When it comes to targeting your ideal audience through advertising, you will want to use a mixture of demographic, keyword, geographic, interest, and device targeting.
If you don’t know the demographics of your audience, then you must first collect data. Lower the bid significantly for the audience that is bringing only about 20% of the results. You want to focus on the demographics that are bringing in most of the traffic and are satisfying the current marketing objective.
Facebook is continuing to improve their targeting options for B2B businesses as they add more targeting options, such as job titles. LinkedIn is going to be the obvious choice for social media B2B since they have more data on business professionals. Properly split test different audience groups. You want to be very specific and not start off with a broad approach as that will dilute the test results and eat through your budget fast.
At SharedTEAMS, we always recommend starting with a small budget to try out digital advertising. Your goal is to get data and results that reflect what you can expect, similar to sampling food before you buy. We highly recommend that you know as much information about the business first and who your target audience is because that will help improve the quality of results during the testing phase.
As programs progress, make bid adjustments in increments of 5% when enough data has been collected. Justify bid adjustments only when there is conversion data available, and there are either 100 clicks or 1-1.5k impressions. This is not a strict rule, but it is a good practice to follow. Never exclude a demographic, if possible; instead, try to significantly lower the bid.
Build a campaign for your ideal buyer. This could either be someone who knows the language of your business, or otherwise. If your ideal buyer is familiar with the language of the industry, then including acronyms can sometimes help as well.
Consider using Display Network as it has a lower CPC than Search Network. Display Network is going to be able to allow you to create remarketing campaigns to target previous website visitors.
Start with keywords with at least mediocre search volume and keyword difficulty. Furthermore, you’ll typically be focused on keywords with low CPC. But businesses for real estate, for example, are expected to have high CPC. If this is the case, you’ll probably need to start with long-tailed keywords to get results with a low monthly budget. Group all relevant keywords together in the same categorial ad group to facilitate higher ad relevance score. Each ad group should have 5-10 keywords because you’re working with mostly small budget accounts. In some rare cases, it might make sense to have 10-15 keywords in an ad group.
As programs progress, monitor the search term report to update the negative keyword list. Look for keywords that are bringing in bad traffic; in other words, peripheral, low-intent, and irrelevant keywords. Utilize the search term report and keyword planner to add more high-intent positive keywords; these keywords are typically best added as exact or phrase match. Maintain a quality score ideally between 7-10; however, in some rare cases, this is not possible due to some industries being blacklisted under Google’s hidden strict guidelines. A quality score of 1-3 is only okay if it’s not for a high-intent keyword or one that is bringing in most of the good traffic to the business.
Keyword Targeting Strategies & Considerations
Ad Rank: Increase ad rank for the most important keywords by increasing the quality score and max bid. Increase the quality score by trying to increase expected CTR, ad relevance, and landing page experience. Pro Tip: Google secretly keeps a blacklist of certain industries where the highest quality score you can get is 4-6 at most. Sometimes you can get lucky to increase this number – say, for example, like from a 4 to a 6 quality score – by talking directly with a Google rep to ensure that you’re running a legit business. An example would be the word “Botox.”
Search Impression Share: Keep in mind the search impression share (IS) at the keyword and campaign level (budget search IS). Use data of “search IS” with data of “lost search IS.” For example, low-search IS, high-lost search IS, and low-search IS (at the campaign level) is a clear indication that your bid for the keyword needs to be higher to stay competitive. If this is a high-intent keyword with a high conversion rate, then you need to allocate your budget appropriately to increase the search IS for this keyword. There are many moving parts, so this kind of adjustment is going to be on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, one fix is to pause many lower-performing keywords/ad groups since they are barely driving conversions. Of course, you’ll be spending more for the high-performing keywords and CPC will go up, but in the end, because you know that high-intent keyword has a high conversion rate, the cost will be offset by the potential increase in profits.
Bad Actors: One last thing to consider is bad actors who purposely click on your ads to drive up cost. This is typically coming from competitors. It’s probably more common in highly-competitive local businesses, but it is still important to monitor. Watch out for this, because in this case, you need to speak with a Google rep to get these bad actors filtered out because they are costing you time and money.
Try to avoid visitors who are “interested” in the location to prevent any traffic outside the country or unnecessary traffic. If the business covers the 50 states, then input all 50 states individually. If the business is very local, then set a small radius around the physical store (about a 1-mile to 10-mile radius). If the business is very local, try to include locations individually at a granular level, such as cities, zip codes, county, etc. However, choose one type, such as zip codes only. Exclude locations in rare scenarios where the general population is negative towards the business or laws do not favor the business.
Make bid adjustments at the granular level at 5% increments. All bid adjustments must be justified with some conversion data, at least 100 clicks and at least 1-1.5k impressions. This is a generally good practice and not a hard and fast rule. Lower the bid for low-performing locations.
First, start with the observational option to see potential for in-market audiences. Use an observational approach for various in-market audiences who could convert. Don’t be afraid to experiment with split testing targeting vs. observation.
If you are using the targeting option, split test various in-market audience combinations. Make bid adjustments in 5% increments, but ensure there is some conversion data, at least 100 clicks and 1-1.5k impressions.
Interest Targeting Strategies & Considerations
Hour-Day Strategy: Adjust bids by day first, then by hour. Increase bids where there is a higher probability of conversion to occur, and lower bids otherwise.
Bid Adjustment Strategy: Make bid adjustments in increments of 5%. Justify bid adjustments with conversion data, at least 100 clicks and at least 1-1.5k impressions. Depending on the business, you may want to exclude bids, if, for example, the business is getting phone calls at 3:00 AM, which is more than likely irrelevant for the business.
Users among various devices behave very differently. Increase bids where there is a higher probability of conversion to occur, and lower bids otherwise. It’s best to significantly lower bids for lower-performing devices rather than completely excluding them. Make bid adjustments in increments of 5%. Justify bid adjustments with conversion data, at least 100 clicks and at least 1-1.5k impressions.
Advanced Bid Adjustment Strategy: If the business receives calls regularly, then it might make sense to make bid adjustments for call extensions. Observe data collected first before making any bid adjustment. Make progressive bid adjustments in increments of 5%. These adjustments need to be justified with some conversion data, at least 100 clicks and at least 1-1.5k impressions.
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