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Laura Davidson Director Tag Digital

What Tactics Being Used in Europe & US Could Help Brands in the Middle East Develop Their PPC Strategy?

We work with brands across Europe, USA & Middle East and it is fascinating to see differences across digital marketing and what audiences respond to the best – this changes from country to country. As marketers, we need to be aware of context, for instance in the UK when people search “mobile” they usually mean the device – but in Germany it means “handy”.

We can use tools like Consumer Barometer to help us determine how best to approach international audiences and what buying behaviours they have to best position our advertising.  The graphic below demonstrates the depth of mobile penetration in UAE vs. UK – also the extent to which UAE users rely on mobile for every aspect of their life (more so than the UK) so we would use this to ALWAYS create a separate mobile campaign with its own budget, bidding and mobile optimized campaign.  Then we can measure this easily as its’ own entity.

At the beginning of any campaign we will undertake a PPC & Analytics Audit and in the Middle East there is often a pattern of similar behavior that we see and similar recommendations that we would make.

Firstly - get the best, most powerful analytics set up you can have – this includes implementing Google Tag Manager on each domain you manage, this allows you to easily deploy tags and triggers as simply implement custom analytics & ecommerce tracking. 

PPC is Pay Per Click advertising, you only pay for the clicks you get.  This is an auction that Google perform every time someone searches and there are very sophisticated systems built around this technology.  With almost 50% of ad budgets going onto digital – this is a crucial part of online marketing.

In the brands we audit in the Middle East, the common issues we tend to come across and help to optimize are as follows:

  • Broad Match keywords – you will pay much less in the Middle East on a cost per click basis, so perhaps this sometimes goes unnoticed – however we always recommend as specific search terms as possible and then using separate ad groups for branded, non branded and the match types exact, modified broad & phrase match
  • Not Maximizing Extensions – whilst we will often see a sitelink or two being used, best practice is utilizing all this extra space Google is offering us – i.e. Call extensions using a click to call phone number, Review extensions with editorial reviews and call out extensions with an extra bit of “credibility” text.
  • Not Split Testing – It’s common (not just in the Middle East!) to find just one ad in the ad group – best practice is having 3/4/5 ads in the ad group to determine which copy users respond to the best
  • Motivational Ad Copy – In the US & Europe it is common practice to use a strong CTA on the ad “Enquire Now”, “Shop Today” however the ad copy used in the Middle East can be more descriptive rather than actionable.

There are hundreds of ways to optimize a PPC account to make it more profitable – these are just a few of the things we find are common. We offer free PPC audits for any brand that would like some advice about their account.