With B2B, you’ll typically be selling a couple of products max. In some ways this makes Google Ads accounts much easier to manage as you aren’t dealing with the thousands of SKUs that a typical B2C ecommerce site might have.
That said, with B2B it can be hard to know how to push your results further, and get the most out of Google Ads.
Our team has worked with a number of large B2B clients, and below is an aggregate of what has worked in our experience to drive more traffic, revenue, and a better CPA.
1. Set-up offline conversion tracking
This is surprisingly easy to do, and means that you will optimising towards sales rather than leads – the same approach which any ecommerce company would take.
My colleague Wes has written a more in-depth article about this here, but in principle it’s very simple:
- Create a hidden field in your lead submission form to capture each GCLID
- Set up your CRM to accept the hidden GCLID field
- Create an offline conversion in the Google Ads interface
- Periodically (dependent on sales cycle) upload your converted leads back into Google Ads using a template spreadsheet
2. Use your CRM stages to create audiences that you sync with Google Analytics and Google Ads
Doing this means you can retarget to people at more nuanced stages of the funnel than just submitted a lead but not converted.
The audiences you make will still need to be 1000 users or more, but this allows you to have more granular audiences and so more targeted remarketing.
The logistics behind setting this up with depend on your CRM system, as some have built in integration abilities. If not, you can find a guide here on how to import users here.
3. Create audiences that are MECE (mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive)
This is another easy audience technique that can make a serious difference to the efficiency of your spend.
That is, any audiences you create should overlap with each other, and should cover the entire period of time and all the behaviours you are interested in.
For example, “all visitors in L14D” should have “all visitors in L7D” excluded from it (so “all visitors in L14D” is really all visitors from 8-14 days). This way you aren’t targeting people multiple times, as they’ll be pulled into the audience which has the highest bids.
4. Use different creatives for different audiences, especially remarketing and prospecting GDN
GDN really ought to be treated more like Paid Social then it usually is. That is, strategy should be centred around showing the right creative to the right audiences at the right time in the marketing funnel.
That means showing different creatives to different audiences – which is another advantage to creating more specific audiences.
That’s particularly important for remarketing versus prospecting.
If someone has been on your site before, they likely know who you are and what you’re about – GDN remarketing ought to be the opportunity to nudge them over the line into conversion.
For example, for prospecting you might want to have a creative aimed at showcasing your company and product. For remarketing however, something more action driven, like a demo download, would be more appropriate.
5. Exclude app traffic from GDN campaigns
Unless you have a very good reason not to, app traffic on GDN campaign tends to be costly for little returns.
We’ve consistently seen across verticals that app GDN CTRs will be higher than other placements, but with a lower CvR.
The traffic coming through also tends to disproportionately represent older audiences.
This is indicative of accidental clicks on ads on mobile devices, which clearly is a waste of money. It also means your budget won’t stretch as far to cover placements that are actually converting for you.
You can remove them all in Google Ads Editor: navigate to the negative mobile app categories section and select “All apps”.
6. Apply remarketing lists on observation before you use them for targeting
By applying your audiences on observation on your existing activity, you’ll be able to determine which actually perform better before setting up RLSA specific campaigns.
That means you can then start with more appropriate budgets and bids once you come to create the campaigns, based on data you have already collected.
You can still use bid modifiers when RLSA audiences are on observation, but these either need to be equal across audiences, or taken into account when calculating performance.
7. Bid on competitors
B2B accounts usually have very good success with bidding on competitors’ terms. Yes, it will be expensive – I’ve written about more of the pros and cons in this article.
However, B2B customers tend to have different priorities than B2C which can make competitor bidding profitable.
For example, brand loyalty isn’t as strong, and styles of product between competitors don’t tend to be as distinct.
This means that the searchers for competitors’ terms in B2B are effectively further down the funnel than in B2C.
If you are B2B there is a good chance you are already doing this. If you’re not, definitely check to see which competitors are bidding on your Brand terms and decide whether it’s a sensible option for you.
8. Use both RSAs and ETAs
We’ve recently updated our best practices to make sure that RSAs are no longer thought of just as a “nice to have” option.
RSAs involve choosing up to 15 headlines and up to 4 descriptions. Google then uses machine learning to determine the best performing combinations of these.
They are not a replacement for split testing ETAs however.
Due to the larger selection of messaging that can be shown in your ad, RSAs can improve your ad relevance and rank, meaning you become eligible to appear in more auctions than with just ETAs.
ETAs however are still great for split testing messaging, and for closely controlling the content of your ads – so we’d recommend running both formats alongside each other.
9. Be upfront about minimum size of clients
It sounds obvious but this comes down to prioritising meaningful leads over traffic. It’s remarkable how often minimum revenue figures aren’t present in B2B ads or on landing pages.
Especially for industries in which CPCs are very high, it makes sense to add messaging to your ads prequalifying traffic.
This will almost certainly lead to a drop in traffic but will improve CvR and so CPA.
Reinforcing any requirements on your landing pages would also improve meaningful CvR.
10. Set up IP exclusions to prevent unnecessary spend on Brand campaigns
This isn’t often thought of as the functionality is quite new, but if you have a sizeable office, it makes sense to exclude anyone searching on that IP address from your ads.
That prevents spend being wasted on staff clicking through on ads, intentionally or otherwise, who will not be converting.
It also stops geographic analysis being skewed.
You can do this by navigating to “Keywords and targeting” within Google Ads Editor, then “IP exclusions”.
Do you have any other top tips for enhancing B2B Google Ads accounts? Get in touch to let us know or leave a comment below.