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If your business has an international footprint, it makes sense to market internationally. Implementing online marketing is, due to its nature, logistically easy to do from a computer at a desk here in the UK, but this will only work if the strategy and tactics match each market. There are many elements to consider that you might think – it’s not just as easy as translating your UK ad campaigns and expecting great results.

The International Environment

The international landscape is extremely dynamic. Global consumers join the e-commerce world every day. According to Internet World Stats, Africa and Asia have the fastest growing online populations from 2000 to 2015 (7,000% and 1,000% respectively).

Before launching an international PPC campaign, advertisers should be aware that sometimes AdWords is not the predominant ad serving service in a specific country. Yandex is the “Google” of Russia, for example, whilst China is dominated by Baidu and South Korea is covered by Naver. In other markets, the search engine landscape is different in other ways, some countries prefer Yahoo over Google, some almost ignore Bing and Yahoo and favour of a massive domination of Google and so on.



After doing the PPC research of the international landscape, you should be aware of the quirks that come with translating an ad from one language to another. For example, each Spanish-speaking South American country has their own colloquialisms for a variety of terms – using them in ads and customising keyword lists is important.

The messaging of the Ad Text is important to nail, but a lot of the attention should be paid towards the translation of Keywords. As we know, PPC campaigns revolve around the selection of the right keywords, making an international campaign research of the utmost importance. The value of using native speakers to translate from English, as we do at our agency, can reap huge rewards you would never know you’re missing if using automated or basic word-for-word translation.


Be “Local”

Launching an international PPC campaign can be difficult and require a lot of research, but some will be happy to know that a typical PPC budget goes much farther in foreign markets than it does in the UK market. Emerging e-commerce markets like China, Russia, India and Brazil typically have lower keyword competition meaning your ad campaign will cost less too.

The extent to which even neighbouring countries can differ – and how knowing as much as you can about how each country ticks – is explored in my blog post from 2012 published here.


International Pay Per Click at ESV Digital

Tracking internationally across multiple domains and channels can be overwhelming but our multi-channel platform was developed to collect extensive information on all marketing touch points between the users and your brand, regardless of how many sites or markets you target. You can monitor both visits, clicks & views (ad-centric data) and information on website user behaviour (site-centric data). This feature allows ESV Analytics to incorporate a measure of engagement into our unbiased algorithm for ‘best in class’ accuracy. Since our technology was developed in-house, we can tailor it to your needs. We are constantly investing in the research and development that provides us an edge over our competitors.

We are a flexible international organization that can mirror your own, whether you are looking for local contacts or a centralised organization. Our team of Google AdWords and Bing Ads certified experts have up-to-the-minute industry knowledge and are experts at optimising PPC campaigns. Our Account Management team can dive into the conversion funnel to get full insight into the true value of each of your marketing efforts. We know the international digital advertising landscape because we have international management experience for global campaigns in over 45 countries and 20 different languages.



There are real opportunities for profitable growth internationally, if you do it right, but it isn’t logistically the easiest move for many companies. This is where the value of outsourcing to seasoned experts becomes starkly apparent and can rapidly have your campaign competing strongly with the local players quicker than trying to learn as you go.

Have an international digital advertising campaign that needs help addressing cultural variations? Contact us on or follow us on LinkedIn or Tweet at us!


28 April 2016