There’s no doubt that a Google Ads strategy can complement your marketing plan. It allows for a serious amount of customization, flexibility, metric tracking, and more. This translates into Google Ads and PPC for B2B is an excellent avenue for lead generation and prospecting.
So why does it matter? Not only is the platform complicated to use and difficult to navigate, but Google offers tips that will almost always lead the inexperienced advertiser to spend more money than they should.
This is especially true In the B2B space as Google doesn’t care how long your buyer’s cycle is, or how you normally go about gathering prospects – they just charge you for the words you ask for. So it’s very easy to get stuck paying without seeing any ROI or traffic at all.
This article will talk about how to take advantage of this platform without having it take advantage of you, and how the use cases compare from B2B to B2C industries.
Setting Up Your Google Ads Account
The first step in implementing your Google Ads strategy is to set up all of the necessary tracking codes. This includes Google Ads, Google Analytics as well as Google Search Console. These are in addition to any other apps you are using for landing page creation, lead generation, and lead tracking/nurturing.
Not setting this up is as good as not having a plan in the first place for your marketing, you’d be spending money blindly and doing yourself a huge disservice.
Organize your Google Ads account
This is something that can be done in some ways – but it needs to be done at some point. An effective way to do it is by key term or demographic that you’re going after.
Organization strategies stay very similar between B2B and B2C Google Ads accounts.
The campaign level stays fairly broad, based on topics.
The ads group level will include splitting up different key terms for different results.
Finally, the ads level should be split up by different ad copy, different landing pages and different types of ads/ extensions.
We’ll address landing pages later on, but the gist of it is that with so many different people who influence a B2B buyer’s journey that typically carries a longer sales cycle – testing out multiple of landing pages is always an excellent idea for B2B.
Learn more about leveraging digital marketing tactics in B2B:
- How-To Craft the Perfect Buyer Persona for B2B and Technology Firms
- The 4 Core Components of a Successful B2B Digital Marketing Strategy
- 4 Ways Integrated Marketing Prevents Your Firm from Failing at the Internet
Negative keywords are are an absolute must-have in your Google Ads strategy, yet are overlooked by so many advertisers. These are terms that you ask Google to exclude from your search as a way of making sure you’re not spending your clicks budget on searches that aren’t useful to you.
It’s easy to convince yourself that you’re too narrowly focused. But you’re better off focusing narrowly on people who are significantly more likely to turn into leads or make real use of the landing page – rather than focusing too broadly and spending money on clicks from someone like a college student who most definitely has no use for your service(s).
As an example:
These two companies are ranking for “managed it jobs” while offering it services in their ad copies. This would seem like a disconnect because “jobs” in a search query is often someone looking for work or jobs in that industry.
Just to make sure it’s a good idea to see what Google organically serves up for certain terms.
So what does someone searching for “managed it jobs” want in Google’s opinion?
According to Google’s SERP, this term relates to someone looking for work in the managed IT industry and not someone looking to hire a managed IT company.
In this case, it would seem they’ve forgotten to include “jobs” as a negative keyword for this campaign. Meaning that they’re getting charged every time some confused person clicks their ad hoping to see a hiring landing page. This will also skew their impression data.
Because the ad copy is unrelated to the search query, this will also negatively affect their ad score.
Different Types of Negative Keywords
Irrelevant search terms:
Searches that may use similar words but are unrelated to what you do. For these, you’ll want to exclude things like pop culture references, misspellings, homonyms, and NSFW searches.
For example, your company offers simulation consultation and predictive modeling services. So you bid for the term “simulation” (please, don’t bid for just “modeling”). But someone searching simulation video games stumbles upon your ad and clicks on it because it says “Simulation Software” somewhere in it and that’s what they thought they wanted.
Unqualified search terms
These are terms related to your industry and what you do but are used by people who aren’t ready or qualified to buy from you.
…are going to be input by someone looking for a job in the said industry.
Whereas terms such as:
…suggest that someone is looking for teaching related to that industry as opposed to someone looking to hire a provider of some sort. In both cases, the user is not interested in your product or service.
Special Case Terms
The last class of terms, which are budget hunting terms like ‘free,’ ‘quote,’ ‘trial,’ and ‘demo’ can be very useful in certain cases, particularly for B2B. Because the buyer’s journey can be so complex and involve so many different players, having something that the company can try with no cost at all is a great opportunity to get in contact with people of value at that company.
This differs from a B2C eCommerce store that doesn’t want to pay to get people looking for free stuff on their site.
