In the realm of digital marketing, “B2B(Business to Business) Search Engine Marketing” has emerged as the linchpin, connecting enterprises and paving the way for successful interactions in the complex landscape of business transactions. With the digital age-accelerating the way companies find, engage, and collaborate with one another, B2B search engine marketing plays a pivotal role in ensuring businesses are discoverable, visible, and poised for growth. This blog is your comprehensive guide, designed to shed light on the importance of B2B search engine marketing and the strategies, insights, and best practices that empower businesses to navigate the digital marketplace effectively. If you’re part of the B2B landscape and looking to optimize your online presence, connect with potential partners, and thrive in the ever-evolving world of digital commerce, you’ve arrived at the right destination.
What is B2B Search Engine Marketing?
Help your customers find you.
B2B Search engine marketing is the art and science of attracting motivated customers to your website by increasing your site’s presence within the search results of major search engines (i.e., Google, Bing, and Yahoo). B2B Search engine marketing is crucial because 72% of customers begin at a search engine like Google when researching products and services online, according to research from Pardot.
Effective B2B search engine marketing begins with a thorough understanding of the keyword phrases your customers are searching for most often and then leveraging a combination of Search Engine Optimization and Pay-per-click advertising to be found during those searches.
Search engine optimization (SEO):
Techniques that help you achieve rankings for your website in organic search results.
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC):
Internet advertising techniques direct traffic to websites, in which the advertiser only pays when the ad is clicked.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO, also known as search engine optimization, makes your website’s pages appealing to search engines. SEO-optimized webpages score higher in both organic and unpaid search results. Since Google has a 90% market share in B2B search, most SEO initiatives concentrate on raising a site’s rating there, according to an Optify study.
Getting your website on the front page of the search results should be the main goal of any SEO effort. Since most searchers favor clicking on the first few links, the higher you are listed on the page, the better. Search engine rankings can be raised by concentrating on two strategies:
You are improving your website’s relevance.
Your website has to use your most significant keyword phrases in a method that is appropriate for the language and code of your website. Your website will rank higher in organic search results the more pertinent it is to the user’s search query.
Note: I’ll discuss this more in a later section of this article, but it’s possible that prospects need to be using the words or phrases you believe to be the most relevant to their searches to find the goods and services you offer.
You are improving your website’s link popularity.
Your website needs to draw high-quality inbound connections. An inward link originates from another website. Your website will rank higher in search results. Google prioritizes the popularity of links over the relevance of websites.
Public relations and SEO share many similarities. To see results, there must be a continuing, persistent effort. Significant achievements can be attained within three to six months; you can then build on those accomplishments while creating a solid foundation.
Pay-per-click, or PPC, advertising is when your B2B company makes a set payment to display text-based ads in sponsored search results. Regardless of how frequently the listing is shown, you will only be paid when a searcher clicks on your ad and visits your website.
Compared to conventional print advertisements, pay-per-click advertising is a results-focused advertising medium. With traditional advertisements in a print magazine, you pay to be published regardless of the outcomes the advertisement generates. With PPC, your ad can stay on Google’s front page all day without costing you anything unless someone clicks on it.
About 25% of searchers will click on the paid search results if they consider the ad relevant to what they are searching for. In essence, it pre-qualifies leads at a reasonable cost.
Your ranking in paid search results can be improved and optimized by focusing on three tactics:
Increasing your bid amount.
Your ranking is based on the cost per click you are willing to pay. The more you pay per click, you will rank higher in the paid search results.
We are improving the relevancy of your advertisements.
Google wants to ensure the most relevant ads appear at the top of the search results. The more relevant your ads (and the corresponding landing pages on your website) are based on the search terms, the higher your ranking will be in the paid search results.
You are increasing your budget.
The more you choose to invest in pay-per-click advertising, the better your chance to have ads that are consistently displayed. By using research tools like the Google Ads Keyword Planner, you can determine the approximate budget you will need to pay per click. Budgets can be managed daily, and they are very flexible. You can start a PPC campaign with a $50 budget to see what results you can produce. I have clients who spend more than $ 25 monthly on PPC ads because they can tie the campaign to the leads and sales generating.
Where search engine optimization takes months to see results, pay-per-click advertising takes minutes. Your ads can attract targeted traffic immediately, but your campaign will require attentive management to ensure you receive the highest return on your pay-per-click advertising investment.
