How To Build A SaaS PPC Campaign That’s Built To Last


What makes an important SaaS PPC marketing campaign – or on the very least, what’s going to make a SaaS PPC marketing campaign just a bit bit higher?

In different phrases, what makes a SaaS PPC marketing campaign constructed to final?

As I used to be eager about this just lately, it occurred to me that almost all of the shopper PPC spend that I used to be lucky sufficient to handle in 2022 was SaaS associated, and the solutions to this query have been proper underneath my nostril.

After analyzing my campaigns, there have been a small handful of things that basically appeared to face out.

These are crucial rules and techniques that contributed to the SaaS PPC campaigns I handle, which I imagine are constructed to final.

Conversion Window

I wished to start out by bringing consideration to the conversion motion conversion window as a result of this may be an ignored a part of the setup for SaaS PPC accounts.

How To Build A SaaS PPC Campaign That’s Built To LastScreenshot from Google Adverts, February 2023

(Discover the conversion window to your conversion actions by going to Instruments & Settings > Measurement > Conversion. Then click on on a Conversion Motion > Click on Edit Settings.)

Many industries can go from advert click on to paying clients in a couple of days, hours, and even minutes – however SaaS merchandise can simply take 30 to 90 days or longer.

If you wish to ensure your campaigns are receiving credit score for each conversion that they earn, it would be best to tweak the conversion window to verify it’s lengthy sufficient to seize all conversions that outcome out of your search and/or show campaigns, over everything of the typical buyer gross sales cycle.

Whereas the default click on conversion window for all new conversion actions in Google Adverts is 30 days, you may manually set the attribution window for anyplace from 1 to 90 days.

You may as well set the window for Engaged-view and view-through conversions as effectively.

Contemplating the typical gross sales cycle for SaaS firms is 84 days, it’s necessary that you’re not lacking the chance to register all of the conversions that your campaigns deserve.

Offline Conversion Monitoring Setup

When discussing what might be finished to enhance PPC outcomes, conversion monitoring is commonly on the prime of the listing.

Whereas that is definitely true on the subject of B2B SaaS, there may be one type of conversion monitoring that might be crucial of all: offline conversion monitoring (OCT).

Except your SaaS enterprise has a brief, comparatively easy gross sales cycle that’s accomplished on-line from starting to finish, it’s extremely probably that you can be unable to totally observe a buyer journey – from the primary advert click on to the second they turn out to be a paying buyer – with out organising OCT in your advert account.

Importing knowledge about all of the conversions that have been achieved offline (just like the signing of a contract that turned a gross sales lead into an precise paying buyer) permits Google Adverts to finish the circle of the shopper journey by appending the offline conversions to all the shopper knowledge that was gathered in the course of the on-line portion of the gross sales cycle for that particular consumer.

Because the algorithms in your account get extra details about these offline conversions, your campaigns will turn out to be more and more optimized, bid extra successfully for high-value clicks, and produce extra paying clients – and do that all with a decrease price per acquisition than you may have ever achieved with out OCT.

There’s a lot to find out about organising OCT, however if you need to know extra you may try How To Monitor Offline Conversions From Your Google Adverts by Tim Jensen.

Seasonality – Not Simply The Climate

As SaaS firms are, by definition, promoting software program merchandise, chances are you’ll not contemplate seasonality an enormous issue. And on the subject of the bodily altering of the climate, that may nonetheless maintain true.

Nevertheless, I discovered that “seasonality” generally is a lot extra than simply altering climate and vacation purchasing.

When you analysis the trade your SaaS product serves and have a look at previous marketing campaign knowledge with a macro lens, you might be prone to discover quite a few instances all year long that your marketing campaign knowledge will spike or fall on a reasonably constant foundation.

Some widespread “seasonality” that will have an effect on your campaigns in optimistic or unfavorable methods are:

Fiscal Yr Schedules

The overwhelming majority of companies have the primary day of their fiscal yr on October 1 or January 1.

Many firms will probably be in search of new SaaS choices round this time as they develop division budgets for the upcoming yr.

Not solely will companies probably have a renewed funds, however your rivals could be spending considerably roughly on their advertising efforts close to the tip of their very own fiscal yr.

This could make your advertising prices go up in case your competitor is frantically making an attempt to spend their full funds by the tip of the yr.

Or presumably even present a chance for cheaper conversions in case your largest competitor pulls approach again on advertising spend close to the tip of the yr in order that they don’t overspend on their yearly advertising funds.

