Do you own a SaaS platform and need to upgrade your business development strategy? PPC is the answer you’ve been looking for to improve your advertising performance.
However, pay per click advertising is not easy to set up and maintain.
If you’ve run PPC ads or consider to hire a SaaS PPC agency, you already know it is difficult to manage and, in some cases, quite expensive.
But PPC does not have to be expensive. Or complicated.
If your campaigns are planned extensively, and your ads deliver great copy that generates engagement, your PPC campaign could be reasonably priced with fitting results.
All you have to do is follow our tips for SaaS PPC and you’ll find Google Ads and similar campaigns can be reasonably priced, and easy to manage. Read on to find nine SaaS PPC tips that will lower your ad spend and increase your return on investment.
1 – Target competitor brand terms
It might seem counterintuitive to target users that are trying to find your competitors.
But this is a SaaS PPC technique that is quite effective if done right, and not that difficult to implement.
First, you’ll create a keyword research that targets your competitor brand names and how exactly do users look for them in search engines.
Once you have that list, you can go for different tactics to make sure your ads are relevant. You can have a landing page with a product comparison that shows why customers should pick your SaaS platform instead of your competitor.
List advantages of your product and disadvantages of your competitors.
You might be apprehensive about criticising your competitors.
But it all boils down to how you do it. If you just list hard facts and evidence, you leave no room for complaints. After all, if the disadvantages of your competitors are truthful, why should there be any issue?
Targeting competitor brand terms is an easy way to make sure you’re meeting your customers where they are, helping them make an informed decision when choosing your SaaS platform over a similar service.
2 – Lead nurturing and top of the funnel
Once again, this tip goes again popular understanding that you should target keywords that are closer to the conversion moment (i.e. bottom of the funnel).
But there’s a simple reason why you should do exactly the opposite.
Bottom of the funnel keywords are highly competitive.
No matter if you have an established company with thousands of customers, or you’re just starting out, saving on your ad spend is always a priority. If you go for keywords that are further down in the sales funnel, all your competitors will try to be in the same place you are.
And it gets crowded.
If you want to move somewhere else your competitors might not be, try using top of the funnel keywords. But how does this work?
A lead nurturing business development strategy starts where your users are still in doubt whether to buy your service or not, or to go for one of your competitors. If you capture their attention early on, you’ll be on top of your prospects minds when the time to purchase comes.
There are many techniques for lead nurturing, and we won’t go into them all because that’s not the goal of this article. However, there’s one thing they all have in common: they bring something useful for your users.
Let’s say you have some long article you wrote about a specific theme that relates to your service. You can convert that article into an ebook and distribute it for free. Just make sure your CTA is adequate and that you place the file download somewhere in your landing page that users will find it easily.
You can do an inline opt-in form, an abandonment pop up, or use many other opt-in form techniques. What matters is offering your content, for free.
Once your users get this offer, they’ll be more interested in your product. And since you used top of the funnel keywords, you’ll have grabbed those users before they have a chance to consider other, similar products.
Even if the user knows there are other options, you’ll have increased your chances to get the sale by offering them a useful resource. Cheat sheets and similar content are also great for this kind of technique.
3 – Focus on credibility to convert visitors to leads
You can use this technique straight away in your PPC ads, but we recommend leaving it for the landing page.
The credibility technique can be used by showing some partnerships you have with well-known clients. If you have some social proof that your company is selling great products that fit your target audience, you have the resources to focus on credibility.
You can also show badges for awards and endorsements from other companies in your landing page.
Credibility is not limited to well-known companies too. Another example of great credibility content in your landing page are use cases, customer success stories, testimonials…
Sometimes all it takes is a testimonial from a very satisfied user to make your prospects consider your product as valuable and trustworthy. If I say I’m trustworthy, you might not believe me. But if someone else attests that I should be trusted, you’re a lot more likely to believe a third person than just take my word for it.
4 -Take advantage of long-tail keywords
Using long-tail keywords is a common strategy in SEO to aim for less competitive keywords that are quite specific to the product or service that’s being sold.
However, did you know you should use long-tail keywords in SaaS PPC too?
I’ll give you an example. Let’s say the user A researches for “bonsai”. The user B researches “buy eight-year old ficus bonsai”. Which one do you think is closer to make a purchase? User B, of course.
This hypothetical user has already made his/her research, knows what they want and is going to get it. The intent in these two searches is completely different. User A might just be taking a look, might buy, but not even the user knows that yet – so, in this case and many others, the long-tail keywords are the most adequate.
Other than that, specific keywords, as we mentioned above, are a lot less competitive. This means you’re not only targeting cheaper keywords, but you are also going for keywords that are much likely to result in a purchase.
