French PPC Campaigns

PPC Campaign Translation into French

What better and faster way is there to get new leads and buyers for your website than organizing a PPC (Pay-per-click) campaign for the French speaking market of your choice. With PPC, you know that you can easily calculate your return on investment and be sure what the PPC campaign in English is bringing to your efforts to reach a broad global audience. Now, what you want know is how to make sure that nothing gets lost in the French translation.

Translating a PPC campaign into French poses a series of challenges, the main one being space limitations. Google Adwords allows 3 lines of text, the first one of 25 characters and the other 2 of 35 characters each. Since the French language uses longer words and a greater number of different words, a direct translation is generally 20% longer than the English, hence the issue.

French PPC Campaigns Translation Overview

Translation projects of PPC campaign into French basically include 2 tasks: Translation of the ads and translation of a keyword list.

Translation of Ads

This is the fun and creative part to translate. Aside from expressions being longer in the target language (the so-called Text Expansion for French ranges from 15 to 20%), you have to skip some concepts when translating. “Buy now” or “Buy today” are quite short in English and very common Call-to-action words, but translate to “Achetez maintenant” and “Achetez aujourd’hui”… in French which are much longer. So you may have to skip the “time notion” when space is an issue or use another verb to convey the notion of time. Other formatting elements may need to be adapted like weight, measurements, temperatures and dates.

Translation of PPC Keywords in French

Rather than being translated, keywords for PPC campaigns generally need to be adapted. You need to be thorough in finding keywords that may not necessarily be direct translations of the English but which are likely to be used by a French speaking user. Therefore, the use of Google keyword suggestion tool is really helpful to get a list of keywords used in PPC campaigns.

Non-SEO oriented translators tend to go word for word and be very precise linguistically speaking. However, users
often omit prepositions and accents when searching, so you have to think about as many variations of a given search term as possible.

So you see, there are two sides about translating for Adwords. Be creative in finding short words in the ads which convey the same concept as the English and be thorough when defining your keyword list to make sure that traffic generating terms will be used.