If your ideal customers can’t find your business when searching for the challenges you can solve, then your solutions won’t be in consideration. Increase your chances of being found with B2B search engine marketing.
Search is critical in business-to-business sales and marketing. Search engines are the most common starting point for B2B purchases and heavily influence the buyer journey. Buyers using search to find solutions have a clear and immediate need. These are high quality leads you must attract into your marketing funnel.
Search engine advertising is paying to display ads on search engine results. Your business only pays per click and your ads only show for the search phrases you select.
Where does search engine advertising fit in the marketing funnel?
Search engine advertising works wherever you need traffic you control. With search advertising, you control who you attract and where you send them. This means you could use search as at the top of the funnel to drive traffic to lead capture pages. With search remarketing, you can also target visitors who may have engaged with you in the past.
Here are a few examples of how you could use search engine advertising in your marketing:
Use B2B search engine advertising to promote campaigns – You’ve just launched your latest campaign. You have a fantastic landing page, the email campaign has started, and social media posts are going out. The missing part of the puzzle? Your landing page isn’t in the search engine results. How can you quickly attract the traffic you need from search engines? You can show ads in the search results using search advertising.
Use B2B search engine advertising to promote products & solutions – When you need to increase your visibility in the search engine results, search engine advertising for B2B organisations gives your business the opportunity to show ads in the search results. You can promote products, assets, and campaigns, driving high-quality traffic anywhere you need.
Why is search engine advertising a critical digital marketing channel?
Organic search rankings are difficult to achieve and can take time. When you need instant results, B2B search engine advertising should be your tactic of choice.
- 89% of the traffic generated by search ads is not replaced by organic clicks when ads are paused. (Google)
- Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords. (Google)
- 65% of people click on Google Ads when they are looking to buy. (WordStream)
When running search engine advertising for B2B’s, you show ads in response to search queries and pay for each per click. The alternative tactic is B2B SEO. SEO or search engine optimisation is where you optimise your website to appear in the search results naturally. Unlike search advertising, SEO is free. B2B marketers should use both SEO and search engine advertising in their search marketing mix to increase their visibility in the search engine results.
When should you use search marketing instead of SEO?
Search marketing is perfect for marketers that need to show ads on the search engine results pages. You may consider running search ads in the following scenarios:
- Your website is struggling to get a foothold in the organic results listings using B2B search engine optimisation.
- You want to increase the visibility of your business in the search engine results pages. Being seen in organic and paid results increases the chances of you getting a click.
- You want to generate more leads from a marketing campaign. B2B search advertising allows you to send traffic to lead generating campaign landing pages.
- You want to advertise in different countries or in different languages.
What is Google Ads?
Google Ads (formerly AdWords) is the most popular search engine advertising platform
Google is the most popular search engine in the world. To advertise on Google you need to use Google Ads (AdWords), the paid search advertising platform for Google. AdWords allows you to show search engine ads and also advertise on other Google products such as YouTube. Bing also has an ad platform called Bing Ads. Remember that there may be other search engines you need to consider if you promote your business globally. In China, for example, the leading search engine is Baidu. For search advertising on Baidu, you would need to use their ad platform Baidu Advertising.
Does search engine advertising work for small businesses?
Search engine advertising helps B2B small businesses get a foothold in the search results.
As a B2B marketer you probably already know you are walking up a steep hill. Not only are you trying to make the most of a small budget you are also competing against established brands who may have already won hearts and minds. All businesses need to be found in the search results and B2B small businesses more than most.
We know B2B buying journeys start with a search. This means companies that don’t appear in the results will struggle to be part of the research and consideration phase. Large established brands usually dominate the search results. They also benefit from the added advantage that unlike small businesses, an established brand (Like IBM) could be added to the mix without first going through the early research phases of the customer journey.
What challenges do marketers face with B2B search engine advertising?
Targeting a B2B audience is a major search advertising challenge
Several B2B companies I’ve worked with in the past didn’t run any PPC ads because they never considered search advertising as an option. Search advertising can be a significant lead gen source for B2B businesses. Imagine being able to run an ad for your latest white paper, showing it only to people who are searching for relevant terms.
If you sell IT hardware to businesses and advertise on the phrase ‘computer monitors’, will this attract a consumer or a business? 99% of the time the searcher will be a consumer. That is the challenge facing B2B firms. How does a B2B business find the terms a business would search as opposed to a consumer? The same applies whether you sell services or goods. B2B marketers need to spend more time finding the right search terms to target.
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