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August 07, 2008

Manage Google Adwords in Any Language

I can manage Adwords campaigns in any language supported by Google. That’s right, any language. The only language I know fluently is English, although I am studying basic Russian. So, how can I manage Adwords in languages I don’t know? And why would I?

international adwords

First, let me clarify. I refuse to manage a search marketing campaign for a language I can’t translate. Even if I had the ad copy translated for me, I wouldn’t be able to understand the many distinct permutations of words or phrases, the conjugations of verbs, or the day-to-day vernacular that native speakers of a language can. While a great deal of my job is nothing more than analyzing numbers, it still requires an insite of what users are intending in any particular search.

The standard response when asked to support another language is to outsource the ad. I don’t care for the idea of someone else being responsible for my credibility. If I say I’m going to get a client results, I would rather not have to constantly explain those results to a client. Plus, I’d rather not increase the amount of money I’m asking of a client only to see most of that money go elsewhere.

For starters, the trick is not to simply choose another language while still using English ad copy. Spanish speakers might still click on an English ad, for example, but they are highly unlikely to actually convert. Quite frankly, it is bad practice to do so. I find it surprising how often I have to explain to others that Google does not translate ads for them.

The simple trick is to manage ads on the Content Network. Since Google cares more about the theme of the keywords in a Content Network ad than anything else, there is no perpetual shifting of keywords. The only difficult part is the initial setup. From that point forward it is purely a numbers game.

First, you’ll want to get the keywords and ad copy you would want as if it were an English ad. If you are also running an English ad then use that one as your starting point. You will still need to either outsource the translation to someone else or to the client specifically. Make certain to have four or five text ad copies ready. Since their translation may not sound as good as your initial text, you need to monitor the performance of the ad copy closely, and stop displaying some text accordingly. Google is mostly concerned with the keyword themes in adgroups on the Content Network, so most translations should be fine if your initial English keywords were grouped correctly.

From that point forward, you will simply monitor the Placement Performance report and block sites that perform poorly. Now, for those marketers that do not like the Content Network, you will have outsource the product.

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