Looking to supercharge your B2B PPC campaigns? Grab a coffee (or tea) and we’ll explain how to improve your conversions like a pro.

Here, you’ll find:

  • The difference between B2B and B2C PPC ads
  • Benefits of PPC for B2B companies 
  • How to build a B2B PPC campaign   
  • Tips to try and mistakes to avoid in your B2B PPC campaigns

Getting more traffic to your website isn’t difficult. Getting more qualified leads is the real challenge. This is a struggle whether you’re using content marketing or running search ads for your B2B business. 

But this doesn’t mean it’s impossible. 

If you’re looking to grow your business faster, then pay-per-click advertising is an excellent solution. The trick is knowing how to optimize your PPC campaign to get the results you want. 

And that’s what we’ll set out to do in this guide.

What is B2B PPC?

B2B PPC (business-to-business pay-per-click) is a digital advertising strategy where businesses promote their products or services to other businesses through paid search campaigns. Companies bid on relevant search queries and display targeted ads on search engine results pages (SERPs) or other websites.

Happy business people, handshake and meeting in teamwork for partnership or collaboration in boardroom. Woman person shaking hands in team recruiting, introduction or b2b agreement at the workplace

B2B PPC is a digital advertising strategy where businesses promote their products or services to other businesses through paid search campaigns. (Image: Adobe)

How to build a B2B PPC campaign

Building a successful B2B PPC campaign requires careful planning, strategic execution, and continuous optimization. Let’s walk through the step-by-step process to create a high-performing B2B PPC campaign that drives quality leads and maximizes your return on investment (ROI):

1. Define your campaign goals

Start by clearly defining your campaign goals, whether it’s generating leads, driving website traffic, or increasing brand awareness. This will help you align your PPC strategy with your business objectives.

2. Identify your target audience

Understand your target audience’s demographics, interests, pain points, and buying behavior. This will enable you to create highly targeted ads and select the right keywords for your B2B PPC campaign.

3. Conduct keyword research

Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner or Semrush to identify relevant, high-value keywords for your B2B industry. Focus on long-tail keywords with high search volume and low competition to maximize your campaign’s effectiveness.

4. Create compelling ad copy

Write persuasive ad copy that highlights the unique value proposition of your B2B product or service. Use clear and concise language, include relevant keywords, and emphasize the benefits your audience will gain.

Female writer

Use clear and concise language, include relevant keywords, and emphasize the benefits your audience will gain in your ad copy. (Image: Adobe)

5. Design landing pages

Create dedicated landing pages optimized for conversions. Ensure your landing pages align with your ad copy, have a clear call-to-action, and provide valuable information to your visitors.

6. Set up conversion tracking

Measure the success of your B2B PPC campaign by installing conversion tracking codes on your website. This tracks key metrics, such as leads generated, form submissions, and purchases.

7. Optimize your campaign

Continuously monitor and optimize your B2B PPC campaign to improve its performance. A/B test your ad copy, landing page design, and targeting options to identify what works best for your target audience.

8. Use remarketing strategies

Implement remarketing strategies to re-engage users who previously visited your website. Show them personalized ads based on their previous interactions to increase the chances of conversion.

9. Monitor and analyze data

Regularly review your campaign data to gain insights and make data-driven decisions. Use analytics tools like Google Analytics or HubSpot to track key metrics, identify trends, and optimize your B2B PPC campaign accordingly.

10. Stay updated with industry trends

Keep up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in B2B PPC advertising. Join industry forums, attend webinars, and follow reputable blogs to stay ahead of the competition.

Remember, building a successful B2B PPC campaign is an ongoing process. Continuously monitor your campaign’s performance, make data-driven adjustments, and adapt your strategy as needed to achieve optimal results.

Remember, building a successful B2B PPC campaign is an ongoing process. Continuously monitor your campaign’s performance, make data-driven adjustments, and adapt your strategy as needed to achieve optimal results.

Pro Tip: Choose the right PPC platform to reach your target audience. For example, LinkedIn and Facebook are better suited for B2B companies looking to generate leads than Instagram and TikTok.

B2B PPC vs. B2C PPC: What’s the difference?

Pay-per-click for B2B differs from PPC for B2C in several ways. Here are some of the primary distinctions:

1. Target audience

B2B PPC targets businesses and professionals, while B2C PPC targets individual consumers. B2B PPC focuses on reaching decision-makers and stakeholders within organizations, whereas B2C PPC aims to engage and convert individual shoppers.