Search Engine Marketing for B2B(Business to Business)
Step 1: Define an Effective B2B Search Engine Marketing Strategy
Begin with the end in mind
Many companies need clear goals to dive into search engine marketing. Spend some time identifying the key elements of your search engine marketing strategy. The following steps will walk you through the process of defining your strategy.
Define your search engine marketing goals.
B2B Search engine marketing will help drive targeted traffic to your website. Think about the goals and objectives for your website and online marketing efforts. Your B2B search engine marketing program should be designed to support these goals.
Some common B2B search engine marketing goals include the following:
- Selling products online. Customers purchase products on your website.
- They are selling products offline. Customers research products online and purchase at your physical location, over the phone, or through your distributors.
- You are generating leads or inquiries. Prospects research products online and submit questions or information requests via your website.
- They are building a marketing database. Prospects and customers request to receive future online and offline communications from you.
- You are improving brand or company awareness. Prospects learn about what you do or engage in an activity supported by your brand.
Define your B2B search engine marketing audience.
If you don’t know who you’re trying to reach, you won’t be able to figure out how they search to help them find you. Begin by brainstorming about your target audiences.
Consider the following when defining your B2B search engine marketing audience.
- What specific industries and market segments do you serve?
- Describe a typical company in each industry and market segment you serve.
- Where are your target customers located geographically?
- Who will be going online to search for your products and services? What is their role within the company? Are they the end-users of the products and services?
- What product or service categories are they interested in?
- What information will they be searching for?
Define your top competitors.
Your B2B search engine marketing program must also focus on your competition. You want to ensure you identify your top competitors so you can continually evaluate how your company’s search engine presence ranks relative to the competition.
Please define the following elements for each company or website you compete against.
- Who are your top five competitors in order of priority?
- Do they engage in SEO or paid search?
- What product or service categories do you compete in?
- What makes your company different and better than each competitor?
- What keyword phrases do they appear to be focusing on?
Define a measurement strategy.
How will you know if your B2B search engine marketing strategy is successful?
Identify specific success metrics from the list below that will allow you to measure your SEM strategy’s impact on your business. Be clear about what you want to achieve, and make sure your goals are attainable.
Some common B2B search engine marketing success goals include:
- Increase website ranking for target keyword phrases from X to Y.
- Increase traffic to your site from X to Y or by X%.
- Increase online sales from organic search traffic from X to Y or X%.
- Increase online leads from organic search traffic from X to Y or by X%.
- Decrease bounce rate from X% to Y% from organic search traffic.
- Achieve a target cost-per-lead from paid search advertising.
- Achieve a target cost-per-sale from paid search advertising.
Step 2: Choose the Best Keyword Phrases
Get inside customers’ heads through keyword research
The most critical step in search engine marketing is keyword research, strategically selecting your company’s most important keyword phrases. If you do not perform this step properly, there is no way that your campaigns will be successful.
When choosing the best keyword phrases, it is critical to choose phrases relevant to your business and those searched for most often by your customers. The keywords have:
- Strong relevance to your company and website. Niche terms related to your products or services that your website has content to support.
- Reasonably high search volume. They are terms your most likely customers are searching regularly.
- Relatively low competition. Terms with a relatively low number of companies competing in the search results.
The technique of conducting keyword research involves both art and science. Brainstorming about the words and phrases you believe your customers are looking for is the process’s art. Based on recent search data, the science part of the process will inform you of the estimated search volume for each phrase.
You can use keyword research services to assist with these actions. The following activities will assist you in utilizing this procedure to choose the ideal search phrases for your business.
Brainstorm potential keyword phrases.
Begin your keyword research with the art of the process and brainstorm phrases you think customers use when searching for your products and services.
Get all of your customer-facing team members involved and consider the following questions:
- What problems are our customers trying to solve?
- What terms or phrases do they use to describe their needs or problems?
- What terms or phrases do they use to describe the solutions we provide?
- How would we describe our products and services to a beginner in our industry?
- What do customers do with our products? (e.g., applications, etc.)?
- What terms do industry magazines and analysts use to describe our products and services?
- What 10 phrases do we associate most with our company?
- What 10 phrases do we associate most with our products and services?
To assist your brainstorming process, you can leverage several online services to peek at what keyword phrases your competitors focus on with search engine marketing. Using Spy-Fu’s free search, you can learn their approximate pay-per-click budget, best-paid keywords, top organic keywords, and other useful information. While Spy-Fu is primarily fee-based, you can perform a free search to preview the research details.
