Are Google Ads Worth It for B2B Businesses?

February 11, 2022 in PPC

Search ranking is the number one determinant of success for Boston businesses. Over 90% of searches take place on Google, and that includes searches for business terms. While it is true that many companies are seeing varying levels of effectiveness in expanding brand awareness using influencers, social media, and search engine optimization tactics to organically raise page ranking, failing to plan and execute a comprehensive AdWords strategy is unwise. At best, it is a surefire way to leave potential money on the table; at worst it can all but ensure that an increased percentage of potential leads navigate to your competitors.

What Are Google Ads?

Google Ads is a marketing program offered by Google that allows companies to create and display targeted ads to users who are using Google.com to search, surf the web, or watch videos on YouTube. Unlike traditional advertising or SEO, Google Ads uses a pay-per-click (PPC) model where the advertising account does not incur a charge until the targeted user clicks on the ad. 

Originally introduced as a program called Google Ad Words, its former title might offer clearer insight on the mechanics of how campaigns are designed and run. Simply, a Google Ads campaign is created by putting together a list of keywords that a desirable customer is expected to utilize when searching and telling the platform how much a click-through visit from such a user is worth to a company. 

The Basics of Google Ads

Since virtually all B2B companies, regardless of age, can drive revenue significantly via online advertising, Google remains the singular giant among search engines to whom marketing professionals must appeal when designing websites that make use of effective SEO. 

Worldwide, Google boasts a whopping 90% of the search market share. Global digital marketing spending was estimated to be over 458 billion US dollars across all formats, with at least 40% of that spending driven by search. So, here, the terms “search” and “Google” can essentially be used interchangeably. 

A Google Ad campaign for a B2B company is created by aggregating all the terms a potential client might search for when attempting to fill a specific need. These keywords are then sorted and combined into various iterations by marketing professionals that may assign priority to a certain search term, or group of search terms. These terms or groups of terms are then assigned a monetary click value, which Google uses to rank the sponsored content that appears alongside (and often intermixed with) organic search results. When a search is entered by any user, Google searches its ad campaigns much in the way its robots crawl the web to index pages, except instead of using SEO tactics to rank results, the sponsored results are displayed according to the highest “offer” of pay per click.

Google Ads for B2B Companies

In both the B2C and B2B markets, the views on Google Ads can vary. This is likely because many participants in the program have been unable to demonstrate that there is a direct correlation between marketing dollars spent on Google Ads versus the cost of customer acquisition. 

There are, in fact, many examples of companies investing significant sums into Google Ads that appear to have no direct impact on profits. Fortunately, the theories of B2B marketing versus those of B2C make the value of Google Ads a more complex and layered return, even for small businesses in the B2B space. This is most easily explained via the concept of customer lifetime value, or LTV.

In B2C sales, the value of a transaction is generally much lower than that of a B2B sale, which is just one of the reasons the purchase cycle tends to be much longer for the B2B customer. Additionally, the relationship of a B2B company with a client also tends to be longer-term, with a significant difference in value. 

This factor is the reason why B2B companies invest in Google Ad campaigns that nurture relationships, instead of just single sales. The value of a click from a B2B decision-maker may not be immediately converted into a successful sale with a dollar amount attached, but the groundwork of brand awareness, recognition of expertise, and estimated lifetime value of the relationship means that the potential value of a click is much greater.

Targeting the B2B Audience with Google Ads

At GoingClear, our experts realize that B2B businesses need to narrow the focus of a Google Ads campaign to implement a reasonable spending limit for the keywords used 

Broad match keywords, while helpful if trying to determine if a particular user falls within the target market of B2B services and products, cannot be the sole driver of CPC. Just because a particular term related to specific B2B products and services may be wildly popular and frequently searched on Google, that does not necessarily mean it should be incorporated into a campaign. 

Implementing a Google Ads strategy without considering the variables that apply to specific search strings will often end up a costly but futile effort with no measurable results. Digital marketing experts like those at GoingClear can isolate the search strings and behaviors of highly desirable leads, which can both lay the groundwork for a future relationship and impact eventual conversion into long-term B2B client relationships.

How Are You Measuring ROI?

The return on investment for a B2B Google Ads campaign is not as simple as determining the conversion rate for users that have clicked on a targeted ad at a specific cost. Measuring ROI for B2B companies is more contingent upon engagement and the subsequent conversion rates of engaged potential clients. 

Assuming that your analytics dashboard is set up to report the behavior of those who have clicked on a sponsored ad, the following measures are most helpful in determining what your B2B company investment is gaining for a click:

  • Contact via phone or email
  • Filling out a form on your website
  • Downloading resources or datasheets
  • Registering for a webinar or subscribing to a blog or podcast

Implement A Winning Google Ads Strategy

If your Boston B2B business is not achieving the expected results with its current Google Ads campaign, our team can conduct a digital audit of your current B2B website and partner with you to implement changes that will make 2022 your greatest year yet!

Reach out to a GoingClear specialist today to best utilize the mechanics and function of this potentially game-changing tool.

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