Tips for Your B2B PPC Strategy

B2B Paid Search Strategy

If run haphazardly, a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign can easily eat through its budget with little return on investment (ROI). To generate sales and conversions, a B2B PPC campaign requires frequent performance review and campaign maintenance.

A PPC account manager, whether creating the B2B PPC strategy from the start or inheriting the campaign later on, needs to be aware of the features to review and optimize for optimal campaign performance. The account manager should consistently check the account to ensure the campaign, ad groups, and ads are running smoothly and the budget is being used efficiently.

Account and campaign reviews can be conducted periodically as needed, depending on overall performance, and quick reviews should be conducted in between these in-depth reviews.

Account Structure

PPC accounts are organized into campaigns. It is important to spend time during the in-depth review looking over the surface of your account to take inventory of your currently running campaigns to check:

  • Are campaigns organized into sensible, clear groups?
  • Are campaigns broken down into categorized ad groups?
    • Note: Ads in an ad group can only lead to one landing page.
  • Are the number of campaigns and ad groups sufficient and manageable?
  • Should any campaigns or ad groups be added or deleted based on changes in your business, industry, or target customers?

Within a B2B PPC paid search strategy, an account that is organized into manageable campaigns and ad groups can more efficiently target customers using keywords or another targeting method, if needed.

Campaign Ad Types

Depending on when the account was created, the ads may be outdated and may not be taking full advantage of the variety of ad types or may not be using all available features of the chosen ad type. PPC campaigns now offer a variety of ad campaign types to meet the needs of individual businesses.

For example, Google Ads now offers seven types of ad campaigns, including the following four types of ads:

  1. Search campaigns, or text ads, which utilize customer searches for targeting.
  2. Display campaigns, or image ads, which retargets previous website visitors.
  3. Video campaigns, or video ads, which targets users on YouTube or videos on other websites.
  4. Shopping campaigns, or product ads, which shows ads in the Google Shopping tab.

For more information on Google campaign types, click here. If you’ve already decided on the campaign ad type, be sure to review any currently running ads to make sure all ad features are being utilized.

One of the most used campaign types in B2B PPC is search campaigns, but another campaign ad type or a combination of campaign ad types may be better suited to your campaign goals and objectives.

Keywords and Negative Keywords

Search campaigns utilize keywords to trigger ads to display during user searches. Choosing and evaluating keywords based on their performances ensures that you are targeting the best possible search terms for B2B PPC lead generation:

  • Do the keywords have search volume?
  • Are the keywords too broad? Broad keywords are not desirable as they attract untargeted or unwanted traffic.
  • Do the keywords and ads relate to each other as well as the ads’ landing page?

PPC accounts can show which terms that users searched for that lead to your ad being shown to them. Reviewing this list can help you determine which keywords should be added or which negative words should be utilized to exclude certain terms from triggering your ads. Negative keywords allow you to exclude terms or phrases to better focus and target ads for the right users.

Creating and Optimizing Ads

There are many factors involved in running a successful B2B PPC paid search strategy, but one of the most important factors are the ads themselves:

  • Are your ads eye-catching?
  • Do they include a clear and easy-to-follow call-to-action?
  • Do the ads, including the display links, utilize the ad group’s keywords?
  • Is there a place for ad extensions to further attract searcher attention?

Eye-catching Ads

One of the premier ways of creating an eye-catching ad is to create an eye-catching headline. Headlines are in larger text than the ad description and will be read by searchers first so be sure to efficiently utilize all available characters, clearly state what the ad is for, and include the unique value propositions that your company offers to its customers.

Within the ad, use simple sentences that are grammatically correct, have no spelling errors, and include keywords. The key to a high-quality ad is to focus on either the issues that your prospective customers are currently facing or the benefits that your products and services will bring.

The ad itself should include a clear call-to-action as to what users will be doing after they click on the ad, whether they will be learning more about a product or service or if they will be contacting the experts of your business.

Google Ads allows the display links, or the links that are shown in the ad, to be customized to fit your ad. These display ads should include a keyword from the ad group.

For more tips on creating B2B PPC high-quality ads, check out these tips.

Ad Extensions

Ad extensions provide additional content to your ads, such as a phone number or more website links to useful pages, and when used well can increase the click-through rate of your ads. Text ads that utilize ad extensions give ads greater visibility and prominence within search results with no added cost.

For more information on Google’s available ad extensions, click here.

Landing Pages

Landing pages are the pages that your ads link to and they must relate to their respective ads as well as the keywords to prevent users from bouncing from the landing page after clicking:

  • Would a visitor be disappointed or confused when reaching the landing page after reading your ad?
  • Do your ad groups’ landing pages support the keywords and ad text?
  • Are landing pages optimized with the ad group’s keywords?
  • Do any ad groups in a campaign lead to the same landing page? Landing pages should only be used in one ad group per campaign.

Search engine marketing should be paired with other online marketing initiatives, including search engine optimization (SEO), for more effective B2B PPC lead generation and long-term business relationships.

Optimizing the B2B PPC Budget

Even if you’ve nailed each of the PPC components above on the head, your budget still determines the success of your campaign and how great the return on your investment is. The Google Bid Simulator is a great tool for checking if you’re assigning the right amount of money to each keyword.

A PPC campaign budget does not need to be divided evenly, ad groups that you would like to appear for more users can be set up with a higher budget. Adjust your budget after answering these questions:

  • Are your ads leading to conversions or goal completions?
  • If a campaign is based around products/services, are your most profitable products/services receiving sufficient funds?

Close monitoring and deep-diving into data are essential for making smart decisions in PPC optimization efforts.

Targeting

Just as ad types or recommendations are not a one size fits all approach, different targeting options work best for different campaigns, and even different ad groups. Different targeting, such as days of the week or time of day may improve ad spend allocation.

Day and Time

Ads automatically run all day throughout the week. Targeting during certain times, such as during business hours during weekdays, may be a more effective targeting strategy for B2B PPC campaigns. Utilize data to determine when ads are not receiving many clicks or when users are most likely to bounce, then decide if excluding those times would be beneficial for your PPC budget.

Implementing B2B PPC Strategy

There is no universal solution when it comes to optimizing a PPC campaign, as certain ad types and targeting options that work for some do not work for all. Testing various ad structures and content, then tracking analytics is one of the best ways to determine the right PPC fit for your company and industry.

Analytics are an essential way to monitor PPC performance and testing for optimization. For some, either Google Ads or Bing Ads may be the right pay-per-click option while for others it may be utilizing both.

If you need assistance with search engine marketing and optimizing your B2B PPC strategy, visit our search engine marketing guide or contact SVM.

Jennifer McGrath
About the author

I have a passion for being able to constantly learn, which is why I chose to work at a digital marketing agency. I enjoy being able to achieve and see real, measurable results as an impact of working with our clients.

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