Compare your brainstorming list to the actual search volume
Once you’ve finished the keyword brainstorming exercise, you’ll have a seed list of potential keyword phrase possibilities. Determine how frequently individuals search for these terms by using the science of keyword research.
Some keyword research tools collect and predict search volumes, taking the guesswork out of the process. These tools will highlight the keyword phrases on your list that are most frequently used while also allowing you to see additional, commonly searched variations, qualifiers, and alternative spellings.
The following tools are great resources that can be used during the keyword research process:
Prioritize your keyword list
At this point, search traffic will let you know which terms are most popular, but you should also consider other factors. Additionally, pay attention to the well-known expressions that are most pertinent to the information on your website and the products you are selling. Examine your keyword list and rank each keyword phrase according to the following scale:
Grade A – Top Priority:
High Priority: This group of keyword phrases is very relevant to your website’s content and has a high search volume and relatively low competition.
Medium Priority: This group of keyword phrases is relevant to your website’s content and has a moderate search volume or competition.
Low Priority: This set of keyword phrases has a moderate search volume and is pertinent to the content of your website. However, it has too much competition or is not a term you want to use on your website.
Use Grade A and Grade B keyword phrases for organic search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising campaigns. Your Grade C terms can be effective for pay-per-click advertising but could be better organic search engine optimization prospects. Start with your most popular Grade A terms and work down the list when optimizing your website for traffic from organic search engines.
At one moment, concentrate on 30 to 50 Grade A and B terms for organic search engine optimization. Because optimizing your website requires a lot of time and work, stay within that number so you can maintain your efforts. Get your terms to the top of the rankings, then move on to the next set, always bringing in more niche traffic with each endeavor.
You can focus on many words and phrases for pay-per-click marketing without significantly hurting your campaign.
Step 3: Optimize Your Site for Organic Search
Make your website attractive to Google.
Once you have identified your most crucial keywords, ensure that the content of your website is optimized to attract relevant traffic.
Start with the copy on your website. Make sure it uses your key keyword phrases meaningfully and promotes your business successfully. Let’s say you don’t have any in-house authors. In that situation, you may either pay a skilled marketing copywriter to develop your material or hire one of the numerous excellent and reasonably priced freelance writers on services like Upwork or Zerys. Your website’s coding, or the HTML “under the hood” or “behind the scenes” pages that search engines see when they crawl your website, should be optimized after the copy has been optimized. The planning, writing, and coding phases of optimization are involved.
Create a keyword plan for your website.
After rating your phrases based on search volume, consider your prospects of success with search engine optimization. You can be vying for the first page if the phrase is highly competitive. Make a keyword plan to start your campaign for search engine optimization.
Assign keywords to the most appropriate pages.
After reviewing your website’s pages, the optimal page for each keyword phrase should be identified. Create a perfect page if one doesn’t already exist. Start with your Grade A sentences and work your way down the list.
Focus on at most one or two keyword phrases per page.
You can only fit so many phrases onto one web page. In a perfect world, each website page should be dedicated to a single term.
Write compelling, keyword-rich copy.
For SEO to succeed, a copy must be filled with keywords. Unfortunately, much web copy is written because those in charge of producing it need to learn how to write for search engine success. Several effective methods exist for writing engaging, search engine-friendly material for your website.
Use keyword phrases throughout the entire page in a natural way.
Use your keyword words consistently throughout the page. Every page should ideally include 250 to 300 words of material, and you should employ different forms of your keyword phrase (such as the singular, plural, etc.) about 5% of the time. Approximately five times for every 100 words of copy, then. Avoid repeating the word in an awkward way or repeatedly. Your website’s rating will suffer if you do.
Write for people, not machines.
Don’t write for Google at the expense of your prospects and customers. Create a customer-focused copy that addresses your customers’ needs, provides a solution to their problems, and is easy to read and understand.
Optimize each page’s headline to stress your keyword phrase.
For each Web page you optimize, include the keyword phrase in the page’s headline or title. It is more effective if you use the keyword phrase before your title rather than at the end.
Since you must use keyword phrases often, be as descriptive as possible when crafting your website copy. Avoid using generic words that do not tell your customers and prospects anything. Replace these generic terms with keyword-rich descriptive terms. For example, if you are optimizing for the phrase “bandsaw,” don’t say “our product” when you can say “our bandsaws.”
Avoid excessive repetition of keyword phrases.
I’m saying this again because I know it’s tempting. Ensure you do not repeat the keyword phrase too many times on a Web page unnaturally. Not only is this a red flag for Google, but it will not read well to your target audience either.
