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Pay per click management in foreign languages: where culture and context is crucial

It might seem as impossible as finding a needle in a haystack, but the only way to guarantee success with foreign language pay per click campaigns is to hire a professional translator or language specialist who also happens to have experience in pay per click management.

Your search is likely to take a long time, but it’s more than worth the effort. Hiring the right Google AdWords manager for this role is the key to your international marketing success. It’s the single factor which will distinguish you and your business from the rest also trying to break out into the foreign market.

Professional translator or a native with impeccable language skills?

When looking for the right person to help you build your foreign language pay per click campaign, you have two broad options to choose from: the professional translator or the native who is highly skilled in language use and grammar.

Native speakers are excellent in terms of capturing local phrases and the rhythm of a language. They can also be very useful in paid search management when it comes to noticing whether or not advertisement copy appears offensive or aggressive or whether the tone of the text is just not quite right for the target audience in question.

However, it is important to remember that not all native speakers have impeccable grammar skills and therefore you do need to be sure that the native you hire to translate your keywords and advertisement text for you is someone who has  strong, academic understanding of his or her native language too. Spelling, for instance, is still important, and any mistakes you make must be deliberate and part of the style of Google AdWords advertisement you choose to run.

Professional translators are going to be highly reliable in terms of perfect grammar and spelling, but unless they are also native, they might not have the cultural understanding necessary to take your foreign language ppc campaign to a level that surpasses all those you are competing with.

Either way, the worst choice you can make is to employ a paid search management expert to translate using a dictionary without any knowledge of the foreign language whatsoever. Choosing to go down this road is asking for online marketing failure to come your way.

What can your new paid search management language specialist help you with?

As mentioned above, your language specialist is going to help you translate keywords and advertisement text. However, he or she will also be able to come up with alternative versions of the translated keywords which might end up driving more traffic to your site through your Google AdWords campaign. It’s also possible for your language specialist, if he or she is a native, to share contextual information with you about the target audience of your paid search advertising campaign..

The worst thing you can do is offend someone via your Google AdWords marketing campaign. For instance, you might have adopted the color red in your company logo as a way of presenting your business’ values to the US market. >People in other countries might react to your red logo in different ways and it might affect the success or failure of your international paid search campaign.

For instance, in the Middle East, red is associated with danger and evil. In Japan, red is thought to be an important symbol of female reproduction. Only native input can help to pick up on these essential differences between cultures and prevent possible online marketing errors which produce severe consequences for you and your advertising budget.

Why must he or she also be trained in pay per click management?

Access to a deep understanding of culture and context when running international pay per click campaigns is vital, but you do also need to be surrounded by trained paid search experts if you really want your foreign language ppc campaign to start generating serious conversions. This is why the native you find to work on your ppc translation must also be an online marketing specialist and, preferably, trained in pay per click too.

English and Spanish are two different languages. There are many different cultures which use a range of languages that online advertisers must get to know and understand for marketing purposes. However, pay per click has a language and culture of its own too. It’s different to print, TV and radio advertising. It’s also different to SEO.

Ariel Rosenstein was absolutely spot on for saying, “An international PPC campaign “has its own currency, language, culture and demographics.”” If culture and context truly hold the key to international ppc success, you’ll need to find a language specialist who speaks “ppc” too.

This is a guest post by David Chapman, Director of Webrageous Studios, an online marketing company specializing in online marketing, PPC campaigns, SEO and online marketing. You can read more about David’s writings on the Webrageous Blog.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily bgTheory. If you would like to write for Certified Knowledge, please let us know.

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  1. paulo rossini
    December 23, 2013 at 11:28 am · Reply

    I totally agree. I’ve been doing PPC in Brazil (and Latin America) for over 8 years and when trying to advertise in languages different than portuguese I always face the cultural issues on how to have better ads written. Well said!

  2. Ayush @ MG Web SEO
    December 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm · Reply

    Hello David,

    Culture and context would be key drivers when in the upcoming days when PPC impressions and clicks would be more important.

    Also, as global businesses evolve online, Pay per click management would be inclined towards foreign language and that is why I really liked the way you detailed the idea.

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