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Proven Spanish PPC Keyword Research & Google Ads Targeting Tips



Ready to explore the different aspects of paid search advertising to the Hispanic market in America, Latin America, and throughout the world?

To start, here are key things to consider about Spanish PPC:

  • Google Ads shows ads based on a user’s browser preference. Those using Google in English may see different ads than those whose web browsers are set to Spanish. This can be advantageous or disastrous, depending on your target market’s behavior.
  • Keyword research enters a new realm with Spanish PPC. You’ll need to evaluate keyword volume and difficulty in relation to a consumer’s geography and preferred web browser language.
  • In many cases, there is no way to compensate for local knowledge. Those using broad or generalized methods in advertising to Hispanics waste marketing dollars and leave much more on the table. When it comes to Spanish PPC, it’s best to partner with those who understand the nuances of language as well as local cultures.

Now, let’s take a closer look at actual cases and instances.

Use the following Spanish PPC tips to enhance your future Hispanic paid advertising and marketing campaigns.

Troublesome Issues with Google Ads Language Targeting

Missed Opportunity

Google Ads considers a browser’s set language preference, which can result in many missed PPC opportunities.

It may appear counterintuitive to consider using English ads to target Spanish speakers. However, in some cases, what’s counterintuitive can lead to PPC dollars.

In a recent campaign I worked on, potential consumers were not seeing ads because the campaign did not target consumers with their browsers set to English – even some Spanish keywords did not trigger campaign ads!

In some cases, Hispanic consumers will make a search in English or use their web browser in English because many American keywords don’t have a translatable word in Spanish.

One of our software keyword campaigns had 600 keywords.

Only 7% of the original English keywords had an equivalent keyword in Spanish!

Aleyda Solis mentions a similar incident happening with a Dutch-to-English campaign when she recently spoke with Yoast about international SEO.

Be flexible with language targeting.

Consider some Hispanic consumers outside the U.S. use web browsers in English.

Wasteful Words

In some cases, English-based campaign keywords are irrelevant when targeting consumers using Spanish-based browsers.

In one campaign, we saw that keywords that were more investigative or informational in nature were less relevant.

Keywords related to transactional or commercial intent became the sole focus.

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The whole section of keywords shown above was cut from the Spanish PPC campaign. This proved to be more effective.

Don’t assume you need to use as many keywords in your Hispanic PPC campaign.

Many times, you need to use broader variations.

Lopsided Multilingual Performance

In a particular segment of a Spanish PPC campaign, English-based searches triggered 24% of ads and Spanish keywords triggered 75% of the campaign ads.

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It was a misstep to include so many English-based words in the Spanish campaign, especially when the campaign did not target those using browsers set to English.

In some cases, you may have to rethink your Spanish PPC strategy or comprise an alternative set of keywords.

Furthermore, after English-to-Spanish translation, you may find that a majority of the exact-match terms are brand-related.

Partner with a marketing team that knows the Spanish language as well as the culture in Spain, throughout Latin America, etc.

A Keyword With Multiple Aliases

Contrasting Value

Let’s consider the keyword: “network performance monitor.”

Here are some quick stats on the keyword in America:

cpc in america 60059f7646f88

And, here’s what the keyword data looks like for Mexico:

mexico ppc 60059fde0e505

This is what data estimates look like when targeting a consumer in Mexico with their browser set to Spanish (results).

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There’s low volume with medium competition.

Here’s data related to targeting a consumer in Mexico but using their browser in English.

browser set in mexico 6005a1f397777

The search volume is significantly higher!

Consider all of the possibilities in leveraging your keyword in English as well as in Spanish.

Be comprehensive with Hispanic keyword research.

Consider how a given keyword’s stats may fluctuate depending on a consumer’s location as well as their web browser preference.

Hidden Options

Want to see something interesting?

Let’s take a look at keyword variation options when we set the planner to target a Mexican consumer, using an English-based browser.

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Few options exist for keyword variation.

But, what about if you switch the browser’s language to Spanish?

spanish to english ppc 6005a415bff5c

We get a lot more options for keyword variations!

The decreased competition resulted in lower CPCs for Spanish keywords. This helps develop new ad groups.

Use Keyword Planner to further define your Hispanic PPC campaign.

You may find it useful to discard English-based words while taking notice of suggested Spanish terms.

Lengthy Variations

In a mini-experiment, our company analyzed about 100 keywords related to a client campaign.

The Spanish translation keywords were about 19% longer (in character length) compared to English variations.

This happens a lot throughout the software industry.

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Consider how a Spanish-translated keyword looks on the page, especially where character length is important.

High Income

It can be highly profitable to consider household income when targeting Hispanic countries.

