Conversions +320% Clicks +677%
Do I have your attention?
With all the power Google has in the Search space, it can be easy to take what Google says at face value. However, it is important to remember that PPC is about testing and taking risks (calculated, smart risks that is), not just relying on Best Practices (what Google says).
The above graph is the perfect example of when you should do some digging and testing on your own, regardless of what Google tells you.
So, lets talk about what made clicks and conversions increase sustainably above.
It was nothing crazy or difficult, one very simple change was made: Language Settings.
As you can see, early in the graph there was minimal traffic and conversions.
Why? Because the campaign was developed based on best practices, according to Google Language Settings, copied verbatim below:
Target the right language for your business Single language - Target the language in which your ad is written. For example, if your ad is written in English, target English-speaking users. Remember that Google won't translate your ad for you. Multiple languages - If you want to target more than one language, create a separate campaign for each language. Combine with location targeting - As people speak many different languages in many different locations, language targeting also gives you an excellent way to reach your users even if they are physically located in non-native areas. For example, if you are a company based in the UK and want to target the English-speaking population of Spain, you can set your country targeting to Spain and your language targeting to English. When we detect that a certain user in Spain speaks English, your ad can be shown. We recommend creating separate campaigns for each country and language pair. This will ensure that wherever your potential customers are located, they will see your ads in their language.
The campaign featured above is an International Campaign; however, the business is English speaking only. Given Googles claim if you are a company based in the UK and want to target the English-speaking population of Spain, you can set your country targeting to Spain and your language targeting to English. When we detect that a certain user in Spain speaks English, your ad can be shown, we set out with our Language Settings to English only. Results were dismal.
After a few weeks live, we decided we HAD to be missing out on volume given results in other countries. Within the Adwords Interface Google has this note: When determining where to show your ads, the AdWords system looks at a user's Google interface language setting to see if it matches one of the languages that your campaign targets. For example, only users whose Google interface language is Spanish will see ads in a campaign targeted to Spanish.
We realized that what may be occurring is that users in other countries likely use their native language as their Language Default and perhaps Googles claim of we detect that a certain user in Spain speaks English, your ad can be shown, didn't work as well as we'd assumed it would.
Simple change: add in the native language(s).
Voila: Conversions increased 320% with clicks increasing 677% from month to month.
While a very simple change, its a classic example of when to do digging and testing on your own and not just use best practices.
Moral of the story: If you are running campaigns outside of the US, make sure you have an understanding of the native languages and conduct a monitored, strategic test to determine if adding additional languages gets you the desired results. If you do add native languages, be prepared to monitor your Search Query reports like a hawk, as you will likely be matched to terms in the native language. Given the results shown above, monitoring Search Query reports is a small price to pay for the conversions you may now be driving!
Note: Though CPA was not included in the above test example, it is an extremely important factor that should be evaluated in all tests. In this case CPA was well beneath our goal CPA in both instances (English only & English + Native Language), as such this was simply a test on maximizing traffic and conversions.