Search giant finally launches Malay-language AdWords platform
Enables Malaysian SMEs to target native Bahasa Malaysia audience
GOOGLE Malaysia has officially launched the Bahasa Malaysia (BM) or Malay version of its AdWords advertising platform in Malaysia, a move the search giant claimed would give small and medium enterprises (SMEs) the opportunity to reach the majority of the country’s population to whom the national language is their native tongue.
Speaking to the media at the announcement on April 17, Google Malaysia country manger Sajith Sivanandan said the availability of AdWords in Bahasa Malaysia was a “significant” milestone for Google Malaysia and SMEs in the country.
“The launch of AdWords in BM means that SMEs can now take advantage of keywords that the majority of Malaysians [use],” he said in his keynote speech.
“[Web] users search based on their native tongue,” he said. “AdWords in BM can help businesses expand their reach among native speakers in the language they know best and are most comfortable with online.”
Google AdWords is a service developed by Google and is aimed at businesses which want to display advertising on Google and its advertising network. The AdWords program, largely focused on identifying keywords, enables businesses to set a budget for advertising and only pay when users click the links which lead to advertisers' websites.
Sajith noted that with close to 20 million Internet users from a population of 29 million in Malaysia, coupled with a more than 35% smartphone penetration rate today, there is tremendous potential for SMEs.
“One of our main motivations for us to do this is to help SMEs grow their reach and become more discoverable through online advertising,” he said.
Zeffri Yusof (pic), head of communications for Google Malaysia, said that according to its Malaysian Zeitgeist list, a collection of the queries most frequently searched for, about six in 10 searches are conducted in BM.
“This means that the users coming online to search on Google Malaysia predominantly speak BM or are at the very least comfortable in BM,” he said, adding that this means local SMEs will now have the ability to target those who read and search in BM.
Asked why it took so long for the search giant to make AdWords available in BM, Sajith said Google wanted to “make sure we got this right as the implementation is quite complex.”
“We had to make changes to the user interface (UI), make preparations as to how we target the [BM] language,” he said. “We [also] needed to find the resources to do all of this – so all three reasons combined meant that it took us a while getting there. But the key thing today is that we are now able to do it.”
Quizzed as to whether Google Malaysia had an adoption target for its AdWords advertising in BM, Sajith declined to say, citing that it was hard to estimate such figures.
“It depends on the publicity and how SMEs react to the service,” he said. “Directionally speaking, it should ramp up quite fast. After all, why would any business not want to target and reach its customers?”
On how easy was it for companies wanting to use the AdWords platform, Sajith said that Google Malaysia was working with its 150 existing AdWords partners to help educate SMEs and train them to use the tools.
“Besides this, our objective is to keep looking for more Google Partners who will take our products to SMEs, educate, train, and help them get customers online,” Sajith said.
He claimed that the AdWords platform has been designed to be as simple to use as possible, adding that even individuals with very little or no knowledge can learn to use the platform, as Google has ample self-learning instructional videos online.
For more information on AdWords, click here.
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