What we did
Our small B2B start-up ran a Google Adwords campaign as part of our marketing efforts recently.
We had mixed results, but learned a lot about the Google Adwords tools. I thought I’d share our goals, results and takeaways as a way to help any company like ours (small B2B services start-up) that is considering running a Google Adwords campaign.
My general advice to you would be that a Google Adwords campaign is probably not a good idea (at least not yet) for companies like ours due to where our customers generally come from: word of mouth from a trusted colleague. Our customers weren’t interested in clicking on a sponsored ad on the right side of a Google search.
Goals of our Google Adwords campaign
- Increase number of visitors to the website and make it easy for customers for find out about company
- Build a database of customers who are interested in learning about our product offering
- Increase brand awareness so that customers will be able to find us
A few of our results
We saw an increase of total visits by 185.16% and an increase in unique visitors of 251.40%. The overall CTR of the campaign was 0.14% and remained between 0.12% and 0.16% throughout the campaign. We saw a bounce rate of <0.2%, 4.85 pages per visit and an increase in new visits of 32.60% while our page views increased by 108.06%. Overall we were pleased by our results.
What we learned from our Google Adwords campaign
- Modify keywords and advertisements often: Keywords and ads that were not working should have been modified more quickly to optimize the Adwords campaign – Google Adwords system has many useful tools for optimization and we should have taken advantage of them much more
- Website purpose was as reference not lead generation: We found that as a B2B startup with minimal visibility, word of mouth was more effective than an AdWords campaign for getting new business, our customers used our website mainly as a reference and our website clicks did not directly generate leads
- Landing pages need to be relevent: Optimize the marketing messages and content on the website to improve customer experience on landing pages as well as subsequent pages – using Google Analytics to understand our customers’ movements within the website could help us understand which sites are more relevent to customers
- Campaigns should target events not awareness: Campaigns should target specific events such as product launches, conferences, and industry events as our new business leads still generally come from word of mouth. Our customers are not likely to click on an Adword advertisement to find our type of services whereas they might click on one for a specific conference
Our key takeaway was that a Google Adwords campaign requires continuous monitoring and updating to be most efficient and provide the best ROI. And that it wasn’t the right marketing tool for us at this point in our company’s development.
“Like almost anything that’s worthwhile, with Google AdWords, you get out of them what you put into them.” Chris Marentis, Founder and CEO of Surefire Social
- Why Content Matters for Google AdWords (business2community.com)
- The 5 Basics Of Adwords – Part 4: Adverts (epiphanysearch.co.uk)
- New AdWords Developments & Enhanced Campaigns Changes (epiphanysearch.co.uk)
Note: I can’t write this without thanking the amazing digital marketing team that worked with me: Alicia Midland, Erin Nilon, and Santhia Muthusamy and our adviser Valarie Zeithaml of UNC Kenan-Flagler.