Senior SEO Consultant

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Presumably, if you are interested in advertising on Naver, you are at least exploring the option of a global marketing campaign. You may have even started down that path. There are certainly benefits to doing so. For one thing, 96% of the world’s customers live outside of the United States.

In addition to this, if you decide it’s best to diversify your product lines, expanding internationally will help you to build the customer base to support that.

If you have your sights set on advertising in South Korea, you won’t find your way into the hearts and minds of your target audience via Google alone, instead, you’ll have to learn to navigate Naver.

At one point in the not so distant past, the two dominant search engines were Naver and Daum, however, Google has now taken place at the top of the tree.

Depending on where you take data from, some sources claim that Google averages between 75 and 85 percent of the South Korean search engine market, with Naver between 10 and 15 percent, whereas others quote similar statistics but with Google and Naver the other way around. From experience, the only thing that can be certain is that Naver is used – and entering the South Korean market without a search engine optimization strategy for Naver will limit your success.

Keep reading to learn more about building a paid advertising strategy that is ideal for this platform.

Naver Ads & Paid Search

When compared to Google, getting started in Naver is difficult. You must be a licensed business. Search Ad screeners also determine if your business is compatible. If not, you are simply not allowed to create an account. If you own multiple websites, you have to create a separate account for each one.

There are other limitations as well. These include the ability to only use exact match type keywords, lack of control over the daily budget for each of your campaigns, and a one to one relationship between keywords and advertisements that creates a lot of extra work.

Types of Advertising Available on Naver

Ads on Naver can be divided into a few different categories. These include:

  • Brand Search Ads
  • Content Search
  • Website Search Ads
  • Shopping Search

Brand Search Ads

In Naver, brand search ads are triggered by searches that match your brand, or on keywords that have a close association with your brand. Currently, Naver allows you to select a limit of 30 keywords that trigger a brand search ads.  You are guaranteed first positioning on Naver search results for the keywords that you choose. This guarantees that you get the best position in SERP.

These ads can include images. However, this is also where things can become complicated. Naver has established some very detailed rules about these ads and the images you can use. If they don’t meet the established specifications, they won’t run. Here, it is a good idea to confer with someone who is experienced to ensure that you meet all criteria.

Brand search ads are paid for upfront. The fixed fee is between 440 dollars and then increases according to the keyword search volume. Essentially, if you want trend at the top of the list for extremely popular keyword combinations, you are going to pay for that privilege.

Bear in mind that paying for it can be absolutely worthwhile. With brand search ads, you essentially get a miniaturized version of a website right within the advertising block. It looks a bit like this.

Content Ads

Content ads are intended to promote your original content. This includes blogs, and also Naver Post, and Naver Cafe. Like other ads, they are triggered by the search keywords that you select. However, unlike brand search ads, your selection is quite limited. You can only select from a list of keywords that Naver provides to you. Then, for each keyword, you may choose up to the content ads that will be displayed.

In the search results, content ads are located below any relevant web search ads.

Here, the price is determined according to keyword bids. This starts at six cents and goes up to around 88 dollars. Then, there is a COC fee that can go up to 16.70. The total depends on the exact keywords as well as how many you use.

Here’s a good rule of thumb. Consider website search ads to promote websites and landing pages. If you want to promote content, and the visibility factor is important, remember that power content ads have a longer description and a thumbnail image. This makes this a better choice for content promotion.

Below is the image that demonstrates what a power content ad will look like complete with thumbnail image and URL.

Website Search Ads

Website search ads are essentially standard COC ads that appear on SERP, on Naver Blog, Naver cafe, as well as Naver search partner sites. Naver actually has two website search ads.

They are divided into sections on the page. The top is known as power links and the bottom is ‘Biz Sites.’ Where your ad will be positioned depends on your keyword selection, the competitive bids you have placed, and your earned quality score. Here is a visual depicting the way this looks on the user’s screen.

Source: Globalization Partners International

The cost for these ads can very. They depend on bidding, keywords, and the number of targeted keywords you select. These ads allow you to engage in targeted advertising thanks to your ability to choose the search terms you want. Select the right keywords, and you may not have to worry about the competing ads at all.

Shopping Search Ads

These ads cannot be purchased. Instead, Naver takes products that are advertised on its Naver Shopping platform and then places them in search results. These ads cannot be influenced by keyword targeting. Instead, you simply have to have your products registered on Naver shopping with a relevant description. Naver then selects ads for display.

There are other benefits to becoming active on the Naver shopping platform as well. Not only is it another way to open up a paid advertising pathway, but it’s also quite lucrative. In 2017, online sellers using Naver brought in more than 1 trillion dollars.

Getting Registered on Naver

Getting started on Naver is well worth the effort if you want to enter the Korean market. However, it is imperative that you understand that this is absolutely an effort. If you’ve been spoiled by Google’s ease of entry, you might be in for a bit of a shock.

Naver has very strict requirements that must be followed if you want to open an advertising account. To start, you can only advertise on Naver if you have an account registered by a Korean company or if you have a Korean citizen complete the registration on your behalf.

To open up a corporate account, you are going to need the following items:

  1. A website published in Korean.
  2. Contact with valid information.
  3.  registration certificate for the Korean branch of your business. You will need to have a physical address along with the registration number.

If you do not plan on having a physical presence in the country, there is another option. There are local marketing agencies that will register your company for you, and manage your account.  However, this is a complicated undertaking. Essentially, this adds a middleman to the communication process.

Overcoming Language And Communication Challenges

Registering your company on Naver and selecting the advertising options that are best for your company is just the start. You can create the best ads and target them perfectly, but if your content and keywords fall flat, it’s all a waste. It takes more than a simple translation to gain traction in new markets. Here are some services that  you can use if you decide to outsource some or all of your content needs:

  • Some writing companies have a pool of Korean writers to help with content writing needs.
  • Naver has a keyword planner tool similar to the one Google offers on its platform.
  • Check out Naver’s Webmaster Tools as well.

In addition to using tools and resources, you can help yourself immensely by becoming familiar with S. Korean culture. If your advertisements, landing page, and web content reflect that knowledge, they are bound to resonate with your target audience.


There’s simply no way around it. If you want to make an impact on Korean audiences, you have to master Naver. There’s just no other option for online marketing available to you. To accomplish this, you’ll certainly have to overcome some challenges.

The platform is designed to ensure quality by making the registration process challenging. However, if you use the guidelines above and make an effort to understand the Korean business ecosystem, there is no reason you cannot succeed.


Further Reading


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