Olga Sapach
Posted by Olga Sapach
on 12/12/22 9:38 AM

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International PPC Advertising: How It Works

Today an increasing number of companies, from quite large to rather small, are thinking globally and boldly entering new markets. What's more, they understand the importance of localizing and adapting their promotional methods for each target country. We too have started getting increasingly frequent requests to put together and maintain international (multilingual) advertising campaigns. And while our clients often attempt to manage on their own in their native language, international PPC campaigns in unfamiliar markets tend to raise many issues that can't be resolved without the help of experienced professionals. In this article we'll describe how multilingual PPC campaigns are conducted at Alconost, the various approaches to implementing them, and how much it can all end up costing.

  1. A little about the global status of the online advertising market
  2. Unique features of conducting international PPC campaigns
    2.1.  What's wrong with international PPC campaigns in English?
  3. How we handle international PPC in multiple languages
    3.1. Completing a brief and discussing the details
    3.2. Studying the niche and the competition
    3.3. Setting up and launching a campaign in English
    3.4. Setting up multilingual international PPC campaigns
    3.5. Optimizing multilingual international PPC campaigns
    3.6. Different scenarios for developing and conducting international PPC
  4. How much multilingual international PPC promotion costs  and how to economize
  5. How to assess multilingual international PPC performance


A little about the global status of the online advertising market

PPC advertising today is simple, quick, and very nearly the most commonly used method of promotion. According to statistics, as of early 2022, 65% of small and mid-sized businesses were already using PPC advertising or had tried it at some point. The same statistical data asserts that users who turn to the internet for a specific purchase or service click on an advertisement 65% of the time if it matches their query. 


And the competition is stiff: Statista predicts that by 2024 businesses will be spending 191 billion dollars on online advertising, compared to 106.5 billion in 2019. This suggests that companies are ready and willing to invest in this form of advertising and that rates will continue to increase. And when it comes to promoting a business internationally, when the competition gets heavy, localizing your international PPC campaign plays a key role.

Unique features of conducting international PPC campaigns

Speaking the language of your potential client is the first rule of international business, and multilingual advertising campaigns are the first step toward new markets. There are many nuances that determine the effectiveness of your advertising, and which we, as an online marketing agency with many years of experience, make sure to emphasize:

  • Knowledge of local search demand: what users are looking for and how it can differ markedly from one country to the next. That's why studying search queries for each separate region is the backbone of our PPC campaigns.
  • Correspondence of the website/landing page to the search query: you may produce attractive ads that will motivate users to click on them, but that means nothing if they don't find what they were looking for on your website/landing page. For multilingual campaigns this is particularly important, since the landing page also needs to be localized.
  • Search demand forecasting: of course, this may sound like the cherry on top, but then isn't that what you came here for? 90% of the time search demand in other countries follows the path of English search demand, since it's considered the most advanced. Putting this knowledge to work in your international PPC campaigns helps you stay one step ahead of your competitors.
  • Knowledge of local laws and peculiarities: it's important to realize what can and cannot legally be advertised and how in each individual country, so as not to run afoul of the law and to avoid being blocked.
  • Adaptation of ads: the advertising message and the language used mustn't appear foreign. Sadly, this sometimes occurs when advertising messages are crudely translated. The advertising message has to be adapted by a native speaker – or, better yet, by a person who lives in the target region, so that they're well aware of the local context.
  • Allocation of the advertising budget: total advertising expenses vary from country to country. Be prepared for the possibility that you'll have to spend more in some places than others to achieve approximately the same result.
  • An understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all solution: what works in one market may not necessarily work in another. This is normal. It's important to note the unique features of each international PPC campaign and deal with them in a timely manner.

What's wrong with international PPC campaigns in English?

Some clients think that you can make do with English-language international PPC services for all countries at once. Who doesn't speak English by now, one might think? Just launch one advertising campaign and watch the new markets crack wide open. With certain niches and in certain situations that might not be a bad option. But in most cases it's a trap – one that snares either those who interpret studies like these incorrectly or those who want to save money on localization. 

Although English is the most widely used language on the internet, this only means just that: it's the most popular language on the INTERNET. Want to read a scholarly article? It's in English. Want to search Wikipedia? It's in English. Want to read the latest global or topical news? It's in English. Many people speak English, but for how many of them is it really their native language, in which they're most comfortable? Is every Spaniard, for example, going to click on an ad that's not in Spanish? Is every Chinese person going to be interested in a landing page that's in English? There's certainly no guarantee.

