How to Make Google Ads to Work for B2B
When it comes to targeting ads to potential customers looking to buy, there’s hardly a better tool than Google Ads. But it’s important to keep in mind, your B2B business is built to serve a particular market very well—and Google Ads for B2B should be distinct too.
The Google Ads platform is a great way to market to other businesses, but the platform is easiest and most intuitive to use for B2C products. Take shoes for example: say you’re an online shoe store, and someone is searching Google for tennis shoes, you can show up with an ad in the search results that links directly to your store. Set a cost-per-conversion that makes sense for the profit margin on your shoes, and you’re good to go.
But how do you set up an appropriate cost-per-conversion if you’re selling niche aerospace parts? What if your average introduction-to-close sales cycle is 18 months? What if customers typically find your business online but don’t buy until two or three meetings with your company?
If you’re a B2B company, it’s still worthwhile to advertise on Google, but it’s much less intuitive and many of Google’s recommended plug-and-play techniques will spend your budget marketing to people way outside your target audience. Unless you’ve got an unlimited budget, there are a few tips for making Google Ads work for B2B.
Ditch display and stick to search
Display advertising can be a powerful tool for brand awareness. But garnering 1,000,000 impressions might not be nearly as valuable as one-click that leads to a years-long business relationship. If you’re sticking to a tight budget, you’re better off spending most of your money targeting laser-specific search keywords.
Tighten up your target locations
Say you set a target for the state of Minnesota in your campaign. There’s a total of 9,690,000 users—totally fine to target if you’ve got enough other restraints to narrow that down.
Don’t get lost in the statistics
The Google Ads platform gives you a dizzying array of metrics. Total impressions, clickthrough rates, impression share all give you good information about how well your ads are performing. But the real determination of the success of an ad campaign is not how well it scores within the Google Ad platform—if you’re trying to increase the number of potential customers calling your sales reps, don’t just take Google’s word for it. Ask your sales staff if they’ve noticed an increase in quality leads coming through the line. Optimizing your campaign should always be done with your ultimate goals in mind.
With Google Ads for B2B pass on advertising on the Search Network and the Display Network
The Google Search and Display Networks allow you to advertise on Google-powered search engines off the main Google domain, so your ad shows up on Google sites or Google search partner sites like Amazon or The New York Times. It’s our belief that the most valuable place and time to serve content to people is right after they’ve made a Google search for your product or services.
Align your keywords, ad copy, and landing pages.
A good Google Ads for a B2B campaign is like a good essay. The thesis, topic sentences, and paragraph copy should all line up. So it goes with ads. Make sure that you’re creating ads that match what people are searching for, and then make landing pages that allow a potential customer to know who you are, what services you provide, and how to get in touch.
Manually remove search terms that aren’t relevant
If you’re manufacturing say, paint with industrial applications, you’re going serve ads to searchers looking for consumer-grade applications. Tightening up your search keywords and manually weeding out frequent searches that eat your budget and don’t produce relevant leads is one of the most effective ways to make sure you’re spending your budget on the best ad placements.
Running a successful Google Ads for B2B campaign requires cutting through the noise of the internet to reach your target audience. Keep it specific, stupid.