Use bold, italics, and underlines.
When you emphasize a word with italics, underline, or bold, search engines assume it is an important keyword on the page. Use this to your advantage to identify Google the important keywords for the page. However, ensure that you only use these formatting tags on keywords, or you will confuse the search engines and weaken the effect.
The link between pages.
Whenever possible and practical, link to other pages within your content and use keyword phrases for the target page. Avoid using generic “click here” links.
Code your website for SEO success.
When it comes to crafting compelling content for your website, three key factors play a crucial role: “perplexity,” “burstiness,” and “predictability.” Perplexity measures the intricacy and complexity of the text, while burstiness captures the art of blending longer, more intricate sentences with shorter, concise ones. On the other hand, predictability gauges the likelihood of a reader guessing the next sentence. Achieving the right balance of these elements is essential for creating engaging and captivating content.
To optimize your website and ensure its visibility in search engine results, you must pay attention to the underlying coding and adhere to current SEO best practices. For this, you must have SEO experts within your web team. In case you lack in-house SEO masters, you can consider hiring third-party SEO experts from platforms like Upwork or Guru to direct your programming efforts effectively.
The process of SEO coding is a mix of art and science, and it encompasses several essential elements that your technical team should focus on:
Ensure your website is easily “crawlable” so search engines like Google and Bing can index your content. “Spiders,” or programs sent out by search engines, crawl your website, recording and categorizing its content. Avoid outdated web development tactics like Flash-only design or frames, and ensure your HTML code complies with W3C guidelines. Additionally, it provides accessible navigation that caters to human users and search engine bots. Including a sitemap can serve as a helpful roadmap for search engines to navigate your site efficiently.
Title Tags with Relevant Keywords:
The title tag in the browser tab holds significant importance in optimized web pages. Search engines consider the title tag when evaluating page content, and it appears as the blue clickable link in search results. Craft compelling title tags that incorporate essential phrases for the page and your company’s name, making it enticing for searchers to click through. Remember to keep the title tags under 65 characters, including spaces, and ensure each page has a unique and relevant title tag.
Descriptive Meta Description Tags:
The meta description tag is crucial as Google displays it in the search results below the clickable link. Craft compelling meta descriptions that serve as enticing calls to action. Include relevant keywords for each page and limit the character count to 300, including spaces. Each page should have a unique and relevant meta-description tag.
Use of Heading Tags:
Employ heading tags (<h1>) on every page to highlight the most important keywords and headlines. Search engines assign higher importance to head tags over regular text.
Targeted Keywords in Directory and File Names:
Optimize your website’s directory and file names by using your most important keyword phrases where they make sense. Search engines consider these names when determining the keyword focus of a web page.
Relevant Keywords in <alt> Tags for Images:
Since search engines can’t read text within images, using <alt> tags with brief descriptions containing relevant keywords is essential. This helps search engines index and understand the content of images.
Create a robots.txt file to inform search engines about what they can and cannot index on your website. Be sure to include your sitemap location in the robots.txt file to aid in the indexing process. Upload the robots.txt file to the root directory of your server.
An XML sitemap is a roadmap for search engines, helping them navigate your entire website. Utilize tools like XML Sitemaps Generator or the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress to create the sitemap and upload it to the root directory of your server. Additionally, inform Google and Bing about its location (e.g., domain.com/sitemap.xml). Regularly update the sitemap.xml file whenever you add new pages to your website and validate it to ensure no errors.
Set Up Search Console and Webmaster Tools Accounts:
Both Google and Bing offer tools (Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools) that provide detailed reports on your website’s visibility in their search engines. You can learn how each search engine crawls and indexes your site and address accessibility issues. Share your sitemap.xml file with these tools and specify how you want the URLs or web addresses to appear in search results.
Avoid “Black Hat” Techniques:
Refrain from using “black hat” SEO techniques that attempt to deceive search engines for higher rankings. These tricks are known to search engines, and if caught, they can severely impact your website’s rankings.
Step 4: Earn Inbound Links to Your Site
Attracting high-quality links to your website is a crucial aspect of successful SEO. Link building involves acquiring valuable links from other websites frequented by your target audience and holding importance within your industry. The more quality inbound links your website earns, the more favorably it is perceived by search engines like Google, which can significantly impact your search ranking.
It is essential to distinguish link building from outbound links, which are links from your website to third-party websites. Using outbound links can positively affect your search ranking.
