Do's and Don'ts of B2B Google Ads
by Mike Nelson
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Google is a great advertising channel for many businesses, including B2B products and services. Whether you’re targeting SMB or enterprise, Google can help you reach the right people. That, however, is not to say that Google will be the most important channel. In fact, in most cases, Enterprise B2B businesses are usually spending less then ¼ of their online ad budgets on Google, and SMB B2B is typically less than ½. This is because the targeting precision of social media, and platforms like RollWorks, are much more suited for persona and demographic based targeting (as well as Google not having any true account-based options). That said, there are still plenty of opportunities to use Google to reach your target audience. Here are some Google Do’s and Don’ts for your B2B Google Ads account.

Do’s
  1. 1. While the audience abilities of Google aren't what they are elsewhere, they are improving. Do have a robust audience strategy in B2B search, and consider this as important the keywords you choose. This audience strategy should include:

    • CRM uploads (called “customer match”): Though you should note that your match will be much lower on Google then it would on RollWorks or AdRoll. Expect match rates of <50%
    • Remarketing lists from Google Ads and/or Google Analytics: This cookie based method can be crafted to segment your users. These are also important data overlays for search that you should utilize.
    • In-Market audiences: These are prebuilt categories from Google that ensure users in the audiences are actively searching for a category you select from

  2. 2. Do buy your branded terms, and your competitor terms as well. Inevitably these keywords are great for a) protecting the bottom of the funnel in the case of your terms or b) taking from the bottom of the funnel of your competitors!
  3. 3. Do buy remarketing inventory in Gmail and YouTube. This inventory isn’t easily available outside of Google Ads’ platform. Note: Your cookie pool may be small as many businesses have a paid gmail account without ads, or are using a different platform, such as Outlook.
  4. 4. Do buy relevant non-branded terms, and enable dynamic search ad targets. You’ll likely need to bid high to show up ($5+ and sometimes $20+ for some categories) but be cautious. You’ll need a rigorous negative keyword approach in order to make sure you don’t spend so much per click for traffic that is clearly consumer oriented. Start with exact match, and if things look good, add in modified broad match. If you can get on tCPA (i.e. if you have enough conversions to be eligible) even better!
  5. 5. Do integrate your CRM conversion data. Google can count raw leads, but leads are never created equal. Rather, import opportunities to Google to maintain data integrity. You can learn more about the Salesforce integration here
  6. 6. Do customize your ad copy to be heavily geared towards businesses. Depending on the industry, there can be a lot of overlap between B2B and B2C search queries. Using ad copy that calls out that your product or service is specifically for businesses can help keep consumers from clicking on your ads.
Don’ts
  1. 1. Don’t approach the Google Display network aggressively. Lead quality here can be very, very poor. There is still a lot of fraudulent behavior on the GDN, and there are also just very careless consumers who can get in the mix. The lead value on GDN is often very low, despite very appealing CPL’s. Rather, focus on audience targeting methods, placement targeting, or strong look-alike models (AKA “Similar Audiences” in Google). Contextual targeting, in general, is a poor approach to GDN.
  2. 2. Don’t use regular broad match. While I almost always use this match type in environments with lots of data, B2B often operates in a situation of data scarcity. As such, Google’s machine learning algorithms are not trained nearly as well for these categories. Modified broad match can almost definitely get you all the good traffic you’re after without risking too much.
  3. 3. Don’t buy into the mobile first hype. For B2B, desktop still dominates the landscape. Expect at least 80% of your relevant traffic to be from desktop. If you see much more than that, take care to analyze your traffic and confirm you’re not getting too many consumer clicks.
  4. 4. Don’t forget to feed your CRM data. Google offers ValueTrack parameters to give extra data to your CRM. Some commonly used (and useful!) ones are:

    • {network}
    • {device}
    • {loc_physical_ms}
    • {campaignid}

Disclaimer: I realize this last ‘don’t’ is really another ‘do’, but I’m an optimistic guy!

Hopefully these quick tips will help you with your B2B Search Marketing. If you need more help, Four15 Digital would love to audit your Google Ads account to help your better achieve your growth goals.