That's why we always tell our clients: speaking the language of your potential client is the key to success. We can launch an international PPC campaign in English at any point on the globe, but to increase your conversion coefficient you need localization.

 

How we handle international PPC in multiple languages

The process of setting up and launching an international PPC campaign at Alconost looks like this.

Completing a brief and discussing the details

We prefer to learn all the necessary details well ahead of time. This means that an important step at the first stage of the work is for the client to complete a questionnaire. From this we learn more about the company, the product, requirements, requests, and so on. We also always go over what kind of performance indicators may be anticipated.

Studying the niche and the competition

First of all we study the primary competitors and their marketing approach. Next we begin working on keywords: we collect all the semantic information available or just for the areas of focus requested, then cluster it (breaking it down into semantically similar queries). We also analyze websites in search results and select landing pages. We coordinate on the semantic information and the overall marketing strategy.

Setting up and launching a campaign in English

We prepare advertisements, make all the necessary adjustments, and launch an English-language campaign in all countries of interest to the client. This is done in order to obtain as much data as possible, to test the reaction in various markets, and to determine how to proceed.

Setting up multilingual international PPC campaigns

As a rule, our managers for international PPC services speak several languages, but not always the ones the client needs. When this is the case, we set up the workflow as follows:

  1. English keywords are translated into the required language.
  2. Queries received are run through Google's Keyword Planner. The manager analyzes search demand and the synonyms proposed by the system, then selects suitable semantic matches.
  3. Next, search and advertising results are checked against the remaining queries, as are competitors and the keywords they use.
  4. When the list is ready, the manager submits it to the translator for proofreading, to be certain that all the queries are relevant, and also so that the translator can propose their own keyword ideas, if possible.
  5. The manager breaks down keywords into groups and submits them to the client for approval. 
  6. Advertisements are also translated and proofread.
  7. The manager sets up and launches the international PPC campaigns.

Optimizing multilingual international PPC campaigns

When optimizing ad campaigns, whether in English or in multiple languages, the manager tracks the international PPC on a daily basis, looks over the stats and advertising performance for the account, adjusts the rates and budgets, and tracks traffic quality and conversion indicators, as well as real search queries. Native-speaking translators may be engaged at any stage of the process.

Different scenarios for developing and conducting multilingual international PPC

Depending on the client's budget and wishes, there are various methods we can employ when rendering international PPC services. This means that there may be one manager working with different languages and translators, or there may be multiple managers, each working with their own language. The decision as to which is preferable is made jointly with the client.

 

How much multilingual international PPC costs and how to economize

Most companies take a percentage of the advertising budget as payment for international PPC services. But we prefer to work at a fixed rate, based on the amount of time the professional needs to handle the particular project. This immediately eliminates the question of whether the amount spent on advertising is justified: how much you spend on advertising doesn't affect us, so there's no point in pushing you to spend more unnecessarily. 

The same approach applies to multilingual international PPC campaigns. And although many people choose not to localize in order to save money, economizing here just doesn't make sense for the reasons we've stated above: advertising in a language unfamiliar to your potential client just isn't as effective as it could be.

If the client wants to lower the cost of international PPC in different languages, we can try working without a translator (using automated translation software instead) and merely proofread the text, or skip the proofreading altogether. As the campaign progresses it will become clear which ads are generating the most interest and which keywords are the most effective.

How to assess multilingual international PPC performance

As with any complex system, there can be many reasons why your multilingual international PPC campaign isn't producing the desired results. These include the same reasons why advertising in your native language may not be effective, as well as unique features of the mentality, the market, translations, and so on.

In order to precisely assess the effectiveness of a given campaign, first determine the assessment criteria. It's important to designate the KPIs for each country/language/market at the very outset. It's even more important to understand that they're going to differ. Your goals need to be realistic and achievable for each individual market!

By the same token, our managers understand that providing international PPC services in different languages requires different approaches. For this reason the first month is spent "feeling out" the particularities and starting to integrate them into the international PPC campaign. And this task is never complete, since there's no limit to perfection.

Read some of our case studies on international PPC campaigns:

 

This winning combination — our managers' many years of experience on the international online advertising market, plus Alconost's status as a leading translation and localization agency — enables us to handle international PPC campaigns with maximum effectiveness.

Drop us a line — we'd love to work on an online international PPC campaign for you!

 

 

Alconost is an internet marketing agency that offers search engine optimization for multilingual websites as well as PPC managementSMM and Content promotion. We conduct full SEO audits and website optimization, improve website usability, develop an international promotion strategy and analyze statistics and many others to increase your profits and improve your positions in search engines.

 

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