Author: Chris Jones, Independent Multichannel Retail Consultant
In my previous two articles (Global SEM Costs and Global SEM Costs Part 2) I’ve looked at two ways of forecasting the expected efficiency of your SEM, in terms of cost-per-click, in various countries where you might consider targeting some spending at as part of your international ecommerce strategy. In both cases, I tried to find ways of eliminating “language” bias: in the first I compared some global brand terms, and in the second, I compared generic womenswear terms by using the global website-menu structure of H&M.
An interesting by-product of these investigations is that the Google Keyword Planner tool has also given me estimated search volumes (what Google calls “average monthly searches” based on the last 12 months). I’ve then used these to make a very brief comparison at the “search density per head” in each of the countries I captured data for.
The first thing we need to do is to adjust these volumes because Google’s market share is variable in different countries.
In the IMRG/eCommerce Worldwide guide to taking your e-commerce international “A Nation of Shopkeepers”, we showed the following chart of search-engine market share in different countries:
I’ve therefore used the underlying data behind this chart to adjust the search volumes I captured in proportion to Google’s share of total search in each country.
I’ve then expressed the search volumes calculated as “monthly searches per head of population” (using country population data taken from the CIA World Factbook).
Finally I’ve expressed the searches-per-head as a percentage of the baseline figure for the UK, so we can make some comparisons.
Here is the resulting chart:
While I wouldn’t want to overstate the significance of conclusions drawn from a very small sample of keywords, there are still some interesting observations to be made.
Overall, my main conclusion would be that “translated clones” are probably not going to be optimal in terms of marketing and traffic-driving. There is then of course a difficult business decision to make about the cost of maintaining different customer experiences versus the value of doing so.