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Wealth distribution is drastically varied throughout LATAM. Based on the degree of inequality in wealth distribution measured by the Gini coefficient, Brazil was the most unequal country in Latin America as of 2017.

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The Gini coefficient measures distribution of income (0 represents absolute equality and 100 equals the highest degree of inequality).

Given fluctuations in Latin America’s state of affairs, it’s beneficial to further define particular elements, such as household income, when comprising a Hispanic PPC campaign.

Make Friends With Localized Content

Questionable Google Translations

Google Translate can be incredibly useful, but it can also be misleading.

Let’s consider selling piggy banks to Hispanic consumers.

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That was easy enough. Now, as part of my Spanish campaign, I will use keyword variations of “huchas.”

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The word, “cepillo” is suggested, but that translates to “brush.”

“Ahorros” translates to “savings.”

Lastly, “economias” is suggested, but that translates to “economy.”

Hence, this is an ineffective and misleading way to go about keyword research for PPC and content marketing campaigns.

If you’re not a native to a specific country, then you’re going to spend a lot of time aligning the best keywords for your campaign.

Even those speaking the same language may use different words to make a search.

Let’s continue with “hucha.”

If we used that term to target Spanish speakers around the world, we would be hugely successful in Spain… but not so much in other Hispanic countries.

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Per keyword planner, search volume for “hucha” is high in Spain and low in Mexico. Furthermore, if we take a look at Mexico, we see the term “hucha” is used in limited parts of the country.

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However, it’s much more popular (and profitable regarding Hispanic PPC) in Spain.

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There’s no general way to exact Hispanic PPC.

Success relies on the localization of content and understanding of local culture.

Tailored Mistakes

Even well-intentioned ad attempts can fall flat with Hispanic consumers. In a dated campaign, H&M’s Mexican website did well in helping users calculate pesos to dollars, but misfired in sounding local.

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They use “vaqueros.” This does not resonate with buyers in Mexico, who would use “jeans” or “mezclilla.”

Also, local brands would use a different category system, keeping it simple with “formal” and “casual.”

Be sure that keywords, PPC ads, landing pages, and dedicated sites relate well in relation to specific Hispanic countries, regions, and locales.

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Customer Journeys

Understanding the customer journey is among the vital PPC trends for 2021.

For example, how should one go about finding the data to inform a customer’s journey for PPC marketing in Latin America?

Brazil and Mexico are the larger ecommerce markets, yet ecommerce and mobile use in Peru, Argentina, and Colombia have grown significantly in the past decade.

In fact, as of 2018, 58% of those in Peru owned a smartphone—up dramatically from 8% in 2012.

Therefore, Hispanic PPC campaigns need to focus on individual countries and rising trends.

Brands that capitalize early on in emerging markets will have a huge advantage over competitors who are late to the party.

Speaking of journeys, Burger King capitalized on an element of Mexico City culture.

Using infamous Mexico City traffic to its advantage, BK used a mixture of real-time billboard updates, GPS tracking, and couriers on motorcycles to combat traffic-jam hunger.

burger king spanish campaign 6005a8bcd35a9

This shows a deep understanding of the local market, its pain points, and the inherent opportunities.

When it comes to the customer journey and sales cycle, view each Hispanic country as its own microcosm to explore.

PPC efforts may prove effective in one locality or region and fail in others.

Spend time understanding local culture and dialect to properly align ads with the customer journey.

10 Key Takeaways for Your Spanish PPC Campaigns

Spanish PPC begins with choosing the right keywords.

But after that, it’s a matter of knowing how to use them.

Let’s review 10 key Spanish PPC insights from above:

  1. Identify the role of language targeting within your strategy and its impact on campaign structure. Don’t dismiss the notion of targeting consumers in English and Spanish.
  2. Limit the number of ad groups and keywords at the onset of a Spanish PPC campaign. Managing a limited number allows you to pinpoint quick wins and easier translations.
  3. Evaluate the viability of your Spanish PPC campaign by translating keywords first, identifying inexistent ones, and conducting keyword research in each targeted language.
  4. Research your keywords bilingually to identify volume variations. If you are targeting Latin America, do it per country. Think local versus using a generalized approach.
  5. You may benefit from spending time with Keyword Planner and seeing whether it’s more profitable from an ad-spend perspective to leverage more Spanish keywords.
  6. Consider how keyword translations look on the page and vary in character length for page titles, campaign slogans, and dedicated websites, .
  7. What do keywords tell you about the status of the market you are targeting? Consider household income in relation to the economy of a given country.
  8. Do not rely on basic translation tools for English-to-Spanish PPC efforts. It’s best to partner with those experienced with individual cultures and language preferences.
  9. Reassess your landing pages and web copy. Are you telling a story that resonates with the targeted audience?
  10. Overall, how does your Spanish PPC campaign fit in with a broader attempt to target Hispanic consumers? Be sure PPC capitalizes on consumer behavior and seamlessly fits-in with their buyer journey.

