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How To Create B2B Google Ad Campaigns That Convert

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How To Create B2B Google Ad Campaigns That Convert

In a world of multi-channel marketing for B2B, narrowing down a specific space where your leads are generated takes time.

Many B2B marketers turn to Google Ads because it has the potential for a quick return on investment (ROI).

But for that scenario to happen, you’ve got to have the right strategy and tactics in place.

Lucky for you, this article will take you from, “I don’t know where to focus my time & budget,” to “I’m managing my Google Ads budget & collecting B2B leads like a boss.”

In fact, Google Ads is among the top most effective paid channels because you can understand the level of “purchase intent” based on the type of keyword used.

So, when you target keywords across multiple intent stages within the sales funnel, creating B2B Google Ads campaigns enables you to efficiently nurture leads toward conversion.

With this in mind, mastering the art of B2B Google Ads campaigns can skyrocket your company’s growth and help you develop a bulletproof, long-term marketing strategy.

So, if you’ve been pondering the question:

“Do Google Ads work for B2B and how can I get the most bang for my buck?”

This article will answer this and set you up for sustainable future success.

Why Use Google Ads Campaigns For Your B2B Lead Generation Efforts

Many ask, “Why should I pay when I can generate leads for free?”

Great question.

First off, let’s start with the fact that no leads come for free. No matter whether you do SEO, social media marketing, or paid advertising, there’s no such thing as free lunch.

All marketing channels have their pros and cons, but Google Ads, in particular, are useful because they:

  • Give you the power to control your growth pace based on ad spend and campaigns used.
  • Are often quicker to launch because you can start with one landing page.
  • Enable you to drive traffic to content based on “high purchase intent” keywords, i.e., search phrases that describe the product or service you’re selling.

In fact, the average B2B Google Ads campaign conversion rate is 3.75%, so if you target high purchase intent keywords, you’ll generate high-quality leads that have a strong chance of becoming customers.

Ready to jump on the Google Ads bandwagon successfully?

Let’s go over how to run a B2B Google Ads campaign based on purchase intent stages within the sales funnel.

How To Run Successful B2B Google Ads Campaigns Based On Sales Funnel Stages

A sales funnel typically consists of three main categories:

  • The top of the funnel (TOFU): People who are in an awareness stage in their buying cycle, meaning they’re just becoming aware they have a problem and need to find a solution.
  • The middle of the funnel (MOFU): People who are interested or considering buying, and are making comparisons and researching further about the best solution for their specific needs.
  • The bottom of the funnel (BOFU): People who are nearly ready to make a purchase and have decided to initiate contact with companies who might be able to help them.

The idea is to craft your B2B Google Ads campaign based on each specific category, using keywords that relate to those corresponding categories.

By doing this, you’ll be able to craft better copy geared towards audiences at the “top of the funnel” compared to those at the “bottom of the funnel,” which will help your campaigns to convert better.

Now that you’ve got the idea, let’s dive into some concrete keyword and campaign examples per funnel stage.

Top Of Funnel

In the TOFU stage, some keywords that might be relevant here are:

  • “what is x.”
  • “x definition” – because they’re just trying to understand the basics of a certain concept.

Because your audience is ready to soak up all the information, informational long-form content is especially important for them.

Your audience might be aware your brand exists, but not aware of everything you have to offer. They’re a beginner when it comes to the solution you provide, so there shouldn’t be any pushy sales copy here.

Your audience is just warming up to you and they don’t want to be spammed.

When it comes to your bid strategy, you have two options:

  • Option 1: Use ECPC (enhanced CPC), which is not entirely automated bidding, but it does allow you to have more control over your budget.
  • Option 2: Targeting impression share works well if your objective is brand awareness and reach because you can set a percentage for your impression share against other bidders.

For your retargeting strategy, it’s a good idea to set up an audience on Google to collect visitor information to the page you send users.

Depending on the traffic amount (1,000 or more visitors are needed before you can retarget), we can use this audience for retargeting our MOFU campaign.

You also need to set the goal type.

Your first campaign should not be a hard sell, as here, you need to focus on generating demand for your product or service.

