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Language in International PPC : Rose By Any Other Spelling May Smell Sweeter

Everyone knows – though many fail to use – misspelled keywords in their PPC or organic search optimization efforts can be very effective. Interestingly I have found that many major players in our field tend to forget this process when they start to do any kind of multilingual or foreign country marketing.

I will admit that I have been guilty of this as well, but recently discovered just how much traffic this can bring.

Misspelling in International Campaigns

What we have to realize is that many people in other countries may search in English, but too often they misspell or even miss use grammar when doing it. I always include English words in all multilingual PPC efforts, but in a recent effort to grab more traffic I started using misspells.

Surprise, surprise – in many cases I was getting more searches for them than the correct spelling.

It makes sense though, you hear it when you talk to someone who is using English as a second language.

Phonetics and PPC

The other area many people do not consider but is a goldmine are phonetics. More than just misspells, we need to be aware of the way other people spell out our words. You see it all the time in English language forums where people wanting to learn come and slowly write in a foreign language to them. They sound out the words and place them in the order they are used to in their own language.

Multiple word keywords are particularly good for this approach. The scope is endless and as I slowly test new ideas about this I am finding plenty of traffic.


The other part is to be aware of this when creating landing pages for them. Keep the copy simple – avoid the tendency to use niched industry terms and try and write using a very simple vocabulary. You are not writing down to them, you are actually helping them understand your site.

Just like when we were learning that compulsory language as kids, we tended to grab the words and use them as we would our own language. Keep that in mind and you will be rewarded with new and happy visitors who have a tendency to click more through a site they find accessible.

The next area I plan on testing is the use of combined languages. My recent trip to Amsterdam and Beirut – two countries that use multiple langauges has shown me that many people use a combination of languages when trying to communicate with non-local speakers. Exactly how I may pull this one off is a discussion for another article.

The guest post is by Frank Watson of KangamurraMedia (Paid Search Assistance) – follow Frank on Twitter!

Category SEO
Frank Watson

Frank works with sweetiQ developing local marketing tips and guides for location-based marketers

Language in International PPC : Rose By Any Other Spelling May Smell Sweeter

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