2. Buying process

B2B PPC campaigns cater to longer and more complex sales cycles, where multiple stakeholders are involved in the decision-making process. B2C PPC, on the other hand, focuses on shorter and more impulsive buying cycles, where individual consumers make purchasing decisions.

3. Ad targeting and placement

B2B PPC campaigns typically target specific industries, job titles, and professional interests to reach their desired audience. B2C PPC campaigns, meanwhile, target broader demographics and interests to capture the attention of individual consumers.

4. Conversion goals

B2B PPC campaigns generate leads, drive website traffic, and nurture potential clients. B2C PPC campaigns prioritize immediate conversions, such as online sales or sign-ups.

5. Ad formats and platforms

B2B PPC campaigns often use professional platforms like LinkedIn and industry-specific websites to reach their target audience. B2C PPC campaigns, on the other hand, commonly use popular platforms like Google Ads and social media platforms to reach a wider consumer base.

B2B PPC changes our search engine marketing strategy at every step.

“With B2B PPC, it’s important to know the decision-makers at the businesses we hope to attract. It’s also important to qualify your B2B audience,” says Steven Dang, VP of Growth and Strategy.

For instance, if you sell kitchen supplies for restaurants, you must clarify that you offer wholesale or bulk services.

“Failing to do so could capture unwanted B2C shoppers looking to buy one kitchen pan or knife instead of the set of 10 you sell,” Dang continues.

How does pay-per-click advertising benefit B2B companies?

PPC advertising can help B2B companies grow and scale faster. Let’s explore the various ways PPC can make that happen. 

1. Increased visibility and brand exposure

PPC allows B2B companies to appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) and display ads on relevant websites. This increased visibility enhances brand awareness and reaches a wider audience of potential customers.

2. Precise targeting and audience segmentation

With PPC, B2B companies can target specific demographics, interests, and behaviors to ensure their ads appear to the most relevant audience. This precise targeting maximizes your campaigns’ effectiveness and generates high-quality leads.

3. Cost-effective and measurable results

PPC offers B2B companies the advantage of only paying for clicks or conversions, making it a cost-effective advertising strategy. Plus, PPC platforms provide detailed analytics and reporting, allowing you to measure the performance of your campaigns and optimize them for better results.

4. Quick and immediate results

Unlike traditional marketing methods, PPC campaigns can be set up and launched quickly, delivering immediate results. This agility is especially beneficial if you’re looking to generate leads and drive conversions in a shorter timeframe.

5. Enhanced lead generation and customer acquisition

PPC campaigns can be optimized to target keywords and phrases that are highly relevant to your B2B products or services. This focused approach attracts qualified leads and increases the chances of acquiring new customers.

6. Remarketing opportunities

PPC platforms offer remarketing capabilities, allowing B2B companies to re-engage website visitors who’ve shown interest in their offerings. By showing targeted ads to prospects, you can nurture them through the B2B buyer’s journey and increase the likelihood of a conversion.

7. Flexibility and scalability

PPC campaigns offer B2B companies the flexibility to adjust budgets, targeting options, and ad creatives based on performance and business needs. This scalability allows you to allocate resources effectively and optimize your campaigns for maximum return on investment (ROI).

8. Competitive advantage

Leveraging PPC advertising gives B2B companies a competitive edge in the digital landscape. With strategic keyword targeting, compelling ad copy, and effective landing pages, you can outperform your competitors and capture the attention of potential customers.

9. Integration with other marketing channels

You can seamlessly integrate PPC ads with other marketing channels, such as social media and email marketing. By combining these efforts, B2B companies can create a cohesive and comprehensive marketing strategy that reaches their target audience across multiple touchpoints.

In other words, incorporating PPC into your marketing mix can effectively reach your target audience, generate quality leads, and drive business growth.

Top strategies to attract the right leads to your PPC ads

b2b paid social media

Incorporating PPC into your marketing mix can effectively reach your target audience, generate quality leads, and drive business growth. (Image: Rawpixel)

Anyone can build a PPC campaign, but a winning campaign requires using the right strategies. Here are our top methods. 

Pre-qualify your leads

Nothing’s worse than wasting hundreds or even thousands of dollars on PPC advertising that drives tire-kicking leads that never convert. 

“Qualification is the name of the game,” advises Dang. “We want to adequately delineate the B2B audience we want to aim for from the B2C audience that’s typically unwanted. Casting too wide a net could attract both audiences and lead to unnecessary clicks and ad spend.”