Naturally, there may be an influx of new users (but hardly any conversions), so you’ll want to ensure your campaign objective offers a high-value and low-friction micro conversion, such as getting someone to read an informational content piece.

Depending on the volume of users, you should look at setting up a micro-conversion for page engagement.

Below is an example of a TOFU B2B Google Ads campaign in action targeting the keyword “what is an ai chatbot.”

Screenshot of search for [what is an ai chatbot], Google, December 2022AI chatbot Google search result

The ad introduces the brand and answers the keyword in question. Clicking through to the landing page, we’re not introduced to a hard sell, but instead are given a “complimentary guide” to learn more about this specific AI Chatbot.

There is no mention of pricing, or the specific product here. It matches the user search intent by providing the user with exactly what they requested.

The bonus is it also allows the business to collect email addresses, which can then be sent email nurturing campaigns later on.

Middle Of Funnel

Your MOFU audience members are those who know your product or service exists and have done some research on potential solutions.

They might even already be considering you as an option, but need to know exactly how you can help, and why you’re a better choice than your competitors. Their decision is also likely heavily influenced by third-party opinions of your brand.

In this case, your Google Ads campaign could promote the following:

  • Technical “how-to guides.”
  • Product comparison.

Your audience likely has a foundational understanding of the topic or industry, but they’re still looking to improve their knowledge and identify the best solution for them.

Cue offer messaging here! Your people are getting ready for an information-based soft sell.

For your bid strategy, it would be a good idea to use the following:

Unlike ECPC, Maximize Clicks is an automated bidding strategy where Google sets the bids for you, to get the most conversions for your campaign while spending your daily budget.

Once you’re ready to retarget, here’s a possible approach:

Take a look at your previous audience setup for users clicking through from your TOFU campaign and your general website visitors. It’s worthwhile to add this audience as an observation on this campaign.

How To Create B2B Google Ads Campaigns That Nurture And Convert CustomersScreenshot by author, December 2022How To Create B2B Google Ads Campaigns That Nurture And Convert Customers

You can increase bids for users who have already interacted with your brand, which ensures your ads are in a higher position and keeps brand awareness at the forefront.

Again, using audiences from this page and adding bid targeting to your BOFU campaign is a good idea.

For your MOFU goal type, you’ll need to offer more information to help your audience decide – but at this stage, you’ll want to get into the nitty-gritty details.

Although users might be somewhat unaware of your brand, they have a good sense of the product or service they want, as they are now fully in their research phase to find the most suitable product or service to fulfill their needs.

The goal here can be offering downloadable guides and product comparisons while also still using micro-conversions, such as tracking a conversion for every download.

To give you a better idea, let’s take a quick look at a MOFU B2B Google Ads campaign example targeting the keyword “how to set up an ai chatbot.”

how to built a chatbot google search resultScreenshot of search for [how to build a chatbot], Google, December 2022how to built a chatbot google search result

With this ad example, the user has likely done enough research to start looking at ways to install a chatbot, which the ad answers exactly that question with the ad copy.

Furthermore, we can see that, similar to TOFU, there isn’t a hard sell on this page, as the user intent isn’t yet to purchase their product. Instead, they have offered a free ebook in exchange for contact details.

Bottom Of Funnel

BOFU is where the magic happens: lead generation conversions. Your audience is ready to buy and needs one more push to click that purchase, book a demo, or contact us button.

Relevant keywords here might be:

  • x service.
  • x tool.
  • x platform.

At this stage, you’ll want to whip out your conversion-based landing pages and ask for the sale because:

  • Your audience here is strongly aware of your brand.
  • They’re considering making a purchase and have a decent understanding of your solution.

For your bid strategy, consider using Maximize Conversions, as users are nearly at the end of their decision-making and are more inclined to get in touch with you.

When you’re ready to retarget, enable retargeting for all users who visit this page but don’t convert. You can also retarget users using display campaigns on Google or other similar platforms, such as AdRoll.

It would be worth considering setting up retargeting on other platforms, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, too.

Because this campaign has the highest intent for the users in the purchase cycle, a high-converting landing page is recommended here that offers all of the above information and more.

This is your chance to offer lead forms and get in touch with forms that include calls to action (CTAs) at the top and at easily accessible points throughout the page.

