AdWords Guide For B2B Advertising Campaigns

AdWords is an effective platform for reaching consumers.

But what about for B2B companies?

Sales figures tend to be much higher for B2B transactions (e.g. manufacturing equipment, custom software installations, etc.). Professionals responsible for these decisions are tasked with conducting as much research as possible. Most will end on Google to evaluate their options and find the right provider

So AdWords remains an effective platform even for B2B campaigns. But there are several differences to consider before creating a new campaign.

Searches for consumer products (e.g. shoes, phones, etc.) tend to be done on a much higher scale compared to products that businesses source. Just compare the following traffic estimates for “running shoes” and “hydraulic cylinder seals”:

So as a B2B company, you are reaching out to a very targeted market.

Also, someone searching for manufacturing equipment is likely a business manager and needs to have the purchase signed off by other key individuals. A typical B2B transactions then has a much longer sales cycle so conversions may not even happen until several months later. These factors can make it difficult to assess the effectiveness of an AdWords campaign.

But this channel should absolutely not be overlooked as it can produce valuable leads. Here we look at the key elements that make up a high converting B2B AdWords campaign.

1. Keywords

It all starts by targeting the right keywords.

One of the most common pitfalls of B2B campaigns is simply the lack of research. Even before setting up a campaign, you need to understand the audience you are targeting. Your market is looking for very specific products or services which you need to translate into your campaign to have any chance of converting.

Otherwise you could end up burning through your budget or missing out on valuable keyword opportunities.

Once you have a better understanding of your market and who your buyers are, head over to Google’s Keyword Planner tool. Then enter in keywords that are relevant to the products or services you offer for additional keyword ideas you can target:

Here are some things to consider as you determine keywords to target:

  • Acronyms: Find out the acronyms that your customers are using and add them to your keyword list to capture more traffic (e.g. More searches are done for “CRM” than for “Customer Relationship Management”). Be sure to include both forms in your campaign.
  • Model and part numbers: B2B transactions involve a lot of product comparisons. So you can expect searches for specific models and even part numbers. Add these types of keywords to your ad groups to attract buyers later in the sales cycle.

    Keyword research is a continuous process. As your campaigns collect more data, you can identify keywords that are triggering your ads by viewing Search Terms Reports.

  • Application: A number of B2B companies sell products that are made for specific applications, such as in the construction or farming industry. Append these keywords (e.g. farming, construction, etc.) to reach buyers who are looking for exactly what you offer.

Keyword research is a continuous process. As your campaigns collect more data, you can identify keywords that are triggering your ads by viewing Search Terms Reports.

2. Ad Groups

How you organise your keywords matter a great deal.

Google assigns a Quality Score to your campaigns which affect how much you pay and even ad positions. The key to higher scores is relevance. Here are some best practices to follow when creating ad groups:

  • Group related keywords together: Create separate ad groups for each product or service you are advertising. This ensures that your campaigns are highly relevant.
  • Group informational keywords: Informational keywords tend to be earlier in the buying cycle compared to transactional keywords. But they can still be valuable in terms of attracting new leads. Put these keywords in their own ad group, separate from the others.
  • Keep ad groups small: A common mistake is to include as many keywords as possible in an ad group. Ideally, ad groups should only contain about 15 to 20 keywords to keep them tightly organised. Doing so also makes it easier to track campaign performance.

Keeping ad groups organised makes it easier to optimise the landing page with the searcher’s intent.

If someone searches for “What is CRM?” and clicks on your ad, your landing page could include a form to download a free guide that explains what CRM is and outlines its benefits for business owners. Likewise, if someone for searches for “CRM software for small businesses”, you could create a landing page that offers a free trial.

3. Ad Copy

When researching various consumer products, it is quite common to see ads with call-to-action lines that read “Buy today” or “Free shipping on all orders”. But writing ad copy for B2B companies requires a different approach. The reason why is because most B2B purchases rarely happen on impulse.

Buyers want to be sure of what they are getting before following through with the transaction. So you are far more likely to see ad copy that says “Get more information here” or “Download a free trial”.

Here are tips to maximise the effective of your ad copy:

  • Be specific with your ad copy to attract the right buyers for your products or services
  • Prequalify customers with your ads (e.g. include price points or mention you do wholesale only)
  • Include a phone number in the ad copy so prospects can get in touch directly
  • Use social proof (e.g. “See why over 5,000 businesses use our products”)

One good idea is to draw inspiration from your competitors.

Here are some ads for “inventory management software”:

Each highlights a clear benefit which your ads should do as well.

4. Ad Extensions

Ad extensions show additional information within your ad. These give more prominence to your ads which results in:

  • Improved visibility: Extensions get your ad noticed and they also take up more space in the search results, pushing competing ads further down the page.
  • Better value: Ad extensions have been shown to improve click through rates as you are able to provide more information. This means you get better value on your marketing budget.

There is no additional charge to add an ad extension but your account will be charged for each click.

The following ad has a site link extension which includes four links that searchers can click on:

There is also a call extension which adds a call button directly within the ad. Mobile users can tap on the button to call the business for more information. Ad extensions can add a good deal of value to your campaign but not all will be available. Note that any ad extensions that you add to your campaigns must go through an approval process.

Google AdWords is an effective advertising platform for B2B companies. But all the right pieces need to be place in to create highly effective campaigns.