Google ads for SaaS is the perfect way for you to scale your business. But the Google ads algorithm is constantly changing, thereby making it a dynamic platform to use. Google ads are visible to about 90% of all internet users so it’s one of the most effective ways for you to reach out to a relevant audience.
However, while most SaaS companies allocate a large part of their paid acquisition budgets to Google Ads, they are not reaching the audience that they set out to acquire. Here we have compiled some of the strategies you can use to make your Google ads for SaaS campaigns more effective.
Also, To read about our in-depth article that covers it all on digital marketing for SaaS, click here
1. Are Google Ads Good for B2B SaaS?
Yes, Google Ads (formerly known as Google Adwords) are good for B2B SaaS companies. Actually, Google Adwords if done correctly can be beneficial for practically any business from any niche. For SaaS in particular Google ads provide an easier way to reach new users. It is a simple cost-effective marketing tool. Done well even on the most minimal of budgets Google Ads perform well. About 80% of all businesses use this platform to advertise their business.
As long as people are searching for it online, you’ll be just fine.
2. How Do I Advertise SaaS on Google Ads?
To ensure that you effectively advertise SaaS on Google Ads you should:
- Select the right keywords
- Select the right campaign type for your business
- Ensure you set the right success metrics
- Focus on more than just high intent keywords.
3. Benefits of Google Ads for SaaS Businesses
3.1 Instant Traffic
Google Adwords for SaaS helps you get more traffic to your website. This happens as you move to the top of the SERPs. So, if you are looking for new leads in a short amount of time, this is the way to go.
3.2 Better Rankings
You rank for high competition keywords with Google Ads. This might take a lot longer with organic search, paid search gives you a boost while you work on your organic search results.
3.3 Reach The Right Audience
A good B2B SaaS Google Ads campaign will ensure that you are visible to only the right audience thanks to the elaborate audience targeting options.
3.4 Gain Visibility
In conjunction with a good SEO strategy, you can be highly visible to your audience, sometimes even twice on the same page.
4. Types Of Google Ads
4.1 Search Network Campaigns
These are the text ads that you see on top of the search results. Your search ads can either appear right on the tip of the page above the organic results or at the very bottom depending on your bid. Pick these ones if you are looking to drive sales, leads, or traffic to your website.
4.2 Display Network Campaigns
Display ads are based on images and are displayed on websites, Gmail accounts, apps, or even in videos. Search ads are based on text and keywords but display ads in another aspect to your campaigns i.e. visually appealing imagery. This is the best campaign to select if you are looking to target clients early in the buying cycle.
4.3 Video Campaigns
The name is self-explanatory. These are the videos that function as ads on YouTube and other websites. A good video campaign is helpful in boosting the general awareness of your brand and driving conversions.
5. 10 Techniques On How To Advertise SaaS On Google Ads
5.1 Determine SAAS metrics to set clear goals
You need to set the right metrics to run effective Google ads for SaaS campaigns. Every business is at a different stage with regard to its customer journey, so it’s important for you to understand what relevant metrics you need to set in order to achieve goals, be it conversions, lead generations or just more impressions.
For instance, Click-Through-Rate is the metric that tells you how many people have seen the ad and then clicked on it. You would think that this is pretty straightforward, but you need to remember that clicks do not equal conversion. Other important metrics are return on advertising spending (ROAS) and Cost per acquisition (CPA).
5.2 Set defined names for easy recognition
This technique has less to do with the performance of your Google Ads for B2B
campaign, but rather the efficiency of how you choose to navigate your account.
The use of clear and defined names will help you save time. This helps you focus on other aspects of running the campaign instead of looking for the keyword in question every time.
Consider this example;
Your keywords are;
Enterprise Management Software
Best Enterprise Management Software
Leading Enterprise Management Software
Top Enterprise Management Software
Great Enterprise Management Software
Now, the problem here is that Google Adwords for SaaS would sort this out based on the letters A-Z. Making it a very inconvenient experience every time you are trying to navigate the dashboard.
The naming should be;
Enterprise Management Software
Enterprise Management Software (Best)
Enterprise Management Software (Leading)
Enterprise Management Software (Top)
Enterprise Management Software (Great)
Naming your keywords in this manner will make it easier for you to identify which unique keyword combination is working better and help you to focus on other important tasks.
5.3 Choose manual bidding for cost-cutting
You can choose to use the automated bidding strategies available on Google Ads. But this is not recommended especially if you are just starting out with your campaign. Google makes decisions based on the data collected so unless you have already had a substantial number of conversions, the automated option won’t be able to provide you with effective adjustments. All you might end up with is a high CPC and CPA in addition to irrelevant traffic, low conversions, and a terrible CTR ( Click through rate).
Manual bidding does take a little more time and effort, but the results will improve significantly, especially in the early stages of your campaign.
The parameters which you need to constantly review and adjust are;
Time of Day
Day Of Week
If you still want to use automated bidding strategies, you should implement an “experiment campaign”.These work by duplicating the existing campaign while using a different bidding strategy. This splits the traffic by 50/50 and allows you to see if the new bidding strategy is working. If it doesn’t work, you can just send all the traffic to your existing campaign.
