A Mindreader’s Guide to Optimizing B2B Paid Search


By Maddie Casey, Intern at Heinz Marketing

Starting a new AdWords campaign can feel like you’re falling down the rabbit hole, there are so many different functions and tools you can use to optimize your account. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the different tools and options like keyword modifiers, bid adjustments, tracking pixels etc. Very few of these things will make or break your campaign. What it really comes down to is how good of a mind reader you are — how well you can guess what people are going to search and why. This is called ‘search intent’ and it’s how you find success with AdWords.

Now I am in no way saying that I’m a mind reader or that I can teach you to become one. But, it’s important to be in that mindset when creating a campaign. To create a campaign, you need 3 things:

  1. Keywords: Here’s where the mind reading first comes into play. You have to guess what people are going to search for that you have the answer to. Let’s use Heinz Marketing as an example. Keywords could include: ‘Seattle marketing agency’, ‘marketing agency’, ‘marketing consultant’, etc. But they could also include ‘funnel marketing help’, or ‘what is martech?’. These people might not even know that they’re looking for an agency but are in over their head trying to migrate to a new marketing automation platform. Don’t just use descriptions of your products, focus on the problems they can solve.
  2. Ads: Ads are where you provide people using these keywords with solutions they actually want. This isn’t just about self-promotion; this is about getting them to click your ad. Someone searching ‘what is martech?’ is much more likely to click on an ad that says ’Automate Your Marketing‘ rather than ’The Best Marketing Agency‘. They don’t care if you’re the best marketing agency in the world if you can’t help them with marketing technology.
  3. Ad Groups: Now this isn’t really mind reading, it’s more organizational but it is important to group these wisely so the experience you provide searchers – from ad to landing page — matches their search intent–Like having an Ad Group focusing on the MarTech side of Heinz Marketing and another focusing on content creation.

Like mind reading, your AdWords campaigns must tell the customer what they want to hear in order to get a decent return on your investment. They’re searching for answers and you need to give them good answers or they’re not going to pay you any attention.

Mind reading metaphor aside, once you have your campaign set up it’s important to go in on a daily basis and make sure things are going smoothly.

  • Adjust bids so your ads are making it to the front page
  • Test different keywords and modifiers and get rid of ones that clearly aren’t working (low click through or conversion rates).
  • Add keywords and negative keywords from common search terms. (For Heinz Marketing ‘ketchup’ would definitely be a negative keyword)
  • Improve quality scores by making ads and landing pages more relevant to keywords and search intent as you learn more about your audience

Though we may never fully understand why people search the way they do, it’s important to always keep trying! If you keep up with the daily maintenance, you will get close to becoming a true mind reader.

**Apologies if any mind readers were offended by this article.