This is a special guest blog post from Kerstin Baker-Ash.
Kerstin has worked in search engine marketing for six years across agency and in-house roles. A native of Toronto, Canada, she has experienced the inevitable pants versus trousers embarrassment since moving to the United Kingdom. Kerstin uses her multilingual background to manage cross-market campaigns for clients in the government, retail and travel sectors and blogs about search engine marketing at kerstinbakerash.com.
At first, managing multimarket accounts across different countries and time zones can sound daunting. What do you do when the prospect of setting it up becomes overwhelming? How do you determine the differences, if any, in your new target markets? Here are some tools which will allow you to resist the temptation to copy your account and structure for a new market.
Google Insights for Search: What terms are more likely to bring your company or client quality traffic from their new market? Is seasonality a factor? If your American clothing company is launching in Australia, you can sense-check your keyword inventory against seasonal trends, and tailor your ad copy to audiences who might not be looking for your winter clothing line in January.
Analytics: Even though you might not have announced your expansion into a new market, you will most likely have visitors to your existing site from the market you plan to expand into. How are they getting to your site? What types of keyword phrases are landing them on what page? The insight from your own existing analytics data can save you a lot of time in keyword research and copy generation. In Google Analytics, click on the country, then select “Keyword” from the “Dimension” drop-down menu. It will then give you a list of the top traffic-driving keywords to your site – you can even organize this by drilling down to region, state or city level.
My Client Center/MCC: This is an essential tool in managing more than one account. Sure, you could set up your existing account’s campaigns to target different countries and territories on a campaign by campaign basis, but the MCC ties everything together without creating the potential for overspill or targeting mistakes. Sign up to the Google Advertising Professionals program, and your current AdWords account will be migrated over into your new MCC. All of a sudden, the accounts you manage fall under one interface, with easy switching between the different markets’ campaigns.
Local Press: With the proliferation of Google News and search functionality across a number of websites, start reading some press that is local to your new market. Get a sense of what they call other products in your industry, or how they structure sentences. When writing copy for different markets, consider that different cultures respond in unique ways to hard sells, calls to action and even humor in ads.
Friends, Colleagues and Family: You have the best, free resource right at your fingertips. Offices in bigger cities these days are crammed with people who hail from all four corners of the earth. Ask your cousin’s wife Sheila what words Australians would use to describe slacks, or ask your manager’s husband Doug how Canadians might approach winter fashion trends. Never underestimate the insight picking up the phone and calling a friend can bring – applying it not only to your new multimarket account or to your existing locally targeted one.
There’s a knee-jerk reaction to rely on automated tools for setting up multimarket accounts, but the real input (and success) should come from your own PPC Guru brain. Use some old fashioned conversations to gauge what your audience is looking for, and watch your venture into a new market take off.