6 Steps to Effective Lead Generation with SEM

6 Steps to Effective Lead Generation with SEM
By Harry Bashir | December 17, 2018

You’re an entrepreneur or a marketing executive who’s tasked with driving more B2B leads during the work week. You may have a small or large marketing budget, and you may or may not be using paid ads already. Whatever the case may be, driving MQLs isn’t easy, and doing so is part art, part science. Making sure your leads count and making sure they tie back to ROI.

Does this sound like you? If so, you’re in luck.

We have just the marketing channel that can help you – paid search. Paid search is a great method for driving low-funnel conversions and getting your solution in front of qualified leads who want a solution quickly. And the largest paid search platform of all – Google Ads – allows you to serve ads on Google, the world’s largest search engine. Whether you’re already running paid search campaigns, or a first-timer, Google Ads is an effective and useful tool for driving B2B leads into your pipeline. The combination of functionality, access to qualified buyers, and low barrier to entry makes it a perfect fit for demand generation.

Putting your chips onto Google Ads is a smart move, especially in 2019. Below, we’ll go into 6 simple Google Ads strategies that help any B2B lead gen campaign convert more smoothly and drive ROI.


1. Integrate Google Ads & Your CRM Reporting

To understand how effective your paid search campaigns are performing, make sure you can track performance all the way through the funnel. That doesn’t just mean in Google Ads and Google Analytics. We’re actually talking about your CRM, whether it’s Salesforce, HubSpot, or something else. Integrating Google Ads with your CRM system allows you to track the keywords / audiences bringing in leads versus those simply spending without performing. This ties back to lead scoring – knowing what leads are quality and which aren’t. It’s not enough to know the average number of leads it takes for a sale, or how much the average lead is worth.

Some leads perform better than others, and tying the quality of lead back to the campaign is essential.  You might think one keyword deserves the majority of your budget, but wouldn’t know a second keyword was actually generating more back-end revenue and sales.  Integrating Google Ads with your CRM lets you see the entire customer Journey from beginning to end.  You can directly integrate Salesforce CRM data into Google Ads. Alternatively, you can download performance reports into your CRM dashboard and get a keyword-level view of where your leads and sales come from.  The goal, as always, is to understand what the quality of lead is. This allows you to optimize based on ads, key words, and landing pages that produce best.


2. Campaign Segmentation

One problem with many paid search accounts is that they don’t segment campaigns based on targeting tactic.  It’s not enough to have a single campaign for a single offering. Get more specific here!  Campaigns can be segmented by any of the following:

• Device
• Target Consumer (depending on landing page and offer)
• Location (including radius, zip codes, DMA regions and countries)
• Network (Including Search Partners)
• Keyword Match Type,
• Brand (searchers who have heard of your company) vs. Non-brand

Segmenting your campaigns out by the above lets you get cleaner in terms of organizing and duplicating campaigns across territories, product offerings, and so on. Researching stand-alone keywords, tweaking ad copy to where the B2B customer is in the sales cycle, and segmenting landing pages are all effective strategies. This boosts your performance and lets you get a better sense of what audiences convert best.  This results in more qualified leads, better conversion rates, and more revenue at the end of the day.


3. Update Your Keyword Strategy

Keywords, of course, are the lifeblood of any B2B paid search campaign.  Every keyword has its own associated conversion intent. Just how urgently does this potential customer needs a solution for their problem?  With how competitive the playing field is, you need to constantly refine keywords to ensure the best performance for your marketing budget.  Starting small, with a set of keywords most likely to convert, is a smart play depending on budget and volume.

Then you have to consider the math – how competitive is this term? How much do you pay per click?

Keywords with higher CPCs are typically more competitive.  To lower cost, you can consider improving Quality Score at the keyword level, updating ad copy or targeting a less costly keyword.  Or you can get more specific and focus on testing a small amount of terms that are more likely to convert.  Recognize that broad match keywords, in general, are typically a smart play for advertisers with larger budgets, whereas exact match terms are a great option for smaller budgets and those who want to exert greater control.

