How to use Google Ads for B2B lead generation

15 Oct

How to use Google Ads for B2B lead generation

By b2b business objectives, b2b lead generation, Lead Generation, B2B PPC Campaign

As of right now, paid search ads are the best way that a business can expect to receive search traffic from search engines. 

Creating an efficient B2B PPC campaign on Google can encounter a few difficulties, including:

  • Long sales cycles
  • B2B product and services complexity
  • Highly specific keywords
  • Low volume keywords
  • B2C and B2B keyword crossover.

In this post, we will discuss:

  1. Challenges in B2B lead generation process
  2. How to set up a campaign and select the relevant keywords
  3. How to minimize waste
  4. How can you get high-quality leads at scale?
  5. Preparing your landing page

Lead generation challenges

There are several challenges to keep in mind when talking about lead generation, including:

Creating seamless customer experiences

In order to drive and nurture your leads, you may actually need to connect with customers multiple times. The thing to keep in mind is that those customers will be expecting those interactions to be seamless, fast, and relevant!

Maintaining quality and scale

Having a high volume of leads is not enough - those leads also have to be of high quality.

Putting privacy first

You’ll want your customers to feel comfortable with you handling their information.

How to set up a campaign and select the relevant keywords

Google Ads is built around rewarding relevancy. It all starts with a strong keyword list. This is particularly true for B2B marketing. To come up with your list you’ll need to pinpoint the top 5-10 terms that reflect the product or service you’re advertising. 

Keep in mind that the internal language you use to describe your services may not be the language your customers use to find you. It’s important to identify all versions of your targeted terms and include them in your campaign, preferably within separate ad groups so you can ensure that your ad copy closely matches the keywords you’re bidding on.  

Google’s Keyword Planner is a good place to start when creating your keyword list. It’s located within the Google Ads interface and is available to anyone with a Google Ads account, even if you’re not running active ads.

The planner allows advertisers to enter up to 10 keywords to generate ideas for new keywords and provides plenty of data including keyword volume trends and cost estimates.

Using this tool can help set your expectations in terms of cost and click volume, but it can also help identify keyword targeting opportunities that may not be on your radar.

Google Ads Lead Generation Guide Playbook-1

How to minimize waste using match types, negative keywords, and appropriate targeting

Google provides advertisers with a variety of tools and settings to help minimize clicks from unqualified searchers

Keywords can be associated with a “match type” that determines when a user’s search query will trigger an ad – or not. There are four match types available:

  • Broad Match – The broadest possible keyword match type is also the default. Broad match enables your ad to appear for misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and variations of your keyword. This match type can easily become a money pit, so use it with caution.
  • Modified Broad Match – Adding a plus sign in front of a broad match term makes it a modified broad match term, which helps reduce your ad being shown for unrelated searches. The plus sign ensures that your ads will only show up for searches that include close variants of the terms you’re bidding on.
  • Phrase Match – Phrase match terms are only triggered when a user searches for a specific phrase (e.g., “database management”) or variations of that phrase (e.g., “database management vendors”). For B2B  campaigns, phrase match can be a useful way to ensure your ad only shows for your desired keywords, but it can also minimize search volume on already low-volume terms.
  • Exact Match – Exact Match only triggers your ads when the user puts in the exact phrase you’re bidding on. This is the match type that gives you the most control over when your ads will appear for a search query, but it can also completely kill volume, so keep that in mind if you aren’t seeing many impressions when using this match type.

Other settings that can help advertisers minimize wasted clicks include:

  • Geotargeting – Google’s powerful geotargeting feature allows advertisers to target specific geographic locations in a variety of ways including country, zip code, target location, and more.
  • Ad scheduling – Ad scheduling enables advertisers to show ads only on certain days or at certain times during the day (or a combination of both). It can be helpful if you have a limited budget, allowing you to run ads during certain peak or high-performing hours.
  • Remarketing Lists for Search (RSLA) – RSLA allows advertisers to target their search ads to people who have previously visited their website. Bids can be tailored to ensure these ads appear at the top of the search results. Google provides detailed information on how to set up and add these lists on the Google Ads Help website. 
  • Smart Bidding – There are four Smart Bidding strategies available to Google Ads advertisers which enable them to focus on conversions, rather than clicks. Since most B2B campaigns are conversion-driven, this is a good setting to use with your campaigns. Advertisers can focus on CPA, ROAS, conversions or set a target CPC and let Google’s machine learning algorithm optimize a number of factors to serve up the most relevant ads (e.g., device, location, bid amount, time of day, location, etc.)

How can you get high-quality leads at scale?

How can you distinguish good leads from bad leads? Through robust measurement. Better measurement improves lead quality. You should identify actions in your lead-to-sale journey, measure them, and assign values to those actions.

You should also maximize your value from your leads with Smart Bidding. Smart bidding combines your offline conversion data with Google’s real-time understanding of user intent, interests, and context to help you find more valuable customers. It optimizes each bid in real-time to show your ads to the right customer at the right bid within your goals. This is the most important step you can make to maximize both the volume and quality of your leads while hitting your budget and performance goals.

Preparing the landing page for your B2B PPC Campaign

Once you’ve created your targeted campaign and applied the appropriate settings to minimize waste, your most important tool for ensuring you receive quality leads is your landing page.

There are no one-size-fits-all guidelines for creating perfect landing pages. The most effective companies test different landing page designs (long form, short form, video-driven, etc.) and adjust their landing page strategy accordingly. What we do know is that the more landing pages a company has, the higher its conversion rates tend to be. 

As with any tactic, establishing clear goals upfront and ensuring that they’re appropriately tracked using tools like Google Analytics, call tracking tools, and a robust CRM tool will ensure that your paid search ads are paying off. Tracking performance consistently can help you understand not only the quality of your search leads but their inherent value.

If you would like assistance with Google Ads, contact one of our Google Ads specialists for a consultation!

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