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B2B Paid Ads

Here's 6 things to focus on to get the most out of your B2B paid search campaigns:

By Alex Gray, Founder of
on February 20, 2019

1. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

You could be spending money on ads that are performing very well but there's very few conversions/leads generated.

This is the reality of most businesses, with the average B2B company wasting 72% of their ads budget.

Paid search is generally thought of as being very qualified, but 9/10 times this traffic is touching your site for the first time.

To get the best results from your paid search efforts, you need to be using data to continually improve your website.

It's common to try things like A/B tests, but without actionable data and a solid plan, this can end up being useless.

Some tips:

  • Focus on the sections of your website & landing pages that will make the biggest difference.
  • Only test 1 thing at a time, otherwise you won't know what's working and what's not
  • Under 6,000 impressions is not enough to make any conclusions
Sometimes the best and easiest way to optimize your paid search performance is to shoot to increase your site conversion rate.

Read more about optimizing your website for conversions when doing paid ad campaigns.

2. Tracking & Attribution

Undoubtedly, the hardest thing about marketing for B2B is tracking and attributing your leads, clients, and sales back to specific campaigns and keywords, but honestly, this is where it gets really interesting.

With eCommerce marketing, as long as your tracking is set up correctly, you can see your data and you can easily understand where your sales and revenue are coming from.

With a B2B lead generation strategy, you have to be able to analyze data from many different sources and bring it all together to begin to understand the results.

How to Get Started

We start by adding UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) information onto our target URL's.

If you're not sure how to do this, this is a good place to start.

This allows you to pull that information through any web forms, then sync it with your CRM.

Why Worry About Attribution? It's definitely easy and totally lazy to optimize a PPC account for lead generation based on conversions in Google Ads.

Looking at that data does not completely take into account whether you actually made any revenue from a given lead.

This is where attribution comes in.

You should be able to export a report from the CRM that lists the leads, the UTM data, and the status of each lead (closed, lost, etc.), plus any associated revenue.

This will allow you to see what you actually generated.
Now, you can optimize the account based on the campaigns that generate the highest quality leads and the most revenue, rather than only optimizing for more form submissions.

3. Add Bing Ads

B2B companies don't look past Google often enough when it comes to paid search.

While Bing probably won't bring you the same volume of conversions, it can be a lot more efficient when it comes to your CPC's and CPA's. Why miss out on cheaper conversions?

An important thing to remember is that most businesses are using Microsoft OS on their hardware and guess what the default search engine is? Bing, of course.

How to Get Started?

You can start by copying over your Google campaigns using the import feature.

This works relatively well, but you will always need to manually check all settings to ensure nothing goes wrong.

That being said, it can be just as good, if not better, to build a unique campaign and strategy for Bing.

Consider important aspects like search volumes, user intent, and demographics. These will all be very different from Google, so altering your approach can result in better performance.

Microsoft-owned websites account for over 20% of the market share for search in the US (and it's growing as we speak). Simply: you cannot afford to be missing out on this traffic source.

4. LinkedIn Ads

Paid social advertising has been getting more and more popular among advertisers in B2B businesses, particularly LinkedIn.

The targeting options on LinkedIn are, simply put, amazing (and getting better).

The ability to pinpoint your target audience and serve them custom ad content is exactly what marketers should be doing — and LinkedIn is helping to enable this.

You are able to target people based on things like:

  • Industry
  • Job title
  • Years of experience
  • Company size
  • Demographics
  • Etc.

There's also been the introduction of interest targeting, which allows you to target users based on their interests.

The ads on LinkedIn are constantly improving with text ads, videos, static images, carousels, spotlight ads.
The opportunity to serve relevant content to relevant audiences in various formats is everything you could want for lead generation — definitely jump on it, or leave money on the table.

5. Audience Targeting

Google and Bing are pushing advertisers to use audience targeting in their accounts — we love this because the options they are providing can be great for B2B.

Modifying your bids based on the audience allows you to qualify visitors before they get to your website by checking on which audiences convert and which don't.

Then you can use this insight to apply bid modifiers and only target the best traffic, therefore lowering your CPA and improving the quality of leads.

Remember that the optimizations you do are only going to be as good as the data, so make sure you give it some time to see solid trends.
Bonus idea: Get better control over your bidding & CPA performance by building out specific audience-focused campaigns.

6. Competitors Strategy

Bidding on your competitors' brand terms can be strange, but it is common among B2B companies.

You should already have your own brand segmented out into individual campaigns. If not, you should do this asap.

I would also recommend adding your competitor brand terms into their own campaign and bidding on these too.

Your CPC and CPA will most likely be higher than your own branded campaigns, but you will find they may be cheaper than on normal keywords.

When someone searches for your competitor, it can sometimes be because they already know that they need the service/product — you are basically showing them an alternative service provider. Win-win.

Getting started:

  • An Ad Group per competitor
  • Select the headline competitor keywords
  • Watch your bidding closely to avoid position 1 ($$$)
  • Review results (conversions)
As long as you're not infringing on copyrights, this is totally fine to do.

In Conclusion

So to summarize, the key areas to consider in order to get the best performance from your B2B paid search strategy are:

  • Testing and improving your website with a CRO strategy
  • Set up in-depth tracking and attribution methods
  • Expand into Bing Ads
  • Test LinkedIn Ads
  • Use the new improvements in audience targeting
  • Make a brand & competitor strategy


It's a lot to take in, but when you combine these elements, you will absolutely get the best performance possible from your B2B paid search campaigns.

If you need any help with any of this, please get in touch with us.

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