SaaS PPC: Build a Successful Google Ads Strategy for Your SaaS Brand
As a software as a service (SaaS) company, you face unique digital marketing opportunities and obstacles that other types of businesses do not. As you know, customer acquisition can be rather difficult because your audience is a niche set of people who can most benefit—and understand—the specific services you provide. It’s important to know who your audience is, then let them know that your SaaS company is the best fit for their needs.
If you run a SaaS company, SaaS PPC is one of the most powerful marketing tools you can enact as part of your overall marketing strategy. It gives you the power to reach your target audience with efficiency and optimization. Google ads for SaaS PPC will become your best friend when it comes to running a startup.
As a PPC agency for startups, Metric Marketing can provide you with the tools and outline you need to understand the basics of SaaS PPC.
In this article, we’ll cover what SaaS PPC is, how to identify your KPIs, conduct keyword research, and set up your conversion funnel. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to run a SaaS PPC campaign! Let’s get started!
What Is Saas PPC? Is it Different Than Normal PPC Advertising?
PPC stands for pay-per-click advertising. PPC ad marketing is a subsection of digital marketing as a whole. PPC ads usually generate quick results, as they are highly targeted to online audiences. PPC advertising as a whole can:
Increase brand awareness
Build trust with your customers
Reach your online target audience
Run-on search engines and social media
Provide insight into how your company is being viewed
Though PPC campaigns are used in most digital marketing strategies, SaaS PPC is unique because you are not only trying to introduce customers to your product but also attempting to convince your existing customers to stay.
In many other business models, a product is sold once. SaaS is unique in that many software are subscription-based and are constantly being updated. When your customers pay for your product, you need to convince them that they should purchase your product on every subscription date that follows their original purchase.
All in all, SaaS PPC is about nurturing client relationships, whereas normal PPC is more about the first introduction to a company or brand.
What’s the Goal of Pay-Per-Click Advertising for Software as a Service?
Your SaaS PPC campaigns are run in order to meet a marketing objective predetermined by you and/or the PPC agency for startups you might be working with. Your goals may vary depending on the health of your business.
As a SaaS PPC agency, we understand that your—and every—SaaS company is unique and needs a marketing strategy customized to fit your individual needs. Therefore, each PPC ad campaign you put out will meet a specified goal. Even though your ads are catered to your needs, figuring out what your goals should be can be one of the toughest parts of creating your digital marketing strategy.
Ultimately, the most common goal that we see in SaaS PPC advertising campaigns is to guide customers down the digital marketing funnel to ultimately increase the total return on investment (ROI) and retain customer relationships.
As a SaaS company, your main goals—and thus the reason for PPC advertising—are to reach your target audience, establish them as customers, and then keep them as customers. Google Ads for startups is one of the best ways to get your customers moving through your funnel.
Identify Your SaaS Brand Pay-Per-Click KPIs
KPI stands for key performance indicator and is used in digital marketing to track your analytics. KPIs are quantifiable measurements that provide insight on different parts of your marketing strategy, such as your overall website performance, individual ad campaigns, and total ROI.
You can use KPIs to make informed decisions on how to conduct your marketing strategies in the future. When you track KPIs over time, you can see what works that you can continue, and what you need to reevaluate if you are not performing as you expected.
KPIs are a useful means to measure how well you are—or are not—performing. However, there is an abundance of KPIs to choose from. When it comes to SaaS PPC KPIs, there are a few important metrics to track above others.
When you pay attention to just a few KPIs, you are less likely to become overwhelmed, meaning you can instead concentrate on measurements that will specifically benefit your SaaS PPC and SaaS Google Ads.
Cost-per-click is how much you pay every time someone clicks on your PPC ad. The difficult part of SaaS PPC keywords is that different keywords cost different amounts of money, called bids. The more common the keyword, the bigger the bid.
Bids on popular keywords can be upwards of $100 per click. You’ll want to track how much you pay for your cost-per-click so you can see how many leads are actually clicking your ads and if you need to reallocate funds to your PPC marketing campaigns.
If you aren’t sure what a reasonable budget would be for your ad campaign, a PPC agency for startups will be able to help you create a budget so you can run campaigns that will be worthwhile.
Hint: The high CPC of SaaS PPC ads can be potentially lowered when you advertise on Google Display Network.
Cost-per-acquisition (CPA) is the next step after CPC. CPA measures the cost of turning a click into a conversion. This is particularly important for SaaS PPC because you need to know the total average cost it takes to gain a single new customer.
