Google allows you to do some pretty cool things when it comes to targeting your audience and running ads. The fact that you can run campaigns around the globe with a click of a button is a little mind-blowing if you stop and think about it. But with great power, comes great challenges.

The ability to reach international customers is an invaluable tool, but knowing the best ways to structure a PPC account that targets audiences in different countries can require some know-how.

For example, in Adwords, if you want to target countries that speak the same language, it seems like it would be easy to just create a single campaign and target all the relevant countries. You would think… but …

While this approach isn’t wrong, it also isn’t ideal because it means that you will be missing out on a lot of opportunities for optimization!

If you are working within an Adwords campaign, you may find that a specific keyword has a great cost per acquisition (CPA) in one country, but isn’t triggering any conversions in a different country. Without some serious data mining in Google Analytics, you wouldn’t even notice this discrepancy. Essentially, you could be bleeding money and blowing through your paid search budget in one country without even realizing there is a problem.

Common Sense Solutions for Better PPC Targeting  

The solution is simple: Divide and Conquer!

Build your campaigns upfront so that each campaign targets one country or use several campaigns per country. Either way, avoid grouping more than one country in a single campaign.

Then, pause that keyword in one country and leave it enabled in the country where it is performing well.

There are exceptions to this rule. If you want to target several countries, the least you can do is target a specific region. Based on the results, consider “peeling and sticking” them into separate countries.

There is a joke about statistics, you could have one foot in the fire, and the other one on ice – but on average you are doing great! There other situations where it is best to divide and conquer. For instance, you could have a keyword showing in one country in the 1st position only to have it ranked 3rd in another country. Often, high keyword positions are just wasting money and driving up the CPA, so your initial instincts would be to lower the bid in the first country. This is a great step, but you must remember to split up your campaigns when you lower your bid. Otherwise, you really aren’t doing yourself any favors.

How to Approach Facebook Ads and Social PPC?

The same line of thinking can be applied to virtually any PPC platform. Take Facebook ads for example: We could target interests or remarketing audiences and add several countries in the same ad set.

Yet, the same questions arise. Does traffic from one country convert the same as in a different country?

The best way to check is by clicking Breakdown > Country, this will tell you which countries are performing and which aren’t, but you still need to figure out exactly what to do next.If you threw all the countries into one ad set, there isn’t a whole lot you can do.

The answer, once again, is to divide and conquer!

As you put together campaigns, plan ahead and split up the campaigns per country. This step will save you a lot of headaches down the road. Taking the time to divide the campaign from the start will pay off in better visibility and greater power of optimization.

Your Turn

What differences did you notice once you took a look at how your keywords were performing in different countries? How easy was it to divide your campaigns? What differences have you noticed since you decided to implement the divide and conquer method?

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