As a leader of a B2B startup or small business, you may have considered Google AdWords as an option for lead generation. After all, it’s easy to set up, you only pay when someone clicks, and it’s pretty self-sufficient (not to mention the temping $50 credits Google continues to send your way). However, if you’ve been running AdWords for a number of months, and you’re not seeing much activity or the right conversions coming through, it may be time to review why that may be. The following blog post is designed to identify some of the most common mistakes made when running B2B AdWords campaigns and share best practices on better ways to approach it.
Mistake #1: Your offer is too broad
Once you’ve decided that you want to run an AdWords campaign, the first question to ask yourself is: “What is my offer?” Many B2B firms make the mistake of simply advertising their company as a whole. However, the ad that you create should be more specific. Instead, drive searchers to a page, where they can sign up to receive your offer. Effective offer types in B2B include:
If a searcher has a clear idea of what they’re getting by clicking on your ad, they’re much more likely to engage with it.
Mistake #2: Your keywords are wrong
Every AdWords campaign requires that you add keywords so that your ad can be found when people search for them. While the keyword research can be fairly complex for AdWords, there are a number of best practices to keep in mind. First, consider the volume. If you’re new to paid search, and you’re simply testing it out as a potential marketing program, start off with 5-10 keywords. Choosing too many keywords will make your ad more expensive and less targeted.
Another consideration is the quality of your keywords. While this may seem obvious to some, make sure you’re choosing keywords that people are actually searching for. You can look to see how much monthly traffic a keyword is getting by visiting Google’s Keyword Planner Tool. Highly competitive keywords are going to be more expensive, so your ideal keywords have lower levels of competition with the highest number of monthly searches.
Next, always consider the searcher’s intent when choosing a keyword. Here’s an example: choosing a very broad keyword like “security technology” will not only bring in people who are looking to purchase security technologies, but also anyone who wants to learn more about it. If your offer isa free trial, for example, be specific with your keywords and choose something more targeted, such as “free trial for security technology.” This will ensure you’re attracting leads with the right intent for your offer.
Lastly, make sure to add your most relevant and specific keywords to your ad copy. Google ranks ads based on search matches. The more your ad matches the keyword search, the higher Google will rank your ad and the more likely you’ll increase your click through rate.
Mistake #3: Your budget is too small
Deciding on the right AdWords budget is critical to your overall marketing planning, as well as the success of your individual AdWords campaigns.
When determining your budget, start from a high level view first. Ask yourself: How much are you willing to spend on these leads based on your offer, and how will this program compare to the cost per lead from your other demand generation programs? For example, a lead generated from a campaign that offers a demo may be more valuable to you than a lead generated from a campaign that offers a whitepaper. Thinking through the amount of time and resources you put into your leads at each stage of their qualification will help you determine how much you want to spend on AdWords.
Once you’ve decided on an overall budget for the program, you need to then decide how much to spend on each ad campaign. While Google allows you to bid as much or as little as you want on individual keywords, they do provide suggested ranges. For your top keywords, it’s recommended that you bid at the high end of what Google recommends to ensure the highest possible placement of your ad. The higher your ad is placed, the more likely you’ll see a better click through rate.
Mistake #4: You don’t have any lead capture
Once you’ve decided on your campaign offer, your keywords, and your budget, it’s time to think about lead capture. Many firms make the mistake of sending the searcher to their homepage or another page on the company website with no registration form. This is perfectly fine if you’re only interested in brand awareness and educating the market about what you do. However, if lead generation is your primary goal for AdWords, then taking users to a landing page with a registration form is crucial.
Ideally you’ll ask for fields like: name, email, phone, company, and job title. Be careful not to require too many fields on a form. It’s important to strike the balance between capturing enough information to pass along to your sales team and scaring your leads away.
Mistake #5: You’re not testing or optimizing your campaigns
Once you’ve set up your AdWords campaigns, it’s important to A/B test them. Whether you decide to make 2 separate versions of your ad, your call to action, or your landing page, it won’t take much time to create two nearly identical campaigns and test which is getting better click through rates and conversions. Once you see which campaign is performing better, you can turn off the poorer performing campaign and continue testing more variables with your winning campaign.
Secondly, it’s important to keep checking in on your campaigns. It’s all too common for companies to run AdWords campaigns indefinitely without continually monitoring the performance and making tweaks to their ads, keywords, and budget. By keeping an eye on your campaigns on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, you can ensure that you’ll be getting the most out of your AdWords dollars.
While AdWords can be a fairly complex program to run with many aspects consider, following these five best practices will help you see better analytics with your campaigns and ultimately generate more targeted leads for your company.
Have additional questions about Google AdWords or need help determining if it’s the right program for your business? Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.