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lead generation | motarme - Part 2

How to Automate B2B Lead Generation

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A quick overview of how to automate B2B Lead Generation including:

  • what problems are we trying to solve;
  • how can you generate leads in B2B – inbound and outbound;
  • most effective lead generation methods;
  • why you should automate as much as possible;
  • which tools you can use to automate Inbound Lead Generation;
  • which tools you can use to automate Outbound Lead Generation.

Care and Watering of Your Google Ads Campaign

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Motarme Google Adwords maintenance

Google Ads should be a good source of leads for B2B companies. But to succeed you need to give your campaigns regular care and attention. That’s because after your new Ads campaign runs for a few days you will see things that need to be fixed.

Typically some of the problems with a new campaign include:

  • Some ads are bringing in poor quality visitors who have searched on phrases irrelevant to your business.
  • Your ads are not being shown because your bids are too low.
  • People aren’t clicking on your ads.
  • People start to click but when these visitors arrive on your landing pages they don’t register or convert.

To fix these problems requires that you regularly review and update your campaigns to achieve your desired results – good quality leads registering on your landing pages.

This is how we recommend you do it. Use a systematic, iterative approach – you keep circling through campaigns, then ad groups, then keywords and then ad text, making adjustments in a logical order.

1. Choose a Campaign

Login to your Google Ads account and choose a time period to review e.g. past 30 days.

  • Choose a Campaign you want to improve.
  • Sort the Ad Groups in that campaign by Click Through Rate (CTR) – to do this click on the column marked CTR and it will sort the table from high to low.
  • Target the lowest CTR Ad Group – this is the first one you will either improve or delete.

2. Select Ad Group within Campaign

Choose the Ad Group with the low CTR

  • In the Ad Group, first look at Keywords.
  • Sort the keywords by Clicks to see which keywords are getting most clicks.
  • Sort by CTR to see which keywords perform the best.
  • Look at the search terms that have actually triggered keywords in this ad group.

3. Revise Keywords Within the Ad Group

  • Remove any ‘broad match’ keywords – change them to ‘Phrase’ or ‘Exact’.
  • Look for keywords not being displayed due to low bids and either increase the bid, try a different match type, or a closely related phrase.
  • Look for keywords not being displayed because of poor Quality Score. Google thinks these keywords / ads / landing page combinations are not working so think why this might be the case. After 3 to 4 days either change or remove low QS keywords or they will damage the performance of your ad group and campaign. One option here is to separate low QS keywords into their own ad group where you can work on them in isolation e.g. give them special ad text and landing pages.
  • Consider whether more keywords can be added – click on the ‘Add keywords’ option or use the Google Keyword Planner to look for some additional ideas.
  • Check recent searches to see if some keywords should be excluded using ‘negative keywords’ – typical keywords to exclude include “free”, “jobs”, “vacancy”, “vacancies” etc.
  • Check the number of impressions for your keywords overall – are you getting enough impressions in this ad group? If the number of impressions is low then it means not many people are searching on your keyword phrases in your target geography. The choice here is to (a) add keywords or (b) change the campaign settings so your ads run in more geographies / countries.
  • Additional Keywords – do you have enough keywords in this group? Can you add more?
  • Too many keywords / Create New Ad Group – if you have more than 80 or 90 keywords in an ad group then they usually could be separated into 2 or more ad groups. If that is the case then split some of your keywords into a new ad group.
  • Review the Relevance of your keywords – do you still think they will bring in your target buyers? Are they too general – could they be bringing in unwanted traffic? Alternatively, are they too restrictive? Could you be missing out on some potential customers who are looking for related but different terms?

