Multilingual PPC Campaigns: Importance & Best Practices

Multilingual PPC Campaigns: Importance & Best Practices

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Due to lack of the necessary resources and time, many businesses do not pursue multilingual marketing. This is one major reason why it is so effective to set up and run a multilingual PPC campaign. If done the right way, a multilingual PPC campaign can grow your brand in a specific region or country, by allowing you to reach the bilingual online audience effectively. 

So, is there a way to effectively use multilingual PPC to strengthen your brand’s presence and grow your business? Well, it all begins with following the best practices.

When Should You Use Multilingual PPC

Did you know that more Spanish-speaking people live in the U.S. compared to Spain? For brands, this group represents a major prospective customer base. However, since most of these people are bilingual, who speak and understand English quite well, it is usual for the companies in the U.S. to target Spanish speakers with English messaging and keywords.

Although it can be effective to some extent if your ad manages to reach multilingual and bilingual people, PPC experts strongly recommend brands to target prospects in their first language. Firstly, this will significantly decrease the cost of reaching these people since non-English keywords have a substantially lower cost-per-click (CPC). Secondly, translating your campaigns into the native language of your target audience will make your campaigns more personal and relevant to your audience.

You should use multilingual PPC if:

  • You want to reach an untouched audience of multilingual or bilingual prospects
  • You are done with your preparatory work and due diligence (i.e., setting up a multilingual website)
  • You are looking to establish a strong presence across demographically diverse regions.

When your audience knows that you can speak their language quite well, it may help you establish a stronger brand presence in a specific region. While it will make your content far more effective, you will enjoy a lower CPC as well as the benefit of reaching a wider audience. As it is the case with any kind of marketing, multilingual PPC has specific best practices that you need to consider.

Best Practices for Multilingual PPC Campaigns

Surprisingly, there are still many businesses that either don’t invest in multilingual PPC or are not getting the expected results even when they do so. Well, it usually boils down to being careless. Executing a winning multilingual PPC campaign needs thoughtfully precise translations as well as customised messaging that is in line with the culture of your target audience. Thankfully, you can overcome such hurdles by following the best practices.

Avoid Direct Translation of Your Ads

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make while trying to run multilingual campaigns is that they make use of direct translations. Direct translations involve considering your original campaign and translating verbatim. While it may not seem like something really bad, you may realise how it stands out like a sore thumb as you start to understand the cultural differences as well as the common readability problems that may stem from direct translations.

Eventually, the success of your campaign will hinge on the quality of your translations. You possibly spend a huge amount of time creating your original campaign messages, so you may require putting the same level of effort when it is about crafting messages in a different language.

Interestingly, in most cases, translating your Original (English) message is way less impactful than the original messaging, created by a native speaker, for a different language. Simply put, you don’t require an online tool, but a real human working on this. Try hiring someone, who is not only a native speaker of the language you want to translate, but a copywriter with enough experience creating impactful messaging.

Target Languages at the Campaign-Level

When it is about creating multilingual PPC campaigns, one of the most important aspects is the framework of your ad campaigns. Note that Google only lets you define your geographic targets and language at the campaign level. So, whether you are targeting two languages or more, you should have a setup for every language as a standalone ad group and campaign.

However, that doesn’t mean you require making a fresh start each time you want to create a language-specific campaign. Instead, you may consider creating a replica of your original (English) campaign’s campaign structure. But, avoid duplicating the keywords. Once you have duplicate copies of your original campaign for the languages you want to target, you can start modifying the keywords, links and ad messaging, accordingly.

Always Perform Multilingual Keyword Research

You just learnt that each language should be targeted in an individual campaign, which can easily be done by creating duplicate copies of the original one; except its keywords, links and ad messaging. Editing the keywords for every language is important, since directly translating your ad’s messaging in another language may make the campaign ineffective.

Keywords and key-phrases usually have differing meanings when translated from one language to another. Consequently, direct translations will likely lead to barely used (or possibly irrelevant) keywords that may fail to benefit your multilingual PPC campaign altogether. Therefore, you should perform extensive keyword research in each of the target markets, considering the language(s) you want to advertise in.

Performing this research should begin with:

  • Keyword Translation: Figure out the most common translations of your original keywords with the help of a native speaker.
  • Search Queries: Find out the current foreign keywords, serving your PPC ads.
  • Competitors’ Research: Go through your competitor’s ads as well as landing pages to discover relevant keywords. An important point to remember here is that the competitor might be using direct translations, disregarding the best practices; so, consider the opinion of a native speaker prior to launching your PPC campaign.
  • Ask a Native Speaker: Before you launch your campaign, run all the keywords you had discovered during your research by a native speaker, since they might easily point out any issues with the translation.

Create Language-Specific Landing Pages and Ads

Now that you know about the best practices related to your multilingual PPC campaign and how to ensure that your ad’s messaging stays relevant and accurate in every language you want to target your audience, you may want to follow the same approach for your landing pages too.

A great ad is not the one that directs visitors to a landing page that is either not translated altogether or translated directly from an English copy.

The effectiveness of a multilingual PPC campaign banks on customised messaging that is grammatically correct and culturally relevant as well as easy to read and understand. This requires making efforts in the right direction, avoiding AI-based translation tools, and having a native speaker to examine your landing page copy to create a native version of the same that has the potential to grab the people’s attention while motivating them to convert.

In this regard, you should put aside time and money to duplicate the framework of your original landing page, quite similar to the way you did the same for your original PPC campaign’s framework, and further tweaking the messaging for every language your ads would target. In a nutshell, you will require creating a separate landing page for each language you want to reach.

Additionally, you would require factoring in several other things that will enable your landing pages to become culturally more relevant. This could mean incorporating the right kind of imagery, colour schemes and layout that can resonate with your target audience. You may split-test these elements on a live basis, but only once the copy gets the required attention and planning.

Demonstrated Methodology for Multilingual Paid Search

Undoubtedly, any “DIY” approach to creating and executing a multilingual PPC campaign may cause you to end up losing a lot of money, without getting the desired results. A lot goes into making a campaign effective, but the pay-off is definitely extremely rewarding. Advantageously, the cost of targeting other language keywords is way lower than their English counterparts, and it can assist you in breaking into untouched markets that your competitors have failed to notice.

So, how can you set up a winning multilingual campaign on a budget? The key is to join hands with the right digital marketing company that has the knowledge, experience and resources required to make your multilingual PPC campaign super-effective across every market you want to target.


Partner with Alchemy Interactive

At Alchemy Interactive, we have proven expertise in researching, planning, creating, executing and managing multilingual PPC campaigns; particularly the ones that serve the large, but often overlooked audiences.

Google says that targeting such audiences might result in more than 5.5% increase in your clicks – all when you pay up to 70% less for each click.

If you want to learn more about our approach and how we can aid you in running a successful multilingual PPC campaign, we encourage you to get in touch with our multilingual PPC specialists, today!

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