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Google Backs UK Attempt to Tickle International Trade

Search Laboratory, a British outfit, is managing the multi-lingual pay-per-click side of a pre-packaged service

Search Laboratory, a British outfit, is managing the multi-lingual pay-per-click side of a pre-packaged service designed to help UK SMEs boost their international trade.

With partners Google, Royal Mail, HSBC and the Institute of Export, it's providing a service called Export Box meant to drive traffic to businesses' web sites and find new customers worldwide.

Export Box involves localizing company web sites. As part of the deal, Search Lab will create and initially manage a foreign language pay-per-click campaign using keywords picked by a mother-tongue search linguist.

It cautions do-it-yourselfers that "the best translated version of a top keyword for an English campaign may not be a good keyword in a French campaign."

Up to 100 keywords will be chosen as likely to be typed by potential customers and a campaign with up to five ad texts set in place. Search Lab is supposed to refine the keywords over time and deploy its bid management system, Bidlab.

To see which foreign markets have the biggest opportunity, Google has created a new tool for Export Box called Export Adviser. It shows average click costs and search volumes surrounding a particular search topic.

Royal Mail is kicking in special discounted shipping rates and advice about shipping overseas; the bank is offering Export Box customers preferential rates on bank transfers and currency conversions.

The Institute of Export will throw in consultancy skills, offering companies six mentoring sessions with experts in their particular market or sector.

The service costs £3,000 ($4,950), with £1,200 ($1,980) budgeted to spend on Google Adwords. Google will give Export Box customer a £200 ($330) voucher to spend.

UK companies wanting to invest in overseas expansion could be eligible under the Passport to Export Scheme for a rebate of up to 50% against the cost of Export Box.

Search Laboratory has developed pay-per-click and search engine optimization campaigns for companies such as Novell.

Its managing director Ian Harris says, "A slow domestic market, a weak pound and the availability of grants make this an ideal time for companies to start trading internationally."

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at) or paperboy(at), and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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