All about running ads on South Korea’s largest search engine — Naver

17 January 2020
Reading: 3 min

All about running ads on South Korea's largest search engine — Naver

Naver is a search engine that accounts for 20% of Korean search traffic. The graph below shows the market share of search engines in South Korea from 2018 to 2019. 

All about running ads on South Korea's largest search engine — Naver

According to Alexa, Naver now ranks second in the ranking of the most popular Korean websites.

All about running ads on South Korea's largest search engine — Naver

Naver is characterized by thematic content sections and search result sorting. Type in any search query and you will get a result page containing news, movie posters, ads, blogs, images, and so on. And all this will be displayed on one page! 

All about running ads on South Korea's largest search engine — Naver

By no means all South Koreans like this user interface, and so many of them are switching to other search engines. In a matter of just a few years, Naver traffic decreased from 70% to 20%, which is rather depressing.

If you happen to run a business that is partially or completely concentrated in South Korea, we strongly recommend you consider using this search engine as a traffic source. If you work with affiliate networks that have Korean offers, then all the more so should you pay special attention to it.

Working with Naver Ads 

Let’s face it, it’s hard to get started on Naver compared to Google. 

At the very minimum, you need to have an incorporated business and a single website domain. At maximum, you will have to be physically present in South Korea (although it is nor obligatory). If you have several products on different domains, then you will have to register each of your domains separately. Or set up an online store on a single domain name. According to our information, many people opt for the latter.

If this seems too complicated to you, then there is a multitude of marketing agencies that can act as intermediaries between the search engine and you. If you want to go that way, then look for intermediaries in South Korea and not elsewhere. This will allow you to avoid yet another chain of intermediaries.

Now, let’s look at the main Naver sales channels: 

  • Brand Search;
  • Power Content;
  • Website Search;
  • Shopping Search;
  • Click Choice Product Ads.

Brand Search

Basically, this is brand advertising. 

On Naver, brand ads are triggered when the brand keyword or keyword that is closely associated with the brand is searched. That is, a car company can only promote its cars and only through keywords that are highly relevant with the cars being sold. So, you won’t be able to promote your products through your competitors’ search queries no matter how hard you want it. 

Besides keyword restrictions, there are also limitations on the number of these keywords: no more than 30 keywords for each ad campaign. 

When running Brand Search campaigns, you can use images in your ads. However, bear in mind that each image will need to pass a manual check, and so you will have to peruse the platform’s rules before sending your ads to moderation.

One more thing. Such ads are paid for in advance, and the prices start from $400 and increase depending on the search traffic volumes. For instance, if you opt for high-frequency queries, the costs will go up, and the exact opposite is true if you use low-frequency ones.

The funny thing is that advertisers continue to buy Naver traffic despite the strict rules. In return, Naver guarantees top ad placements and no competition.

Power Content

Content advertising is designed to promote original content such as blogs, posts, and so on.

Just like other ad types, content ads rely on keyword queries. However, in contrast to brand ads, there are even more restrictions. You can only use keywords that are available in the Naver database. 

Ad prices vary considerably and depend on keyword competition and the number of keywords in an ad campaign. The bids start at ¢6 and can reach up to $88. 

Below, you will find an image showing how the ad content will look like together with an image thumbnail and URL.

All about running ads on South Korea's largest search engine — Naver

We have noticed that this ad type is not particularly popular among advertisers and that it is quite difficult to come across such ads. So, do the math.

Website Search

Search ads are in fact standard ads that are displayed on the search engine result page, blogs, and Naver partner websites.

There are two types of ads: ads at the top and at the bottom of the page. For the sake of clarity, let us draw an example:

All about running ads on South Korea's largest search engine — Naver

Upper ad block

All about running ads on South Korea's largest search engine — Naver

Lower ad block

Ad placement depends on the keyword price. If you pay more, your ads are placed higher. If you pay less, your ads are placed lower.

When it comes to this ad type, it is important you pick up relevant keywords and analyze the existing ones. At that, such ads function similarly to that on Google. All you have to do is set up targeting, pay based on CPC and run tests.

Naver Shopping

Another interesting ad format that is not accessible through a Naver ad account. To leverage this marketing channel, you have to register on the Naver Shopping platform. After that, Naver will start promoting your products placing a link to this platform. 

This is one of the most lucrative sales channels. For instance, in 2017 alone, online sellers working with Naver earned more than $1 trillion.

Here is an example of promoting Titan Gel through Naver Shopping.

All about running ads on South Korea's largest search engine — Naver

This could be your link there, but alas.

Click Choice Product Ads

When it comes to this format, ads are shown in the search sidebar. The key and only element here is an image that must catch the user’s attention and make them want to click on it. This type of advertising is generally used by fashion and beauty companies. It is noteworthy that image keywords are assigned by Naver, while an advertiser can only add negative keywords.

Here is an example of the search result page for the “gowns” query:

All about running ads on South Korea's largest search engine — Naver

Registering on Naver

Now, let’s move on to registering on Naver as an advertiser. The very first thing you should know is that the search engine has strict requirements for opening an ad account. 

Note that you will only be able to place an ad if you have an account registered with a Korean company or you find a Korean citizen who will register it on your behalf. Otherwise, you will have to look for an intermediary.

To open a corporate account, you will need to:

  1. create/have a Korean-language website showcasing your product;
  2. learn more about the platform rules;
  3. have a registration certificate for the Korean branch of your business that includes the physical address and registration number. 

If you are not able to complete the third step, you can use the services of marketing agencies.


If you want to promote your products in South Korea, pay attention to Naver. Yes, it is difficult. Yes, it is time-consuming. But it’s worth it.  

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