Sean Donahue

The Cardinal Sins of B2B Search Engine Marketing

April 9th, 2009

I recently came across a great free resource for B2B marketers looking for tips on starting or refining their PPC campaigns for lead generation. Todd Miechiels, a B2B search engine marketing expert, has compiled his list of the “7 Cardinal Sins of B2B Search Engine Marketing.” It features such missteps as:
o Not Establishing a Clear and Realistic Goal
o Not Being Diligent About Testing and Refining

The upshot of Miechiels’ report is that PPC campaigns are so easy to start that marketers often jump into a project without the proper planning, research and budget required to generate significant results and actionable lessons to improve their campaigns.

After reading the report, I was inspired to humbly offer an eighth “cardinal sin”:

– Sin #8. Neglecting your PPC landing pages

When developing a PPC campaign, marketers may be so focused on the mechanics of the search channel – such as keyword selection, ad placement, or bidding strategies – that they forget to focus on the action prospects are supposed to take once they’ve clicked on a search ad.

Landing pages are the lynchpin of PPC campaigns. A click isn’t a lead until you’ve convinced that prospect to take an action and provide some information about themselves that will allow you to continue nurturing the lead.

So when planning a PPC campaign, you may even want to work backwards from your landing page, focusing on key elements that will influence your conversion rate, such as:
o Headlines and body copy – Does the searcher know they’re in the right place and understand the value of your offer?
o Design and layout – Do the text and graphic elements offer a clear eye path to get prospects toward the call to action?
o Call to action – Is it obvious what step you’re asking prospects to take next?
o Registration form requirements – How much information do you *really* need from prospects in exchange for the offer?

If you’re confident that your landing page is optimized to generate conversions, you then can build out the PPC campaigns you’ll use to drive traffic to those pages.

Categories: Business To Business Tags: ,

  1. April 13th, 2009 at 10:25 | #1

    Your point about starting with the landing page is right on. Most of our B2B clients are running paid search as a complement to their search engine optimization efforts and, as a result, the landing pages are already highly relevant and “optimized” to maximize the user experience/conversion.

  2. April 21st, 2009 at 15:28 | #2

    I am standing up and cheering loudly for the thesis of this piece. And, you’ve made a great case.

    One of our clients had a PPC spend of $12k per month when we met them – but there hadn’t been a lead yet from the effort. By focusing on only the most clicked ads and pairing them with tailored landing pages (which can be one-way if needed, strickly serving as a ‘back door’ to the site), they could raise conversions and stem abandons.

    Also see: What’s Wrong With This Google Adwords Ad?

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