PPC Translation – do I really need it?

24th May 2019

PPC (Pay per click) is a form of online advertising in which advertisers pay each time users click their ads. Your ads are shown to users interested in and searching for the keywords you’ve chosen. PPC is a popular choice for companies trying to get in front of their target audience quickly and is an important part of an online marketing strategy. While SEO can take time and investment, PPC is instant, meaning you can get on top of the search results very quickly. It can rapidly increase your sales, generate leads and promote your brand to your target audience.

For this reason, companies invest in PPC when entering new markets overseas. It’s a fast way of gaining visibility in their target countries and a good tester to see if a given product or service is going to be successful.

Having said that, serving English ads in Spain is unlikely to get you the results you need. This is when a multilingual PPC strategy comes into place.

What is multilingual PPC?

Multilingual PPC is a paid search campaign where paid search ads are tailored to specific foreign markets based on their location, language and culture. Your ad copy, images, videos, keywords and landing pages are tailored to that target county.

How is the PPC translation achieved?

The translation of PPC ads require a slightly different approach to normal translation. Language skills are not enough; you need local expertise and knowledge of how searches works in each target market to make sure your ads are successful:

1. Keyword research for multilingual PPC

Your keywords play a vital part in PPC campaigns. If you bid on wrong terms, it can cost you a lot of money for very little return. We’ve all heard about failed translation, where a word that means one thing in the UK means something completely different abroad. While many brands choose to simply translate their keywords from the source to target language without necessary adaptation, it can lead to a costly mistake. Not only for the budget, but also for company’s reputation. This is where keyword research can be tricky unless you have the right skill set.

For example, if you translated the Parker Pen slogan “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you” directly into Spanish, it would become “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant”.

Keywords are also a part of the Quality Score. The Quality Score estimates the quality of your ads, keywords and landing pages. It is used to determine your cost per click (CPC), meaning that higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.

2. PPC ad copy translation

Translating copy for PPC adverts isn’t as simple as translating text from one language to another, as there are character limits to adhere to. Your ads should read well and be appealing to the user, prompting them to click and convert. This will improve you CTR (click through rate) and make your adverts more effective.

If you choose to go with Google ads, you can select add up to three headlines, each 30 characters long, and two descriptions, each 90 characters long. If you are translating into double-width languages such as Chinese, Japanese or Arabic, these character limits can be problematic. The character limits are nearly halved making it harder to get the right message across to the user.

3. PPC sitelinks

You can add more information to your ads by adding sitelinks. These can include links to relevant pages (sitelink extensions), benefits of your product or service (callout extensions), telephone numbers (call extensions), locations (location extensions) and price (price extensions). Sitelinks are easy to update, they can show you detailed data for your clicks and can be scheduled in with start and end dates. Sitelinks are also free, and they have been proven to improve CTR and engagement.

Sitelinks also help to improve your Quality score (remember the higher the quality score, the less you pay); they provide alternative conversion paths, can send users to multiple landing pages and give you competitive advantage.

4. PPC landing page translation

PPC ads need landing pages – pages you send users to each time they click on your ad. They also need to be in the same language as your adverts. Landing pages are part of the Quality score estimate and can impact how much you pay per click. Ideally, you would want to send users to a relevant page with good quality content including your chosen keywords. This page should be easy to digest, describe your products/services, outline its benefits and include a call to action.

Foreign Tongues will help you deliver successful PPC campaigns. Our linguists’ adhere to the character limits and know how to optimise paid search campaigns by selecting relevant keywords and using them to write a compelling ad copy.

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