AdWords Tips

Targeting Bilingual & Spanish-Speaking Audiences in AdWords: The Why & How

By Erin Sagin September 26, 2013 Posted In: AdWords Tips Comments: 7

Targetting Spanish AdWords

As digital marketers, we are always under the gun to drive more qualified searchers to our website. This can be a challenging job, especially once a PPC account is well-optimized.

So what do you do when your performance starts to plateau? Look for missed opportunities. Hands down, the most common area of missed opportunity I see in US-based accounts is not advertising to the bilingual, Hispanic community.

Spanish Language Advertising AdWords

Why You Can’t Afford to Neglect the Spanish Language Market

The numbers speak for themselves. According to the 2010 census, there are 53 million Hispanics living in the United States, which comes to 17% of our total population. Not only that, but this group is projected to continue growing at a rapid rate. As you devise your digital marketing strategy, this is an important factor to keep in mind. While all US-based advertisers should consider this audience, it is particularly critical to those targeting a younger audience (the median age across Hispanic communities in the US is 27.6) or regions with particularly large Latino communities.

Ok, so you didn’t ace Spanish 101? Don’t worry, you don’t need to be fluent in order to expand your advertising to this ever-growing market. Remember, Google bases language targeting on a user’s interface language. Users can edit this setting to ensure Google provides results in their selected language. For example, if a Spanish speaker who lives in the US sets his interface settings to Spanish, he will only see Spanish results, even if he is searching on www.google.com. AdWords will only display your ads if your language targeting matches a searchers’ interface language.

Here’s the key—according to Google, over 30% of online media consumption in the United States is conducted by searchers who use both Spanish and English interchangeably. These bilingual searchers tend to be a huge area of missed opportunity for US-based advertisers. If the primary language used in their households is Spanish, their browser settings are likely to be set to Spanish. However, they are also likely to conduct many searchers in English—therein lies the problem. If a business’s language targeting is set to English only, its ads will not show to this audience.

Make This Easy Change to Your AdWords Campaigns NOW!

If your business is located in an area with a large Spanish-speaking population and your targeting is set to English-only, cancel whatever you have planned for the next ten minutes. Yes, this will be quick! All you have to do is identify your English-only campaigns and adjust your language targeting to include Spanish. Boom—you just expanded your PPC audience in a matter of a few clicks.

I know it sounds like we’re taking the easy route out by simply tweaking the settings and neglecting to build campaigns in Spanish. However, in some cases, the easy route is truly the best route. If your website doesn’t translate seamlessly or your sales/services aren’t offered in Spanish, you probably don’t want to risk advertising to a Spanish-only audience. While Spanish campaigns may help you to expand your impressions, it is not likely that you would see a proportional uptick in conversions.

Google recently shared results from a case study in which they applied this strategy.

Language Targeting in AdWords

As you can see, the benefits of the adjustments are clear. Not only did this advertiser experience an increase in click volume, they also found lower CPCs for the Spanish-speaking audience.

I highly recommend adjusting your strategy to include the Spanish-speaking population sooner rather than later. At this time, Latinos control $1 trillion in spending power in the US. This number is expected to grow 42% by 2017. It is critical to adapt your paid search campaigns before you miss out on great potential!

Buena suerte!

 

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Comments

Thursday September 26, 2013

Randall Magwood (not verified) Said:

I think it's a good idea to target spanish speaking audiences. Didn't know Google Adwords had the capabilities to do this. The most I thought was just targeting by certain countries. But this has definitely opened my eyes to the possibilities.

Monday September 30, 2013

Erin (not verified) Said:

Happy to hear we've taught you something new!  Looking forward to hearing how it works for you, Randall!

Friday September 27, 2013

Maria (not verified) Said:

what if you already target the Hispanics with an exact copy of your website in Spanish and have campaigns set to Spanish only with all Spanish ads already in place? Would you still recommend setting the spanish setting along with the English in the English only campaigns?

Monday September 30, 2013

Erin (not verified) Said:

Hi Maria-- Good question! I would actually still set both campaigns to target English and Spanish.  This helps you to incorporate a bilingual audience whose browser settings may not reflect the language that they are searching in.  Hope that helps!

Sunday September 29, 2013

Ashot Aleksanyan (not verified) Said:

Hello,

You are saying I quote "OK, so you didn’t ace Spanish 101? Don’t worry, you don’t need to be fluent in order to expand your advertising to this ever-growing market." 
If you are not fluent in Spanish how you are going to work with Spanish keywords? You can't just translate using a dictionary, can you? You have to feel the language and you have to know the Spanish market as well.

Monday September 30, 2013

Steve Cameron (not verified) Said:

I work in a bilingual environment with many of my local clients - Spanish/English.

In general I spliut by language - so I have a versions of the website in both languages and run separate campaigns for each language with keywords and ads in that language.

However, what I have found is that the Spanish speaker will often use English search terms - and this is more significant for some sectors than others - which means that if English keywords are not included in the Spanish camapign ads will not be triggered. I often tend to include a set of my core keywords in English in my Spanish keyword list for this reason.

But in this case I tend to still run my ads in Spanish and take the visitor to the Spanish site.

 

On the other hand, where a client wants to run a camapign in a language they neither speak nor have a website for - I often recommend against. I have a real estate client who currently wants to advertise to the Russian market - but they don't have a Russian website and if a Russian calls them on the phone thety cannot speak to them - I see little point!

Wednesday October 23, 2013

Globus (not verified) Said:

HI Thanks for your great information. Please keep posting. Thanks

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