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Search Korea! How to Use Naver and What It Can Offer Online Marketers

Yi Wu-Blumenschein

Yi Wu-Blumenschein    03/04/2014

Webmarketing International, Liens sponsorisés (SEA), Référencement SEO





An Overview of How to Advertise on Naver, as well as of the Various Aadvantages to Using It in the Korean Market.


One request we get often from our global customers is to run advertising for them in Korea on its Naver search engine.  Unfortunately, this is something that we cannot guarantee, due to the extremely high standards and strict guidelines that Naver imposes on companies wishing to run adverts.


Comparatively, the rules in Korea for search engine advertising are some of the strictest requirements worldwide.  This article will discuss these criteria, the sign-up process, as well as the benefits of going through with the registration and actually using Naver to promote your business and products.



Naver—An Introduction


The most important search engine in Korea is Naver, which draws its name from navigate, meaning to “discover the world.” Its logo is an explorer’s hat—which has been used since 2000.


Naver (Korean: 네이버), was founded in June 1999 and is currently the most used search engine in Korea. Much like Google and Baidu, Naver initially started as a pure search provider, and then developed related products and services. These include blogs, forums, news, Q&A, maps, books, and e-mail. In addition, Naver operates a dedicated portal just for children and young adults called “Junior Naver” (, the online charity portal “Happy Bean” (, and the top online game portal “Hangame” ( All of these different channels, products, and services make Naver incredibly attractive from an online marketing standpoint—especially for a company looking for an entryway into the Korean market.

Still, there are several rules and criteria that must be met before being able to run ads on the search network.



Opening an Account for Foreign Companies

In order to advertise on Naver, it’s important for a company to have a desire to enter the Korean market, but also must have the patience, budget, and personnel in place to manage all of the requirements. Of all the search engines worldwide, Naver has the most stringent requirements in order to open an advertising account (even more so than China). To advertise on Naver, an account can only be registered by a Korean company (subsidiary) or by a local citizen. 

The requirements for opening a corporate account with Naver are the following:


  • Registration certificate of the Korean branch of the company, including the registration number and the company address
  • A website in Korean (that will be advertised)
  • Detailed information of a contact person, including their name, identity card, mobile phone number (to receive SMS verifications and updates)

Alternatively, a Naver account can also be registered by a Korean national, and requires a valid Korean passport and a Korean mobile number.

The other alternative option is to have a local marketing agency registers and then manage the account for a foreign company without a physical presence in Korea. This option will require extensive communication overhead, and should be taken into account when deciding the best option for registering with Naver. The effort and time required is not at all comparable to that of Google, for example.

Naver Advertising Options

Due to its extensive product range, there are several advertising opportunities for businesses on Naver. Many of these are especially suited for B2B companies looking to generate leads and build brand awareness in the Korean market.

The design itself of Naver is quite different from that of Google and Baidu, and other search engine giants. Actually, when a user types in a search query, all results are displayed on a single page under specific categories such as ads, blogs, photos, forums, Q&A, news, etc. Only a very limited number of results per each category are then listed on this initial search page. In order to see more results, the user can click on 더보기 (more). For this reason, search engine optimization (SEO) is mostly ineffective in Naver for Korea. Even a fully-optimized site will never be listed at the organic search. Therefore, only via search engine advertising can a website or company improve its rankings and viewership.


Click Choice—Cost Per Click Advertising Program

Click Choice is an advertising program that is similar to Google AdWords and has the ability to run ads on search and content networks. For the search network, there are two areas for ads—“Power Link” and “Biz Site” (see screenshot below). Rankings here are influenced by the keyword price and the quality of the website. “Power Link” displays rankings from 1-10, whereas “Biz Site” shows rankings from 11-15.





Advertising on the content network is placed both on external websites, on the Naver Blog, and the platform Naver Knowledge.

Click + Choice—for Mobile Networks

This advertising program is designed for mobile devices and contains special features such as click-to-call, website previews, and related images. As of 2013, 73% of Koreans were smartphone users. Therefore, incorporating mobile advertising into your online marketing strategy is essential to be successful in the Korean market. 

Brand Ads—Optimal Branding via Search Engine Results

With Naver Brand Ads, companies can increase their brand awareness. These ads always appear first (ranked #1) in search results. The display consists of a title, description, image/logo, news (w/ direct links), and product images (also w/ direct links). If a search term includes the brand name, then these types of ads are displayed. They are charged on a cost per impression (CPM) model. The minimum required budget for Naver Brand Ads is 500,000 Korean Won (about 350 EUR) per day. Furthermore, campaign duration is between seven and ninety days for these types of ads.





Time Choice

Naver offers another advertising option that is quite unique, called “Time Choice.” Here, ads run for a specific period of time (pre-defined), and then are gone after that time period has been reached.

Special Notes on Account Set-Up & Operations

There are a few important notes to consider when setting up a search advertising account for Naver.

  • A Naver account is only valid for one linked domain. If you would like to runs ads for multiple domains or websites, then each one must have a unique Naver account as its parent.

  • For each keyword, unique ad text must be written and provided. There is no way to create groups of keywords that correspond to the same ad or ads (like the way it is for Ad Groups in Google).

  • It is not possible to add negative (excluding) keywords or criteria.
  • Everything has to be entered manually into the system; there is no equivalent of AdWords Editor which allows automatic and bulk changes.

At effective world, we understand that Naver is an essential tool for online marketing in Korea, but that it can also be difficult for foreign and national companies alike to setup and work with. We have dedicated marketing experts with experience in Korean market who are happy to assist you in setting up an account or managing an online campaign. For more information, please contact us by telephone at +49 621 17893 0 or by email at