Other types of terms that work very well for B2B lead generation include:
- case study
- white paper
These will have to be manually reviewed and used on a case by case basis, depending on the offer or event your company is advertising at the time. Who knows, you might even be doing a hiring boot camp, in which case, job-seeking terms are exactly what you want to include.
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Cover The Whole Industry In Your Research
Sometimes your internal team uses a unique term (a special acronym for example) for a specific product or service you offer. It’s important that you don’t get caught up in your lingo.
You may refer to something as “maintenance,” while everyone else refers to it as “management,” or “business continuity” and” disaster recovery.”
Make sure you’re focusing on their definitions and don’t confuse them or force them to learn the extra jargon.
Although these terms often mean the same thing, they perform very differently and have different stats based on a number of factors; it’s up to you to determine which one has the intent you’re after, and what modifiers to include/ exclude.
Another great example is the use of the term “provider enrollment services” versus “payor enrollment services.”
Although they’re very similar and maybe payor enrollment is a technically more accurate way of describing the service.
The volume numbers along with competitor research and industry digging might conclude that provider enrollment is the much better opportunity
This change in focus could lead to more qualified leads in paid traffic as well as organic traffic, which we made changes too according to the keyword research that contributed to this find.
There are plenty of tools out there, but Google’s own Keyword Planner tool can be a good place to start your research and get some insight into what people are looking for.
Competitors Snatching in Google Ads
A clever way to take advantage of keywords is to target terms that are similar to
“replacement for _______”
“alternative for _____”
“substitute for ______”
This way you’ll catch someone at a great starting point; once they’ve already started considering other options.
Just be sure not to use any actual brand names or your ad won’t get approved or your Google Ads account would be penalized.
B2B Landing Pages
Your landing page needs to convey the message and offer you’re trying to send as best as you can. Make sure to line up your page messaging with the messaging in your ad copy and the keywords you’re using to target your ads.
Make sure that you’re following Google’s guidelines and are keeping your ad-score as high as possible. This will ensure the lowest CPC and allow you to rank higher while maintaining a relatively low CPC.
Google Ads Ad Extensions for B2B
These are special little features like a clickable phone number that you can add to your ad or an extra long description that you can make for your offer to express more accurately what it is right away.
These can increase your conversions by a noticeable amount if used effectively. Some of the more popular ones known to work well are:
And “Review Extensions”
Using Remarketing Effectively for B2B
Despite a big opportunity in the B2B space, this is something that is missed by tons of marketers, in fact, remarketing/ retargeting is among the least used marketing technologies. 46.3% of people don’t even bother with it while 57.81% think it’s an effective conversion tool. Because the sales cycle or funnel is said to be longer in B2B, showing people different ads repeatedly has multiple advantages:
Reword your message and/or offer based on behaviour
B2B depends heavily on the pain points in that industry, maybe your first try didn’t quite hit home, but if you were to reword the same offer or even offer them something a little less ‘salesy’ and decisive, they’d offer you an email for some kind of checklist.
Build your brand
The visual remarketing banners and videos that get shown repeatedly give you the chance to paint your brand from different angles and help people attach an image and service to your brand name.
The price of remarketing clicks is super cheap
That’s right, showing people your ads over and over and putting your name out there leaves you paying less for each of those clicks. This is most likely because Google already knows this person has expressed some interest in your site specifically and doesn’t consider your ad to be a “competitive” one.
There are plenty of advantages to remarketing, so make sure you set your tracking code up asap.
But be aware that you don’t want to bombard anyone with a silly amount of similar ads. Whether it’s YouTube videos, banner and animated ads, people will get sick of your brand if they continue to constantly see, not only your brand, but the same offer being shouted at them with no additional value.
Learn more about leveraging high converting design:
Try separating your ads in time intervals and delay them appropriately so that you can give someone your best attempt, but won’t scare them away. In B2B, top and middle of the funnel conversions often do best.
A well executed Google Ads strategy can provide a great opportunity, but its use cases vary from industry to industry. In B2C, especially eCommerce, it makes perfect sense to use all sorts of ads with heavy buyer intent-based ad copy and keywords.
But for B2B, you have to pay much more attention to customer pain points and lead them down a journey that has multiple decision makers involved and is much more thought out.
Focus on offers that aren’t directly related to sales, but will convince your target customer that you are the right solution for them to go with.
Without years of experience, it can be intimidating to manage an entire Google Ads account and all the budgets, keywords, extensions, ad copy, and more that goes along with each account. Google thrives off of confused marketers making mistakes.
It’s always best to leverage an experienced digital marketing team like the experts at Jumpfactor To get started, contact us today.