Furthermore, “long-tail” keywords: keywords made up of four or more words – usually mean more educated customers that are further along in the buying cycle.  Therefore, prioritizing long-tail keywords that are more likely to convert – and often less competitive – is a smart strategy.

Finally, negative keywords are essential.  Take a moment to review Search Query reports and identify which of your phrase and Broad match keywords are driving irrelevant Impressions, cost, and clicks.  Then add the wasteful search terms as negative keywords to your campaigns. This tells Google Ads not to show your campaigns for people searching that particular keyword.


4. Write Ads that Qualify Potential Leads

Instead of focusing on writing ads for the higher CTR possible, write ads that qualify a potential lead before the click. That way the prospects you pay for are a lot more engaged with what you’re offering on the landing page.  The ideal ad has ad text and headlines similar to the landing page it leads to.

Some elements we suggest you include in your ad copy:

• Your target customer’s job title
• The landing page offer (free download, trial, buy button)
• Your product or service price
• Your trial (availability, length)
• Industry clients you’ve worked with in the past (i.e. social proof)
• Your target industry, vertical, or customer size
• Any other differentiators that would excite a potential customer

Part of this is understanding what calls to action, benefits, and offers an ideal lead really wants. When you tweak ads to the point where only the most ideal prospects are clicking, you’re bringing in significantly better lead quality.  You can also spy on competitors and see what elements such as the above they include in their ads. Not only does this let you understand what your competition offers, it means your ads are fresh and full of new ideas to test.


5. Test Your Landing Pages

Once a visitor reaches a landing page, things change. Whereas before it was a bad driving them there, now it’s about getting the most value possible out of them.   If you’re offering a free content asset, such as a white paper or a free webinar replay, make sure it’s gated and that the visitor understands the value of what you’re offering.  You can accomplish this through enticing photos, bullets, and anything else speaking to the benefits of the asset.  Your landing pages need to be specialized and organized according to your goals.

Are you driving leads? Sales?

A/B testing landing pages is just as important as A/B testing ads. That means creating drastically different variations of landing pages, with different outlines, copy, assets, and so on. This gives you insight into what offer and asset your audience wants.  Testing elements such as cost action, Mane images, the lead form, headlines, and the layout, often lead to improved conversion rates. Adding trust base elements such as third-party reviews, customer recommendations, testimonials, privacy seals, videos or employer screenshots, and so on, will help lift conversion rates as well.


6. Remarket Effectively

It can’t be stated enough…  In today’s B2B sales environment, you need to nurture prospects down the funnel. A big part of that is remarketing, which means bringing customers back to either the same, or a new, relevant offer to get them to convert.  B2B lead gen sales, in particular, require you to bring the customer back to relevant landing pages, often repeatedly, to finally get them to convert.

Developing campaigns, ads, and landing pages just for prospects that have visited your website before, but didn’t convert, is a smart thing to do.  People who return to your website, are typically a lot more educated, engage more, and are likely to convert.  You can segment remarketing audiences into low-investment offers, such as a free trial or a coupon, to get them to finally pull the trigger.

Remarketing is absolutely critical in the B2B sales cycle. Keep in mind that often, potential customers browsing your product pages are likely to pull the trigger on a solution sometime soon (within the next few hours or days).  It’s crucial to scoop them up while you still can before they go with a different solution.  You can execute remarketing through Google Display, which means showing banners and text ads to users when they’re on different websites, to keep yourself top-of-mind.  Or you can retarget through Remarketing List for Search Ads, which allows you to serve ads to people in your remarketing audience when they’re searching in Google sometime later.


That takes us to the end of the 6 steps!

All in all, Google Ads is an effective platform to drive qualified leads that convert down the funnel. The combination of high intent, qualified potential leads – at a scale that can’t be found anywhere else -means you can’t afford to not be on Google Ads.  Using the tips above, you’ll be able to create campaigns that are far more efficient for driving quality B2B leads.

Just Media can also help with auditing, optimizing, and evaluating your current B2B paid search performance for specific, actual improvements.

Reach out to us if you have any further questions.

Harry Bashir | Senior SEM Specialist


If you’re interested in learning more about implementing a lead generation strategy with SEM,
Contact us.

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