The search engine Google has dominated the advertising landscape in search networks in the world for years with a market share of over 90% of search queries. The B2B industry is a particular case due to its complex products. To harmonize the unique features of B2B communication with Google’s requirements for Google Ads, a few subtleties have to be observed. In this article, we show which these are and how you can achieve the most accurate communication possible with B2B keywords in Google Ads.
In order to get good results with Google Ads, proper keyword research is essential. It forms the basis for successful Google Ads campaigns. When planning for the Google search network, serious mistakes are often made right from the start. To avoid them, the following points should be taken into account in a keyword set that is being considered for the campaigns.
#1 Avoid Waste
The keyword must describe the topic to be advertised (product/application/service/event) as precisely as possible. In B2B, it is a good idea to only advertise on longtail keywords. Even if the search volume to be expected is often very low.
Longtail keywords are keywords that are composed of several keywords. For a software provider for truck route planners, the keyword “route planner” seems to be attractive due to its high search volume of 2 million monthly searches. However, this keyword also refers to search queries from the B2C.
To keep overlaps with B2C users as low as possible, it is advisable to focus on the less searched keywords “truck route planner” (1,300 search queries) or “truck route plan” (40 search queries). These keywords have a higher relation to the offered product and inevitably reduce the wastage. In the long term, this can save costs. Campaign metrics such as click rate, bounce rate, length of stay, and ultimately conversion rate also improve.
#2 Narrow Down Keywords
When researching keywords, as many technical terms and industry-standard terms as possible should be recorded and tested. As a starting point, you can use your landing pages, brochures, product flyers, datasheets, press releases, etc., which are relevant to the campaign.
As long as technical words have a search volume, terms of this type are particularly valuable. They increase the likelihood of hits when approaching potential users from the target groups. At the same time, overlaps with private users (B2C) are reduced.
With every new keyword, you should always keep in mind: “What could be the intention of the user behind the search query?” The results of the search results page (SERP) and image search usually give a good impression of how Google interprets the search query.
#3 Pay Attention To SEO Aspects
The terms under consideration should also be found on the corresponding landing page. That may sound trivial, but the mistake of not using it is still found in many accounts. On the part of Google, this is “punished” with a poor quality factor and thus a higher expected click price.
If important terms are identified as potential keywords during the search, these can also be integrated into the texts of the target page using appropriate SEO on-page measures. Terms relevant to the company should always be used in communication.
#4 Use Tools
For the actual keyword research, one can use the free keyword planner provided by Google for the SEA area. Experience has shown that the search volume for the keywords is relatively accurate. In addition to the output of monthly search volumes, you can also search for potential new keywords.
Only the terms you are looking for are displayed. These, in turn, have to be checked for relevance. Because often only a small part of the proposed keywords are suitable for an application via the Google search network.
The following websites and tools are also suitable for keyword research:
- Google Suggest and Ubersuggest to quickly identify the most frequently searched term combinations of potential keywords.
- If available, the on-site search of your website to identify the most relevant search terms.
- The SEO tools SemRush to find out which keywords a website is already ranked for.
- Keyword.io for a quick increase in search terms.
- Keywords that are already stored in the company profiles and can be viewed publicly are also helpful.
- AnswerThePublic for a better understanding of the search intent and further suggestions for longtail keywords.
- Google trends for developing keyword search volume over time. The Google Trends are only suitable to a limited extent for the B2B area since the keywords are often niche terms and do not have a suitable strong search volume.
#5 Sort Out Keywords
Keywords without a specified search volume should also be considered as such and should not be pursued at the current time. It should be noted that search queries change over time. A year later, irrelevant keywords can now develop into search terms with sufficient search volume. This is also not uncommon in the B2B area.
When querying search volumes, it is essential to check which region was selected for the query. In addition to the language setting of the browser, the respective target regions can also be set explicitly here. As a general recommendation, the language of the ad text and the region relevant should always be specified.
For a DACH campaign, the language “German” and the regions “Germany,” “Austria,” and “Switzerland.” If the keywords queried are predominantly English terms, this language orientation should also be checked. This is especially true in the software and IT industry or with providers of high-tech products.
#6 Identify Negative Keywords
When doing keyword research, you should also take negative keywords into account. These include terms for which no advertisements should be placed later. Especially for the B2B environment, you should exclude everything that allows conclusions to be drawn about a private user.
These can be general words like “Wikipedia” or “eBay”, but also topic-specific terms like “google maps,” “vacation route,” or “bicycle” – to stick with the software example truck route planner. When setting up the campaigns, these terms are stored at different levels (account, campaign, or ad group) as required.
#7 Group Keywords
Once the keyword research has been completed, it is time to create meaningful keyword clusters. Here you try to summarize keywords that have one thing in common. Most of the time, this is a common landing page or a recurring terminology/topic.
Ideally, such a cluster should only contain a few terms and should not exceed ten keywords. If this is the case, it makes sense that the cluster is often broken open again. About the creation of the text advertisements, the clusters should, if possible, only pick one common aspect, since this enables the target group to be addressed precisely.
#8 Note The Match Type
Extensive and time-consuming keyword research can be quickly nullified by choosing the wrong keyword option. Therefore, finally, the important note: Never book terms, even with low search volumes to be expected, as largely suitable (Broad Match). With this keyword option, the ads are displayed for all similar but unfortunately also very absurd search queries.
If the search volume is low, at least the modified Broad Match + Keyword should be used.
Better alternatives are, however, the appropriate phrase “phrase match” or, ideally, actually booking the keyword as exactly [ exact match]. The more exactly the entered keyword matches the actual longtail search query, the better you can see the intent of the searcher and tailor his ad texts accordingly.
Despite lower search volumes, successful keyword research is also possible for advertisers in the B2B environment. There are differences in the methodology, and it usually takes more time to identify a suitable keyword set for B2B brands. However, this supposedly higher expenditure of time ultimately pays off if it can reduce the effort for ongoing optimization.
What are your experiences, or are there other helpful tools that you particularly like to use for keyword research. Feel free to write in the comments.