Use targeting parameters and keyword modifiers

Another option to avoid wasting precious dollars on irrelevant clicks is to use appropriate and focused targeting parameters to pre-qualify your audience. For example, you can use targeting parameters like industry, geography, company size, or job title to narrow down your audience and ensure your ads reach the right people. 

“We can also qualify leads through different keyword modifiers,” notes Dang. “For example, if you’re a bulk ecommerce seller in the kitchen space, you can bid on words like “bulk kitchen supplies” or “wholesale kitchen supplies,” which are better terms than “kitchen knives for sale.”

Pro Tip: Use negative keywords in your campaigns to exclude specific keywords from triggering your ads in PPC campaigns (and wasting your ad spend). For example, if you’re running a B2B campaign for a SaaS product, add “free” as a negative keyword to prevent ads from appearing when users search for free software.

Create highly-targeted ad copy

Everything from your headline to your visuals should appeal to your ideal customers.

“Qualification should also happen at the ad copy step to ensure only B2B searchers click your ad,” Dang points out. “For example, clearly state you’re a “Kitchen Supply Depot” if that’s what you do. Be as transparent as possible about your positioning and what you offer to avoid attracting unrelated or errant clicks.”

Pro Tip: Keyword research is huge for B2B PPC because we want to ensure we target and attract the right audience with B2B intent. So look for search terms that relate specifically to your target customer’s pain points. For example, we might see something like ‘running low on restaurant supplies’ or ‘affordable commercial kitchen supplies’ as potential keyword opportunities.

At HawkSEM, we help B2B brands build highly-relevant PPC campaigns daily.

Datadog is a great example,” says Dang. “I attribute our success to adequately understanding our target audience, going after very specific, bottom-of-the-funnel keywords, providing very educational, rich content on our website (videos, white papers, a useful blog), sufficiently explaining our differentiators vs. our competitors, and having conversion rate optimized (CRO) landing pages.”

The result: A 75% increase in sales and a simultaneous reduction in cost per acquisition (CPA).

Which metrics to track in your B2B PPC campaign

Tracking the wrong metrics can cause you to waste precious dollars. For instance, it can create false positives due to tracking vanity metrics, such as click-through rates (CTR) vs. conversions. 

So tying your key performance indicators (KPIs) to the end goal is critical. If you’re looking to boost sales, lead form submissions, or calls, then track those metrics specifically. 

Here’s an overview of the main metrics to track in your B2B PPC campaign:

1. Cost per lead

How much it costs to generate a new lead. For example, if you spend $100 and receive 10 leads, then your CPL is $10. 

2. Cost per sale

The amount you spend to generate a sale. For example, if you spend $10,000 to generate 100 sales, then your cost per sale is $100. Why is this important? Because 

3. Lead quality (using lead scoring)

Determines the quality of your leads based on a scoring system. For example, if you’re looking for leads in a particular region, industry, and role, then leads that closely match this criteria will rank higher. 

4. Customer lifetime value

How much the average customer spends over the lifetime of buying from your business. For example, if the average customer stays with your business for five years and spends $100 per month, then their CLTV is $6,000. 

5. Lead to sales ratio (or close time)

How long it takes to close a deal after a lead is generated. For example, if you generate 60 leads and close 20, then you divide 20/60 and multiply by 100 to get a 33% close ratio. 

So what do you do once you have these metrics?

“We can adjust our bids on keywords up or down based on the relative value of these metrics,” suggests Dang. “For example, if there’s a keyword that tends to lead to high-quality leads at a very favorable cost per lead, then we may bid more aggressively on that keyword and assign a greater share of the budget to that keyword.”

Beyond cost per lead or cost per sale, you may want to review your customer’s average lifetime value — higher CLTVs would justify higher or more aggressive bids and vice versa.

“We also look at the lead to sales ratio (or close ratio) as an indication of quality. If leads from region X tend to have a higher close rate than others, we may want to bid more aggressively on leads from that region,” Dang continues.

Avoid making these mistakes with your B2B PPC strategy

“The most common mistake we see is casting too wide a net and unintentionally attracting the B2C segment along with the B2B segment,” says Dang. “This tends to have the effect of conflating our costs and scrambling our focus.”

Instead, we want to laser-focus on the B2B audience we want to attract.

“The other mistake we see is placing bids on B2B-related keywords based on their B2C equivalents or variants,” Dang emphasizes. “For example, expect wholesale kitchen keywords to be more expensive than regular consumer-oriented kitchen supplies keywords, and be willing to bid more for a B2B searcher than a B2C searcher.”

