Staff Writer: Carolyn Johnson
Although English still stands as the most commonly used language on the Internet, it only makes up a quarter of total languages used, according to a recent survey. This percentage will fall in the coming years, as Chinese and Arabic languages become more rampant on the Internet, which will impact search engine optimization pricing. Most Internet users actually use English as their second language, and half the time visit sites that don’t use English. Surprisingly, only a small percentage of European internet users claim to have made purchases from sites not in their native tongue.
Search engine optimization pricing is certainly an important consideration in an internet marketing campaign, yet a PPC campaign and speed up conversion rates and can be used for any language. Nonetheless, things can get a little complicated when trying to jump a language divide, and such issues should be recognized.
One consideration for your PPC campaign is to explore search engines other than Google. Although Google is a gigantic, robust search engine that boasts almost ninety percent of market share and internet traffic worldwide, that doesn’t mean other search engines should be ignored.
For instance, in Russia the most popular search engine is not Google, but Yandex. Similarly, China stores great investment and faith in Baidu as its primary search engine. It may very well be more cost-effective to explore these lesser-known search engines for your PPC campaign. PPC rules can vary between search engines, so do your research and be sure you follow the rules.
Just like with SEO in English language websites, keywords are essential in optimizing foreign language sites as well. You may have to translate your keywords, and a straight-up literal translation of some words may not do the trick. There are colloquialisms and abbreviations and other variations of words in different languages that you might not be aware of. Use the current English list you have and, if necessary, work with a native speaker in your targeted foreign language to come up with better alternative words.
Remember that great PPC ad copy can be effective in any language. Ad copy is the heart and soul of any internet marketing campaign, so a literal dictionary translation of ad copy may not be enough to capture foreign language readers. You will have to understand the readers’ culture and tone.
Just with any other campaign, you will need to monitor your foreign language PPC campaign. Regularly check out how many click-throughs and conversions your ad is earning. Be wary of click fraud, as it might be difficult to tell with different search engines and foreign languages.
Allow yourself to make tweaks and adjustments in your PPC campaign if the ad isn’t delivering the results you want. Be flexible and change you plans if the current system isn’t working. Go back and refine keywords, if need be.
Organizing a PPC marketing campaign in a foreign language brings with it its own set of challenges. Do your research, find the right keywords and create great, culturally relevant ad copy, and you’ll likely find success in a foreign market.