Expanding Local PPC to a New International Market

Launching local PPC campaigns in a new international market involves much more than simply copying campaigns and adding new geographic targets. You need to consider everything from currency differences to understanding the region’s geography.

In this article, we’ll review several items to keep in mind when planning campaigns for another country.

Currency Differences

If you’re expanding to a region that uses a different currency from the initial region, you’ll need to consider the effect on both account billing and ad messaging. If the client needs to bill to the local currency, you’ll need another AdWords account (more on this in the next point), since you can only bill to a single currency within one account.

Also, if any pricing is mentioned in ads or on landing pages, you’ll need to ensure updated messaging uses the local currency. For instance, you may be offering a $50 discount in campaigns targeting the United States, but you’ll need to offer a discount in Pounds when targeting Britain.

Be aware of exchange rate differences when optimizing campaigns and reporting on data. For instance, at the time of writing this article, a $20 CPA in US dollars would be equivalent to approximately 15 British Pounds. In addition to currency rates translating into different values, CPA targets will likely differ in a new market, where individuals are just discovering a brand, vs. an established market, where people familiar with a brand are more likely to use their services.

Same Account or Separate?

In addition to the need for a different billing setup, other reasons can exist for breaking international campaigns into separate accounts. Especially for clients with larger spend, separate accounts can make viewing data for different regions easier. You likely have different budgets, CPA goals, and other varying objectives by market region.

Conversely, if the account has a lower budget and is not overly complex (perhaps you have just one or two campaigns per region), keeping everything in one account can simplify management. Evaluate your billing and data measurement needs, weighed with how separate accounts would affect the practicality of management, in determining whether or not to break out a new account.

Time Zone Differences

Consider the time zone(s) for the new region you’re targeting. If you’re expanding to the other side of the world, time differences could put your separate business locations as much as a day apart. If you’re creating a separate account, be sure to set the time zone for the region where ads will show.

In addition, be aware of time zone changes throughout the region where you’re running ads. If there are multiple time zones, you’ll be able to better control hour of day bid modifiers by breaking out campaigns accordingly.

Research Local Geography

While you may not be familiar with your new target region, you should do enough research to understand the overall geography. What are the key cities in the area you’re targeting? Are there any names used by locals for certain neighborhoods? Which areas have higher or lower income residents?

These considerations should inform geotargeting, including how you choose to break out campaigns. In addition, ad copy and keywords should reflect local terms that people may be using in their queries.

Language Differences

Consider what languages or dialects the individuals in your new target market speak when planning ads, keywords, landing pages, and campaign language settings. Even if you’re targeting another English-speaking country, be aware of different words used by native individuals. For instance, if you sell truck covers, you’ll want to bid on “lorry covers” in Britain.

In this article, we’ve covered several considerations to keep in mind when launching campaigns in a new international market. Be sure to understand the nuances involved in targeting individuals in a new country, while working through currency, time, and language differences.

What tips do you have to share your experience in targeting new countries? Share in the comments below?