Last Updated on: 11th November 2023, 07:54 pm
If you want to avoid long sales cycles and reach leads when they’re actively looking for solutions like yours, consider Google Ads for SaaS companies.
While Google Ads is universally powerful, it comes with specific benefits for software-as-a-service businesses that want to decrease customer acquisition costs, target multiple stakeholders in the buying committee, and drive retention.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through 5 specific Google AdWords strategies that will increase your margins.
Let’s dive in!
5 Profitable Google Ads Strategies for Your SaaS
Google Ads is infinitely flexible and scalable, but I’ll focus on the specific strategies in this guide. If you’re new to Google Ads, I encourage you to get your copy of my best-selling book on profitable campaign setup or explore some of my guides on audience targeting, campaign types, bidding, budgeting, and more.
And now, it’s time to talk about what makes Google Ads precisely positioned to help SaaS businesses!
#1. Google Ads for SaaS Strategy: Generate and Convert High-Quality Leads
A true Google Ads expert will always tell you not to cast a broad net. Yes, you could target keywords like “project management” with your ad, but that’s not going to result in high conversion rates and decreased CAC.
Instead, focus on your leads’ keyword journeys and intercept them at the moment when they’re actively considering solutions. Typically, this is where you’ll use long-tail keywords that zero in on their specific needs.
For example, let’s suppose your SaaS specialises in project management tools. Your specific value prop is that you also offer time tracking.
In that case, you wouldn’t target a generic keyword like “project management software.” Instead, you’d target a more specific keyword like: “project management tools with time tracking.”
This would deliver higher-quality leads that are more likely to convert.
From there, you’d craft the ad copy to highlight your project management tool’s unique features or benefits, such as: “Track Tasks, Track Time – Try [Name] Project Management Tool for Free!”
When a lead clicks on the ad, your SaaS Google ad will direct them to a landing page that speaks to their specific pain points.
And since you’re focusing on a very detailed keyword, you already know a lot about the audience, allowing you to tailor the landing page to them and increase your ad’s Quality Score (decreasing your cost per click).
#2. One of the Best Google Ads Strategies for SaaS Companies: Bidding on Competitors’ Terms
How did AirBnB make it big? By using other people’s networks.
You can apply this growth marketing tactic in Google Ads, too – specifically, by bidding on competitors’ brand terms.
For example, if you search for “Asana project management,” you’ll see competitors like Atlassian and Monday advertising for that term.
When you do it correctly, your ad can speak to what your competitors lack. For example, in one of my earlier businesses, some of my competitors offered free training. Others offered follow-up DVDs.
I decided to provide both – and then some!
Perhaps you offer free demos or customised enterprise plans, but your competitors don’t. Identify your competitive differentiators and showcase them. Then, target your competitors’ brand names!
(These campaigns are quite affordable, too!)
#3. Google Ads Retargeting for SaaS User Conversion
For a SaaS company, the user journey involves multiple touchpoints before someone signs up for a trial or becomes a paying customer. Users might visit the website and explore different features but leave without signing up.
That’s where Google Ads remarketing comes in.
You can create specific audience segments based on your tracking or CRM data and set up tailored ads with special offers. Similarly, if you’re dealing with a buying committee in your sales process, you can set up remarketing ads for each segment, addressing their specific pain points.
Remarketing example for a lead generation tool. Source: RockContent
SaaS companies can also use Google Ads to craft a sequence of ads that tell a story or showcase different aspects of their product. For example, the first ad might emphasise the overall benefits, while subsequent ads might focus on specific features or use cases.
#4. Optimising for Conversions and Acquisition Costs with Google Ads for SaaS Companies
Another reason why, as a Google Ads consultant, I recommend Google Ads for SaaS companies is the ability to track conversions and then optimise your budget for them.
Instead of paying CPC averages, calculate your historical acquisition and current costs per conversion. Then, use bidding strategies like Maximise conversions and Target CPA to zero in on the most profitable leads.
These strategies use machine learning to adjust bids in real time and help you get the desired cost per acquisition. And, with a good enough tracking framework in place, you’ll also be able to identify which leads have the highest lifetime value (LTV) and allow Google to find similar new leads for you.
#5. Using Google Ads Across Multiple Touchpoints
Once you get up to speed with Google Ads, I encourage you not to stop at only driving new leads.
Instead, map out your entire lifecycle, from the leads signing up for a free trial or a demo to maximising retention.
Then, create campaigns to help you speed up your growth at every stage.
For example, you can easily retarget your existing customers nearing their plan’s maximum usage. If the standard upsell campaigns aren’t working, consider running Google Ads for your own terms (very low CPC and high value), retargeting on the Display network, or Performance Max campaigns.
Your customers don’t stop googling their interests as soon as they convert. Instead, their curiosity continues, and Google Ads is a great way to intercept them, provide answers, and ensure their lifetime value grows.
The Unique Benefits of Google Ads for SaaS Companies
No matter the growth stage, Google Ads can help you scale sustainably. Keyword research can help you pre-qualify them, different campaigns can help you speak their language, and with a smart strategy or two, you can reduce your spending while increasing your ROI.
If you’re only getting started with Google Ads at your SaaS company, get your copy of my Google Ads book to set up a profitable campaign in 7 rapid steps. Or, if you’re ready to scale, get in touch with me for a personalised consult.
Ready, set, grow!