T: @DuaneBrown

How To Run Paid Search Globally With A Nimble Team


Normally I tell clients, bosses and people I talk with at conferences that I spend 80% of my time focused on 80% of my paid search business because that’s where I can have the biggest impact. I can see the largest return for my efforts in terms of new customers coming in and increasing profitable revenue.

It’s a common knowledge that I always advise clients to look at the top 10 countries that produce 80% of their revenue and make sure each country has their own AdWords account. Your company could have 15 countries that make up 80% of your revenue but I’d not go beyond that amount as it becomes a lot of work for one person to manage.

I actually even gave a talk about unlocking unmet demand in your AdWords account a few months ago at a conference. The reason you want to give each top tier country their own AdWords account is fourfolds:

  • Organization of information is cleaner across your accounts by country
  • Learning what keywords & ad text is working for each country. One size doesn’t fit all
  • Spotting trends in data is a lot easier by country in AdWords & Google Analytics (GA)
  • Growth isn’t an issue as you’ve room to grow each country like its own mini-business

A bonus is when you hire a person or two to join your team, you can give each person a set of countries to manage  and not worry about having to break out each county at that point. If you did, you’d lose all that account history (and quality score potentially) you’ve build up because you didn’t plan for the future.

Now what I’m about to say goes against everything I just said above because you’re not dealing with 80% of your business, you’re dealing with the other 20%. Unless money is unlimited where you work. You need to consolidate resources and make a Global Adwords Account targeting non-top 10 countries.

What’s the major language spoken by your customer base? It might be English, it could be Spanish or Portuguese and maybe, just maybe it’s French.

Lanuages In The World

If you don’t know, look at your data in Google Analytics, Intercom or talk with your customers. I’ve worked on and managed AdWords accounts that have done English, Spanish, Portuguese and French in B2B and B2C and it worked beautifully. I imagine it’d even work for Chinese, which I know is a widely spoken language for many people. Once you pick your first language, you should start to setup your global AdWords account. I’m going to use English throughout this example to keep this post consistent.

Setup Global Adwords Account
Open a new AdWords account as you’d normally do. I always set the currency and timezone to my company’s HQ. This keeps billing and currencies consistent across the board. I name all my accounts Global [insert Language here] Account e.g. Global English Account. This helps if you plan to have a global English, Spanish and French account, which I’ve seen ASOS have and work globally.

Locations & Language Targeting
The major difference with a global account is you want Google to target all the countries and territories in the world. With one or should I say 10 major exceptions. The top 10 countries that make up most of your revenue are going to be location excluded in your AdWords account. You don’t want to start double serving your ads on Google.

For language settings I’d pick “all languages” for your first global adwords account. If you decided down the line to launch a global Spanish or French account, just uncheck those languages in your global English account and setup your other accounts to target just Spanish or French.

Campaigns and Ad Extensions
Open up your AdWords Editor and copy & paste your brand campaign(s) structure and your sitelinks from one of your other adwords accounts into your new global English account. Make sure you add call, review and callout extensions where they make sense for your brand. I don’t normally do generic keyword campaigns in global accounts because they are costly and would increase the management of these global accounts. However, I’d look at adding competitor terms as a campaign, to keep your brand top of mind if you’ve the budget.

That’s pretty much it really. The only other two things I’d make sure are the following:

  • Add in negative keywords if you use shared negative keyword lists
  • Make sure your new adwords account is connected to Google Analytics and vise versa

Speaking of Google Analytics, I’d also look at building yourself a customer report in GA so you can see which of those second tier countries are bringing you business. It’s not always the countries you think it’d be. I’ll go into the custom report next month.

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