Advertising online becomes one of the main parts of the marketing budget. Study shows that companies were increasing their budget in b2b digital marketing and decreasing in b2b traditional marketing. But as new technologies come, so challenges with them. One of the questions I’ve got asked the most is, how do I set SEM that actually converts? So today I will tell you my 5 best practices what every b2b search engine marketing should have.

If you are a b2b company selling expensive products or services, remember, you are not trying to make sales online, as it can cost much more than to blend traditional and digital b2b marketing. Because you are still doing business with humans. SEM Should help you to bring leads, not sales and that’s how we will focus our strategies.

1. Dedicated Landing Page

One of the most common mistakes I see with b2b companies is that they do not have properly set up a dedicated landing page for SEM and each of their product.

Due to that, it is hard for them to convert and measure their success with search engine marketing because they cannot differentiate from where the leads are coming from and therefore prove the ROI.

So, before you start sending traffic to your website with paid advertising, first you need to set up and landing page for each of your product and service you want to market. Also, with dedicated contact forms so you can measure how your conversions go.

Once you set up your landing page, avoid the next very often mistake and that is, trying to make a sale.

Remember, if your product or services are expensive, the landing page is not about to sell them on your product, like in b2c where the price tag is just a few bugs. It is only for leads to enter your funnel. Get contact details to start working on them.

So please, make sure, you have a dedicated landing page where you trying to pursue your prospect to give you contact information or minimum opt-in your email list.

2. Keyword Research

Another big thing is keyword research. People ask me all the time, how to do it. Some marketers even told me, they spend weeks on their keyword research.

Well, even though I believe keywords are important, but people are not aware that Google search changing their algorithm and what worked yesterday might not work today.

Also, people write every time something different into a search but google actually give them the same results.

The thing is what I am trying to say that keyword research does not work anymore, like use to do. I am not saying you should not care about it at all, but you should spend less time on it.

Let me give you an example of how easy can it be to set up related keywords to your product and it will take less than 10 minutes with great results like this.

google adwords yousmarter
Google Adwords Ad group explain how to do keyword research

As you can see for one of my clients, I have set up 1 campaign with 4 ad groups, each ad group has 2-3 keywords and without any negative keywords (I need to update it for them)

Ad Group Keywords
Dynamics 365 [Dynamics 365]+Dynamics +365
Business Central [Business Central] +business +central +dynamics +bc ->included short form

 I have shown you only two of those, but I hope you got the point. You do not need to spend much of the time on keyword research.

Google changing so much every day and it is very hard to predict what people will write when they search for your product.

Obviously, there will need to be done some adjustments, but that is once you have some date in your AdWords. Usually, it is after 4-5 weeks you can start to do adjustments.

But remember, after every alteration waits another 4 weeks to see if this was the right thing to do.

3. Give Some Freebie

When you already pay for advertising try to maximize the gains as much as possible.

People most of the time will not contact you, actually, the conversion rate can be between 0,5% – 2% depending on what you are selling.

People coming to your website through search engine marketing usually don’t contact you on the first go.

This traffic usually calls cold traffic and it is very hard to get them to contact you. Most of the time, they actually just searching for something to learn, or find out more about the product or service they are interested in.

Remember, B2B buyers, contact salesperson after they complete 57% of the customer journey. That means, they educate themselves even before they do anything you want them to do.

But that does not mean it is a bad thing. This gives you an opportunity to still get what you want.

In b2b SEM, your main goal should get prospect information to get in touch with them. Make them feel special and very well looked after.

And as I said, having a freebie on your landing page can rapidly boost your conversion rates. In some cases, from 1% to 10%, and that is an incredible result.

Because people are usually looking for more information about the advertising product, make sure, you give them free information to the related product. Whether it is an e-book, white paper, or even presentation slides.

You will see, that you will gain many more people into your funnel.

4. Dedicated Email Campaign

Next thing is to have a lead nurturing campaign for your freshly opt-in leads in your email list.

What I have seen in many b2b companies in their search engine marketing campaign is that once they get their contact information, they start calling them and chasing them, which most of the time lead to losing the prospect and saying: “No, I am not interested!”

Ah, give them a little bit of fresh air, like I already said, b2b buyers first do their research before they contact you or want to be contacted.

And that is the reason why you should have an email campaign for them. Be the one who gives them all the information they would need to start making decisions.

Lead towards that 57 %, because you are the one who will give them the most, they most likely will get in touch with you.

Once that happens, your sales cycle will shorten. In some of my cases even half the time.

So, create an email campaign for your lead, where you will slowly feed them with information, they need about your product

Think like them, what is it they need to know first, second, and third. What will make them clearer about the product and what would confuse them?

Ask yourself questions about what they actually need so you can help them make the decision. Do not be pushy, be helpful. Give them first and they will feel indebted to give you back.

Make it More Human

5. Make it More Human

Maybe it sounds obvious but over 80% of businesses forget about it. Actually, This is most of the time the winning factor. When a human feels, they do business with a human.

Look, when you are asking for support help and they give you a bot, give you FAQ answers… And only after you wasted your time, it tells you, you can contact a human person to get help.

Isn’t that frustrating?

Whatever you do, think about how you can make it more human. Especially when you are creating automatize campaigns. I understand that technology helps a lot with all of those tasks, and it is great to use it! I can’t live without it.

But I always try to remember, to make it more human the interaction with our prospects. Especially in b2b SEM.

People love to deal with people. I am not saying it will not change but still, people want human interactions and do business with people.

So, remember, to always put some faces on your landing page, put testimonials, videos, make them feel, that behind your brands are honest and trustworthy people and not cyborg who is about to rule the world.

This one is one of the most important tips I have got. This can make you more business than any other tips I have given you today.

Summary

To put everything in place, you need to create a special place for each of your target products and services to welcome your prospects with enough information and easy to use so they will feel good and happy.

They will not feel like they need to go to another page. Give them enough so they stay but, keep curious.

Make it more interactive and human so people can trust you.

I hope this will help you with your b2b search engine marketing and let me know if you need any help.

More to learn:

B2B Inbound Marketing Guide to bring more leads

B2B Content Marketing Guide to attract more leads

B2B Digital Marketing Guide the art of online marketing