International paid search and PPC
Launching an international paid search campaign is quite a good way to quickly build a digital presence in a foreign country. Through multilingual pay-per-click campaigns, advertisers can efficiently and effectively reach an international audience online.
The web offers great opportunities to break into new foreign markets. However, multilingual SEO can be slow to bring results. With an international PPC campaign, advertisers bid on keywords relevant to their business – generally speaking, the better the quality of the ad, and higher the bid, the higher the position in the search results – and their ad will appear when a visitor performs a search with one the keywords that have bid on. Usually, the advertiser only pays when a visitor actually clicks on the ad.
When launching a global PPC campaign, on Google Adwords or any other platform, we need to be aware there is much more factors to take into account than culture and language. For an international pay per click campaign, we focus on these best practices:
- Multilingual Keyword Research At Openvalley, we don’t just translate the keywords of your other campaigns. In most cases, keywords or phrases can have multiple meanings when translated in another language. If you use a direct translation, then your keywords or ads may not be relevant to your company or activity. We conduct multilingual keyword research to choose the right keywords in the targeted language:
- Google Keyword Tools and other tools are used to determine the best keywords. Although we should bear in mind that Google is great to indicate trends in keywords usage, but not precise regarding the volume of searches, we can use Google Keyword Tools as a suggestion tool to get ideas for keywords, and analyze the variations in keyword usage. Google Insight is also useful to analyze seasonal trends.
- We work with native speakers to choose the right keywords and to identify any mistakes in the choice of keywords. Working with native professionals can also lead to new keyword-targeting opportunities.
- Competitive Research. We analyze competitor ads as well as landing pages, to identify keywords or phrases that are relevant to your campaign.
- Bidding on general keywords for international paid search campaigns can get excessively expensive if general keywords are included in the ad groups. Top positions can be expensive so a balance between position and bids should be maintained. Often, keywords with less competition for them, making them less costly, are a better investment.
- Copywriting, translations and localization. Just as your keywords need to be carefully considered, so does the copy in the ad itself. With just a few words to capture readers’ attention, you can’t afford to rely on machine translation. This can leave the Ad copy amateurish or even downright misleading. Few people are prepared to trust an ad that doesn’t read like it was written by a native speaker. The success of a multilingual pay-per-click campaign depends also on the quality of translation. Many companies will translate ads literally, without considering localization and quality translation. In that case, ad and landing page copy is often confusing to a native speaker. As a result, the effectiveness of the international PPC campaign is reduced. Native speakers will eventually reject your message due to the lack of consideration for their language. That is great copy writing for ads is needed.
- Quality Landing Pages. We need to translated ads, but need also great landing pages. To maximize relevance and effectiveness of the campaign, both paid advertising and landing pages have to be translated and localized. Indeed, we have only few seconds after the user is being redirected to your site to convince him, and we have to deliver culturally-appropriate content, as well as a great marketing proposal. So, if the ad text is in French, then the landing page needs to be also written in French. Landing page localization also deals with culturally relevant design, images, calls to action…Mobile deviceshave also to be taken into account, and the landing page has to be responsive.
- Implementation.Once all the preparation work has been carried out, the campaign can be launched. We select the correct region/language settings. Geo-targeting tools in AdWords allow to have specific ads appear only to users in a specific location.. Campaign structure is very important with a multilingual pay-per-click campaign. Regardless of the quantity of languages targeted, campaigns and ad groups should be separated based on language. A good technical knowledge is necessary to leverage all the possibilities of Google Adwords (Adwords Extensions such as Sitelinks, Location extensions, Retargeting, setting of goals…).
- We also need to take into account seasonality.
The Chinese new year, Christmas or the Ramdan are events that have a huge impact in some countries, and that affect the seasonality of sales.
- Analysis, fine tuning and reporting.The international paid search campaign is monitored and managed through web analytics. Here, we have to modify bids, keyword selection and ad texts, as well as landing pages, depending on results. Keyword costs are monitored, in particular their profitability. Continuous improvement and fine tuning is key to optimize your campaign. Advertising seven days a week can be very expensive. Google allows advertisers to set a schedule for their ads to be shown on specific hours of the day or specific days in a week. Advertise instead only during the times you expect to do the most business in the particular region or counry you are targeting, taking into account seasonality.
- Go Beyond Google. Google is by far the most popular search engine worldwide and it should play a crucial role in most PPC campaigns. It is true that Google has a huge market share worldwide, but in certain markets, there are strong local competitors. In Russia, for example, Yandex has the greatest market share while Baidu – the fifth most visited site in the world according to Alexa – is huge in China.
Where local search engines don’t dominate but do enjoy a decent slice of market share alongside Google, they may offer a cheaper viable alternative for your PPC campaign. We have then to adapt your campaign as PPC rules can vary between search engines. To open a Baidu PPC account, for example, you will need a local presence with a Chinese domain website and a valid business certificate issued by the Chinese government.
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