As the world gets smaller it’s useful to have a more international view on many things. Your paid advertising should definitely be one of them. The New York Post recently found that over 50 million people in the US could speak Spanish, with 1 in 5 Americans speaking a language other than English in their own home.
If you’re only running PPC ads in English, you could be missing out on a large chunk of the US population as well as any non-English speaking customers you may want to attract from outside of the US.
So, how do you start PPC advertising in another language?
Start at Campaign Level – This may be an obvious point to more experienced PPC practitioners, but the first tip is to fully separate your English language campaigns from any foreign language campaigns you run. This will enable you to focus the location targeting on exactly where you want it and also give you better choice over where, and on what language SERP, your ads are displayed.
Don’t Always Translate The Keywords – This is especially relevant for the technology sector, but you don’t always need to translate your keywords. While the literal French translation of Search Engine Optimization doesn’t give you the acronym SEO, SEO is still the term that is most popularly used. A little research will help you find this information out, as will checking your Search Terms Report. But, in PPC there’s nothing wrong with a bit of trial and error, so don’t be afraid to cast your net wider than usual to find the right keywords.
The same also goes with ads. While you should have local language versions of your ads, running an English variation can also be useful. If it doesn’t get any clicks after 90 days, pause it and just run local versions. Advertising in another language will bring you new clicks, but keeping some ads in English will give you a control for testing and also catch English speaking clicks you could otherwise miss.
Be Careful With Your Translations – Sure you can speak great Spanish. Remember that week you spent in Tijuana in 2009 when you could order a beer fluently? Seriously though, be careful when working in a second language. Don’t use translation applications, or Google translate. Always run things past a native speaker.
The Simple Things become Complicated – Once your keywords are up and running you’ll notice another issue. The search terms that display in your search terms report are all in another language! Here again, you’ll need the help of a native speaker to check things. You may be able to do a passable job using Google Translate and other translation services to weed out some irrelevant terms, but it’s safer to have someone who understands the nuances of the language before adding too many negatives.
Another issue is with Ad text. Shortening and abbreviating words is common when you’re up against a tight character limit, but much more complex in another language.
Account Settings – One last thing to remember is that your account is set to work on your timezone. So, if you’re running ads in Europe, or outside of your own timezone, you’ll need to factor that into when your ads are showing. You can’t change the timezone for campaigns, so if you’re on PST, then you need to remember that when you’re setting your ads to show 9 to 5 in Paris, France.
Advertising In Another Language
If you take note of all of these points you should be on the way to having a multi-lingual functioning PPC account. Once it’s running maintenance will be the same as any other account, but don’t expect to see the same keywords or ads performing the same way in a different language or location!
How can we help?
Do you need help advertising in another language? Or are you struggling to set up your first PPC campaign?
We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.