Why does link-building work?
Link building is one of the most impactful SEO strategies, yet it is often overlooked. A real-life example emphasizes its significance. I recently spoke with a company that invested significantly in a new website with an excellent design optimized for top search engine positions. However, they struggled to outrank a competitor with an outdated and poorly designed website. After a thorough analysis, I identified that link popularity was the key differentiator. Despite the competitor’s inferior website design, it had garnered thousands of natural inbound links from various reputable articles on its site. In contrast, the company I was advising had fewer than 100 inbound links, many from outside reputable sources.
Imagine link building as filling a bucket, with each relevant inbound link representing a stream of water into your bucket. The goal is to fill your website’s bucket with as much water (quality inbound links) as possible. Conversely, outbound links are like leaks in your bucket. To maintain a full bucket, you must have more quality inbound links than outbound ones.
A step-by-step guide to link building:
Assess and Improve Current Inbound Links:
Start by evaluating your current inbound links. Use tools like Moz’s Open Site Explorer to find sites and pages that already link to your website. Identify potential link sources such as trade associations, customers, vendors, suppliers, online magazines, and business partners. Reach out to the owners of these sites with thoughtful and personalized requests to add a link to your website.
Fix Link-Free References:
Search for references to your company that lack clickable links to your site. Contact the website owners and request them to add the necessary links. Similarly, search for online references to your company’s logo and ensure they link back to your site.
Create Link-Worthy Content:
Producing compelling and targeted content is a powerful way to attract inbound links. Focus on content marketing efforts by creating exceptional blog posts, articles, videos, guides, and other valuable content. Regularly update your website with fresh content to encourage more inbound links and improve your search ranking and traffic.
Share Content on Social Networks:
Utilize social media marketing to boost link-building efforts. Share your content on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, including a link to your website. When your content gets shared by your fans, followers, and connections, it will attract even more inbound links.
Guest Posts on Legitimate Industry Websites:
Seek opportunities to write content for reputable industry publications, associations, and popular blogs. Include a short “About the Author” section with a link to your website. Publishing on legitimate industry websites will earn you valuable inbound links.
Leverage Business Relationships.
Take advantage of your relationships with vendors, suppliers, and dealers with websites. Offer testimonials for their websites and include a link back to your site. Since they value the business relationship, they will likely accept the offer.
Review Competitors’ Links:
Utilize tools like Open Site Explorer to identify pages linking to your competitors. Additionally, perform Google searches for your primary keywords to find your top competitors. Analyze their inbound links to determine potential target sites for your proactive link-building efforts.
Avoid Link-Building Mistakes:
Be cautious about link-building pitfalls. Avoid excessive reciprocal links, as they have minimal impact. Never buy links from link farms, as Google penalizes them. Avoid spamming sites with link requests, as it can tarnish your online reputation.
Also read: Best B2B Services Review Platforms
Step 5: Run a Results-Focused Paid Search Campaign
Turning pay-per-click (PPC) advertising into a money-making machine is a smart strategy to complement organic search engine optimization efforts. Here are some reasons why you should include PPC in your marketing mix and how to maximize its effectiveness:
Unlike organic SEO, PPC delivers immediate results. Once you launch your PPC campaign, traffic starts flowing to your website within minutes.
With PPC, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad and visits your website. This pay-for-performance model ensures that you’re getting value for your advertising investment.
PPC allows you to reach a highly targeted and motivated audience. Your ads will be displayed only to people actively searching for products and services related to your business. You can also target specific geographic regions and schedule your ads to appear at optimal times.
Cost-Effectiveness and Flexibility:
PPC is cost-effective and flexible. You can start with a small daily budget and test your results before scaling up. The cost per click varies depending on keyword competitiveness but can range from $0.50 to $5.
PPC provides extensive analytics, allowing you to measure and optimize your campaign for better lead generation and sales. This data-driven approach ensures you get the most out of your PPC investment.
To make the most of PPC advertising, focus on running a results-focused campaign and track your return on investment (ROI). Treat PPC as a financial model where you pay for specific website visits and aim for a significant return on that investment.
Google Ads is the top choice for PPC advertising due to Google’s dominance as the most popular search engine. It holds a 90 percent market share in B2B searches. If you’re starting with PPC, it’s recommended to concentrate your efforts exclusively on Google Ads to maximize reach and visibility.
By carefully managing your PPC campaigns, continuously measuring performance, and making data-driven optimizations, you can turn pay-per-click advertising into a profitable venture, driving more qualified traffic to your website and boosting your business’s overall success.