Knowing this KPI can help you better plan your future ad budgets, and offer a clearer picture on the appropriate amount of money it will take to turn a profit.
Tracking this over time will most likely reveal that your CPA will sometimes change, meaning you need to continue to track and reevaluate your budget to see how much each leads to conversion costs.
Hint: Google Ads for SaaS is a fantastic resource to gain company traction and lower your CPA, meaning your cost-per-acquisition can turn into a profit in no time.
CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)
Customer lifetime value, or CLV, is the net profit you gain from a single person over the predicted future of them being your customer. It is essentially a measurement of how much a whole relationship with a customer is worth financially.
CLV takes into account the past history of a customer’s spending, and uses it to predict a projected value they will spend at your company. The idea behind CLV is to determine customer value from a long-term perspective, not just as an immediate profit. CLV is particularly important for SaaS PPC campaigns because most SaaS companies are subscriber-based.
Do Your Keyword Research for PPC Campaigns
Keyword research is arguably the most crucial part of any SaaS PPC campaign. Without keyword research, your PPC campaigns will not have the content you need to reach your target audience, nor will your content be shown to people searching keywords your company should be advertising towards.
Keywords are words that a searcher uses in order to ask a question or find a product they are looking for. As stated above, keywords cost money. The more popular the keyword, the higher the cost will likely be.
You can choose which keywords you want to bid on. When you do this, your advertisement will be shown to the users who are searching for those specified keywords.
Keyword research takes a lot of practice. You need to be able to search the relevant terms your target audience is using, then implement those keywords into your campaigns, enabling your ads to show up in relevant searches.
Use Short & Long-Tail Keywords
Short keywords are important, especially for startups. Short keywords can reach a target audience and expose you to more people than longer keywords can.
Short keywords can also be broad, which means reaching people with a single key term can have a big impact. Additionally, short keywords can also have multiple meanings, which you can use to your advantage.
Longer-tail keywords are keywords that string together multiple words that apply to more specific searches. Long-tail keywords are especially useful for SaaS PPC because if you put specific content into your ad, the more incentivized a highly knowledgeable target audience member will be to purchase your service.
Long-tail keywords take some extra research, but many times the payoff is worth it. You can create unique advertisements to keep acquisition costs lower because long-tail keywords are often less expensive. Plus, you attract customers who are already knowledgeable about what they can expect from your product.
Create a Campaign
After you’ve done your initial research, now comes the fun part—although, as a SaaS PPC agency for startups, we think even the primary research part is fun!
It’s time to create your campaign! We highly recommend using Google Ads for SaaS. Although the upfront costs may be intimidating, Google Ads will put you ahead of your competitors.
You may have heard Google Ads referred to as Google AdWords. That’s because, in July 2018, GoogleAdWords became the shorter Google Ads.
If you need more convincing, the top SaaS companies like Hubspot and Salesforce use Google Ads. It’s an industry leader that will keep you on top of your SaaS PPC marketing game.
Create an Ad Group
An ad group is the subcategory of each campaign you create on your Google Ads account. Ad groups allow you to categorize your services into smaller groups. A helpful hint: look at your website architecture. What “child” pages do you use to subcategorize your services? This can be a starting point for figuring out how to divide each of your campaign’s ad groups.
Creating an ad group keeps your ads relevant and organized. It allows searchers to find a specific product rather than just your brand. If you do not group your campaigns into relevant groups, users may get confused and be diverted to a product you provide that is not what they’re looking for. This can create confusion and frustration, and many customers may search elsewhere for the product they need/want.
The better your ad group specifications are, the better chance potential customers will have of finding your product and becoming paying customers.
Create an Ad
Now you create your actual advertisement on Google Ads for SaaS! In this step, you create compelling ad copy mixed with keyword match types. Create your ad by choosing your keywords based on the research you just did (remember those short and long-tailed ones) to get that ad exposure you’re hoping for!
Your ad should match your company’s brand and include all the relevant information your audience is searching for.
Metric Marketing is a SaaS PPC agency that can do all of this—and more—for you. We have a team of expert PPC and graphic design creators that will run your ads for you on Google Ads.
Setup Your Funnel: Identify & Create Conversions for Users
Your marketing funnel is a visual tool you create for your business to set and accomplish your goals. We provide an in-depth description of a digital marketing funnel here.
