Also, like other search engines, Naver likes “noise”, so you should encourage comments, shares and recommendations.

The more members you have, the better. This is because the popularity of a Café sends a strong signal to Naver about how influential and important a brand is. The most influential Cafés are likely to perform better and rank higher in SERPs, so it is worth investing a substantial amount of time optimising your Naver Café.

Naver Knowledge

Naver Knowledge is a huge interactive question and answer forum similar to Yahoo Answers, where users can ask and answer questions posted by others. Naver Knowledge is extremely popular in South Korea, with over 80 million pages of user-generated questions and answers.

Posting and answering questions on Naver Knowledge is a very good way of engaging directly with your target audience in South Korea by getting involved in discussions they are interested in and helping them solve problems. It also has SEO benefits, as optimising your keywords and including a link to your website can boost your position in Naver’s search rankings.

Naver Blog

Naver blog

A Naver Blog is automatically created when you open a Naver Account. Blogging has become very popular in South Korea in recent years, and should be used as part of your online marketing campaign and Naver SEO efforts.

Posting on your Naver Blog can be an effective way to express your opinion, promote your brand, website, products and services, share information in the region, and connect more effectively with your audience in South Korea. Naver Blog posts should deliver relevant, quality content that is suitable for your audience and naturally earn links and exposure in the process of doing so.

The importance of mobile SEO in South Korea

Mobile is huge in South Korea. The country has the highest smartphone penetration in the world, with the figure approaching 100% among young South Koreans. With mobile search now driving more traffic than PC, it is clear that if you want to succeed in South Korea you need to optimise your website for mobile.

Naver SEO checklist

  • Submit your website to Naver.
  • All content must be in Korean.
  • Optimise your meta data and keywords.
  • Ensure your content is of a high quality.
  • Use Naver Café.
  • Use Naver Knowledge.
  • Use Naver Blog.
  • Optimise your website for mobile.

So, ready to nail Naver SEO?

Optimising your website for South Korea is unlike any other SEO project. Local search engine Naver dominates that market, mobile is more important than anywhere else in the developed world, even the SERPs are laid out differently! But just because it is different does not make it inherently difficult – the tips provided in this article will hopefully you give you a good, solid starting point. Good luck!

I hope this blog post has given you a useful introduction on how to succeed with Naver SEO in South Korea. For more in-depth information and advice, read the full-length guide here. The guide covers:

  • technical SEO tips for Naver
  • content SEO tips for Naver
  • how to leverage the power of Naver platforms and products for SEO
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Elin Box

Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain
Elin is a Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain. She is responsible for Webcertain’s Self-learning platform, producing in-depth guides on a range of international digital marketing topics. She also helps run the Webcertain blog and is the writer of the Webcertain search and social report, an annual report summarising digital marketing best practices in over 50 countries. She is passionate about educating and empowering people to make the best decisions for their business and is proud to help share Webcertain’s wealth of digital marketing knowledge with the world. Elin is from the UK.

32 Responses to How to succeed with Naver SEO in South Korea

  1. seo agency ph says:

    This content about how to succeed with Naver SEO is well-detailed and easy to understand. Thank you for creating a good content!

  2. […] How to succeed with Naver SEO in South Korea Naver SEO: How To Do SEO In South Korea […]

  3. Dan says:

    Hi Elin,

    I have some questions about advertising my website in Korea. Can you get someone to contact me on my email? Thanks

    • Elin Box says:

      Hi Dan,

      Sure, I’ve just passed on your details to the Business Development team so they’ll be in touch with you soon 🙂


  4. Arty says:

    Hello Elin! Thank you for the article, very usefull
    Is it important to host the website in South Korea for Naver SEO?
    I heard that some search engines prioritize local hosts….

    • Elin Box says:

      Hi Arty,

      Thank you, I’m glad you found the article useful! 🙂

      Yes, it’s recommended that you host your website in South Korea. Naver tends to give lower rankings to websites that are hosted outside the country.

      I hope that answers your question!

