The Ultimate Guide to B2B SaaS PPC

B2B SaaS companies face unique challenges when it comes to PPC advertising. Unlike B2C products that can often drive immediate sales, B2B SaaS purchases typically involve a longer sales cycle and more complex decision-making. However, PPC can still be a highly effective channel for B2B SaaS companies when executed properly.

Understanding the B2B SaaS Buyer's Journey

The B2B SaaS buyer's journey is often much longer and more complex than a typical B2C purchase. Buyers go through multiple stages of research, evaluation, and decision-making before making a purchase. This means your PPC strategy needs to focus on nurturing leads throughout this journey, not just driving immediate sales.

Some key stages of the B2B SaaS buyer's journey include:

Your PPC campaigns should be tailored to address the needs of buyers at each stage of this journey.

Section Two

Keyword Research for B2B SaaS PPC

Effective keyword research is critical for B2B SaaS PPC success. You need to identify the keywords and search queries that your target buyers are using throughout the buyer's journey.

Start by brainstorming a list of broad, high-level keywords related to your SaaS product and industry. Then use keyword research tools to uncover more specific, long-tail keywords that potential buyers might use. Pay attention to the search intent behind each keyword - are they looking for general information, comparing solutions, or ready to make a purchase?

Also, don't forget to research competitor keywords and see what terms they are bidding on. This can give you valuable insights into your market.

Keyword Strategy for B2B SaaS PPC

When running PPC campaigns you need to have a clear strategy for the different types of search query. From low intent questions through to branded queries you should campaigns and ad groups for each.

Choosing Keyword Match Types

Keyword Match Types are rules you provide Google Ads to tell it how specific to be with your keyword bidding. There are three keyword match types, each with different options and use cases as we explain below. Match Types are important in B2B SaaS PPC because of the control you require over your ads and budget.

Broad Match

Broad match is the default and most flexible match type.Your ads can show for searches related to your keyword, including synonyms, plurals, and other variations.The syntax is to simply enter the keyword without any special characters. Broad match provides the widest reach but lowest relevance, so it's important to use it with Smart Bidding to optimise performance. These are typically used in awareness campaigns in B2B PPC accounts.

Phrase Match

Phrase match offers a balance of reach and relevance compared to broad and exact match.
Phrase match ads can show when a user's search query includes the meaning of your keyword, with additional words before or after. To denote phrase match, you wrap the keyword in quotation marks, e.g. "hr software".

Phrase Match

Exact match ads can only show when a user's search query exactly matches your keyword.To denote exact match, you wrap the keyword in square brackets, e.g. [interior paint].Exact match provides the most control and highest relevance, but the lowest reach.

Section Three

Structuring Your B2B SaaS PPC Campaigns

Once you have your keyword list, you'll need to structure your PPC campaigns in a way that aligns with the B2B SaaS buyer's journey. This typically involves creating multiple campaign types. It is recommended to split your budget across three campaign types: Awareness, Consideration and Decision campaigns.

someone searching on Google

Awareness Campaigns

These campaigns focus on broad, informational keywords to reach buyers in the early stages of research. You should be careful with your budget on these campaigns because they can cover lots of key terms and spend a lot of money if you are not careful.

Recommended Budget : 20% of total

Consideration Campaigns

These middle of funnel campaigns target more specific, solution-oriented keywords as buyers evaluate options. Here the intent is higher and therefore the competition istoo. You will typically spend more money per click (CPC) on these campaigns because of the auction bids being much higher. You will need to spend the majority of your budget here.

Recommended Budget : 60% of total

someone typing on a laptop
a person typing on a laptop

Decision Campaigns

These 'decision' campaigns should focus on bottom-of-funnel keywords indicating purchase intent, such as "[your product] pricing" or "[your product] free trial". Here you are most likely to convert buyers. You will also pay slightly less on CPC because they are looking for your brand - competitors will struggle to out-bid you here.

Recommended Budget : 20% of total

Section four

Optimising & Best Practices Tips for B2B SaaS PPC

Optimising your B2B SaaS PPC campaigns is an ongoing process. There are some best practice tips and tricks you can utilise in B2B SaaS PPC. Here are some key areas to focus on with your own campaigns.

Tip One

Ad copy and landing page optimisation for SaaS PPC

It is best practice to ensure your ads and landing pages speak directly to the needs and pain points of your target buyers. These means having a tight correlation between the target keywords and the search queries and then the content on the landing page itself. You will be penalised for a poor correlation.

Tip Two

Choose Your Bid Strategies Carefully

It is worth experimenting with different bid strategies, such as target CPA or target ROAS, to find the optimal balance between cost and conversions. Sometimes if you don't have much conversion data it can be difficult for these strategies to work effectively - in these situations you can use micro-conversions as a way of training Google Ads.

Tip Three

Utilise Audience & Device Targeting on Desktops

You should take advantage of advanced targeting options such as adjusting bids on mobile devices. Most B2B SaaS buyers dont browse on their phones so you could be wasting a lot of your budget on mobile PPC ads when working in B2B SaaS PPC.

Tip Four

Correctly Configure Your Conversion Tracking

It is imperative to correctly set up conversion tracking to measure the true impact of your PPC campaigns, including leads, trials, and sales. Without this data Google Ads cannot optimise your ads and you cannot report on the correct ROI.

Tip Five

On-going testing and Ad Group optimisation

Although by following best practice you should have some level of success, every company is different and you need to continuously test new ad copy, landing pages, and targeting options to improve performance over time. This is often why companies outsource to a PPC agency to take care of this on-going optimisation.

Section five

Measuring PPC Success

Traditional PPC metrics like click-through rate and cost-per-click are important, but they don't tell the whole story for B2B SaaS. You'll also need to track metrics that align with your longer-term business goals.

By focusing on these key metrics, you can optimize your B2B SaaS PPC campaigns to drive sustainable growth and profitability.

B2B SaaS PPC requires a unique approach that takes into account the complex buyer's journey and long sales cycle.

By conducting thorough keyword research, structuring your campaigns strategically, and continuously optimizing for performance, you can leverage PPC to effectively reach and convert your target B2B buyers.-term value of your B2B SaaS customers.

Lead generation

Track the number of leads generated from your PPC campaigns and their quality.

Free Trial Sign-ups

Monitor the number of free trial signups and their conversion rate to paid customers.

Customer acquisition cost (CAC)

Calculate the cost of acquiring a new customer through your PPC efforts.

Lifetime value (LTV)

Understand the long-term value of your B2B SaaS customers.