Understand the Google Ads account structure.
To ensure your Google Ads campaign gets off on the right foot, it is important to understand the Ads system structure so you can set up your account properly.
Keywords are the fundamental building blocks of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. They play a crucial role in determining when your ads will be displayed for relevant searches on Google. For example, if you use the keyword “torque tools” in your Google Ads account, your ad will appear when a user types “torque tools” into the search box on Google.
Ads are the promotional pieces you create, and they are triggered to display when a user enters a search term that matches a keyword in your Google Ads account. To create effective ads, focus on descriptive writing emphasizing the benefits of your products or services and include a compelling call to action.
Ad Groups are formed by pairing specific keywords with the corresponding ads. The purpose of Ad Groups is to maintain a singular focus. This means grouping keywords that share a common theme or relevance with your website’s specific destination or landing page. By doing this, you can create ad text that closely aligns with the keywords and landing pages, ensuring a targeted and relevant experience for users.
Campaigns are broader groupings that bring together related Ad Groups. These Ad Groups share the same settings and budget within a campaign, as managed by Google’s Ads system. Organizing your advertisements into campaigns helps you achieve specific campaign goals and allows for better management and optimization.
Your Google Ads account contains all of your Campaigns and their components. You can manage various global variables at the account level, including your username and password, billing information, account access, notification settings, and preferences, such as the time zone. This centralized account structure allows you to oversee and control all PPC advertising efforts.
How pay-per-click bidding works
In “pay per click” (PPC) advertising, you only pay Google when someone clicks on your ad, making it a cost-effective way to drive targeted traffic to your website. The amount you pay for a click is determined by an auction model based on two primary factors: the maximum cost-per-click (CPC) you set and the Quality Scores assigned to your keywords by Google.
Quality Scores are essential in the Ad Rank algorithm, ranging from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest score. These scores represent Google’s assessment of your ads’ effectiveness for each keyword. Several factors contribute to Quality Scores, including ad relevance, keyword relevance, landing page relevance, and historical performance in your account. Google uses these factors, algorithms, and past account performance to determine Quality Scores.
Higher Quality Scores indicate that your ads are more relevant, leading to better performance, improved ad positions, and lower cost per click. Over time, improving your Google Ads account can boost Quality Scores and reduce costs. You can view the Quality Score for each keyword in your account’s “Keyword” tab.
Setting a maximum CPC bid for a keyword represents the highest amount you will pay for a click on your ads. However, your actual CPC is often lower than your max bid. It is determined using the following formula:
Actual CPC = (Ad Rank of the runner-up / Your Quality Score) + $0.01
Ad Rank, on the other hand, is calculated as:
Ad Rank = Max CPC Bid x Quality Score
To achieve a good Ad Rank and secure a strong ad position, you should bid competitively but only what you are willing to pay per click. By understanding and optimizing your maximum CPC bids and Quality Scores, you can effectively manage your PPC campaign and get the most value out of your advertising budget.
Choose your paid search campaign target.
One of the most powerful features of PPC advertising is its ability to be highly targeted, giving you precise control over where and when your ads are displayed. In a Google Ads campaign, you can use the following targeting options:
You can set a specific geographic target for your ads to ensure they only appear in front of your most relevant audience. For example, if you are a distributor serving southern California, you can configure your PPC campaign to show ads only in that region. As a result, people searching for your products from New Jersey won’t see your ads.
When setting up your Google Ads campaign, you can display your ads on different networks. The Google Search Network includes Google.com and sites that partner with Google Search, like AOL. The Google Display Network comprises third-party websites, online publications, and blogs partnering with Google to display ads. Focusing on the Google Search Network yields better results for beginners. This network targets motivated prospects actively searching for your offerings. In contrast, the Display Network often captures a more passive audience with lower click-through motivation.
By default, your ads will appear on all devices. However, you can modify this setting at the campaign level. You can target ads specifically to desktops, laptops, smartphones with full browsers (e.g., iPhones, Android devices), or tablets. If you target tablets or mobile devices, you can further fine-tune your targeting by specifying carriers or networks.
Day and Time:
Some businesses run Google Ads campaigns to generate phone calls, but ensuring someone can answer those calls is crucial. You can adjust this setting at the campaign level to specify the days and times you want your ads displayed.
Select the best keyword phrases for Google Ads.
