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Pay-per click (PPC) is a niche type of advertising that works differently depending on your niche. In the world of B2B software, your goal is generating leads and PPC can be a great tool to make that happen. However, it can also be immensely frustrating. PPC is tough enough, but when you add in a lot of competition, a demanding target and lengthy sales cycle, getting those AdWords leads can lead to high anxiety.

There are many tech lessons to be learned from the US, but that doesn’t mean everything is perfected. Particularly for those companies in SaaS and software industries, getting leads is the biggest obstacle and conversions aren’t quick. Most people don’t quickly peruse online for a B2B software solution and buy instantly. The products are often costly, which means an extended sales cycle.

Biggest software sales challenges

You know that your audience is comparison shopping, so you’re lucky to even be in the running. You also know that a software service is costly (which means longer research) and you need to offer free trials to get any nibbles. Plus, getting final approval will involve numerous parties because your customers need to know they’ll enjoy a value. Is it worth the investment and within budget? Just ask anyone running AdWords for software businesses, and it’s easy to see where the biggest challenges are.

According to Robert Withers, a SecureAuth director, what he deals in “isn’t a simple software.” He speaks from the trenches and has a background in providing PPC for a plethora of industries, but notes that B2B is unique. “With the other industries I’ve worked in, the offer was simple like ‘buy this product’ or ‘give us a call’ but this is a B2B sell and these products are research-heavy. Conversions are tough; you’re got to be at the right place at the right time.”

Lessons from Withers

The most important less, according to Withers, is truly understanding your target and pamper them depending on their buying cycle location. Moving too fast or too slow is detrimental in this regard just like it is in dating. Offering something like a 30-day trial might be clickbait, but it’s too aggressive in this realm. Instead, make calls to action realistic and experiment to find the right one with A/B tests and ad rotation.

You’ll also need to make sure every landing page is perfect, with Withers calling it the most crucial part of enjoying more leads. Remember visitors are checking out other sites simultaneously, so if they’re in the early stages of the buying cycle you need to match landing pages to their current “location.” Finally, don’t ever drop the ball with keyword strategies and always be experimenting. Getting the right keyword targets is difficult in any industry, but in B2B it’s more focused than ever.

AdWords and keywords

According to a SigmaFlow marketing specialist, Leah Morse, keyword campaigns is the biggest problem with Adwords, saying, “Finding the right words to bring the right people to your site is a huge challenge. We’ve made progress, but it’s been a lot of trial and error.” Start by getting rid of “low search volume” words and up the keyword bids within first page bid estimates. It’s easy to do with Google since you the keywords are highlighted for you.

When bidding, focus on words that people are actually querying, not necessarily product keywords that might have little traction. You can get help from the QueryStream tool from WordStream, which tells you what people are actually typing into Google. Also, don’t forget about high impression keywords with a low click through rate (CTR), with Morse saying, “Part of it is just brand awareness; as a newer solution we like getting our name out there.”

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