For many B2B businesses in competitive niches, it can be difficult to effectively manage your AdWords campaign. Your main aim is usually to improve quality score while simultaneously keeping your costs manageable.

But the AdWords marketplace is hard ground for many B2B companies. Often, such businesses are characterized by low search volumes and extremely high competition for the few search terms, which in turn causes extremely high CPC, something no one wants. Rather than waste valuable marketing budget funds on expensive yet ineffective advertising, this article offers five useful tweaks you can implement immediately to boost your reach and hence return on investment.

  1. Begin by using negative keywords

Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to investigate the keywords that actually work for your businesses and can lead to profitable AdWords campaigns. To answer this question, begin by delving into the keywords/terms which trigger your ads to show. You can get this from the Search Terms report, then use negative keyword strategy to trim away the fluff so you remain with actual terms. Here are the two most useful exclusion criteria:

  • Irrelevant searches

This excludes all searches that aren’t relevant to your company according to how broad/generic your target keywords were. You want to exclude misspellings, pop culture references, homonyms and NSFW terms.

If, for instance, you make strawberry jam and have bid for the word ‘Jam’, you might find searchers to be more interested in the Michael Jackson 1991 hit that had Michael Jordan, or traffic jam related searches. People that click you ad will be disappointed and are unlikely to make a purchase following the click-through.

  • Unqualified traffic

This part excludes searches that are relevant but not yet purchase-ready, as these are click-throughs that you pay for but do not result in good returns for you. Some example terms include:

  • Job-seekers – salary/salaries, job/jobs, fulltime/part-time, occupation/occupations, work, interns/internships, career, employer, hire, resume, etc.
  • Budget hunters – eBay, Craigslist, liquidation, quote, free, bargain, cheap
  • Online students – tutorials, course, university, training, learn, classes, book/textbook, school
  • Review/press seekers – rating, reviews, articles, info, how-to, pics/pictures, white paper, stats/statistics, journal, case study, magazine, option

A few best practices include:

  • Find people searching using action terms e.g. purchase or buy – If you’re paying handsomely for a click, it’s better to ensure that the ones converting are right where you want them. Other terms are ‘demo’, ‘free trial’, ‘trial’
  • Apply keyword planner tool – Perform simple Google searches to see what they bring. If you detect popular terms and patterns which aren’t relevant for you, add them to your negative keywords list
  • Automation – Once you know what your negative keywords are, add them all together in order to save time.

You want to narrow down to keyword search terms that earn you money, given that you’re paying for each click-through. Again, if in your niche you find that users who look for free trials end up converting well, you may want to include and not exclude them.

  1. Practice strategic remarketing

Remarketing can have good returns if done properly. However, many companies do not provide the customizations that will result in that coveted frictionless conversion. Here are some strategies you can start with:

Bidding on conversion

All retargeting efforts should revolve around what value you offer your target audience. You can have different value propositions or messages according to the user intent. If there’s someone who abandoned their shopping cart, for instance, you can target them by offering discounts or coupons. In essence, you invest more in people who are further down the conversion funnel.

Time-delay retargeting

You want to avoid getting a potential customer creeped out by targeting them for a month straight. You can create a time-delayed strategy which will also reduce fatigue for you, since you’ll be offering new and sequential messaging, ads and designs each time you make contact.

  1. Use Gmail advertising to target competitor customers

Gmail has over one billion users, yet there are few advertisers taking advantage of this goldmine. You can use Gmail ads to:

  • target people that have visited particular websites
  • target people that are in communication with particular domains

Bear in mind that having a high cost-per-acquisition isn’t always the worst thing. You need to determine a customer’s potential lifetime value and then decide your bid.

  1. Challenge your competitors’ keywords

If you feel that Gmail advertising isn’t for you, you can use the time-tested method of targeting competitors’ keywords in search. Your Vancouver SEO expert recommends SEMrush as the ultimate resource in competitor keyword targeting, so be sure to get it.

When you’re implementing your strategy, ensure that your content is relevant for the ad as well as the search term. You must never try to mislead buyers e.g. by bidding on business ABC by creating an ad pretending to be business ABC. In addition, remember that, even though you can bid on your competitors’ brands names, you’re not permitted to include those names in your ad copy. If you do that, your ad may be removed.

  1. Use extensions to win free ad real estate

Using extensions can not only earn you more real estate, it can also increase your click-through rate by 10-15 percent and give you higher ad quality scores. Extensions are added information snippets that can be tacked onto your ads in order to give a more compelling selling proposition.

In addition, if you are targeting competitors, ensure that the extension sitelinks direct the customer to a competitor comparison page. In this way, the competitors brand keywords will be on the site, which raises the Quality Score for ads which are bidding for competitor brand terms. It’s also the best way to prove to customers why you’re better than your competitor.


If you’re already running an AdWords campaign, these five tips can be implemented almost immediately without much changes to your ongoing ad campaign (unless you’ve been doing the wrong thing, of course). These tips should help you to realize more returns from your campaigns by targeting purchase-ready audiences.


Charlie Brown is a freelance content writer. He has written many good and informative articles on different categories such as Technology, health, fashion, beauty, education, career, travel etc. He is very responsible towards his job. He loves to share his knowledge and experience with his friends and colleagues.

Comments are closed.