International PPC – Where to start?
PPC stands for pay-per-click, a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked on. Essentially, it’s a way of obtaining relevant traffic to your site. Search engine advertising (Google or Yahoo) is one of the most popular forms of PPC. Internet gives you the ability to quickly, accurately and cost-efficiently examine the existing potential for your services and goods within the selected market.
One of the helpful tools is the Google Global Market Finder. Simply type in the keywords related to your offer and select the market you are interested in. The tool will estimate if the market presents potential for your services or goods, taking into account the number of related queries on Google in that market. You will see the advertising costs and a hint about the competition. We suggest however to verify the keyword suggestions by a person which has a practical knowledge of the selected market and its culture.
Localised content matters
English is the language most commonly used on the Internet. Despite this, the English-speaking Internet users represent only 26% of all users – a lot of people of other nationalities use English on the Internet searching for services or goods. Recent research in the European Union shows that more than half of the Internet users visited the website in a foreign language (usually English being that foreign language). However, only 18 percent said they made purchases on-line on the website, which was not in their own language. Once you find a market with a lot of potential and moderate advertising costs, make sure that prospective customers will be able to understand your offer when they visit your website.
It is crucial to offer your potential customers a version of your website in their own language, so they are able to interact with it and feel comfortable to make a purchase. You can either use the Google tool to translate pages or dedicate time and money to localise your website’s content. We think that content localisation is one of the best investments you can make when entering foreign markets. Content localisation differs from the mere translation by deep understanding of the local cultural context.
Planning your international PPC campaigns
International PPC campaigns can be a quick and cost efficient way of reaching your overseas customers and potential business partners. If conducted properly, campaigns can deliver a healthy return on investment for many sectors among B2B (business-to-business), B2C (business-to-customer) or even B2G (business-to-government) type of businesses.
What to bear in mind when conducting a PPC campaign overseas?
There are few factors, one has to bear in mind when planning and executing international PPC campaign. Let us list some of the ones that we find important:
Not only Google
Google is by far the most popular search engine in the world and should play a key role in most of your international campaigns. However, in some local markets, Google’s competitors have a very strong position. In Russia, for example, Yandex has the largest market share, while Baidu is extremely popular in China. Sometimes local search engines can help to reach a significant audience and can be a cheaper alternative than Google. Legal regulations on how to run international search campaigns can vary. For example, to conduct campaigns in Baidu, among other things, one must have a valid certificate issued by the Chinese authorities.
Keywords are really crucial
Remember, the mere translation of your website to a foreign language is rarely enough. The same applies to your ad copies. We suggest some consultation on the selection of keywords as well as that you have the search keywords checked over by a person who has a working knowledge of the selected market and its culture. Colloquialisms, abbreviations, regional differences and even the tone of the language used in ad copies can strongly influence the effectiveness of your overseas campaigns.
Track the success of our campaign
As in the case of campaigns in the UK, remember to clearly define the objectives and monitor the return on investment. We recommend regular and thorough checks on what keywords are responsible for generating goals completions. It may be that your original keywords are not those that provide you the best return on your investment. Therefore, you should continually expand the keyword base while excluding the ones that generate unnecessary costs.