      We actually offer local hosting in South Korea as a service. You can see more info on this page (it has a form at the bottom if you want to make an enquiry): https://webcertain.com/site/servicesamp/606/Local-hosting-in-South-Korea


  5. Karim D` says:

    Hi Elin,

    I`m building a website, to be translated to Korean, for a Korean audience, I need someone to help me with Naver and drive website traffic, are you able to help me, please email me and we can discuss how, pricing etc.


  6. Alex says:

    Hello Elin,

    the link u provided for registering website requires Korean ph.numb for full registration. Is there any other option for foreign businesses ?

    • Elin Box says:

      Hi Alex,

      Online businesses or businesses located outside South Korea should use this link: http://webmastertool.naver.com/

      There’s further info in the full guide (link at the bottom of the article) which you may find useful too 🙂

      Hope that helps!

      • Alex says:

        Thanks for trying to help, unfortunately the site owner confirmation didn’t work even if I uploaded the file via FTP.
        Not sure why 🙁

  7. Hung Le says:

    Dear Elin,
    I am a local man living in Danang city.We just run our tour called ‘Danang Aodai Ridertour’ with 6 tours operation about Foodie and Sightseeing on the motorbike, in Danang where more and more Korean visit our city.
    Could you help us how to promote our information Korean travellers when they visit Danang city.
    Thanks with regards,
    Hung Le

  8. Jackson says:

    This is just the initial steps of this website. Once it is fully developed and translated into Korean, we want to optimize it on naver. How can you help and what are your prices? Thanks.

  9. Aks Mac says:

    I want to buy textlink ads on the websites of education in Korea. Can you introduce me to seek it anywhere?
    Do not introduce me to some companies or individuals to offer?
    Contact me: email: mac.ictvn@gmail.com – skype: mac.ict
    Thank you very much!

  10. Ryan Smith says:

    Hi Elin,

    I have a website in Korean, targeting a Korean audience. With the exception of your article, I know nothing about Naver SEO. I am trying to fill a class for September 18 so time is of the essence and reaching a large number of people is paramount. If you or someone from your organization could help me with this project, please contact me via email and we can discuss details, pricing and expectations.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.



    • Elin Box says:

      Hi Ryan,

      I’ve passed your details onto the Business Development team so they will be in touch with you soon! 🙂


  11. Tammy Budinski says:

    Thank you for a very informative article! I have been having a hard time finding much SEO information about Naver in English. This was very helpful.

  12. Shaan says:

    Hi there,

    I have a Korean website, in Korean, for a korean audience, I need someone to help me with Naver and drive website traffic, are you able to help me, please email me and we can discuss how, pricing etc.


    • Elin Box says:

      Hi Shaan,

      A member of our team will email you soon 🙂

      • Steve says:

        I’d also like to get some info on SEO help for my two sites, including package pricing.


        • Elin Box says:

          Steve, I’ve passed your details onto the relevant team member, she will be in touch with you soon 🙂

          • Luke says:

            I additionally would like some help with this, if you could forward me some details of someone who does SEO for Asia in general that would be fantastic.

          • Elin Box says:

            Hi Luke, I’ve just passed your email address onto the relevant team member. They should be in touch with you soon 🙂

  13. Steven Wilson says:

    Thanks for the great coverage on this topic. There isn’t a lot of English information out their on Naver SEO, so this article was very much appreciated.

  14. […] From How To Succeed With Naver SEO In South Korea(Multilingual Search) […]

  15. […] From How To Succeed With Naver SEO In South Korea(Multilingual Search) […]

  16. […] From How To Succeed With Naver SEO In South Korea(Multilingual Search) […]

  17. HYUN says:

    Hi! Elin Box!
    Thank for good article.
    BTW, Naver do not adopt Meta data such as meta description and meta keyword. Do title tag only.

    • Hyeong says:

      Naver officially doesn’t adopt meta data like title tags as a ranking factor. But as you know about Naver Shopping or other services, the meta tags like meta keyword and meta description can become also a key factor to rank higher potentially. So, I recommend using all meta tags on Naver is better.

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