Unlock the power of Google Ads for B2B and discover proven strategies for explosive growth.
Here, you’ll find:
- Fundamentals of Google Ads for B2B lead generation
- Five powerful strategies we use for clients that flat-out work
- The best approach to Google Ads for B2B success
- Expert insights on B2B click-through rate
When it comes to paid search marketing, Google is the king. But is Google Ads (formerly AdWords) a good advertising platform if you’re in the business-to-business (B2B) space?
The short answer: Yes.
With an incredible 3.5 billion searches a day, Google Search offers businesses access to users who are searching with intent, which is a huge leg up compared to many other platforms.
If you want to know how to set up a successful campaign that will deliver real results that align with your business goals, stick around and find out how to navigate the competitive landscape of B2B Google Ads.
What are B2B Google Ads?
B2B Google Ads are online advertisements that target businesses, rather than individual consumers. While similar to campaigns that target consumers directly, Google Ads for B2B businesses tend to rely heavily on lead magnets and a well-built funnel to gain leads.
These types of ads enable your business to connect with companies in your target market searching for your products or services.
B2B Google Ads run on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, meaning your business only pays when someone clicks on your ad. This cost-effective approach ensures that your marketing budget is spent efficiently, as the ad spend is directed towards interested and relevant prospects.
What is the best strategy for B2B Google Ads?
You might be tempted to think there’s a “one-size-fits-all” strategy for B2B Google Ads, but that’s just not the case.
The truth is, the best marketing strategy for these campaigns is a combination of the tactics we’ve just covered, all carefully tailored to your specific B2B audience and your business goals.
There’s no magic wand you can wave to create a perfect B2B search ads strategy. But you can use data-driven decisions and relentless optimization for maximum success.
Here are some strategies you can consider implementing to help improve your B2B Google Ads.
8 strategies for successful B2B lead generation with Google Ads
1. Select intent-oriented keywords
Precision is paramount when it comes to selecting B2B keywords. You need to complete thorough audience research to understand their search behavior.
From there, you can identify long-tail keywords that reflect specific business pain points and solutions. Think like your ideal customer and try to anticipate the phrases they would type into search boxes.
2. Write concise and compelling ad copy
B2B decision-makers are busy and have limited attention spans. You need to write concise and compelling ad copy that resonates with their needs and aspirations.
Highlight the value that your offering provides and incorporate a strong call to action (CTA).
3. Targeted landing pages
Your ad’s journey doesn’t end with a click — it has just begun. Design conversion-focused landing pages that align with your ad’s message.
Provide clear next steps, a user-friendly experience, and persuasive copy.
4. Optimize your bids based on your campaign objectives
Smart bidding strategies are what propel your B2B Google Ads to success. Optimize your bids based on your campaign objectives, such as maximizing conversions or enhancing brand awareness.
Leverage automated bidding features to make data-driven decisions for better outcomes.
5. Make the most of your ad’s real estate with ad extensions
Sitelinks, callouts, and structured snippets enhance your ad’s visibility.
All of this offers additional information and benefits to potential leads.
6. Use retargeting
Retargeting will help bring a warm audience to your website. Why try to convert a cold audience when you already have a warm one?
Google Ads offers a variety of options for retargeting ads today, including display ads, Performance Max, and remarketing lists for search ads (RSLA).
7. Conversion tracking
Whether you rely on lead generation or ecommerce sales to support your business, fine-tuned conversion tracking is important to your success. That involves tracking more than just leads and sales.
You’ll want to give weight to actions like abandoned carts and white paper downloads by using conversion value. Doing so will teach Google what’s important to you and improve your conversion rates.
8. Enlist the sales team’s assistance
Use your sales team as a resource to design your funnels, ads, and even lead magnets. They know the questions potential clients ask, what will get their attention, and what education makes cold leads warmer.
For even more pro tips, we asked our own HawkSEM CEO Sam Yadegar for advice.
“Involve the sales team and prepare them for leads,” he says. “Have content that will educate users to help lift conversion rates and play the long game since most B2B companies have longer sales cycles.”
Using these strategies will help you be successful — over time. Yadegar cautions to set realistic goals and expectations.
“Even though you can get traffic on relevant keywords rather quickly, it will take a long time before you can actually establish a baseline return on the ad spend, and then begin to optimize.” he explains. “In short, when done properly, it always works, and requires patience and persistence.”
How do I target B2B on Google Ads?
B2B is a very specific type of audience to target. Here are a few tips:
1. Conduct strategic keyword research
Keywords are the compass guiding your B2B Google Ads ship. Start by conducting in-depth keyword research to understand the terms and phrases your target audience uses to find products or services like yours.
Look for long-tail keywords that capture specific intent. They often lead to higher-quality clicks and lower competition.
Use keyword tools, Google Ads’ keyword planner, customer surveys, competitor analysis, and your own website analytics to identify the keywords that will set your ads on the right course.
2. Add remarketing campaigns
You can use remarketing to keep your B2B brand front and center in the minds of potential leads who have already interacted with your website or ads.
Remarketing campaigns can be a potent tool for nurturing warm leads, reminding them of your value proposition, and guiding them toward a conversion, which is especially helpful in the long sales cycle that most B2B products encounter.
3. Create custom audiences
Google Ads allows you to create custom audiences based on your existing customer data, such as email lists or website visitors. When you leverage custom audiences, you can target those who have already shown an interest in your offerings, making your B2B ads more relevant and personalized.
4. Use the in-market audiences
Capitalize on the power of intent with in-market audiences. In-market audiences are a group of online users Google analyzes and determines who are looking to buy a specific product or service.
The search engine uses data such as what keywords the users searched for lately and what websites the users visited to understand which users are in the research stage of making a purchase.
