B2B (business-to-business) companies often struggle with quality score and ad writing as they are often competing against B2C companies for the same keywords; but only a small segment of the actual search audience.
For instance, take the term ‘safety gates’.
The most common searcher for this term is a consumer that is looking for a pet or child safety gate to keep their loved ones safe from falling down the stairs or out of the kitchen. These gates often sell for under $50.
However, some of these searchers aren’t looking for $50 gates; they are looking for gates that cost $5,000 and up for industrial factories and plants.
Yet, there’s not a way within your keywords to designate it’s a B2B or B2C searcher.
These two types of companies are competing for impressions; but not for clicks.
The B2B companies don’t want the clicks from the B2C companies and vice versa.
So how to B2B companies manage these search terms when they don’t know if the searcher is a mom or a purchasing agent?
Pre-Qualifying Users via Ads
Just take a look at these ad results. The blue highlight is B2B ads and the green highlight is B2C ads.
What these B2B companies are doing correctly is pre-qualifying the users by calling out the gates are industrial. They use terms such as:
- OSHA compliant
- Crowd control
- The need for quotes (over listing prices)
One of the most important factors in creating B2B ads is pre-qualifying the users.
In this case, the qualifiers help ensure that B2C searchers won’t click on the ads while appealing to B2B searchers at the same time.
Many B2B companies benefit by testing templates or using multi-ad group testing with various pre-qualifications to see what ads attract the correct clicks (those that convert) while still maintaining a decent conversion per impression.
Pre-Qualified Ads Lead to Lower Quality Scores
When you pre-qualify users, you also end up with lower CTRs. This in turns lowers your quality score.
However, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Quality Score is a metric, not a KPI. Increasing it is useful if your conversion rates stays static or also goes up. You should not raise your quality score if it lowers your conversion rates.
This is one B2B company’s stats on conversion rates by Quality Score for non-branded terms:
The lower their quality score, the higher their conversion rates.
These companies could easily raise their CTRs by removing the words ‘industrial’ from their ads and appealing to both B2B and B2C searchers; however, their conversion rates would suffer and their CPAs would increase.
This quality score to conversion rate trend isn’t always true for companies; if you have poor organization and bad ads – then you might have lower conversion rates at lower quality score numbers.
In this case, the company’s organization and ads are well written. The reason their conversion rates are higher at lower quality scores is that their ads are pre-qualifying users so they get the correct clicks (those that can convert). This pre-qualification in turn lowers their CTR (and sometimes ad relevance) which in turn lowers their quality score.
In B2C companies, they can often raise CTRs and quality scores without sacrificing conversion rates in the process with just good organization and ad testing.
For B2B companies, the focus should be ensuring your quality scores are at least 4-5 on terms that are searched by both consumers and businesses. When your quality scores drop below 4-5; you often see a dramatic drop in impression share so it is useful to keep an eye on quality score even in B2B companies to ensure your ads are showing.
Of course, if the search terms are primarily conducted by B2B searchers, and thus you can appeal to most searchers, you should see much higher quality scores. The same goes for brand terms
Whenever you’re writing ads – it’s not about getting the most clicks. It’s about getting the correct clicks.
That’s why we’re such fans of conversion per impression and revenue per impression metrics as they focus on both CTR and conversion data; which in turn helps both quality score and the most important factor – conversions.
In B2B, focusing on the correct clicks is watching what keywords are searched for by both B2B and B2C users and then ensuring you are weeding out the B2C searchers from wanting to click on your ads by using benefits that appeal to only B2B searchers.