To give an example, check out this Bofu B2B Google Ads campaign for the keyword “ai chatbot for customer service.”

bofu example google search for chatbot serviceScreenshot of search for [ai chatbot for customer service], Google, December 2022bofu example google search for chatbot service

From the above BOFU keyword, we can now be sure the user knows exactly what they need – it’s now just picking the perfect solution for them.

By understanding the specific use case, the ads have been tailored for each scenario, increasing CTR. It also lists relevant site link assets (AKA extensions) that the user will also find useful, such as pricing and demo.

Secondly, the landing page used here is a high conversion page in that it offers relevant CTA’s throughout the page, uses trust-building messages, contact CTAs, and, more importantly, it highlights the product’s value.

Implement The Right Google Ads Strategy To Generate High-Quality B2B Leads

Overall, Google Ads is incredibly effective for B2B businesses because it’s a great starting point for long-term growth.

Not only can you retarget across other channels, but you also have the ability to target keywords based on level purchase intent within the sales funnel.

Now that you’re a pro at B2B Google Ads campaigns, you’ll be able to spend smart and optimize effectively!

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AI Content In Search Results

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AI Content In Search Results

Google has released a statement regarding its approach to AI-generated content in search results.

The company has a long-standing policy of rewarding high-quality content, regardless of whether humans or machines produce it.

Above all, Google’s ranking systems aim to identify content that demonstrates expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T).

Google advises creators looking to succeed in search results to produce original, high-quality, people-first content that demonstrates E-E-A-T.

The company has updated its “Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content” help page with guidance on evaluating content in terms of “Who, How, and Why.”

Here’s how AI-generated content fits into Google’s approach to ranking high-quality content in search results.

Quality Over Production Method

Focusing on the quality of content rather than the production method has been a cornerstone of Google’s approach to ranking search results for many years.

A decade ago, there were concerns about the rise in mass-produced human-generated content.

Rather than banning all human-generated content, Google improved its systems to reward quality content.

Google’s focus on rewarding quality content, regardless of production method, continues to this day through its ranking systems and helpful content system introduced last year.

Automation & AI-Generated Content

Using automation, including AI, to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results violates Google’s spam policies.

Google’s spam-fighting efforts, including its SpamBrain system, will continue to combat such practices.

However, Google realizes not all use of automation and AI-generated content is spam.

For example, publishers automate helpful content such as sports scores, weather forecasts, and transcripts.

Google says it will continue to take a responsible approach toward AI-generated content while maintaining a high bar for information quality and helpfulness in search results.

Google’s Advice For Publishers

For creators considering AI-generated content, here’s what Google advises.

Google’s concept of E-E-A-T is outlined in the “Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content” help page, which has been updated with additional guidance.

The updated help page asks publishers to think about “Who, How, and Why” concerning how content is produced.

“Who” refers to the person who created the content, and it’s important to make this clear by providing a byline or background information about the author.

“How” relates to the method used to create the content, and it’s helpful to readers to know if automation or AI was involved. If AI was involved in the content production process, Google wants you to be transparent and explain why it was used.

“Why” refers to the purpose of creating content, which should be to help people rather than to manipulate search rankings.

Evaluating your content in this way, regardless of whether AI-generated or not, will help you stay in line with what Google’s systems reward.


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Seven tips to optimize page speed in 2023

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Tips-to-optimize-page-speed-in-2023

30-second summary:

  • There has been a gradual increase in Google’s impact of page load time on website rankings
  • Google has introduced the three Core Web Vitals metrics as ranking factors to measure user experience
  • The following steps can help you get a better idea of the performance of your website through multiple tests

A fast website not only delivers a better experience but can also increase conversion rates and improve your search engine rankings. Google has introduced the three Core Web Vitals metrics to measure user experience and is using them as a ranking factor.

Let’s take a look at what you can do to test and optimize the performance of your website.

Start in Google Search Console

Want to know if optimizing Core Web Vitals is something you should be thinking about? Use the page experience report in Google Search Console to check if any of the pages on your website are loading too slowly.

