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Why translating your keywords and ads in your paid campaigns is a bad idea

I explain why you should never translate keywords and ads, and why localisation and working with native speakers is best.

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Why translating your keywords
and ads is a bad idea in
PPC/paid media
Olivia Lofts // Webcertain
SLIDESHARE.NET/olivia.lofts
@webcertain
Running PPC campaign and want to
expand to a new market
You translate your keywords and ads
Push campaign live
Performance is bad
WHY???
Running PPC campaign and want to
expand to a new market
You translate your keywords and ads
Push campaign live
Performance is bad
STOP
1. You should
never translate
your keywords
Keyword Local monthly
searches (UK)
cheap hotel 135000
budget hotel 14800
low cost hotel 480
economy hotel 260
affordable hotel 210
inexpensive hotel 91
low price hotel 73
reasonable hotel 46
economic hotel 28
economical hotel 12
Local search volumes
Keywords don’t have the same search
volumes in different countries

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Why translating your keywords and ads in your paid campaigns is a bad idea

  • 1. Why translating your keywords and ads is a bad idea in PPC/paid media Olivia Lofts // Webcertain SLIDESHARE.NET/olivia.lofts @webcertain
  • 2. Running PPC campaign and want to expand to a new market You translate your keywords and ads Push campaign live Performance is bad
  • 4. Running PPC campaign and want to expand to a new market You translate your keywords and ads Push campaign live Performance is bad STOP
  • 5. 1. You should never translate your keywords
  • 6. Keyword Local monthly searches (UK) cheap hotel 135000 budget hotel 14800 low cost hotel 480 economy hotel 260 affordable hotel 210 inexpensive hotel 91 low price hotel 73 reasonable hotel 46 economic hotel 28 economical hotel 12 Local search volumes Keywords don’t have the same search volumes in different countries
  • 7. Keyword Local monthly searches (UK) cheap hotel 135000 budget hotel 14800 low cost hotel 480 economy hotel 260 affordable hotel 210 inexpensive hotel 91 low price hotel 73 reasonable hotel 46 economic hotel 28 economical hotel 12 Keywords don’t have the same search volumes in different countries Local search volumes
  • 8. French translation Local monthly searches (France) hôtel pas cher 8100 hôtel budget 0 hôtel bas cout 0 hôtel classe économique 0 hôtel abordable 0 hôtel bon marché 16 hôtel bas prix 0 hôtel prix raisonnable 110 hôtel économique 91 hôtel économique 91 Keyword Local monthly searches (UK) cheap hotel 135000 budget hotel 14800 low cost hotel 480 economy hotel 260 affordable hotel 210 inexpensive hotel 91 low price hotel 73 reasonable hotel 46 economic hotel 28 economical hotel 12
  • 9. French keyword research Local monthly searches (France) hôtel pas cher 8100 hotel pas chere 1900 hotel moins cher 1900 reservation hotel pas cher 880 promo hotel 720 hebergement pas cher 720 hotels pas chers 320 chaine hotel pas cher 320 trouver un hotel pas cher 320 chambre hotel pas cher 210 If you do keyword research in French for France, the search volumes are much better French translation Local monthly searches (France) hôtel pas cher 8100 hôtel budget 0 hôtel bas cout 0 hôtel classe économique 0 hôtel abordable 0 hôtel bon marché 16 hôtel bas prix 0 hôtel prix raisonnable 110 hôtel économique 91 hôtel économique 91
  • 11. Different regions might use different words to say the same thing, so their search queries will be different Be aware of Regional nuances One keyword might apply to one part of a country for not another
  • 12. Imagine a French fashion designer, selling their brand of chinos. They want to expand their sales into the UK and the US They have some ads running, and they’ve translated the French word ‘Pantalon’ into English. They get ‘Trousers’. But what happens with the search volumes?
  • 15. UK: choose ‘trousers’ US: choose ‘pants’
  • 19. ‘KFC – Eat Your Fingers Off!’
  • 20. ‘Parker Pens – it won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you!’
  • 21. ‘Parker Pens – it won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant!’
  • 22. ‘Parker Pens – it won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant!’
  • 23. If you reference a famous place or person in one language, that same place or person might not be recognised in another market Be aware of regional nuances in ad copy This also applies to local festivals, national holidays and regional celebrations
  • 24. Ads have clear character descriptions, and if you’re over your headline, description, call to action or path, your ads won’t be approved Be aware of character limits Be aware of different character limits in different search engines (Naver, Yandex, Baidu, Google)
  • 25. Different meanings in different countries Be aware of call to actions US/EN – direct RU/CN/JP – non-direct
  • 26. 2. Why is this so important?
  • 28. If you’re bidding on keywords with no search volume, you’re missing out on a whole audience of potential customers. Missed opportunities You could also be wasting valuable media budget on irrelevant keywords.
  • 29. Poor results from a campaign might lead you to think a market isn’t for you Wrong Impressions But if your ads are of low quality, you’re not giving the market a fair chance
  • 30. Over 70% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product if the ad is in their own language. It is important for consumers to believe a brand cares about them and their needs enough to make custom advertising. Source: https://hbr.org/2012/08/speak-to-global-customers-in-t Build trust with your audience
  • 31. 3. How should you localise your ads?
  • 32. 1. Run Fresh keyword research in local language using a native speaker
  • 33. so the language will be correct 2. Get your ads written by a native speaker from that country or region so the writer will be aware of cultural nuances and regional differences
  • 34. Review and evaluate performance – tracking your key KPIs 3. Test and Learn Tweak and optimise – adjust bids, adjust keyword match-types Do Search Query Reports to expand on well performing keywords and find more negatives
  • 35. Make sure your landing pages are in local languages too 4. Don’t forget about your landing pages Use localized keywords on your landing pages that you are also using in your ads – to ensure a good quality score Make sure your landing page is relevant to your ads
  • 38. Similar process… Identify native target keywords Incorporate into content as it is being created (or edit existing text)
  • 39. Similar process… Identify native target keywords Add keywords to meta data Incorporate into content as it is being created (or edit existing text)
  • 40. Similar process… Identify native target keywords Add keywords to meta data Incorporate into content as it is being created (or edit existing text)
  • 43. Conclusion Find your target market Do fresh keyword research in your target language
  • 44. Conclusion Find your target market Do fresh keyword research in your target language Write ads using a native speaker
  • 45. Conclusion Find your target market Do fresh keyword research in your target language Write ads using a native speaker DON’T use Google Translates
  • 46. Conclusion Find your target market Do fresh keyword research in your target language Write ads using a native speaker DON’T use Google Translates Monitor, review and tweak
  • 47. Conclusion Find your target market Do fresh keyword research in your target language Write ads using a native speaker DON’T use Google Translates Monitor, review and tweak Successful campaign!