Making use of this feature can help your ads reach B2B decision-makers who are actively considering a purchase or solution.
5. Implement a negative keyword list & keyword exclusions
Just as important as targeting the right keywords is excluding irrelevant ones. Implement a negative keyword list to prevent your B2B ads from appearing in searches that do not align with your offerings.
Using this feature can help your ads reach B2B decision-makers actively considering a purchase or solution.
6. Use keyword match types appropriately
Match types are essential to your B2B strategy. You’ll want to ensure your ads show on the right search terms. That means you’ll want to use all of the match types — phrase match, exact match, and broad match – to your advantage. Exact match keywords will get you clicks on terms you know are relevant, while phrase and exact match will help you learn more about the terms you might be missing.
7. Structure ad groups by theme
When creating search ads, you should create ad groups with tight themes. This will help you tailor your ad copy to the keywords, which will keep your quality scores and ad relevance high. It will also help you keep your cost per click (CPC) low, which is ideal since B2B terms are often quite expensive.
Text ads with keywords in the ad signal to the searcher that they have found the appropriate link on the search engine results page (SERP). Otherwise, they may question how your company relates to their search.
What’s the benefit of using Google Ads for B2B advertising?
There are many platforms you can advertise on, but why choose Google?
“Google Ads give advertisers very targeted control on the types of users they bring in, since it’s keyword-based.” Yadegar says. “We can hone in on very relevant keywords that specifically speak to things users are actively seeking, leading to lower acquisition costs.”
So, do B2B Google Ads work?
You bet they do! When executed masterfully, B2B Google Ads can unleash a flood of high-quality leads to your B2B business.
There are a ton of benefits that Google Ads can offer B2B businesses. Here are just a few:
- Flexibility and control: B2B Google Ads provide complete control over your ad campaigns. You can adjust your bids, budgets, ad copy, and targeting settings in real-time to adapt to seasonal demand, market trends, your business goals, and the changing needs of your audience.
- Measurable performance: The beauty of digital advertising lies in the tracking. B2B Google Ads offer detailed analytics and performance metrics. You can accurately track the success of your campaigns and monitor key metrics that matter to your business, like click-through rates (CTR) and conversions.
- Nurturing prospects: B2B Google Ads offer opportunities for remarketing, which lets you re-engage prospects who have interacted with your ads or website. You can then nurture these warm leads, build brand awareness, strengthen relationships, and guide potential customers through your funnel.
- Enhanced brand awareness: Consistent exposure through B2B Google Ads helps boost your brand visibility and authority within your industry. Even if prospects don’t click on your ads immediately, the repeated exposure increases the likelihood of them recognizing your brand name and trusting you in the future.
What is the average CTR for B2B Google Ads?
B2B Google Ads often face a tougher crowd, which is why they have an average CTR of 2.55%. But hey, while that number might be lower than what you see in B2C (business to consumer), it’s still a good number to see.
As B2B sales are typically for higher-ticket items, you need fewer clicks and conversions to generate profit.
When you consider investing any part of your B2B marketing budget, you want to know what you can expect to get back. Basically, B2C ads typically boast a pretty high CTR, although they can vary a lot from industry to industry.
B2B ads vs. B2C ads: The great divide
If you’ve run Google Ads in the B2C space before, perhaps in a previous company or for a different segment of your target audience, then you might be thinking that you can simply apply the same strategies to your B2B PPC campaigns.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case most of the time.
B2B and B2C advertising are two distinct galaxies in the marketing universe. Each finds success by following different strategies and best practices.
Let’s cover the key differences between the two to help you navigate B2B Google Ads effectively.
1. The target audience: Rational minds vs. emotional hearts
There are fundamental differences between B2B and B2C target audiences. B2B advertising revolves around rational decision-makers seeking solutions that address specific business needs. These decision-makers are focused on tangible benefits, cost savings, efficiency, and long-term value.
On the flip side, B2C customers are often swayed by their emotions. B2C brands look to pull at people’s heartstrings, appeal to their desires and aspirations, and inspire impulsive purchases and brand loyalty.
2. The buying process: Slow and deliberate vs. spontaneous and quick
B2B purchases are often more complex as they are for higher ticket items. They can involve multiple stakeholders, in-depth research, and lengthy decision-making processes. As a result, B2B Google Ads must be informative, educational, and persuasive to nurture potential clients throughout their journey.
In contrast, B2C purchases are often spontaneous and impulse-driven. B2C ads use creative storytelling, eye-catching visuals, and persuasive copy to trigger immediate action and fast purchases.
3. The content style: Technical details vs. engaging stories
B2B ads typically emphasize the technical details and product features of your offering. You may choose to include case studies and industry insights to persuade your audience on your landing page further. B2B Google Ads campaigns must provide relevant and substantial information to establish credibility and demonstrate expertise.
In contrast, B2C ads opt for exciting stories, relatable narratives, and eye-catching designs. The focus is on creating a memorable and enjoyable experience that keeps the brand top-of-mind.
4. The sales cycle: Patience vs. instant gratification
B2B sales cycles can be considerably longer than B2C cycles. Around three-quarters of B2B companies require at least four months to complete a sale, and almost half require seven months or more.
You have to establish trust, nurture the relationship, and provide continuous value. B2B Google Ads can play a vital role in maintaining a consistent brand presence and staying on the radar throughout the extended buying process.
B2C sales cycles tend to be shorter and deliver more immediate results. This quick turnaround requires B2C ads to create a sense of urgency and capitalize on the “here and now” mentality.
Mastering B2B Google Ads is an endeavor that can help you reach decision-makers and professionals searching for solutions that you offer. With precise targeting, quality ad copy, and conversion-focused landing pages, you can generate qualified leads and achieve significant business growth with B2B Google Ads.