What are the Essential Tips for Running International Google Ads?
It’s not just spelling and grammar, currencies and time differences.
When it comes to entering a new foreign market for the first time or establishing your share of the market in a new country, paying attention to the best practices will help make sure your international Google Ads will dominate.
Are you struggling to develop a winning international Pay-per-Click (PPC) strategy that will take your business to new heights in foreign markets? Take a moment to hear First Page’s top 10 tips to make sure your PPC campaigns succeed in their goals.
Dive into our guide to Google Ads today.
Location, Location, Location
As for real estate, the same goes for international Google Ads.
A new country is a new market – one with its own set of cultures, customs and ways of doing things. The first step to setting up an international Google Ads campaign is to do your research. How will your new audience respond to the messages in your PPC ads? How do sub-cultures and identities vary across the cities and regions of the country?
A Strategy Based on Location
Once you know your audience, you’ll be able to come up with an effective strategy for your brand.
For example, if you’re an established name in your home country and want to expand the brand to another, think about targeting the large urban centres. Thriving cities have a larger search volume in total, which includes a wider variety of audiences to target.
A Nuanced Google Ads Campaign
Running your PPC advertising on a city-based strategy will also help you adhere to the best practices to target and attract localised traffic. No matter how different a new country may seem to you, for your PPC ads to work, it needs to be as nuanced as the various audiences you’re reaching out to.
This is a key point of our guide to Google Ads – have an international Google Ads campaign that accommodates for the diversity among the people you’re targeting.
Google Ads in Another Language
If you’re familiar with Google Adwords, you’ll already know that a seamless user journey is key to the success of your campaigns. That means that someone who clicks on an ad on the Google search engine results page (SERP) will end up on a landing page that meets their expectation of what they want to see.
For international Google Ads, that doesn’t only mean the copy itself but also the language you’re using. What keywords are used in the search term, ad copy and landing page copy has a strong impact on the all-important Quality Score of the ads – and, therefore, on the success of your Pay-per-Click campaigns.
To be consistent across each of these factors, not only do you have to get your PPC ads and SEO right, but you’ll also need the ads, landing pages and websites to be in the right language for your target audiences.
Running Ads in Multiple Languages!
In fact, depending on which countries and regions you’re advertising in, you may end up using multiple languages for your Pay-per-Click campaigns.
Which ad a user sees on the SERP will depend on what language setting they have put in their browser – so if you want to reach everyone in your target audiences, you need to make sure you’re speaking their language, literally.
How are you going to manage all these languages under one roof? Don’t worry – our guide to Google Ads has all the answers. There are a few parts you need to consider: the ad copy, the keywords and the search terms.
Writing Ad Copy
This one’s a no-brainer – you’ll need a professional translation. Whether or not you prefer to write the original version of the ad copy and landing pages in your native language, the final version needs to come from someone with the same lingo and culture as your target audience.
Professional Ad Copy
There are plenty of freelancers and established businesses to meet your needs here. You should aim to find a translation service that also specialises in ad copy, so you can be sure that you’ll be receiving ad copy guaranteed to perform to the best possible level.
With such limited space on the SERP and such little attention span given to advertising, each word has to be carefully chosen – ideally, by someone who knows how to write ad copy with cut-through in your chosen language.
Not to mention, there are rules to follow around the character limits of the ads’ headlines and descriptions. While this is unlikely to raise an issue for any language that uses the alphabet, they can vary widely for the East Asian languages: Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Korean and Japanese. Make sure your ad copywriter is across all the relevant character counts.
Just like for any domestic Google Adwords campaign, having the right keywords in the right structure is critical to the campaign’s ability to meet its goals.
The same keyword research tools you rely on will help with creating an international campaign structure – such as SEMrush, WordStream and Google itself. These tools give the same information on volume, cost and so on for the new markets you’re targeting.
Even if you’re not changing the language of the campaign – for example, you’re expanding from one English-speaking country to another – proper keyword research will pick up on the different wording that’s used across different countries and regions. Paying attention to these details will help your Google Ads appeal to a new, foreign market.
Once your Google Ads are up and running, then the search terms will start rolling in.
While the keywords are the ones you’ve chosen to target in your Pay-per-Click campaign, the search terms are the words that your users are directly typing into the online search bar. By looking at the search terms that are triggering your ads to show, you’re directly hearing from the voice of the customer about what they’re searching for online.