So, do not be afraid to get specific and to the point with your keywords. Vague keywords like “bonsai” are just going to drain your budget with a lower chance of conversion.
5 – Have an easy Point of Entry
This is another tip that is related to your landing page. But what does point of entry mean?
A point of entry is the touchpoint in which your user wants to subscribe to your product or service, with no further researching.
Nonetheless, if your landing page is not optimised for an easy point of entry, these users are going to drop out of your page and go somewhere else.
Let’s use an example. Company A has a landing page with pricing that advertises a free trial at the top of the page, before the fold, that applies to all pricing plans. Company B, on the other hand, has their pricing plans in the page, showing what each plan includes, and that’s all.
Which company do you think will have the highest conversion rate on these hypothetical landing pages?
Company A, of course. The free trial is their point of entry. If you want users to get a paid subscription for your SaaS platform, you need to offer something first. After all, you don’t purchase a software that you never tried before.
By offering a free trial, you are allowing your users to test drive your product before buying. You can use a freemium version of your software instead, which provides a few locked items and features that users have to pay for, while in a free base that helps them get a feel for the service.
Both these tactics are useful, and the one you pick will depend mostly on your product and your target audience. What matters is making it easy for users to subscribe.
6 – Promote downloadable content to target low competition keywords
Downloadable content is a great way to attract the right customers to your company. Just like going for long tail keywords, and using lead nurturing to carry your users to the bottom of the funnel, this strategy works in the long term.
Downloadable content has two main advantages. First of all, you can use long tail keywords to get your users to it, which are less competitive than keywords that represent a decision to buy.
When you’re targeting the keywords that lead straight away to a conversion, you’ll have to compete with dozens of companies.
When you target keywords that show interest in the product without a straightforward purchase intent, you have a lot less competition, therefore, it’s easier for your ads to show frequently.
The second advantage is that it helps you collect email addresses, which in the long run is the best way to get those fresh leads. You can add the leads to a drip email campaign or a similar marketing automation strategy that will turn leads into customers over time.
Time will reward your patience. Remember, when promoting downloadable content, make your opt-in easy to access. It might be a bit “in your face” as well. We recommend testing out different opt-in forms to get to the “golden standard” for your business and your target audience.
7 – Go Higher Up The Funnel
Another thing you should remember in your keyword research is to try and find untapped opportunities.
As we mentioned, going for high-competition keywords is not a great strategy if you have a low budget. And even if your budget is high, why would you want to waste money on terms that are highly unlikely to convert to your service?
Don’t just look for keywords that convert straight away. Research your user intent and the type of language used by your target audience.
Once you know how people are looking for your product, it’s easy to know which keywords will bring you the more ROI. However, there is not a cookie-cutter approach to these keywords.
To achieve this goal, you need to try, and test, and try again, and test some more. Use your customer research to find common expressions and search terms. Know your user language.
By achieving this balance between the top and bottom of your sales funnel, you’ll see you get a much higher return on investment.
8 – Use Google Audiences
Google Audiences are a very valuable tool in SaaS PPC that not many marketers are aware of.
You might even have heard of it, but it’s not commonly used. We’ll give you a few reasons why you should implement this task in your business development strategy.
First of all, let’s talk about how Google Audiences work. By observing groups that relate to your target audience, the tool offers you a user profile that you can use to guide your decisions on pay per click.
These audiences will have similar interests, and a similar demography to the users that clicked your ads. It is common for people with similar interests to have the same purchase patterns.
Once you have collected this data, you can maintain a circle that automatically fuels itself. Zero hassle and a minimum initial set up time.
9 – Optimise for revenue
Once again, it’s all about the data. You might think that your PPC ads’ goal is to get you more clicks on your landing page. But what if your bounce rate is high? How would that metric be valuable then?
The issue is we often measure based on what we think that matters, and not on what actually counts for our ROI. It’s a quite common mistake, but easy to solve.
The way to fix this is to constantly read your PPC reports and constantly improve your campaigns. If you analyse patterns, you’ll know what to expect and how to make sure your ads are effective.
After all, you can’t measure anything if you don’t know what to look for.
We know that SaaS PPC is not easy. It has a highly competitive environment, so you need to carefully plan your steps. With these tips, you’ll have the roadmap to PPC success.
We can’t reiterate enough how useful it is to analyse every report, to go through every bit of data, and to test new tactics frequently. There isn’t such thing as a perfect PPC campaign; there are campaigns that are well reported and well maintained.
Once you figure out what are your goals for PPC, and how to reach them, you’ll find SaaS PPC to be a lot easier, turning it into a profitable branch of your business development strategy.