Ceilings, peaks, however, you refer to it, given enough time, testing, and resources there is a specific limit to your national reach with pay per click marketing. Expanding to foreign markets provides many benefits, although this discussion is more about the “How” rather than the “Why.”  Even though the world is shrinking in many respects, crossing international borders can still be an intimidating venture to small business marketers for several reasons. For e-commerce websites, there are shipping and currency concerns. For others, there are additional challenges, including breaking down language barriers, including translating site content, whitepapers, case studies, etc. But after resolving those issues and dissolving your borders, it’s time to go global with the help of these helpful tips.

Tip #1: Think Locally

Pay per click marketing in Tbilisi, Georgia, is no different than advertising your business in Atlanta, Georgia. The point is that to reach your intended audience; your message should be crafted in a manner that connects. If you want to target non-English markets, look to partner with a translation vendor with demonstrated paid search understanding. Our partner has an incredible international presence, and we work closely with them to create localized messages that target appropriately. Also, it’s essential that they have paid search experience due to the simple fact of character limitations and other ad creation guidelines.

Tip #2: Act Globally (Choose wisely!)

For larger organizations which have centralized paid search campaign management but a decentralized regional structure, you should engage with individual country managers to help with how your product/service is positioned. For advertisers starting from scratch, you have a few options. First, you can only target traffic using English-only ads. Starting in predominately English speaking countries is a great way to put a toe in the water. Also, do some legwork and identify the engines and states that most closely align with your campaign goals. While Google is a behemoth in the United States, their reach isn’t as internationally monopolistic you may think.

Tip #3: Paid Search is Fundamental

Finally, always keep in mind that while your paid search environment may change due to increased or decreased competition, language, and impression inventory factors, there are bedrock principles that know no borders. Proper campaign structure, keyword research, ad/landing page testing, ROAS analysis, and other proven techniques are essential no matter what your geo-targeted settings. Remember, those were the principles that led to reaching your domestic peak and exploring foreign markets in the first place!

So don’t be intimidated. Learn from your mistakes (quickly if possible!) and before you know it, you’ll be bumping into newer, higher ceilings wondering how to more effectively connect with women 18-35 in France and determining the best strategy to enter emerging markets in the Pacific Rim.

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