We recently started a campaign and directed it to the German audience. It uses the similar text and the same major terms and display url as our ads in other countries.
For some reason, the CTR is 1/3-1/2 as much as the other ads. All are written in English and target a foreign language audience, but it works out fine because most are familiar with the site. In brief, even in English, the ad does very well in nearly every non-English market.
Being that the English has even more penetration in Germany than say, France or Italy, it surprises me how much worse the CTR is. The traffic is definitely there, but the clicks aren't coming through. I checked, and the ad is in the same positition too.
Has anyone had similar results? Do Germans simply not click ads? Not only is the CTR on Google.de way lower, but also on the partner search sites as well.
Totally agreed. I was trying to pull up some German vs. English stats for when I was involved in the testing of this... but I could not find it. I will say that the German market showed more upside than any other (amongst non-Asian countries) from customizing marketing efforts - translated site/ads, merchandising, and payment types.
Being based in Germany and German I'm even surprised that the CTR is 1/2 of your normal CTR if there is competition in that field. I've tested quite a bit of stuff over the years and usually suggest the following scenario for targeting the German audience: - If you have a German website, make German ads - If you have an English site, make English ads
The reason is usually quite simple, even though you might increase the CTR with German ads your conversion rate will be very, very low as you don't show what people expect - German content. On the other hand if you already pre-selected English speakers you have a higher chance of converting them on your English site as this is what they expect to see after the click. So never forget that a click hardly ever is a conversion. :-)