Here’s a short summary: A marketing funnel is how a marketing campaign works from the top down. It is typical for marketing campaigns to start broad, then filter customers out until the remaining people who reach the end of the funnel are paying customers. You start from board campaigns that attract traffic that turns into leads, and then you work to make those leads into conversions.
In an ideal world, every person who sees your ad will become a paying customer, making your funnel more of a rectangle (or a slide). In reality, it’s typical to lose leads at every step of your funnel; those who remain are people who convert to paying customers.
Create a Landing Page
Your landing page is the place where people go after they have clicked on your advertisement. Landing pages are similar to websites, except they guide the customer down your marketing funnel to a singular goal.
Websites, on the other hand, expose your customers to your whole site, giving them a full outline of your service(s). Landing pages are important because customers are led directly to what they’re looking for based on keywords you use in your SaaS PPC advertisement. Pretty clever, if we do say so ourselves!
Set Up Conversion Through Analytics or Google Tag Manager
If you create a Google Ad account, you’re going to want to check your analytics (refer to those KPIs we talked about earlier in the article).
You can see your full insights on how people interact with your advertisement. It is also helpful because you can see people’s responses to your website, not just the advertisement itself.
If people click on your ad, then immediately leave your website, you know that your landing page needs some work.
If your ad clicks are less than they were in your last campaign, you know that you may need to evaluate your ad copy or your associated keywords to attract your customers in the first place.
Google Analytics can give you a quantifiable big-picture view of how people travel down your marketing funnel. You can then review your metrics to make important decisions about future ads and budgeting.
Get Remarketing Up and Running
Congrats! Your ad is live! Now you need to pay close attention to your performance. Customers may get exhausted from seeing the same ad over and over, so it’s important to track how your ad is running so you know when it’s time to change keywords, ad copy, and display time and locations.
Remarket your ads by keeping them fresh! Even if you run similar ads, applying different looks and language can significantly change who sees your ad and how your audience members react to it.
Other Things to Consider for Your SaaS Google Ad Account
A successful Google Ads for SaaS PPC campaign is all in the details. Let’s talk about some of those little details that you should pay attention to when making a Google Ads strategy for SaaS in particular.
Create & Add Audiences to Review Segmented Performance
You can actually have in-market audiences to drive conversions! In-market audiences are audience members who compare products they search on Google and other partner sites like YouTube.
When you find your in-market audience, you can then make them a targeted audience and Google Ads will display your SaaS PPC ad to only that audience. You can track how well each of your in-market audiences is responding to your segmented ads.
Consider Account Optimizations Through Google’s Machine Learning
Google’s machine learning actually adjusts bids for you based on data it receives from your ads. Google’s machine learning can optimize your ads because Google essentially does the work and bidding for you. Adjusting your bids manually definitely has its advantages. However, putting trust in Google can help, particularly if you are just starting out with SaaS PPC ads.
Bid On Competitors’ Brand Keywords
That’s right, you heard us correctly! One of the best ways to know what customers are searching for is by going straight to your competition. Just be sure that you keep your own branding and do this ethically, because using a competitor’s branded term is illegal.
But you can make your own branding using a competitor’s term! You then work closely next to your competitor to convince their audience members that they should buy your product instead.
Use Advertising Types Other Than Search: Display, Shopping, Etc.
You’re allowed to expand your SaaS PPC ad campaign! However, make sure your channels are relevant to SaaS PPC. Some e-commerce sites just aren’t meant for SaaS companies and can cost you more than the return you’ll actually see.
Have a Professional SaaS PPC Agency Plan Your Google Ads Account
Metric Marketing is a SaaS PPC agency whose experts can run your campaigns. We have extensive knowledge and experience working with both B2B and B2C SaaS companies. We recognize that SaaS PPC can be intimidating. Working with a PPC digital marketing agency can alleviate the stress you may have surrounding your PPC ads.
We know the ins and outs of researching, creating, and evaluating a SaaS PPC ad campaign. When you are ready to take the leap and make strides in your digital marketing, give us a call at (734) 404-8714 or fill out an online form today!
If you have questions about our specializations, reach out! We’d love to chat about the specialization and intersections of digital marketing!
Metric Marketing Saas PPC Case Studies
Here at Metric, we make all of our marketing decisions based on the research we conduct. We are proud to say that our digital marketing results speak for themselves.
If you are a SaaS company looking for a marketing agency to team with, check out how we helped software company Stoneridge increase traffic, leads, and revenue. If you have any questions about how we can help you to do the same, give us a call! We look forward to hearing from you!