The keyword research tactics you’ve learned in this guide will be invaluable for your Google Ads PPC campaign. However, how you use and deploy these keywords in your PPC campaign differs from your SEO campaign. Since you’re paying for each ad click, it’s crucial to focus on showing your ads for targeted, niche phrases that are likely to be searched by your most potential customers.
Understanding and utilizing keyword match types in your Google Ads campaign is essential. Match types play a significant role in controlling the keyword phrases that trigger your ads’ display. Here are the match options offered by Google:
This is the most liberal match type. Your PPC ad will show if the search term contains your keyword terms in any order alongside other search terms. Broad match keywords may also trigger ads for singular or plural forms, synonyms, and other relevant variations. It’s useful when uncertain about specific search patterns and wants to capture a wide range of relevant searches. However, a broad match can also display ads for many irrelevant searches.
Broad Match Modifier:
This match type gives you more control over when your ads are displayed. By adding a plus sign (+) as a modifier to your broad match keywords, your ads will show when someone searches for close variants of your keywords in any order. Close variants include singular and plural forms, misspellings, abbreviations, and acronyms. Broad match modifier excludes synonyms or related searches.
This match type offers even more control over ad display. Putting the keyword phrase in quotes becomes a phrase match, meaning the words in the search query must appear exactly in the same order as in your keyword phrase or with close variations. Ads won’t show if a word is added to the middle of the phrase or if words are reordered in any way.
The exact match is the most precise way to exclude unwanted searches. By placing [brackets] around your keyword phrase, your ads will appear only when someone searches for your exact keyword or close variants without any other term in the search query. Close variants may include misspellings, singular or plural forms, stemming, abbreviations, accents, reordered words with the same meaning, and addition or removal of function words.
This match type lets you filter out irrelevant searches and prevent unwanted clicks. By using a minus sign (-) prefix, you define keywords that should not trigger your ads. Your PPC ads won’t be shown if a search query contains the negative match keyword.
Create compelling pay-per-click ads.
With so many ads competing for a searcher’s attention, your pay-per-click ads must stand out on the first page. Unlike traditional advertisements, paid search ads impose strict character limits. When you write your first ad, you’ll notice that there is little room to work with, so make sure each element is clear and concise.
Understand the “haiku” of pay-per-click ads.
PPC ad text must fit certain parameters as with the classic Japanese poetic form.
Headlines: You have two 30-character headlines to work with. Use simple words and include the keyword phrase whenever possible to maximize this space. The headlines appear next to each other in search results, separated by a hyphen. Depending on your prospect’s screen size, one headline may wrap to a second line.
The description line is 80 characters. In this brief space, you must convince the searcher that your offering best serves their needs.
Ads will use the domain from your final URL and show it as your ad’s display URL.
Optional path fields for display URL:
Ads give you two optional, 15-character path fields to help prospects better understand where they will be taken. The text added in these fields should be related to the content on your landing page.
Get inside the heads of your prospective customers.
Your PPC ads are the carrots you can dangle in front of customers to lead them from Google to your website. When writing your ads, understand your customers’ needs and motivations. Include a compelling offer in the ad text to entice your customers to take action.
Add site links to your top-performing ads.
Ads at the top of search results can spice up their listings by displaying up to six additional site links. With those additional links, you can feature multiple products or services and include additional offers to draw people to your website.
Send people to relevant and unique landing pages.
You can designate a special landing page with each PPC ad to direct traffic to. Don’t make the mistake of sending paid search traffic to your homepage; that’s probably not the most relevant landing page. To make the most of that paid visit, send visitors directly to your site’s most relevant product or service page. If the best page does not exist, create a new one for this paid search campaign. This page should be designed to speak to the needs and motivations of the searcher, provide the solutions they seek, and make it easy for the visitor to take action.
Tie your bidding strategies to results.
Make sure you let results drive your bidding strategies. Don’t fall short as many companies do; focus on the amount you pay for each click. Think cost per lead and cost per sale instead of just per click.
I called them “bidding strategies.” That’s intentional. Everything should be thought out, monitored, and adapted. It needs to be approached strategically.
Don’t always shoot for the First position.
Unless you want to show that you are the top brand in the category, it’s usually not smart to bid for the top spot. It can be very expensive to get there. A lower-positioned ad will often produce a better ROI because the cost per click will be lower.
Bid on relevant keyword phrases.
Resist the urge to bid on keyword phrases based on popularity alone. Instead, focus on your company and product’s most relevant keyword phrases. With PPC advertising, popular phrases are often expensive. Your money can be better spent by focusing on relevant niche phrases that are directly in line with your offering and used by your target audience.
