New Year, new you.
You know the drill – gym memberships, more salad, saving responsibly. The list never ends.
And while some resolutions may be more difficult to keep than others, in sales and marketing, the beginning of a New Year is the perfect opportunity to improve existing efforts. January often means budgets are full and, after a well-deserved holiday break, spirits are high. What better time to get b2b online marketing efforts on track for the coming year?
A natural starting point is making some simple improvements to online advertising campaigns. 2016 was a record year for online advertising, climbing to a reported $60 billion industry globally. With 90% of B2B buyers going online to research the products and services they need, industrial companies are contributing an increasingly large amount to this global total.
Despite this, industrial PPC campaign management can be confusing. So, to kick off the New Year with a bang, we thought we’d highlight a few of the important factors that contribute to online advertising success for industrial companies.
Budget is one of the most important factors in successful PPC campaign management.
Simply put, the closer advertisements appear to the top of search results, the more clicks they receive. tweet
As well, ads which appear outside of the top 4 results are deemed less credible and often receive clicks from outside a business’s target market. In order to deliver quality leads, it is important for ad campaigns to have a large enough budget to compete for the top spots in search ad results.
Adjusting B2B online marketing campaign budgets to compete for top spots can have immediate results. As a good starting point, AdWords provides budget recommendations to ensure ads appear on the first page of results. For more detailed advice on determining budget and setting expectations read our online advertising budget advice.
Budget is not the only factor that impacts ad positioning. Quality score is a measure of how relevant a landing page is to the keywords that trigger an ad. If a website contains many of the keywords used in an ad group, or similar content, search engines will assign those ads a higher quality score.
Ads with better quality scores will appear higher in search results, at a lower cost, since they are more relevant to a users search.
To improve quality scores, industrial companies should evaluate where users go after clicking an ad. The homepage is not always the right answer. Instead, link ads to pages which discuss the exact product or service being advertised, ensuring that relevant keywords are used on those pages.
Speaking of keywords, they play an important part in generating quality leads with online advertising. For industrial companies, in particular, choosing keywords can be challenging. It is tempting to pick broad industry terms, with high search volumes, to drive plenty of traffic towards a website. However, this will also attract a broad audience, who may not be interested in the specific product or services being offered. Industrial buyers often search for very specific criteria. To attract higher quality leads from advertising campaigns, use Google’s keyword planner to identify long tail keywords that buyers are already searching for.
In most cases, very specific long tail keywords will have a lower cost-per-click than broad terms. More importantly, people searching for these terms are usually higher quality sales leads.
Obviously there is a balancing act to play here between search volume and highly specific words, but generally speaking, more targeted keywords deliver a better return on investment for industrial companies.
Finally, an often overlooked part of PPC campaign management is how to handle traffic once it arrives on a website. B2B businesses must navigate longer sales cycles, meaning visitors are less likely to make a purchase on their first visit to a website, when compared to traditional B2C campaigns.
Therefore, for the biggest return on investment, visitors from paid ad campaigns need to be identified so that sales teams can reach out and work with them throughout the course of the sales cycle. tweet
To do this, ads should send visitors to pages that encourage them to provide their contact details. Integrating forms directly into product and service pages is an effective way to do this. However, it is important to consider the types of call to action to use. A request for quote, for example, can be effective for buyers later in the sale cycle but might be too forward for a visitor who has just arrived on a website for the first time. A softer offer to view a spec sheet or download product comparison might be more effective in these cases. Consider the types of visitors you hope to attract with advertising campaigns and tailor your calls to action accordingly.
Minor changes to PPC campaign management can have a big impact. So, if your resolution was to generate more leads through online advertising in 2017, then we suggest evaluating your current efforts as a start. Making simple campaign adjustments based on these important factors can go a long way towards attracting quality industrial buyers online.
About Samuel Fordham
Samuel brings energy and enthusiasm to the marketing team at ActiveConversion. With a background in communications and digital journalism, Samuel focuses marketing efforts towards the goal of increasing opportunities for business growth.