With the onset of globalization, the importance of advertising in the international space is becoming increasingly apparent. In a recent article by Search Engine Land, linguist Andy Atkins-Kruger discusses several tips to help international marketers achieve success with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, which I’ve summarized below.
- Don’t let your keywords get lost in translation: Simply translating words from English to another language doesn’t cut it anymore. Different languages emphasize different words and use alternate phrasing; one word in English may mean something completely different (and even offensive) in a foreign language. Before you use another language in your advertising, consider consulting a fluent or native speaker of the language first. If you continue to use English in foreign countries, be aware that the terms you are using may not translate with the same efficacy seen in English-speaking nations.
- Analyze where your ads are showing: Appearing in front of your international target customers can be challenging, so researching user behavior and competition can prove to be vital for improving click through rate (CTR) and return on investment (ROI) for paid search campaigns.
- Optimize for Google Places: While Google Places has taken off in the US, it is having an even more dramatic effect across the globe. The platform allows local businesses to appear for searches that are associated with a generic keyword or brand name that does not necessarily belong to them. Make sure you are linked into Google Places to show alongside the local businesses operating in your space.
- Create trust through local symbols: Using the applicable currency abbreviations, credit card symbols, local office certifications (such as the Better Business Bureau equivalent), and trademarks can only enhance your ads’ credibility. This trust factor will likely lead to improved user engagement.
- Use local search engines: Google’s not the only player in the international search game; there are several opportunities to use locally known and trusted search engines in Russia, China, Turkey, Korea and the Czech Republic. Test the waters, it can’t hurt!
Going international can sound daunting, but start slow and think smart. By incorporating the above ideas into your strategy, you can enhance your PPC ad performance in the global space. Remember, every country, and thus every market, is unique; research and test the markets you plan to target to discover the messaging, budgeting and approach that works best for your business.