Keeping up with your Google Ads account can feel like flying the Enterprise at warp speed through an asteroid field of digital marketing. With so many platform changes and machine learning algorithms altering your campaigns on the fly, even Captain Kirk would become overwhelmed. 😉 With guidance and preparation, instead of finding yourself on an alien planet, Google Ads can land you at the top of search results and generate excellent return on investment for your sales and marketing teams. Here are a few ways to get the most value from Google Ads in the B2B tech space:
While still in the docking station, do a systems check
As with any marketing channel, ads placed by Google are just one part of a digital marketing strategy. Before launching a Google Ads campaign—to be successful—you need to prepare your digital marketing assets, such as content and landing pages. Solid messaging, useful content and website development should also be completed before you invest in Google Ads.
Why? Because the success of a paid campaign depends in part on your Google quality score—a measurement that analyzes how closely your keywords relate to your ads and how closely your ads relate to your web page content. This is Google’s method to ensure that you are not buying keywords and directing traffic to irrelevant pages, which harms the user experience. Aligning search keywords, website SEO, landing pages, and ads is therefore critical before you start running ads.
Google ads should complement, not replace, a healthy SEO strategy. It may be more effective to spend time and budget on SEO and improve your organic search results before investing in Google Ads or any paid ads platform that drives traffic to your website.
Select your mission
Do you want to maximize website traffic (clicks)? Or, do you instead want to nurture leads to generate sales? Be strategic in selecting the best ad format for your campaign.
Search ads often deliver the best value for lead generation for B2B sales with prospects that are actively searching for solutions.
On the other hand, display and video ads are more likely to generate brand awareness than clicks or leads.
To raise awareness of the breadth of your solutions and services in search ads, use ad extensions—such as sitelinks, callouts, and images. These extensions increase the size of your ad and provide a secondary call to action to catch more attention.
Aim your phasers
Focus search keywords and control display placements as much as possible to be most effective; don’t allow Google to expand your audience or keywords beyond your target market. You know your audience best, so use the data you have and the controls Google provides. Use features like location targeting, keyword match types, negative keywords, and display targeting to be successful.
Also choose keywords wisely—some are better targets for SEO than paid search. For Google Ads, aim for keywords with:
- Relatively high volume–popular searches related to your offering
- More relevance to your prospects than the public or students (unless they are your target market)
- Moderate cost per click (CPC): For many of our B2B tech clients, we find a range of $3-$7 CPC is average. However, for those in highly competitive markets, such as cybersecurity, clicks may cost dearly, $15-$45 each.
Live long and prosper
For the best results and long-term gain, once your campaign is in market, optimize, optimize, optimize! Test your selections to prove what works and find out who Google shows your ad to. Aim to achieve at least 100-200 clicks on a keyword before comparing the results and making changes based on the data.
Once you have sufficient data, review metrics such as impressions share, click through rate and cost per conversion weekly, especially with new campaigns. Pause any underperforming keywords and edit ads to achieve ad excellence. Review actual search terms and add irrelevant terms to a negative keyword list so your budget is not consumed by unproductive audiences.
Need HCI Marketing to Launch Your Mission?
HCI is passionate about Google Ads. Google Ads is a great tool for realizing your digital marketing strategy—when used effectively. And, for deep-tech or engineering focused clients, that requires engineering savvy thinking. HCI has that. If you are ready to venture into Google Ads or need assistance optimizing your campaigns, drop us a line. We can help.
Get in touch.