Search Console shows data that Google collects from real users in Chrome, and this is also the data that’s used as a ranking signal. You can see exactly what page URLs need to be optimized.

Optimize-to-Start-in-Google-Search-Console

Run a website speed test

Google’s real user data will tell you how fast your website is, but it won’t provide an analysis that explains why your website is slow.

Run a free website speed test to find out. Simply enter the URL of the page you want to test. You’ll get a detailed performance report for your website, including recommendations on how to optimize it.

Run-a-website-speed-test-for-optimization

Use priority hints to optimize the Largest Contentful Paint

Priority Hints are a new browser feature that came out in 2022. It allows website owners to indicate how important an image or other resource is on the page.

This is especially important when optimizing the Largest Contentful Paint, one of the three Core Web Vitals metrics. It measures how long it takes for the main page content to appear after opening the page.

By default, browsers assume that all images are low priority until the page starts rendering and the browser knows which images are visible to the user. That way bandwidth isn’t wasted on low-priority images near the bottom of the page or in the footer. But it also slows down important images at the top of the page.

Adding a fetchpriority=”high” attribute to the img element that’s responsible for the Largest Contentful Paint ensures that it’s downloaded quickly.

Use native image lazy loading for optimization

Image lazy loading means only loading images when they become visible to the user. It’s a great way to help the browser focus on the most important content first.

However, image lazy loading can also slow cause images to take longer to load, especially when using a JavaScript lazy loading library. In that case, the browser first needs to load the JavaScript library before starting to load images. This long request chain means that it takes a while for the browser to load the image.

Use-native-image-lazy-loading-for-optimization

Today browsers support native lazy loading with the loading=”lazy” attribute for images. That way you can get the benefits of lazy loading without incurring the cost of having to download a JavaScript library first.

Remove and optimize render-blocking resources

Render-blocking resources are network requests that the browser needs to make before it can show any page content to the user. They include the HTML document, CSS stylesheets, as well as some JavaScript files.

Since these resources have such a big impact on page load time you should check each one to see if it’s truly necessary. The async keyword on the HTML script tag lets you load JavaScript code without blocking rendering.

If a resource has to block rendering check if you can optimize the request to load the resource more quickly, for example by improving compression or loading the file from your main web server instead of from a third party.

Remove-and-optimize-render-blocking-resources

Optimize with the new interaction to Next Paint metric

Google has announced a new metric called Interaction to Next Paint. This metric measures how quickly your site responds to user input and is likely to become one of the Core Web Vitals in the future.

You can already see how your website is doing on this metric using tools like PageSpeed Insights.

Optimize-with-new-Interaction-to-Next-Paint-metric

Continuously monitor your site performance

One-off site speed tests can identify performance issues on your website, but they don’t make it easy to keep track of your test results and confirm that your optimizations are working.

DebugBear continuously monitors your website to check and alerts you when there’s a problem. The tool also makes it easy to show off the impact of your work to clients and share test results with your team.

Try DebugBear with a free 14-day trial.

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What Is User Experience? How Design Matters To SEO

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What Is User Experience? How Design Matters To SEO

User experience is the foundation of a site’s usability, and it’s an aspect of on-page SEO that many people overlook.

If your site lacks the positive user experience and ease of use that end users require to navigate your site, you’ll push visitors to your competitors.

In this guide, you’ll learn what user experience (UX) entails, the types of experiences, the difference between UI and UX, and why it matters to SEO.

What Is User Experience (UX)?

UX is how people interact with your website.

You’ll also find this term used for products, but we’re focusing strictly on websites at the moment.

If you have a, intuitive user interface design, users will have an easier time navigating your site and finding the information they want.

If you do have a digital product, such as a SaaS solution, this interaction will also occur on your digital product.

User experience elicits a couple of things:

In short, user experience can provide a positive experience with your website – or it can lead to frustration among users.

Note: Usability is not UX design. It’s a component of UX that works with design to create the experience your users desire.

What Are The Types Of User Experience?

User experience evaluation must look at the three types of UX design to best understand the needs of the end user.

