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Multilingual PPC: Use a translation agency

By Josian Phillips, 

Expanding your business on an international scale is tough. Not only do you need to think about logistical issues, such as how your products or services will be delivered to your customers abroad, but you will also need to thoroughly research and get to grips with the different cultures your customers live in and how this will impact upon your brand and marketing.

Multilingual PPC marketing is not only a good way to help new customers find you online, it is also a great way to ‘dip your toe in the water’ of a different client base abroad and see if it is worth investing in further marketing efforts in this country or region.

Multilingual PPC isn’t just about translating your English keywords and ad copy into different languages. Although using Google Translate to help you come up with a keyword list can be a helpful starting point, it’s essential to engage the services of a professional translation agency with native speakers who are also in country PPC experts. This is important as it helps you to translate and localise your ad copy and keywords effectively.

By enlisting the help of a professional agency, you can be sure that you won’t end up wasting time and money on translations and keywords that are never going to engage your target audience or, worse, alienate them altogether.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways that a translation agency can help you to ensure that your multilingual PPC is doing what it should.

1. Research your market

Assuming you have selected your new international market…take a look at the most common languages spoken in that region or country.

This is where the cultural expertise of a translation agency comes into its own. A professional translation agency should offer you native speakers who have an in-depth knowledge of the particular culture you’re trying to break into.

It isn’t just about direct translation. It’s about localising your PPC campaign and ad copy (and transcreating, if necessary) to take into account any regional issues, such as colloquialisms and abbreviations or character limits.

Having a professional translation agency who can offer you this local knowledge, can help you acquire a thorough understanding of your target market and, in turn, improve your Click Through Rate (CTR).

2. Understand the culture and traditions and how your product or service would fit in – avoid cultural pitfalls

As we mentioned in our previous point, a good translation agency can provide you with the local knowledge you need, as well as the translation and SEM services essential for multilingual PPC.

Although there are tools to help with multilingual keyword research, these can only suggest suitable keywords and should be used with caution. They cannot replace a human’s knowledge of the local culture and the audiences within it.

For example, keywords that work in France, may not work so well in other French-speaking countries, such as Belgium.

Even within one country, dialects and cultures vary. Taking France as an example again, most of France use ‘pain au chocolat’ to describe that wonderfully buttery, chocolate pastry. In some areas of France, it is called a ‘chocolatine’. This means that the amount of traffic to your website you get through one keyword in one part of France, when advertising your chocolate pastries, may be very different to the traffic from another part.

3. Keywords are thoroughly researched for your chosen market

A professional translation agency will thoroughly research your keywords for you, to ensure that they will fit specifically within your chosen market. It’s even possible to search for the volume of keywords within specific locations within your target country.

Having a translation agency do this for you, gives you peace of mind that your multilingual PPC marketing is being localised, not just translated.

4. It’s not all about Multilingual PPC marketing – it’s essential to localise your website as well

If a customer sees your ad in their language and then clicks on it, they would expect to be greeted by a website which is also in their own language – otherwise, the click-through may not convert into profit.

A professional translation agency can help you to localise your website and landing pages, so that more clicks convert into business. With the local knowledge of a native speaker, your landing pages can be localised with things such as the correct currency for a particular country, relevant delivery options and your opening hours within your customers’ particular time zone.

Failure to address this could render your multilingual PPC campaign ineffectual.

5. Ensure your ad copy is translated to a high standard

Ad copy needs to be translated to a high standard that engages the customers, but it must also take into account the character limits imposed for each line of the ad. Each message in the ad must be rewritten to take into account the character limits, and as most translations from English expand, this is a task for a specialist translator.

Many customers can spot ad copy that has been translated by Google Translate or other forms of machine translation because it may not be quite right. It could even give your customers the impression that you have not put in the time and effort to localise your content properly for them – so why spend money with you?

Utilise a translation agency with experience in global e-commerce to manage the localisation of your multilingual PPC campaign so it does not fall flat at the first click!

6. Test a multilingual PPC campaign

It is a good idea to start with a smaller, test budget for multilingual PPC marketing.

You can then increase your investment in this potentially lucrative marketing method at a later date, once you are happy that your campaign is going to have the impact that you want it to.

Multilingual PPC marketing is by no means easy. Working with a translation agency can help you to ensure that your campaign has the desired effect and that your keywords, website and ad copy are all localised to the highest standard necessary for success.

Are you considering a multilingual PPC campaign? Take a look at our article Multilingual PPC: 10 things you need for a successful campaign for some more tips. If you’d like to discuss how multilingual PPC would work for your business, please get in touch with one of our SEM specialists.

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