Tips and best practices for running winning B2B PPC campaigns

Ever ran a PPC campaign that generated a ton of clicks, but no conversions? Or how about no clicks at all? Both scenarios are frustrating, so we put together our top tips to help improve your next PPC campaign.

Design landing page content that converts your target audience

It’s time to stop creating PPC ads that eat up your budget and/or waste your precious time. 

Here’s how based on our expert advice:

“Remember, it’s about qualifying prospects at every step of the way with highly-targeted keywords. But don’t stop there — provide high-quality content to educate your audience on how your product or service differs so you can stand out,” Dang advises.

B2B decision makers are discriminating, so find ways to help them make the right buying decisions. For instance, they may have more questions not adequately answered on the landing page, so offering chat assistants or a phone number to call on the page is helpful.

“Rich video content, white papers, or a comparison grid can also be powerful education tools. Also, listen to feedback from your sales team and incorporate their suggestions into your PPC campaigns,” Dang continues.

Create compelling ad copy that resonates with B2B audiences and drives, conversions

Ads don’t convert well if they don’t compel potential customers to click. Tough to do when you don’t understand your target audience and their unique challenges.

The solution:

“Spend time learning your audience,” Dang suggests. “For instance, you can conduct ample audience research at the beginning and listen to your sales team. Then, of course, listen to the customer to discover what they’re looking for and what’s important to them. Leverage these insights in your ad copy.”

Build ad groups based on sales funnel stages

Everyone who sees your ad won’t be ready to buy. So dissecting your ad campaigns into personalized segments based on where your customers are in the buying funnel will ensure you get more clicks and conversions. 

This works because you’re selecting keywords based on the buying intent of the searcher and delivering ads with targeted messaging and tailored offers for that particular audience. Build your campaigns with keyword groups categorized as either awareness, consideration, or decision stage. 

Everything from your ad copy to your landing page should speak to each stage. 

Psst! We build landing pages from scratch for the PPC campaigns we run to pre-qualify leads and increase conversions.

Best PPC platforms for B2B marketing 

When it comes to B2B marketing, having a strong PPC strategy is crucial for driving targeted traffic and generating quality leads. In this article, we’ll explore the best PPC platforms that can help you reach your B2B audience effectively.

1. Google Ads

As the most popular PPC platform, Google Ads offers a wide range of targeting options and a massive audience reach. With its robust analytics and conversion tracking, you can optimize your B2B campaigns for maximum ROI.

2. LinkedIn Ads

Specifically designed for B2B marketers, LinkedIn Ads allows you to target professionals based on their job title, industry, company size, and more. This platform offers unique ad formats like Sponsored InMail and Dynamic Ads, making it ideal for reaching decision-makers.

3. Facebook Ads (Now Meta Ads)

Meta Ads

Facebook Ads (Meta Ads)

Although primarily known for B2C advertising, Facebook Ads can also be a valuable tool for B2B marketers. With detailed targeting options and the ability to create custom audiences, you can reach professionals based on their interests, job titles, and company affiliations.

4. Twitter Ads


Advertising with Twitter enables B2B marketers to engage with their target audience through promoted tweets, accounts, and trends. With its real-time nature, Twitter can be an effective platform for building brand awareness and driving website traffic.

5. Microsoft Advertising

Formerly known as Bing Ads, Microsoft Advertising offers a unique opportunity to reach a different audience than Google Ads. With its integration with LinkedIn, you can target professionals based on their LinkedIn profiles, making it a valuable platform for B2B marketing.

6. Quora Ads

allows you to target users based on their interests, questions, and topics they follow. This platform is ideal for B2B marketers looking to position themselves as industry thought leaders and provide valuable insights to their target audience.

7. Pinterest Ads

While not traditionally associated with B2B marketing, Pinterest Ads can be effective for certain industries. With its visual nature, Pinterest allows you to showcase your products or services and target users based on their interests and search behavior.

Remember, the best PPC platform for your B2B marketing efforts will depend on your target audience, industry, and campaign goals. Consider testing different platforms and monitoring their performance to find the right fit for your business.

The takeaway

Using B2B PPC as part of your digital marketing strategy is ideal if you want to reach a specific audience faster and with less effort. It’s a quicker solution to get eyes on your products and services right away and has a lower cost per acquisition than other marketing strategies (e.g., billboards, TV, and radio). 

But to get results, you need to know how to build campaigns that match your target audience’s needs and your business’s goals. 

Want to learn how we can help with your PPC management? Reach out to our experts today.

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