4. Revise Ad Text Within the Ad Group

  • Next, look at your Text Ads for that Ad Group
  • Sort the Ads by Click Through Rate.
  • Ads with a click through rate of less than 0.5% are performing badly. (We look to get to 1.2% or above as quickly as possible).
  • A CTR this low indicates that (a) the ad text is simply not compelling and /or (b) the ads are not clearly connected with the keyword in the mind of a visitor – the visitor who searched on the phrase does not expect to see the ad you show in response so he doesn’t click on it
  • Have you got at least 2 ads running in competition in the ad group? You need at least 2 running in parallel in order to draw conclusions about what does or does not work.
  • Have you selected ‘ad rotation’ at the Campaign level so the ads are being shown evenly over time to enable you to measure one against the other? To use ad rotation, you may have to go to settings and beside the ‘Type’ setting, choose “Search Network only – All features”, rather than “Search Network Only – Standard Features”
  • Have you got more than 4 ads in the ad group? Generally any more than 4 becomes difficult to analyse and manage, particularly in the context of a larger overall Campaign with many other ad groups.
  • In this ad group, take the lowest performing ads first – is there any obvious problem? Does the ad closely relate to the set of keywords it represents?
  • Is there a compelling offer, statement of value and call to action? Is there some other reason people might not click on it?
  • Can you do comparative searches in a target geography to see what other ads are displayed for your types of keywords? How do those ads compare to yours?
  • Are you using Keyword Insertion on any ads? If you try using keyword insertion, do those ads perform better than other ads?
  • Is the display URL that shows at the bottom of your ad clearly related to the keywords and call to action? E.g. www.mycompany.com/keyword-related-term

5. Revise Landing Pages Within the Ad Group

  • Click on the blue line at the top of each of each of your text ads to open the corresponding landing pages.
  • What is the Conversion Rate on your landing page – how many visitors register per 100? As a rule of thumb in B2B web marketing, we want a 4% to 8% conversion rate for landing pages when they have been running and tested for a couple of weeks. That means for every 100 clicks through to this page we expect to see 4 to 8 people registering. You won’t achieve this immediately but if after 2 weeks it is not working you need to reconsider the page and corresponding ads.
  • Is there a clear linkage between keyword -> ad text -> landing page?
  • Does the landing page header text clearly relate back to the ad and the keyword?
  • Does the landing page follow standard best practice e.g. ‘hero shot’ of item or document on offer, encapsulated registration form, directional cues, text on the download button, bulletpoint text, summary of benefits, customer or partner logos and other trust anchors, social proofs such as ‘100,000 customers use product X’ etc.

6. Repeat for all Ad Groups with Campaign

  • Repeat this process for all Ad Groups within your campaign, then move on to the next campaign.

7. Check Campaign Settings

  • Your campaigns settings control the overall budgets, default keyword bids and, perhaps most importantly, target geographies.
  • Periodically look at these settings to confirm they are still valid for your campaign.
  • You usually have to test and change geographies and budgets quite a lot in the first few weeks of a new campaign.

Written by Michael White

Michael White is co-founder and CEO of Motarme, the Sales Technology and Services vendor. You can find him on LinkedIn .


What is Lead Nurturing?

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Lead Nurturing refers to building regular, automated interactions with sales leads in order to develop a relationship and encourage a purchase. This guide explains what Lead Nurturing is, and the benefits you can obtain such as converting an extra 20% of leads to sales. We also describe step-by-step how to setup your first lead nurturing program.

Written by Michael White

Michael White is co-founder and Managing Director of Motarme, the Marketing Automation vendor. You can find him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

What Are Average B2B Website Conversion Rates?

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Pencil Line Chart

Most of us want to know how we compare with our peers or competitors, and that’s true in Business-to-Business (B2B) web marketing too. A lot of our clients want to know if there is any benchmark data for B2B conversion rates and traffic volumes. In this post I’ll outline some recent stats.

To start, we should be clear about what we mean by “conversion”. It can potentially cover a broad range of visitor actions, from clicking on a button through to completing an on-line purchase. In Business-to-Consumer (B2C) marketing conversions often equate to sales e.g. how many visitors to the website of a shoe retailer bought a pair of their shoes. B2C conversion rates can be very high depending on the type of product and the purchase price (I quote some examples at the end of this post).

However, in Business-to-Business marketing conversions are generally not direct purchases but contact registrations of some form. People usually don’t visit a website, take out their credit card and buy $80k of engineering components. But a proportion will visit and download a technical specification or submit a contact form as the first step in their evaluation and purchase process. So when I talk about B2B conversion rates I mean someone completing a contact form, registering for a white paper or subscribing for a newsletter with their email address.

