Google recently commissioned research to understand the online presence and advertising behavior of privately-owned small companies (size of 250 employees or less) in the UAE, KSA and Egypt. The results showed Emirati, Saudi and Egyptian SMBs are missing the economic value of the web. More than two-thirds didn’t even consider having a website and the penetration of SMBs online remains very low. Only 18% of SMBs in the UAE are online, while small businesses in KSA and Egypt register at 15% and 7% respectively.
The research revealed that most SMBs do not find online advertising to be expensive nor complex, they simply don’t understand its benefits. A majority of respondents said they were unsure how being on the web can help them grow their business (92% in UAE, 90% in KSA and 80% in Egypt). In fact more SMBs in the UAE have a social networking page (15%) than a website (5%). Businesses in Egypt and Saudi Arabia said the main reason they have a website is to advertise their company (87%).
Tarek Abdalla, Head of Marketing at Google in MENA tells DIAF about it more in detail:
For information about Google in the Middle East, visit the Google Arabia Blog at http://google-arabia.blogspot.com/