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How to Find B2B Paid Search Keywords with High ROI

Emilio Garcia

Paid Search for B2B is the next big thing in the industry. It is because 71% of B2B buyers use search engines to research their next purchase. Consequently, Pay-per-click (PPC) becomes an excellent way for companies to reach potential buyers as well as generate leads.

Keyword research is a fundamental part of PPC for B2B. You must choose the right keywords for your business to increase the probability of clicks and conversions.

Understanding your customers, the phrases they use to find your business, and employing a myriad of keyword research tools is vital in keyword research.

This article offers a definitive guide for finding B2B paid search keywords with a high ROI.

Finding the Right B2B Paid Search Keywords

Keywords are not created equal. They vary in search volume, competition, and cost. The right keyword meets three criteria.

  • Search intent: it matches your ad with what a searcher is looking for
  • Search volume: it has enough search frequency to drive meaningful traffic
  • Competition: a phrase you can realistically rank for.

It is best practice for businesses to choose keywords with high lead generation value, but not too competitive and expensive. Finding the right keywords will:

  • Increase your visibility on search engines
  • Drive targeted web traffic to your business
  • Maximize your marketing spend
  • Provide a high ROI

The Problem with High Competition B2B Paid Search Keywords

Many PPC beginners, understandably, look for B2B paid search keywords with the highest search volume. Although it makes sense – more searches equal more traffic, it is not always the case. For instance, let's assume you are trying to rank for the keyword "marketing".

There are two significant problems with this keyword. First, it is insanely competitive, with approximately 167 million results on Google. What's the probability of ranking anywhere near page 1? Second, the keyword is too broad and not targeted.

Although someone may search for the term marketing on Google, they could be interested in anything under marketing, ranging from social media marketing to print and email marketing.

The alternative for high competition keywords is low competition keywords that are long-tail. Although long-tail keywords have low competition, they can drive targeted traffic to your business at little or no expense. Also, with low competition keywords, you have a chance of ranking highly on search engines.

How to Find B2B Paid Search Keywords with High ROI

1. Align Keywords with Business Goals

A keyword with a high ROI is aligned to your business goals. Think about the types of user queries a person searching for a product or service you offer enters on a search engine. For example, if you provide plumbing services to corporate sites, which phrases would a customer locating your business use?

Search queries reveal the motivations of users and are centered on user problems. They help you align your keywords with your business goals to drive traffic.

2. Use Geographical Modifiers

A geographical modifier includes a geographic term in a keyword. For example, if your keywords are "health insurance", you can geographically modify the keyword by adding a location. It can be "health insurance Denver" or "Denver health insurance".

With geographical modifiers, you target your ad to specific areas and increase the probability of conversion. Research shows that 28% of local searches end up in a purchase.

3. Refine Your Traffic with Negative Keywords

Negative keywords allow you to filter search terms that are irrelevant to your offerings. This way, your ads will not show up when such searches are made.

For example, if you specialize in high-end office furniture, you can use negative keywords like cheap office furniture. Subsequently, when someone searches for cheap furniture, your ad does not show. Negative keywords can save you money while directing more qualified traffic to your ads.

4. Don't Always Shoot for Volume

Forget about search volume for once. A high search volume increases competition as well as the bidding price of a keyword.

Therefore, rather than concentrating on volume only, focus on traffic, too. While a particular keyword may have a low search volume, it may have more clicks than one with a high search volume.

5. Focus on Niche Keywords

Do not make the mistake of focusing on broad, popular terms for your PPC campaigns –they are hard to rank for. Instead, concentrate on niche keywords that are long-tail and targeted.

Niche keywords show a high degree of intent, and hence, are great for B2B paid search keywords. Depending on your niche, keyword research tools can help you identify potential keywords that you can rank for.

6. Assess the Keywords Your Competitors are Ranking for

This does not mean copying every keyword your competitors are using. While a keyword may be relevant to your competitor, it may not necessarily be suitable for you.

Nevertheless, understanding the keywords your competitors are ranking for is an excellent way to evaluate your potential keywords. If your competitor is ranking for keywords on your list, ensure you capitalize on them.

Importantly, do not ignore the keywords that your competitors are not using. They could be an opportunity for you to rank higher and gain market share. You can determine the keywords your competitors are using manually or by using a wide range of tools available in the market.

7. Filter Keywords

You will only get high-performing keywords when you filter your keywords. Eliminate keywords with low search volume, high competition, too high of a CPC value, intense difficulty, and low traffic potential.

An ideal keyword should have a high search volume, low difficulty, high click-through rate, and high ROI. It should bring visitors who are ready and willing to purchase to your site.

8. Conduct Keyword Analysis

Keyword analysis helps you understand your ad performance. You determine what is working and what is not. Keyword analysis provides insights on the keywords receiving the most traffic and increasing conversions and those receiving the least traffic. Consequently, you adjust your bidding list to capitalize on the top-performing keywords and remove unprofitable ones.

Bottom Line

As more B2B companies invest in PPC, keyword research is becoming more critical. The secret in winning the B2B paid search keywords battle is identifying less competitive and expensive but highly relevant keywords. This way, you get keywords with high traffic potential and purchase intent to increase your ROI.

Even though filtering through potential keywords to find the ones with high ROI can be daunting, it is relatively easy when you follow the above guide. Also, feel free to contact us for the best performing PPC.

Originally published June 12, 2020, updated October 13, 2020.

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