International Adwords Campaigns: 5 Tips To Remember


September 20, 2012

At some point or another, you’re going to be running an Adwords campaign in a country whose primary language isn’t English. Whether it’s for your own products or services or a client, you want to make sure that each campaign is a success, reaches the right audience, and more importantly, has the right messaging.

Even some of the biggest, brand name companies have made mistakes but you can do all you can now to take measures against possible mistakes. Below are 5 quick tips that you may want to keep in mind when it comes to international paid search campaigns.

  1. Research your competition like you would for an English campaign. It’s important to lay the groundwork, get to know the level of competition and then construct or adjust your campaign accordingly. Traffic levels, variations of keywords and average CPC are not the same in Germany as they would be in the United States.
  2. Think like who you are targeting. This closely relates to number 1 for sure. But I wanted to drive home the point that your international market may think, and therefore search, for things in a different way. Get inside the mind of the international searcher. The top converting keywords in your English campaigns may not always translate to winning keywords in your international one.
  3. Get proper translations. I’ve been lucky with clients in that they have people who are fluent in the foreign language and can help translate keywords and ads. Not everyone is so lucky. You can use Google Translation Toolkit, but take the translations with a hefty grain of salt. Try to find someone who can speak and write the native tongue so that they can either do the translations or fact/spell/grammar check your work. I’ve also turned to 3rd party translation dictionaries, but don’t usually have time for a grammar lesson. (I also have frightening flashbacks to 8th grade Spanish class when we learned about present subjunctive and all the little quirks that go with it.)
  4. Make sure the entire experience is in the native language. This includes the landing page, about pages, contact pages, pricing, shipping details and checkout. The entire experience should be in the language you’re targeting so that the user is not jolted from the conversion funnel by a page full of language they don’t understand or pricing that isn’t applicable to their needs.
  5. Traffic may be different, therefore bids might be different. If you did a straight copy of your English campaign and then translated into the other language, take a second look at your Max CPC’s and budgets. It’s important to remember that traffic will be different in the other country and your CPC’s will be correspondingly different.

An international Adwords campaign is a different beast than a straight-laced English campaign. But don’t let it scare you from approaching one and successfully running it. Keep these pointers in mind and you should be fine!

Have you run international campaign in the past? Share your tips below!