The three types of UX include:

  • Information: One aspect of a content strategy that goes overlooked is information architecture. Time must be spent on how information on a site is organized and presented. User flows and navigation must be considered for all forms of information you present.
  • Interaction: Your site has an interaction design pattern – or a certain way that users interact with the site. Components of a site that fall under the interaction UX type include buttons, interfaces, and menus.
  • Visual design: Look and feel matter for the end user. You want your website to have cohesion between its color, typography, and images. User interface (UI) will fall under this type of UX, but it’s important to note that UI is not interchangeable with UX.

What Is The Difference Between UI & UX?

Speaking of UX and UI, it’s important to have a firm understanding of the difference between the two to better understand user experience.

User Interface

UI design is your site’s visual elements, including:

Visual elements on your site are part of the user interface.

UI definitely overlaps with UX to an extent, but they’re not the same.

Steve Krug also has a great book on usability, titled “Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability.” It was first published in 2000, and the book is a #1 bestseller today.

Steve’s insight from over 20 years ago (although we’re now on the 3rd edition of the book) provides guidelines on usability that include:

  • Desktop.
  • Mobile.
  • Ease of use.
  • Layouts.
  • Everything UX.

If there’s one thing this book will teach you about usability, it’s to focus on intuitive navigation. Frustrating website users is the exact opposite of a good user experience.

User Experience

UX works on UI and how the user will:

  • Interact with your site.
  • Feel during the interaction.

Think of Google for a moment.

A simple landing page that is visually appealing, but Spartan in nature, is the face of the Internet. In terms of UX, Google is one of the best sites in the world, although it lacks a spectacular UI.

In fact, the UI needs to be functional and appealing, but the UX is what will stand out the most.

Imagine if you tried performing a search on Google and it displayed the wrong results or took one minute for a query to run. In this case, even the nicest UI would not compensate for the poor UX.

Peter Morville’s user experience honeycomb is one of the prime examples of how to move beyond simple usability and focus on UX in new, exciting ways.

The honeycomb includes multiple points that are all combined to maximize the user experience. These facets are:

  • Accessible.
  • Credible.
  • Desirable.
  • Findable.
  • Usable.
  • Useful.
  • Valuable.

When you focus on all of these elements, you’ll improve the user experience dramatically.

Why User Experience Matters To SEO

By this point, you understand that UX is very important to your site’s visitors and audience.

A lot of time, analysis, and refinement must go into UX design. However, there’s another reason to redirect your attention to user experience: SEO.

Google Page Experience Update

When Google’s Page Experience Update was fully rolled out, it had an impact on websites that offered a poor user experience.

The page experience update is now slowly rolling out for desktop. It will be complete by the end of March 2022. Learn more about the update: https://t.co/FQvMx3Ymaf

— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) February 22, 2022

Multiple aspects of UX are part of the ranking factors of the update, including:

  • Intrusive adverts.
  • Core Web Vitals.
  • HTTPS Security.

You can run a Core Web Vitals report here and make corrections to meet these requirements. Additionally, you should know whether your site has intrusive ads that irritate users, and if your site lacks HTTPS.

Page performance works to improve your SEO. Google’s research shows that focusing on UX can:

  • Reduce site abandonment by as much as 24%.
  • Improve web conversions.
  • Increase the average page views per session by as much as 15%.
  • Boost advertising revenue by 18% or more.

When you spend time improving your site’s UX, you benefit from higher rankings, lower page abandonment, improved conversions, and even more revenue.

Plus, many of the practices to improve UX are also crucial components of a site’s on-page SEO, such as:

  • Proper header usage.
  • Adding lists to your content.
  • Making use of images.
  • Optimizing images for faster loading times.
  • Filling content gaps with useful information.
  • Reducing “content fluff.”
  • Using graphs.
  • Testing usability across devices.

When you improve UX, you create a positive experience for users, while also improving many of the on-page SEO foundations of your website.

Final Comments

Customer experience must go beyond simple responsive web design.

Hick’s law dictates that when you present more choices to users, it takes longer to reach a decision. You’ve likely seen this yourself when shopping online and finding hundreds of options.

When people land on your site, they’re looking for answers or knowledge – not confusion.

User research, usability testing, and revisiting user experience design often will help you inch closer to satisfying the SEO requirements of design while keeping your visitors (or customers) happier.

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