Tips & Tools for Managing International Campaigns


Expanding your local PPC campaigns into new international markets is a strategy that should be well thought out and planned or your expansion effort and all its potential could quickly tank. For instance, does your client have a strong Brand presence in the markets they want to expand to? What are their priority markets and what budget is available to allocate to these? Is there room for more flexibility of goals (CPA, ROAS, etc) in these new markets? Do they have resources available for any language translation needs or are these resources they will need you to find?

There are so many aspects to consider when expanding to international markets that should be thoroughly hashed out.  I’ve learned some helpful tips for managing successful international campaigns along the way that I’m excited to share with you!

Leverage the Google Globalization Team for Translations

Unless you’re fluent in the language(s) you’re expanding campaigns to, you’ll probably need some help with translating. We’ve found the Google Globalization team is helpful with these initial translations.

You can reach out to your rep and let them know you’re planning to launch campaigns in other languages and you’d like their help with translations. You don’t need to send a file with campaign data, just tell them which campaigns in your account you want to be translated, what geos you’ll be targeting and the languages you’d like them translated into. There are a few things to keep in mind when working with this team:

Turnaround time

In our experience, it’s taken a week or more to get these translated campaigns back from their team so keep this in mind when planning your launch timeline.

Campaigns need to go live

When you send in requests, do your best to ensure these are campaigns that will be launched. If you make a request and their team does the work but the campaigns don’t get launched you may be denied other translations in the future.

No landing page translations

This team will only translate the components of a campaign (keywords, ads, extensions) but no landing pages. This is a pretty crucial piece to the puzzle, so you’ll want to chat with your client about how to create a good landing page experience for these visitors.

Optimization suggestions aren’t all helpful

Once a campaign goes live, you can request suggestions for optimizations, however, we found their suggestions to be more like pitch decks for using automated strategies. There were a few helpful suggestions for things like geo bid modifiers, but nothing groundbreaking in our opinion.

One-off requests are tough to come by

The Google team was helpful with initial translations but we found it difficult to get one-off requests back in a timely manner or at all (things like some additional ad copy to test, negative keywords, etc).

Have a Strong Negative Keyword Strategy

If your client has the resources to help with search query translations then you should certainly leverage those. If not, however, you should consider using this awesome tool that Gil Hong shared with us.

Simply plug in your search queries and it will translate the query’s language to the language that you want to see it in; let the formulas do the work for you!

This tool can be helpful for finding keyword additions as well as good negatives to add to your campaigns.

Learn Local Holiday Schedules

Different countries obviously have different national holiday schedules, and you should have these on hand for reference when running your campaigns. Knowing the local holiday schedule can help you plan for potential downtime and seasonality trends, or help you capitalize on days you might not have otherwise been aware of.

Tailor Your Competitor Strategy to Each Location

Instead of just copying and pasting your Competitor campaigns into new geos, do your research beforehand to know if the same primary competitors in the U.S., for example, are the most prominent competitors in the locations you’re expanding into. You might miss out on capturing traffic from prominent competitors in other locations if you simply copy/paste your existing ones.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, expanding campaigns into other countries and languages can be a really valuable expansion effort, but it is crucial to establish a strong strategy right out of the gate and be aware of the tools and resources that are available to you to help with good campaign management along the way!

What are your tips & tools for managing international campaigns? Let us know in the comments below!