Marketing & Advertising

Tips on Targeting Other Countries with Google AdWords

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by Web Marketing Today. Practical Ecommerce acquired Web Marketing Today in 2012. In 2016, we merged the two sites, leaving Practical Ecommerce as the successor.

With Google’s dominant hold on market share around the world, the tools and interfaces you already know — Google AdWords, Google Analytics, and Google Webmaster Tools — should help you successfully implement campaigns in other countries. In the few countries where Google’s market share is small, you can still use your Google AdWords account to target searchers there, but be aware your results will be less successful if you ignore the local favorites where they are the leaders. Starting a PPC campaign in Google-dominated markets is fairly straightforward.

1. Set Up a Separate Campaign for Each Country

Creating separate AdWords campaigns for different countries is best because you can track, expand, and refine your keywords and ads in each language individually. If you are targeting multiple languages, create a separate campaign for each language and optimize it accordingly, as recommended by Google AdWords Help. Note that Google does not translate your ads for you.

2. Use Both Location and Language Targeting to Pinpoint Your Market

Google provides location targeting to combine with language targeting to reach expatriates in their own language, for example, English speakers who live in Spain. In this case, set your country targeting to Spain and your language targeting to English. When Google detects an English speaker on, your ad can be shown. Google recommends creating a separate campaign for each language and country pair.

By setting up a separate campaign for each main location such as a country and selecting the relevant language for each campaign, you make it easier to manage your account and track each region’s return on investment (ROI). It also means that you can create very customized and targeted campaigns by tailoring your keywords and ad text to each individual market.

3. Create Each Keyword List and Ad Text in the Same Language

Google further recommends making your keyword list and ad text for each ad group in the same language to ensure ads appear in the same language as the keyword entered. For example, when a searcher enters a keyword in Japanese, the ads appear in Japanese.

4. Allow for Different Time Zones

You also need to work around differences in time zones because Google sets your ad schedules based on the time zone where you set up your account, not the time zone of the country you are targeting with your campaign. If you want your ads to show during business hours in a different time zone, for example, you need to calculate the time difference when you set the time you want your ads to show.

Google provides detailed information on its AdWords Help Forum, where you can ask a question or enter your topic and browse others’ questions and answers. Go to and click on AdWords.

Anne Kennedy
Anne Kennedy
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