Test, Test, and Test Again.
With PPC advertising, you can measure everything. Performance data is critical for fine-tuning your paid search campaign to improve results. Test different bidding strategies. Test different ad copy. Test different offers in your calls to action. Test different landing page designs. There is always room for improvements that will increase your paid search ROI.
Step 6: Take Advantage of Google’s Services for Quick Ranking
In addition to the strategies mentioned earlier, Google offers several services that allow you to boost your company’s exposure in search results quickly.
Google My Business:
If you have a physical retail location or an office, Google My Business is a valuable tool for SEO. It allows you to manage your business listing on Google, affecting how your business appears in search results on Google.com and Google Maps. You can provide essential details like phone numbers, opening hours, addresses, etc., enhancing your search listings through Google My Business. You can also respond to customer reviews and connect with customers using Google tools like Google Hangouts. Even if you don’t have a retail location, using Google My Business for your office address can still benefit your website’s profile on Google.
Using Google Merchants and Google Shopping can be a wise choice if you have products to sell. Google Merchants allows you to create a data feed for your products to display on Google Shopping. To get started, you can submit your product data to Google via a spreadsheet, XML, or API-accessed upload. Product Listing Ads (PLAs) generated through Google Shopping appear in Google search results, either above or to the right of the organic results, similar to regular paid ads. When users click on your Product Listing Ad, you pay based on the pay-per-click model. Google Shopping can be an effective form of PPC advertising as it directly drives visitors to your website when they search for specific products.
Step 7: Measure Success
Measuring the success of search engine marketing activities is crucial for understanding the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and identifying areas for improvement. While each business has unique metrics that matter, the following suggestions for measuring search engine marketing success are widely applicable:
Measure Website Success:
Use web analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, to track and monitor the increase in targeted traffic from organic and paid searches. Understanding how many visitors are coming to your website through search engines will provide insights into the effectiveness of your marketing strategies and the return on investment (ROI).
Measure Organic Ranking:
Monitor your website’s position or ranking in organic search results, especially on major search engines like Google and Bing. Regularly check where your website appears for targeted keyword phrases. Automated tools like ProRankTracker can simplify this process and provide you with ongoing data to track your progress over time.
Measure ROI from PPC Campaigns:
Focus on measuring the return on investment for your pay-per-click (PPC) advertising efforts. Track metrics such as cost-per-visit, cost-per-lead, and cost-per-sale for all your PPC ads. This information will help you understand how effectively your PPC campaigns drive valuable actions and conversions. Google Ads reporting and Google Analytics can be valuable tools for automating this critical reporting process and gaining deeper insights into your PPC performance.
In conclusion, B2B Search Engine Marketing is pivotal for driving growth and success in the ever-evolving digital B2B landscape. By strategically leveraging the power of search engines, B2B marketers can position their offerings in front of the right audience, effectively nurturing leads and converting potential clients into valued customers. As we conclude this guide, remember to continually analyze and optimize your SEM strategies, staying attuned to industry trends and customer behavior. Embrace creativity, data-driven decision-making, and the willingness to adapt to change. Armed with the knowledge and insights this guide shares, you can confidently navigate the intricacies of B2B Search Engine Marketing. Embrace the potential of SEM to drive unparalleled growth and propel your B2B business to new heights of success. Happy marketing!
What is B2B Search Engine Marketing, and how does it differ from B2C SEM?
This FAQ overviews B2B Search Engine Marketing and highlights the distinctions between B2B and B2C SEM strategies. It can explain how B2B SEM targets businesses as potential clients, focusing on longer sales cycles and relationship-building.
What are the key benefits of implementing Search Engine Marketing in a B2B context?
This question explores the advantages of using SEM for B2B businesses. It may cover increased visibility, precise audience targeting, lead generation, and measurable results that align with B2B marketing objectives.
Which SEM platforms and strategies are most effective for B2B marketers?
This FAQ focuses on the practical aspects of B2B SEM implementation. It can include insights on choosing the right search engine platforms, using keywords and ad formats that resonate with business audiences, and optimizing landing pages for lead capture.
How can B2B marketers measure the success of their Search Engine Marketing efforts?
This question addresses the metrics and tools to assess the performance of B2B SEM campaigns. It may discuss measuring click-through rates, conversion rates, and return on investment (ROI) and using analytics to refine strategies based on data insights.