Companies that invest in international PPC campaigns can see positive and sustained results for their localized websites.
The result: new revenue streams from new customers in new markets.
However, a campaign that has not been strategically created to run in a different country is doomed to fail.
This overview can help you understand what to do when running international PPC campaigns, and why.
1) Know the Country’s Online Landscape
Even though the online market is known for its lack of borders, there is still an audience to target. It’s important to lay the groundwork, get to know the level of competition, then construct or adjust your international PPC campaign accordingly.
For example, traffic levels, variations of keywords and average CPC are not the same in every country. The following are some elements to research:
Which Search Engine is Dominant in That Country?
In China, Baidu dominates the market rather than Google. In Russia, the market leader is Yandex, while certain countries in Eastern Europe use both Yandex and Google.
Which Languages Are Spoken Online?
Several studies show the way people act online is not always parallel to reality, which is why studying the way people behave as consumers is so important.
For example, according to a study on U.S. Hispanics by Google, the idea that Spanish should always be used to engage U.S. Hispanics online is an outdated notion. When it comes to language online, this audience is truly bilingual.
Is There Good Traffic and Search Volume for Your Selected Keywords?
Once you narrow down the language your target consumers are searching in, its time to research the keywords that are important to them.
The AdWords Keyword Tool will output the search volume for your selected keywords within specific locations, as well as CPC. Additionally, the Google Trends tool will provide search history and location for all terms Googled since 2004.
2) Divide and Conquer
If you have worked with Adwords before you know that every piece of data has to be segmented down to detail, so you can properly eat up the information (like this pizza). This section covers how to reach your international crowd.
Native Languages are Important, but not Everything
Properly translating ads and landing pages that convey the right message to all of your visitors is essential. We recommend using a native speaker for this.
This is basic so your target does not dismiss you, however, when you’re creating your design and content you must think about culture. Different regions look at things like color, layout, and style of humor in their own ways.
To reach your target in a meaningful way, advertisers need to be paying more attention to culture than language.
Be Sure to Optimize by Country Rather than Language
For example, each Spanish-speaking Central and South American country have their own colloquialisms for a variety of terms – using them in ads and customizing keyword lists is important.
3) Remember Time Zones and Different Currencies
You’ll need to keep time zones in mind for setting ad schedules and bid adjustments. The time frames when an ad shows for a specific audience depend on the schedule selected in the settings.
The following is a map of internet global internet usage based on time of day:
4) Campaign Optimization Techniques
Once you’re up and running and reaching all these new users, remember how many different options there are for international campaign optimization!
Geographic and User Location Reports
Once you have a decent amount of data to look at, use the geographic and user location reports in the Settings tab (under Locations) to track performance at a more granular level.
Consider Device Interaction
According to Point It, markets like Spain, Singapore, and Japan have unique mobile user populations above 85%. The Asia-Pacific has more than 1 billion smartphone users, and for a majority of that group, that mobile phone is their only device.
Bidding higher on mobile, crafting mobile-specific ads and creating Call-Only campaigns could prove successful as an international strategy. Just make sure there will be someone on the other line ready to speak the language necesary to tend to those customers.
Keep Tabs Daily
Both web traffic and bid prices fluctuate on a daily basis. It becomes increasingly important for you to stay on top of what’s happening as the campaign unfolds, in order to quickly understand what’s working and what isn’t.
The faster you are able to correct flaws, the higher your ROI becomes.
Case Study Interviajes
Interviajes NY is a tour operator located in Washington D.C., Boston, Philadelphia and New York. They promote personalized tours to the Spanish and Latin-American market for an affordable price.
Interviajes was up against seasonality and a highly competitive landscape – all while targeting the wrong geographical areas. The owner, Marco García, reached out to White Shark Media to get expert help to manage his Google AdWords campaigns.
This Is How We Launched Interviajes to Success
By installing call and conversion tracking, we used visitors’ location to target the right demographic. We focused on targeting customers from Latin America and Spain, crafting ads in Spanish to reach a relevant audience.
Our strategist created two remarketing campaigns, one targeting Latin America and the other one targeting New York. The remarketing ads focused on competitive pricing (40% less than competitors) and quality of the personalized tour (fully in Spanish).
When we began shifting Interviajes to focus on its added value of the tour (personalized, low cost, in Spanish) this likely caused searchers to engage the ad.
The result? From April 2014 to April 2016, conversions per month increased 188%.
Creating an international strategy takes more than just duplicating your campaign and using a different location and language setting to target the right audience. Creating a successful campaign takes time, analytical skills and lots of research. However, the return can prove to be invaluable.