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AMS advertising with foreign keywords in the US and Foreign markets

Updated: Apr 8, 2021

Thank god it’s 2021 and not 1821 if not only for the fact that Google Sheets wasn’t a thing in 1821 (jk there's a ton of reasons why we're lucky in that regard). The power of Google Sheets and more importantly, Google Translate, is seemingly endless, especially when it comes to getting my latest study up and running.


I spent the last 3 months of 2020 living in a remote village in Ecuador, trying to learn Spanish. (Hi have many passions like learning new languages which I write about here). I was inspired by the fact that I had a Argentinian girlfriend down there who only spoke Spanish, and I English with a small amount of horribly pronounced Spanish. (Everyone in town knew I was dating her because my very broken Spanish came with an Argentine accent, when we were in fact, in Ecuador). Any of our deep conversations had to take place over an app on our phones called Google Translate. I LOVED IT! As someone who really likes to think about what they want to say next, I had a nice 20-30 second advantage. It was as if we were writing letters back and forth to each-other in person making it so much more romantic.


Well one can only get so far in 3 months learning Spanish so when I returned to the US, I luckily had the power of Google Sheets to run the following study. I wanted to see what the true effectiveness of applying a few different foreign keyword targeting methods would result in. I’m a fan of trying everything so here are the following ways I have set up foreign keyword targeting.

  • Spanish version of a book advertised with Spanish keywords in the US

  • English version of a book advertised with Spanish Keywords in the US

  • English version of a book advertised with German Keywords in Germany

  • English version of a book advertised with French Keywords in France

  • English version of a book advertised with Spanish keywords in ES

I will also write a study on foreign market Category Targeting in the coming weeks but I do already cover the basics here. The study covers 63 campaigns across 17 book - market combinations. I took the keywords of books that have sold consistently so as to have a list of keywords that are known to convert in English. I then used Google Translate to change the words into the desired language.


Amazon Advertising translating English to Spanish

Amazon Advertising translating English to German

Amazon Advertising translating English to French

Google translate doesn’t convert everything so to ensure that there weren’t any English keywords accidentally shuffled in, I removed duplicates against the English list of words. This resulted in about 300-1000 keywords for each book. I took each list of keywords and created 2 campaigns per book/market. One with just exact matching and one with a broad & phrase. I also want to ensure that we do see some type of results so bid up & down at a level higher than my usual bid price.


The book genres that I chose include:

  • New Age Spiritualism

  • Satire Fiction

  • Heath & Fitness

  • Business self help

  • Writing Reference

  • International Analysis


Other campaign notes

  • Targeting of both the paperback and kindle

  • Standard ads (siempre)

  • $5 daily budget to start out with


I didn't include Canada in the Study but would recommend running ads there for sure. I will track these campaigns over the next 30-60 days and report back on the findings. Depending on what I see at the 30 day mark, I may want to continue collecting data for up to 60 days. The low hanging fruit here is targeting the Spanish copies in the US with Spanish keywords but I’m very curious as to what we might get from targeting English books (without a Spanish translation) in the US. I’m also curious what the German keyword targeting in Germany and French targeting in France might result in. If you like this study, here is a similar study run about Bidding Strategies.


Let me know if you’ve every tried something similar in the comments below? I also include a live tutorial of translating your keywords in my new 2021 Amazon Ads Author Masterclass.


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