The easy answer to this question is that unless you are careful international PPC can be a great waste of both time and money. Currently 72% of all internet searches originate from countries outside of North America and this means there is a huge market of people searching in the international community and they are being underserved due to limitations with language, payment gateways, shipping and customer support. Should you decide to take on the international market with a PPC campaign, here are the top 3 strategies you need to consider:
International PPC Requires Strong Demographic Information
You must first identify where your target market is by country and by region if possible. In this way you can develop or tailor the product to the area and make it more appealing to the people who will be searching for it. Understand if you are seeking men, women and their age groups as well and include these in your targeting. It is also important to be aware of the predominate language of an area. Your current data may be coming from an English speaking pocket and providing you with false numbers on which you are basing your assumptions.
Language Targeting and Translation Needs
Do not believe that current translation tools will provide you with the correct wording and syntax that you are hoping to achieve. Not understanding the language and its nuances can cost you a huge amount of money and reputation. Take the simple effort of Chevrolet to market cars in Mexico. The simple, yet popular car NOVA in the US was a flop in Mexico because the name of the car literally means “NO GO.” Make sure that you take time to work with a translator who understands the colloquial language of the region you are targeting and can help put your words in the correct format. Also make sure that when you set up your campaigns that you target the audience by the same language in which your ads are written.
Domain Choice for Landing Pages
Yes, you already have a great domain, but in order to improve your quality score and increase the specific targets of your ads, it is wise to choose a country specific domain. Using a country specific domain allows your landing pages to appear more relevant and provide a higher score on the search engines. It also shows your audience that you are thinking of them as well and this respect toward another culture is always welcome.
The biggest obstacle of international PPC comes from developing a sales funnel that provides information, follow up and then an excellent customer experience for your market. Ensuring that your shipping and delivery issues are taken care of is the first issue you should address. If you have a physical product that must be delivered, this hurdle may limit the number and type of countries that you can deal with effectively. Currency transactions are the next issue and by ensuring that your payment gateway can provide you with adequate currency conversions at a reasonable rate should be another priority when developing your overseas campaign. Finally, make sure that you can handle customer support in the language of your customers. If you address these issues and take your time you should be able to develop an extremely lucrative international PPC income stream.