5.4 Seek new keywords with mirror campaigns
B2B SaaS Google Ads often run into problems as the CPC rates are very high and it is tough to come up with relevant keyword combinations. What you can do in this case is create a mirror campaign.
Keep your exact match keyword the way it is, then set another identical campaign with broad match keywords. This new campaign will allow you to find keyword combinations that you might not have thought of before. These keywords can then be added as an exact match type to your first campaign.
5.5 Execute sales funnel strategy
This is where a lot of Google ads for SaaS campaigns falter. It takes time for a user to go through the entire sales cycle. Whether your goal is to get them to start a free trial or purchase software, what you need to do is come up with a funnel strategy for users so you can go through the awareness-consideration-decision journey with them.
The advantage of doing this is:
- Users who have previously interacted with your website previously are more likely to take action.
- Individual budgets allow you to maximize your investment in the campaign. If a person who has previously visited your site is visiting again, they need to be segmented. Otherwise, you might run low on budget at the top of the funnel campaigns.
- Change the messaging in these ads. More aggressive messaging can compel visitors to take action.
5.6 Target in-market customers in the decision-making phase
In-market audiences allow you to connect with people who are actively looking for or comparing services across publisher and partner sites of Google display network and YouTube.
So, by using this feature you gain access to audiences using the comparison feature and searching particularly with the intent to buy.
When it comes to Saas companies this helps you connect with an audience that is already at a stage where they are ready to make a purchase. You targeting them at this time will help drive conversions.
Just the way remarketing lists work, these audiences can be added to your search campaigns as a targeting or an observational setting.
5.7 Use auction insights to bid on competitor’s keywords
Sometimes generating traffic comes from bidding on your competitor’s brand terms. Take the example of Sendinblue, an email marketing tool that often runs ads branding themselves an ActiveCampaign alternative, one of their biggest competitors.
It is highly recommended to try out this strategy. Use the Auction Insights tool to compare your performance with our advertisers that are participating in the same auctions as you. This will tell you who your direct competitors are. Just remember that you cannot use your competitor’s branded terms in your copy. What you need to highlight is your USP and what makes you better than the rest in the market.
5.8 Utilize search term reports for new keywords
The search term reports show you the search phrases that the users have used that have led them to your ads. Because of different keyword match types, the data that you receive from this list is very different from the keyword lists.
These lists are important as they help you identify negative keywords as well as keywords with less intent but higher up your funnel. This also in turn helps you deal with one of the biggest problems in the B2B SaaS Google Ads space, i.e. high CPC because of a limited supply of high intent keywords.
5.9 Effectively manage placements with Google Display Network
People often write off Google Display Network because of its history as more of an awareness tool rather than a conversion tool. But that does not mean that it is not effective to drive traffic and considering that 90% of internet users are exposed to it, it is important that you use it effectively.
How do you use Google Display Network for your SaaS company?
What you need to do is use “managed placements”.This allows you to choose where your ads are being displayed on Google Display Network. As a SaaS company, this is essential as you are targeting a niche audience. The default option is to use automated placements i.e your ads crop up everywhere.
5.10 Utilize Google’s Customer match feature for targeting
This particular feature allows you to use both online and offline data to engage with customers. This covers customers across search, shopping, Gmail, and YouTube as well as the GDN. With the help of the data already shared with you, customer match helps you retarget and drive conversions.
This feature works well to convert potential customers. You can optimize the campaign as per the information you have available about your customers activity. You upload your customer list and Google then matches it against their users, this helps you interact with newer audiences as well as engage with old ones via new messaging.
6. Some Google Ads for SaaS examples
This particular website builder has time and time again shown us how effective Google ads for Saas can be. They position themselves through keywords like “best website builder”. What one needs to understand is that you have very limited space in an ad, so the copy is not the place to be modest about your product. Apart from clear and simple copy, it is important to highlight the USPs of your brand, which in this case is the ability to create your own website.
We did mention them before but one has to appreciate the effort that they put behind creating effective copy that mentions their competition directly. A smart way to piggyback on the competitor keyword and yet feature on the top of the list.
- What is a good conversion rate for SaaS?
A good conversion rate for Google adwords for SaaS is anywhere between 3-5%. An extremely effective marketing plan and product would help this rate be 8%. However, conversion rates are dependent on your industry and the company’s goals.
- How do I advertise B2B on Google ads?
To advertise B2B on Google ads, you should take care of the following things;
- Targeting the right keywords
- Set the campaign objectives
- Choose the correct ad type
- Make use of Google ad extensions
- Optimize your landing page
- Always track results
Growth Ganik is a rapidly evolving digital marketing agency in Sydney, Australia that specializes in SEO, content marketing, marketing strategy and lead generation.
We work with clients from leading brands and industries such as B2B SaaS, nonprofits and more to develop profitable digital marketing solutions that are data-driven to support all kinds of business goals from widening user bases, gaining more traction for online engagement, to increasing conversion and helping businesses scale up.
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