In our experience, conversion rates for these kind of B2B conversions (i.e. a web visitor signing up on a registration page) are typically in the 4% to 8% range. That is, on average, for every 100 visitors to a website we should be able to persuade between 4 and 8 of them to register or provide their contact details. The actual conversion rate for a company will depend on a lot of factors including your industry, your web page design, what you are selling, your typical sale price etc.

There are some published stats available too. The first item comes from MarketingSherpa, a great research firm focused on B2B technology marketing. In October 2012 they published a chart showing average website conversion rates per industry

MarketingSherpa Website Conversion Rates by Industry

The figures range from 2% for non-profits up to 10% for Professional services. However, the problem with these figures is that the definition of what survey respondents meant by ‘conversion’ may not have been consistent.

A second useful post,  What’s a Good Website Conversion Rate, comes from Blue Corona, a web marketing and conversion optimization agency. They think visit-to-lead conversion rates for B2B service companies should be around 5-8%. In comparison, their estimate for B2C home services like heating, ventilation and air conditioning is around 15%. For higher ticket price or non-necessary home services (B2C) they expect the rate to be around 1 to 4.5%. BlueCorona also make the point that if businesses have less than 500 visitors per month then it will be difficult to determine what your visit-to-conversion rate is – they estimate about 1500 visitors or more per month as being a reasonable rate of traffic. I agree – if you are a B2B business generating less than 1,000 visitors per month then you need to focus on driving more traffic before you worry about conversion rates.

The third post I thought interesting comes from MarketingExperiments, a sister company of MarketingSherpa. In their post MarketingResearch: average conversion rates they have a chart showing the range of conversion rates reported by survey respondents for organic web traffic (i.e. visitors arriving from an ordinary search rather than a paid ad). The conversion rates vary from just over 0% to 60%, with an average of 8% and (probably more useful) a median of 4%. So again these rates seem similar to our own experience. The conversion rates for visitors arriving from paid search traffic range from 1% to 60%, with an average of 8.4% and a median of 3.5%.

We came across a LinkedIn discussion on the topic of conversion rates in theSmart Insights Digital Marketinggroup and the rates quoted there are generally quite low – 1% to 3%, but contributors point out that optimization can push these rates up higher.

Optify published their “2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report” earlier in 2013, based on analysis of 600 small and medium-sized B2B firms. They reported an overall conversion rate of 1.6% across email, paid and unpaid search. The rate for organic visitors was 1.65%. In this case conversion was defined as the percentage of visitors submitting a form during a single visit. This conversion rate seems a little low, but it is based on actual recent data. They also make the point that there is huge variability across companies. Another interesting stat from that report was that average site traffic was 1,784 visitors per month among the 600 companies surveyed.

This leads to a related question – what volume of visitors should a B2B company expect to get? There is a post from digital marketing consultancy NetworkIntellect  that provides a range of expected visitor volumes, which they say is based on data collected from almost 1500 websites. According to Network Intellect, B2B companies with 11-25 employees should generate approximately 270 visitors per week (1080 per month), companies with 26-50 employees should generate about 510 visitors per week (2040 per month) and those with 51-200 employees should have about 710 per week (2840 per month).

So, we have some average figures for B2B web conversion and they range from 1% to about 10%. This doesn’t mean you can relax if you’re obtaining a 4% or 5% conversion rate. For particular industries and products you should be able to drive the conversion rates much higher. And if you want to set yourself an ambitious target, look at what some of the top performing B2C retailers achieve. In a 2009 analysis of stats from Nielsen Online and MegaView Retail, MarketingCharts reported that online food retailer Schwan’s had a conversion rate of 50.5%, while the other top retailers that year had rates ranging from 27.2% (FTD.com) to 18.5% (QVC).

Finally, if you’re a benchmarking junkie you should find this post interesting –  “The essential benchmarks for all B2B Marketers”. Figures include typical B2B marketing budget as percentage of revenue, email response rates and online display ad response rates.

I would be really interested in any other good statistics you can point out for B2B website conversion rates, website traffic rates and other metrics, so please get in touch if you have some interesting numbers.


Written by Michael White

Michael White is co-founder and Managing Director of Motarme, the Marketing Automation vendor. You can find him on , LinkedIn and Twitter.


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