5 tips for using Google Ads to expand your eCommerce businesses into international markets

When entering international markets, adjust your Google Ad strategy to successfully grow your eCommerce business in other countries.

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All small to medium-sized online sellers know that when it comes to online search ads, Google is king. As an essential part of growing your eCommerce business, you’re already familiar with the power that Google has in driving traffic to your online store. In fact, Google plans to continue making moves that cater to eCommerce businesses as online shopping gains in popularity.

But as you expand your business into international markets, it’s important to adjust your marketing approach, too. While it’s exciting to enter an international market, you’ll also be looking for potential customers that might not have the same shopping behaviors as those that you are used to. From language differences to disposable income, there are a number of factors to consider — and those factors impact your Google Ad strategy.

Consider these 5 tips for using Google Ads to scale your eCommerce business to international markets.

1. Take advantage of Market Finder’s free tools

Market Finder is a free service provided by Google aimed at helping businesses enter new markets with a suite of tools. If you’ve yet to scale your eCommerce business to international markets, you can start by taking a Market Finder quiz to assess your readiness. For those already working on an expansion, use Market Finder to see which markets best align with your product and gain new insights.

To get started, enter your website URL. Market Finder will automatically scan your website for viable product and service categories, but you can always add more. Next, using data and metrics, the site will determine which international markets will be best for your product. From there, you can sign up to receive custom insights that will influence your ad strategy in each of those markets.

2. Translate your Google Ad copy

Buyers worldwide may be familiar with English, but your ads will have a higher conversation rate if they market your product or service in a potential buyer’s native language. A free and easy way to translate your ad copy is to use Google Translate. This service allows you to translate copy into more than 130 languages. Though impressive in its ability to quickly get you a translation, be forewarned that it’s not always 100% accurate. For the best results, consider hiring a translator or native speaker to proofread your copy. A number of professional translation companies can perform this task for you or may find individual freelance translators on sites like Fiverr and Upwork.

As a reminder, be sure to incorporate all proper punctuation and accent marks in your translated copy — if you don’t, you may be using the wrong word entirely, an embarrassing mistake.

Bonus tip: When you expand to new markets, consider translating your entire website into that market’s main language. While many browsers can translate websites for a user, having the option already available to your customers will increase trust and avoid incorrect product descriptions or other translation errors.

3. Pay careful attention to local and cultural phrases and spellings

Let’s say you run a successful online shop that specializes in women’s accessories. You sell your products in the U.S., but you’re looking to expand into England. Though this might seem like an easy opportunity to use the same Google Ad copy — both countries speak English — you might want to rethink that approach. A “purse” in America is something different to the British. Understanding the difference between American chips (potato chips) and British chips (French fries), for example, is critical to writing effective ad copy.  

Searching your product and keyword phrases and their meanings in your new market is a good first step to help you make the right word choices. The best way to avoid any costly naming mistakes is to have a native speaker proofread your final Google Ad copy before you publish.

4. Use a separate Google Ads campaign for each country

For each country that you advertise in, be sure to create an entirely new and distinct Google Ads campaign. This will not only help keep you organized, it will also allow you to refine your keywords and strategy over time. Don’t assume that the same strategy that worked for your ads in one country will be the same in another. Rather, be flexible and allow yourself to make adjustments as you learn more about your new customers over time. By keeping your campaigns for each country separate, you’ll be able to get more accurate data and create better ads over time that are perfectly tailored to each market.

5. Consider automating bidding to optimize your ads

When you’re entering a new market, sometimes it’s good to take a step back. What’s effective in one country may not be exactly the same in another. Additionally, as you scale your eCommerce business into new markets, it means you’ll be managing more Google Ads campaigns. One way to reduce stress and learn new insights is to enable Smart Bidding — also known as automated bidding. When you automate bids, Google will use a robust algorithm to evaluate data at auction-time to set your bids. Not only does this save you time, but it also gives you the opportunity to let Google’s algorithm make some best guesses for you in a new market. As you learn more about that market over time, you may want to take a more hands-on approach to adjust your Google Ad bidding.

Two bonus quick tips:

  • If you’re choosing particular ad times for your campaigns, be sure to pay close attention to time zones.
  • You can target both language and location. This means, for example, you could target both English or Spanish speakers in Mexico City. This gives you even more options for finding the right customers.

When it comes to expanding your eCommerce business into international markets, it’s important to set yourself up for success. One of the best ways to reach new customers and grow your business is to take the time to adjust your Google Ad campaign strategy with each new market you enter. As your ads gain more traction, analyze which keywords are resonating and which need a change. Each market is unique, so it’s important to give each campaign the attention it deserves.

As you grow into new markets, consider working with a cross-border growth partner who can support your expansion. A cross-border growth partner like LianLian Global can help streamline and secure international payments, leaving you with more time to focus on developing a marketing strategy that will give you a competitive advantage in any market.

Start growing your eCommerce business today with a cross-border growth partner.

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