Search engine marketing can be roughly divided into two disciplines, SEO (search engine optimization) which involves achieving high rankings for certain key terms on the natural (free) listings on search engines and paid search which involves paying for advertising space on a per click basis (pay-per-click or PPC), cost per impression (CPI) or cost per mille (CPM) basis, among others.
One of the most popular methods to enter new markets overseas is to use paid search advertising on a pay-per-click basis (PPC). This allows organizations to set their budgets for a given set of key terms and limit their advertising spend on a daily or monthly basis by competing with other companies for those key phrases.
While SEO is a long term strategy and can involve large sums of money and a long process of using other digital marketing techniques such as content marketing, link building, social media marketing and online PR to build credibility, companies can appear at the top of search results pages very quickly and relatively cheaply by using PPC advertising.
For this reason, international PPC is a popular choice for companies looking to test new markets overseas for opportunities before embarking on SEO or expanding their physical operations into new overseas territories.
Keyword research for international PPC
In order to achieve success – both in domestic markets and globally – you need to ensure that you’re selecting the right keywords. These are the ones that are not only most widely used in your target region but also by your target audience. This process is known as international keyword research.
Our multi-lingual keyword research ensures that you obtain the best value from your paid search activity. Selecting the right keywords means you don’t waste money on clicks for irrelevant or unprofitable keywords and customer segments and this improves your ROI from PPC activity in the long term.
Many brands choose to simply translate their keywords from the source language to the target language without any adaptation. This can be a huge and costly mistake since a literal translation of a key term does not always mean the same thing in another language.
For example, the popular English term to search for flights is “cheap flights” and this term is searched for on Google millions of times a month. The literal translation into Italian is “voli economici”.
However, users in Italy don’t use this term to search for cheap flights and instead use the key phrase “voli low cost”. So airlines using the phrase “voli economici” could be missing out on millions of customers every month.
This is just one example of why it is important to use a professional translation agency for your keyword research. A reputable agency will be able to offer more widely used and profitable keyword alternatives than a literal translation can provide.
PPC ad copywriting and translation
Once you’ve selected the appropriate key words for your campaign and target market then you need to write your ad copy. This is what a user typing key terms into search engines will see once they’ve submitted their search query.
It’s extremely important to get your ad copy and key messages right as it will increase click-through rate and increase the likelihood of success of your paid search campaign. This is not an easy task as all search engines have limits on the number of characters which they allow for their ad copy.
For instance, Google’s Adwords platform allows for three lines of text and a URL to be displayed for each ad. The first line of text is displayed in a slightly larger font and allows for 25 characters of text for single-width languages (for example English and other Latin-based languages). The second and third lines of text within the PPC ad and the text that displays the URL each allow for 35 characters.
Double-width languages are languages that use double-width characters, like Chinese, Arabic and Japanese. For these languages the limits are roughly half of those of single-width languages at 12 for the first line of text and 17 for the next two and the URL.
Because of these character limits, it can be very tricky to get your message across consistently and accurately in all the languages that you are targeting for your paid search campaign. Luckily, we have years of experience doing exactly this sort of work, finding the most appropriate keywords, synonyms and alternatives to ensure that your PPC campaign makes the most of the available budget and character limits so that it enjoys high click-through and conversion rates while remaining true to your brand values.
PPC landing page copywriting and translation
What good is a great ad without more details of the benefits of your product or service and a call-to-action to encourage users to interact with your brand and convert into a lead or sale?
PPC ads can’t exist on their own. Every ad requires a relevant landing page which includes more details of your offering and does the job of further persuading your target customer to complete a predetermined goal.
The key to successful landing pages for paid search campaigns is relevance, high quality content and a clear call-to-action. However, for every territory that you operate in, the approaches will need to be slightly different to appeal to your target customer depending on the cultural nuances of the local market. Again, this is our area of expertise so by using Toppan Digital Language for your PPC ad copy and landing page translation, you can increase the chances that your PPC campaign will deliver results.
PPC ad and landing page optimization
Often a single ad for a range of keywords is not enough to guarantee success. Sometimes a separate ad and landing page is required for each keyword or keyword group to ensure relevance and consistency.
Companies that enjoy success and relatively low costs-per-click often are able to reduce their costs by increasing their quality scores.
Improving quality score
Google not only uses the maximum bid as a way to determine the order of paid search ad placements but also uses a metric known as quality score – which rates the overall quality of both the ad and the landing page to determine how much better (or worse) it is compared to your competitors for a given search term. This is to prevent paid search spam and to ensure that users are always presented with the best paid search ads for their queries….therefore increasing the revenue for Google.
For this reason, an ad that appears at the top of the paid search listings is not necessarily bidding the highest amount for the selected key term. Often the company has optimized their ad and landing page copy to increase quality score and drive down costs. This is a very precise skill that requires a lot of experience of ad server platforms and an in-depth knowledge of the local language to perfect.
Want to test your products and services in new markets overseas but are unsure of the best approaches to using paid search? Contact us for some advice.