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, January 2021

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Google Brings Bard Students Math and Coding Education in the Summer



Google Brings Bard Students Math and Coding Education in the Summer

Google is stepping up its AI efforts this summer by sending Bard, its high-profile chatbot, to summer school. The aim? To boost the bot’s math and coding smarts. These developments are excellent news— when Bard first debuted, it was admittedly not a finished product. But Google is steadily plugging away at it, and have now implemented implicit code execution for logical prompts, and handy Google Sheets’ integration to take it to the next level.

Thanks to implicit code execution, Bard can respond to inquiries requiring calculation or computation with Python code snippets running in the background. What’s even more amazing is that coders can take this generated code and modify it for their projects. Though Google is still apprehensive about guaranteeing the accuracy of Bard’s answers, this feature is said to improve the accuracy of math and word problems by an impressive 30%.

In addition to this, Bard can now export directly to Sheets when asked about tables. So, you don’t need to worry about copying and pasting, which comes with the risk of losing formatting or data.

From the company’s I/O keynote address, it is clear that they are focused on making the most of what Bard can offer. As they continue to speak highly of the chatbot, we’re sure to expect more features and capabilities when the summer comes around.

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Google Bard vs. ChatGPT: which is the better AI chatbot?



Google Bard vs. ChatGPT: which is the better AI chatbot?

Google Bard and ChatGPT are two of the most prominent artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots available in 2023. But which is better? Both offer natural language responses to natural language inputs, using machine learning and millions of data points to craft useful, informative responses. Most of the time. These AI tools aren’t perfect yet, but they point to an exciting future of AI assistant search and learning tools that will make information all the more readily available.

As similar as these chatbots are, they also have some distinct differences. Here’s how ChatGPT and Google Bard measure up against one another.

Which is better, Google Bard or ChatGPT?

This is a tricky question to answer, as at the time of writing, you can only use Google Bard if you’re part of a select group of early beta testers. As for its competition, you can use ChatGPT right now, completely for free. You may have to contend with a waitlist, but if you want to skip that, there’s a paid-for Plus version offering those interested in a more complete tool the option of paying for the privilege.

Still, when Google Bard becomes more widely available, it should offer credible competition for ChatGPT. Both use natural language models — Google Bard uses Google’s internal LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), whereas ChatGPT uses an older GPT-3 language model. Google Bard bases its responses to questions on more recent data, with ChatGPT mainly trained on data that was available prior to 2021. This is similar to how Microsoft’s Bing Chat works.

We’ll have to reserve judgment on which is the more capable AI chatbot until we get time to play with Google Bard ourselves, but it looks set to be a close contest when it is more readily available.

Are Google Bard and ChatGPT available yet?

As mentioned, ChatGPT is available in free and paid-for tiers. You might have to sit in a queue for the free version for a while, but anyone can play around with its capabilities.

Google Bard is currently only available to limited beta testers and is not available to the wider public.

Banner of Google Bard intro from February 6.

What’s the difference between Google Bard and ChatGPT?

ChatGPT and Google Bard are very similar natural language AI chatbots, but they have some differences, and are designed to be used in slightly different ways — at least for now. ChatGPT has been used for answering direct questions with direct answers, mostly correctly, but it’s caused a lot of consternation among white collar workers, like writers, SEO advisors, and copy editors, since it has also demonstrated an impressive ability to write creatively — even if it has faced a few problems with accuracy and plagiarism.

Still, Microsoft has integrated ChatGPT into its Bing search engine to give users the ability to ask direct questions of the search engine, rather than searching for terms of keywords to find the best results. It has also built it into its Teams communications tool, and it’s coming to the Edge browser in a limited form. The Opera browser has also pledged to integrate ChatGPT in the future.

ChatGPT Google Bard
Accessible through ChatGPT site. Only text responses are returned via queries. Integrated with Google Search. You only need to change a Google setting to get your regular search results when using Google Bard AI, and vice versa.
ChatGPT produces answers from its trained database from 2021 and before. Google Apprentice Bard AI will be able to answer real-time questions.
Based on GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer). Based on LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications).
Service has a free and paid plan option (called ChatGPT Plus). Service is free.
Has built-in plagiarism tool called GPT-2 Output Detector. No built-in plagiarism detection tool.
Available now Still in beta test phase

Google Bard was mainly designed around augmenting Google’s own search tool, however it is also destined to become an automated support tool for businesses without the funds to pay for human support teams. It will be offered to customers through a trained AI responder. It is likely to be integrated into the Chrome browser and its Chromium derivatives before long. Google is also expected to open up Google Bard to third-party developers in the future.