Editor's Notes

  1. Hello Thank you Title
  2. Webcertain, digital marketing agency Help clients with international campaigns Biggest challenge – paid ads – targeting new markets
  3. So why did this happen?
  4. Well you might infer from the title of this talk, that it has something to do with translating keywords.
  5. Never translate No one to on relationship Primary way target audience You risk overlooking key factors
  6. Local search volumes Keywords don’t have same SV in different countries Hotel example Target FR
  7. Want to save money We said no Not happy We showed them why
  8. Compare volume Difference Important
  9. Compare volume Difference Important
  10. Another thing to take into account Regional nuances
  11. Different countries speak same or similar language Don’t search in same way Examples Also within same countries: Belgium FRENCH/FLEMISH Switzerland FRENCH/GERMAN But mostly with UK and US
  12. French designer pantalon
  13. Obvious yet overlooked
  14. When KFC translated wanted to break into the Chinese market, they translated their main slogan ‘Finger Linkin’ Good’ into Chinese. However it doesn’t look like they used a native speaker, as the ads in China said:
  15. Umm.. Tasty. So this was all over their marketing materials in China, and still stands today. It went down as one of the most embarrassing marketing blunders in history, so you don’t want to put your company or client in this position. Saying that, it’s KFC, so they still made it in China and they’re pretty big today.
  16. Parker pens Bad reputation New campaign US Mexico
  17. Embarassing Didn’t sell Extreme examples but if they can make mistakes, so can you
  18. Event/person Examples Local festivals, national holidays, famous local celebrities, cultural sensitivies
  19. EN to German longer Don’t waste time editing down, start from stratch Ch. Limits depend on different markets RU/KO different to Google (naver – Yandex –Baidu – Google)
  20. US/EN direct RU/CN/JP not direct – sign of poor quality Different features like ‘free delivery’ or ‘different sizes’ ‘Buy now’ wouldn’t go down well in Russia
  21. Missed opportunities Low search volume Expensive keywords
  22. Not getting good change in market
  23. Personalization more important More choice 70% consumers – language good but not just stop there Show you care Not an afterthought
  24. So how do you run a successful paid campaign in a new market
  25. Fresh keyword research Relevant Good search volumes
  26. Native speaker From scratch or edit existing But take into account cultural/regional differences
  27. Set live Get data Review SQRs
  28. Language Relevant User ex
  29. Now we wouldn’t be at BrightonSEO if we didn’t mention a bit of SEO. How does keyword localization work in terms of search engine optimization? Well, it’s a similar process.
  30. One primary, 2 secondary Use to write meta title Meta description Stay within Google’s guidelines
  31. Give to translator Or insert strategically Don’t overstuff content with keywords
  32. So, in conclusion on how to successfully run an international PPC campaign:
  33. Identify your target market based on market research, so your choice of new markets to target should be based on well founded data. Translate landing page
  34. Don’t translate your keywords!
  35. Native speaker. Relevant to landing page.
  36. Whatever you do, don’t use Google translates. Like, just don’t.
  37. And finally, once the ads are running, you should monitor, review and tweak based on performance.
  38. And there you have yourself a successful international campaign :)
  39. Thank you for your time, and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask them now. Thank you 