Paid Search Mistakes to Avoid for B2B


Paid search or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be a very effective means of generating quality leads and raising brand awareness for B2B organizations. However, it’s easy for B2B marketers to make costly mistakes when paid search campaigns aren’t set up and managed with best practices in mind. Avoiding these mistakes, and proactively addressing any issues, will go a long way towards ensuring your PPC efforts deliver a solid ROI. Paid search for B2B marketers can be an exciting and optimal way to generate leads and conversions, but it’s key to follow the best practices to optimize campaigns.

Discover key insights and best practices in online marketing activities such as paid search and more in our In-Depth Digital Strategy for B2B Marketers white paper.

If you’re preparing to launch a new paid search campaign for your B2B company or are currently running PPC campaigns, review these mistakes that advertisers often make and learn how to avoid them with these easy-to-implement strategies.

Mistake #1: Running Paid Search Campaigns Without Conversion Tracking Set Up

One of the most important components of your paid search campaigns is conversion tracking. Conversion tracking typically comes in the form of a piece of JavaScript or an HTML code snippet that is placed in the code of an organization’s website. It’s also common to use something such as Google Tag Manager to implement this code. Conversion tracking is important as it allows marketers to measure how many conversions (i.e. content downloads, webinar registrations, product purchases, etc.) you are receiving and where the source of the conversion is (i.e. the campaign, ad and keyword that resulted in the conversion).

If conversion tracking is not properly set up, it can be difficult to get a true measurement of your paid campaigns’ ROI and determine which ads and keywords are most effective. Make sure your campaigns have the proper conversion tracking code snippets installed on your website.

If you need help setting up your conversion tracking check out the following resources:

Mistake #2: Bypassing Critical Campaign Settings

Each paid search platform has its own set of campaign settings that should be carefully reviewed and considered when setting up your campaign or refining your current one. Bypassing campaign settings or simply omitting to the default can cause many issues with content, targeting and budgeting. Here are a few settings that should be paid special attention to:

  • Geographic Targeting: Many, if not all, paid search platforms allow you to select what geographic region (country, state, city, zip code) you would like your ads to show up in. You can also choose to exclude specific locations to target as well.
  • Demographic Targeting: With demographic targeting, you can make bid adjustments for various age ranges (18-24, 25-35, and so on) and gender so that your ads are more likely to show up for a specific demographic group.
  • Device Targeting: Your ads can show up on various device types, such as desktop, mobile or tablet. This is another important setting to consider before launching your campaign. Know if you want your ads to show up on desktop and mobile or desktop and tablet, or so on and adjust your bid accordingly.

Pro Tip: If you are showing display ads on mobile devices, it’s very important to pay attention to the number of clicks you are getting and where those clicks are coming from. This can also show where your budget is going and help you make as-needed adjustments.

Mistake #3: Not Considering Remarketing

Remarketing (or retargeting) is a form of online advertising that allows you to serve ads to people who have already previously visited your website. For many websites, there is a low visitor to conversion rate, so it’s important to have a way to bring back and re-engage those visitors with relevant marketing offers.

How does remarketing work? By using a special piece of code across your entire website, a cookie is automatically added to your web visitors’ devices after meeting your desired criteria, like visiting your homepage. Once an individual has this cookie attached to them, they are added to your remarketing list. Remarketing ads can come in the form of text ads, static/animated images, videos and responsive ads.

When setting up a remarketing campaign, keep the following best practices in mind:

  • Ensure your remarketing code is on your entire website.
  • Update your privacy policy to declare your use of the remarketing cookie.
  • Offer relevant content in your ads for audiences who are already familiar with your product/service.
  • Swap out your remarketing ads regularly to reduce ad fatigue. Monthly is typically the best timeframe.

Mistake #4: Failing to Effectively Use Keyword Match Types

Using proper keyword match types across your paid search campaigns is critical to ensure effective spending of your campaign budget. Improper keyword usage can be detrimental to your budget and overall results. Here are a few different keyword match types you can utilize:

  • Broad Match: Ads will show for those who search for anything related to your keyword.
  • Phrase Match: Ads will show for those who search for anything that includes the meaning of your keyword.
  • Exact Match: Ads will show for those who search for anything that has the same meaning or intent as your keyword.

Mistake #5: Not Incorporating Various A/B Testing Methods

Your text and display ads are not something you should ever set and forget. It’s always a best practice to constantly monitor performance to see what ads are working and which are not. If you are not consistently swapping out your ads, you run the risk of having your ads suffer from ad fatigue, which results in fewer ad clicks.

Creating an A/B testing plan for your campaigns and setting a testing variable for each A/B test will help you avoid ad fatigue. Variables to test in your ads can include:

  • Ad copy, including headlines and descriptions
  • Images in display ads
  • CTA button text or color
  • Display ad sizes

The benefits of paid search marketing for B2B are significant as it can help your organization generate more leads, increase brand awareness and gain valuable search insights from your customers. By avoiding the five mistakes above and incorporating some of our strategies, you can plan to see PPC success.

Want to launch your paid search campaign but looking for more assistance? Contact us today or request a marketing consultation. As an Austin-based B2B marketing firm, we help B2B organizations reach their lead generation goals and so much more.



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