Under the hood, Google Bard uses Google’s LaMDA language model, while ChatGPT uses its own GPT3 model. ChatGPT is based on slightly older data, restricted in its current GPT3 model to data collected prior to 2022, while Google Bard is built on data provided on recent years too. However, that doesn’t necessarily make it more accurate, as Google Bard has faced problems with incorrect answers to questions, even in its initial unveiling.

ChatGPT also has a built-in plagiarism checker, while Google Bard does not, but Google Bard doesn’t have the creative applications of ChatGPT just yet.

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Google to pay $391.5 million settlement over location tracking, state AGs say



Google to pay $391.5 million settlement over location tracking, state AGs say

Google has agreed to pay a $391.5 million settlement to 40 states to resolve accusations that it tracked people’s locations in violation of state laws, including snooping on consumers’ whereabouts even after they told the tech behemoth to bug off.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said it is time for Big Tech to recognize state laws that limit data collection efforts.

“I have been ringing the alarm bell on big tech for years, and this is why,” Mr. Landry, a Republican, said in a statement Monday. “Citizens must be able to make informed decisions about what information they release to big tech.”

The attorneys general said the investigation resulted in the largest-ever multistate privacy settlement. Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, a Democrat, said Google’s penalty is a “historic win for consumers.”

“Location data is among the most sensitive and valuable personal information Google collects, and there are so many reasons why a consumer may opt out of tracking,” Mr. Tong said. “Our investigation found that Google continued to collect this personal information even after consumers told them not to. That is an unacceptable invasion of consumer privacy, and a violation of state law.”

Location tracking can help tech companies sell digital ads to marketers looking to connect with consumers within their vicinity. It’s another tool in a data-gathering toolkit that generates more than $200 billion in annual ad revenue for Google, accounting for most of the profits pouring into the coffers of its corporate parent, Alphabet, which has a market value of $1.2 trillion.

The settlement is part of a series of legal challenges to Big Tech in the U.S. and around the world, which include consumer protection and antitrust lawsuits.

Though Google, based in Mountain View, California, said it fixed the problems several years ago, the company’s critics remained skeptical. State attorneys general who also have tussled with Google have questioned whether the tech company will follow through on its commitments.

The states aren’t dialing back their scrutiny of Google’s empire.

Last month, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he was filing a lawsuit over reports that Google unlawfully collected millions of Texans’ biometric data such as “voiceprints and records of face geometry.”

The states began investigating Google’s location tracking after The Associated Press reported in 2018 that Android devices and iPhones were storing location data despite the activation of privacy settings intended to prevent the company from following along.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich went after the company in May 2020. The state’s lawsuit charged that the company had defrauded its users by misleading them into believing they could keep their whereabouts private by turning off location tracking in the settings of their software.

Arizona settled its case with Google for $85 million last month. By then, attorneys general in several other states and the District of Columbia had pounced with their own lawsuits seeking to hold Google accountable.

Along with the hefty penalty, the state attorneys general said, Google must not hide key information about location tracking, must give users detailed information about the types of location tracking information Google collects, and must show additional information to people when users turn location-related account settings to “off.”

States will receive differing sums from the settlement. Mr. Landry’s office said Louisiana would receive more than $12.7 million, and Mr. Tong’s office said Connecticut would collect more than $6.5 million.

The financial penalty will not cripple Google’s business. The company raked in $69 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2022, according to reports, yielding about $13.9 billion in profit.

Google downplayed its location-tracking tools Monday and said it changed the products at issue long ago.

“Consistent with improvements we’ve made in recent years, we have settled this investigation which was based on outdated product policies that we changed years ago,” Google spokesman Jose Castaneda said in a statement.

Google product managers Marlo McGriff and David Monsees defended their company’s Search and Maps products’ usage of location information.

“Location information lets us offer you a more helpful experience when you use our products,” the two men wrote on Google’s blog. “From Google Maps’ driving directions that show you how to avoid traffic to Google Search surfacing local restaurants and letting you know how busy they are, location information helps connect experiences across Google to what’s most relevant and useful.”

The blog post touted transparency tools and auto-delete controls that Google has developed in recent years and said the private browsing Incognito mode prevents Google Maps from saving an account’s search history.

Mr. McGriff and Mr. Monsees said Google would make changes to its products as part of the settlement. The changes include simplifying the process for deleting location data, updating the method to set up an account and revamping information hubs.

“We’ll provide a new control that allows users to easily turn off their Location History and Web & App Activity settings and delete their past data in one simple flow,” Mr. McGriff and Mr. Monsees wrote. “We’ll also continue deleting Location History data for users who have not recently contributed new Location History data to their account.”

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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