By building out your campaign structure with exact, phrase and broad match types, you can use the search terms that come through to sift for new keywords you should add to your campaigns.
It’s simple enough to use a powerful, machine learning-driven translator service – such as Deepl.com for European languages – to keep on top of adding new keywords and negative keywords to your Google Adwords account.
Do Thorough Competitor Research
When it comes to entering a foreign market, you’re trying to get a foot in the door while competing against much more established brand names.
One step you can take to make it easier for yourself is to conduct thorough competitor research. This can be as simple as plugging in your top keywords into a Google search and seeing what comes up. (Make sure you search in incognito mode so that the search results aren’t affected by your personal profile and search history.)
This way, you can see who is bidding on what keywords and what they’re communicating in their ad copy. Do you see any major differences between how existing ad messaging talks about your products or services? These could reveal insights into how audiences overseas may respond differently to what you offer or how you talk about it on the SERP.
Play around a bit as well – for example, which competitors bid on their own branded keywords, and does any one of them bid on each other’s branded keywords?
Start with What You Know
If you already have a successful Pay-per-Click campaign running in your home market, you can try starting with a campaign approach that has a history of winning for you. After all, a foreign country is different, but many aspects of what makes a good paid search campaign will stay consistent.
An Awareness Campaign
To gain a foothold in a foreign market, it pays to supplement your efforts in paid search with a strong awareness campaign at the upper reaches of the funnel.
After all, search campaigns are built on search volume – and because branded keywords have a cheaper cost-per-click (CPC) to get clicks on, it may well pay to build up the search volume of branded keywords.
To this end, if you already have a strategy of supplementing your paid search campaign with an awareness campaign, you should consider developing something similar. This could be banner or video clip ads to roll out in the new markets or blog content with your pay-per-click ads.
An awareness campaign may be especially important when expanding to a foreign country, where there are likely to be established competitor brands that will try to crowd you out. An awareness campaign may be perfectly placed to help your name to make a splash without depleting your media spend budget.
A Branded Campaign
For example, if you have a campaign of branded keywords that captures people right at the lower end of the funnel, you can try a similar approach in the new markets you’re entering. If you can build a name for yourself in a foreign country, it’s likely that the new branded campaign will continue to sweep up the conversion-ready customers with a high return on advertising spend (ROAS).
A Remarketing Campaign
Or alternatively, you may already have a display or remarketing list for search ads (RLSA) remarketing campaign to reach out to frequent purchasers or people who’ve bought in the past and could be encouraged to come back and buy again. This is another approach that could be successful again if rolled out in the new countries you’re now targeting.
Learning from the Campaigns
Once your Google Shopping Ads or Search Ad campaigns are up and running, they become a treasure trove of information about how your audiences behave and what they’re looking for.
For example, to get to know your audiences better, you could turn on the “Observation” mode in Google Adwords. Using this tool, you can apply a number of audiences to your search campaigns to see how relevant they may or may not be and learn more about them.
The information you can glean here includes their:
● demographic make-up (such as level of education and parental status)
● what they are in the market for (what they are actively looking for online)
● their affinities (what they like to do or search for on a regular basis)
● whether or not they’ve visited your website before.
Where knowledge is power, nothing beats a well-oiled and smoothly run Pay-per-Click campaign. With this kind of information about your target audiences, you can hone both sides of the equation: who exactly you’re targeting with your ads and how you’re reaching out to them.
Partner with the Best to Run International Google Ads
As you’ve seen from our guide to Google Ads, running international ads doesn’t only involve the usual best practices. There are a whole new set of considerations you need to follow for a successful campaign.
There’ll be plenty of research to be conducted, from cultural nuances to geographical variation and much more. How do you bid in local currencies? How do you run ads on a schedule in a different time zone?
And on top of that, if you’re dealing with one or even multiple foreign languages, it adds a whole new dimension to writing ad copy, doing keyword research, and then keeping on top of search terms once your campaign is up and running.
The best part is, you don’t have to go it alone. If you’ve been finding our guide to Google Ads informative, it’s nothing compared to the next-level strategic consulting we offer at First Page. We know how to take what works here and make sure it delivers for you overseas, too. We deliver everything from SEO and content with pay-per-click campaigns.
If you want success with running Google Adwords campaigns in new markets, it pays to get the best on your team. For the best long-term investment you can make in the success of your brand overseas, reach out to the team at First Page, and you’ll be sitting down with our strategy advisors in no time.