B2B Advertising Brilliance: Word Frequency Techniques for Killer PPC Campaigns

Last week I demonstrated an easy method for building content keyword lists using software tools to collect words from sites for a fictional business-to-consumer (B2C) company. This week we’ll look at how to create top performing ad groups for a fictitious business-to-business (B2B) company, ExampleB2B.com, which sells enterprise-level accounting software.

ExampleB2B’s CMO has shrewdly deduced that she should create a pay-per-click (PPC) content campaign to target ads to two kinds of publisher sites. The choice of the first group is obvious: sites that discuss/describe the use of enterprise accounting and financial software. She also decides to target sites that are frequented by financial executives at big companies — especially ones that hire internal accountants. Her logic is that the site’s visitors are CFOs and other financial decision-makers — perfect targets for ExampleB2B’s software.

To apply the method I described last week — let’s call it the Word Frequency method — I first started with Google’s AdWords Placement Tool to try and find accounting software sites. I came up entirely dry — though many sites were listed, none focused exclusively on enterprise accounting software.

So I switched to the second method described last week. I did a Google search on the terms “enterprise accounting software” and “accounting software for big companies.” Then I used the software Textanz to list the most frequently-occurring one-word and two-word combinations. (Remember: the best keyword list is composed of words/phrases that appear most frequently on the target sites’ pages.) The results are included in this downloadable spreadsheet.

Here’s the final list of keywords:

  • accounting
  • accounting system
  • accounting systems
  • bs1 enterprise
  • enterprise accounting
  • enterprise financial
  • enterprise software
  • enterprise solution
  • enterprise solutions
  • erp
  • erp software
  • financial management
  • mas 90
  • microsoft dynamics
  • quickbooks enterprise
  • sage software
  • -endocrinology
  • -quicken
  • -small business
  • -peachtree software
  • -microsoft office

Notice that the list includes a few one-word keywords and many two-word keywords. Always be careful of this fact: the content-matching algorithms work best with unambiguous keywords. Put another way: you risk confusing the algorithms when you use keywords that have several synonyms — more of a danger with one-word keywords than with keywords of two or more words.

So in the example above, the keyword “ERP” is safe, because its most common meaning is associated with the expanded acronym, “Enterprise Resource Planning.” However, occasionally the term is associated with a medical term, “Endocrinology-Reproductive Physiology.” That’s why I included the negative keyword “endocrinology;” in doing so I’m telling the algorithm not to display ads on pages that include the term “ERP” and “endocrinology.”

I’ve also included the names of some of ExampleB2B’s competitors: QuickBooks Enterprise and Microsoft Dynamics, for example. So if a page exists that describes/discusses those products, ExampleB2B’s ads will appear on the same page. Sneaky, huh? I’ve included the negative keyword “Peachtree Software,” since that package is used by smaller businesses than my target audience.

Now here’s the list for the ad groups that targets sites frequented by financial executives who are recruiting accountants:

  • accountant jobs
  • accounting jobs
  • accounting staffing
  • cfo jobs
  • cfo recruitment
  • enterprise accounting
  • enterprise financial
  • enterprise recruitment
  • finance
  • finance jobs
  • financial jobs
  • recruiting
  • recruitment
  • -army
  • -navy
  • -air force
  • -marines
  • -marine
  • -bookkeeper
  • -bookkeepers
  • -careerbank
  • -bookkeeping jobs
  • -small business finance

By now you should be able to figure out why each keyword has been included. The military names are there to tell the algorithm not to place ads on pages with content dealing with Army recruiting, for example. Careerbank is included because it’s a popular job-listing site for lower-level (i.e., non-enterprise) jobs.

Here are sample ads to match each ad group — built on the principles of best ad copywriting practices.

For the Accounting ad group:

Don’t Miss a Nickel
Big Company Accounting Software
Saves Time and Money. Free Trial!

For the Recruiting ad group:

Don’t Hire an Accountant
Efficient Software Means Fewer
Employees. Download Our Whitepaper!

Notice that both ads feature “soft offers” — a free trial and a free whitepaper. This acknowledges the fact that readers of content ads are not yet in the buying cycle, so the objective is to ease them into the sales funnel by providing an easy way to get more information. The whitepaper offer is somewhat “softer” than the free trial, because hiring managers are even further from the sales funnel than people who view ads on sites describing accounting software.

Make sense? E-mail me comments and questions or post them in the Content Advertising thread of the Search Engine Watch Forums.

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