Business Commerce Occasions & Publications

Do you run the advertising for a SaaS product that’s widespread amongst a particular trade that has an enormous, nationwide convention each summer time?

Perhaps your product is widespread amongst academics, so that you see a spike in searches each August and September as college districts assess their wants.

What about IT merchandise? I personally know that yearly, hundreds of IT professionals put their looking and planning for brand spanking new software program on maintain for the week or two that precede the annual launch of the Gartner: Magic Quadrant report, which independently assessments and charges IT safety SaaS merchandise.

Two weeks a yr, I’m struggling simply to get clicks. However then, within the span of a one-day search, quantity explodes with new prospects trying to find the IT merchandise on the prime of the scores.

Annual Product Releases

It has turn out to be fashionable for the most important gamers in every trade to placed on big conferences or product launch occasions that get customers excited concerning the releases deliberate for that yr.

In case your SaaS product serves one among these markets, you’ll probably see a spike in searches and clicks round these occasions, as a result of persons are excited and motivated by what they’re seeing.

Or, you might even see search quantity fall, as a result of all of your potential clients aren’t involved with something aside from the large occasion.

Both approach, in case you are within the B2B SaaS advertising recreation, you’ll probably discover comparable durations, yearly, that find yourself being so predictable, they may as effectively be precise, “seasonal” occasions.

When you plan forward for no matter market situations are probably throughout these “seasons,” you should have a a lot simpler time hitting your shopper’s objectives on time and on funds.

Go Unfavourable

Have you ever ever heard of the facility of optimistic pondering?

Nicely, typically there may be critical energy in going unfavorable!

In terms of PPC for SaaS, going unfavorable can prevent buckets of cash on irrelevant clicks, poor-quality leads, and a variety of downright fraud.

Not solely that, but when your account is filled with dangerous clicks and poor-quality “conversions,” then the algorithms that rule your campaigns will probably be fed with dangerous knowledge.

Worst of all, the algorithms will then compound the issue by going out and discovering you extra of these horrible clicks – so it’s necessary to remove as a lot dangerous spend as doable.

Listed here are a few of the greatest methods to remove damaging spend in your SaaS campaigns:

Fundamental Search Marketing campaign Upkeep

I do know it’s boring, however it’s essential to carry out common key phrase upkeep on search campaigns and continuously add new unfavorable key phrases for phrases that aren’t changing or are unrelated to your product.

Right here’s a fast and straightforward course of to search out unfavorable key phrase candidates:

  • Select a 7- to 30-day timeframe, and click on Marketing campaign > Key phrases > Search Key phrases.
  • Kind by Price, highest to lowest.
  • Click on to pick the primary one to 5 key phrases, then within the blue bar on the prime of the listing click on “Search phrases.”
  • It will take you to the Search Phrases part of the marketing campaign, however it’s going to routinely be filtered to solely present the search phrases that got here from the search key phrases you beforehand chosen.
How To Build A SaaS PPC Campaign That’s Built To LastScreenshot from Google Adverts, February 2023

Show Focusing on & Placements Exclusions

This is without doubt one of the largest culprits on the subject of dangerous spend and algorithm corruption.

The extra money you spend on Show campaigns, the extra mandatory it’s to constantly evaluate the Placements Report.

Once you see a placement that appears like a low-quality or spam web site, add it as a Placement Exclusion to your Show campaigns.

How To Build A SaaS PPC Campaign That’s Built To LastScreenshot from Google Adverts, February 2023

Query-Associated Search Phrases

Questions generally is a huge cash drain on the subject of SaaS merchandise.

Except you’ve a strong web site that’s designed with loads of nice data round generally requested questions associated to your product, it’s going to save some huge cash if you happen to add interrogatives – or extra generally referred to as “query phrases” – to your key phrase negatives.

Doing this can maintain you from paying costly search marketing campaign costs with a view to reply a consumer’s questions.

The overwhelming majority of the time, when a consumer searches with a query phrase, they’re very excessive within the “funnel” and not possible to transform – so in case your funds are restricted, contemplate eliminating questions from the key phrases that you simply goal.

Right here is my favourite listing of interrogatives so as to add as unfavorable key phrases to campaigns:

  • if.
  • how.
  • what.
  • when.
  • does.
  • can.
  • why.
  • ought to.
  • do.
  • which.
  • will.
  • are.
  • did.
  • is.
  • has.

Competitor Campaigns

Bidding on the product names or firm names of your direct rivals isn’t a apply unique to the SaaS trade.

Nevertheless, I’ve by no means seen the kind of direct competitor warfare, degree of spending, time allocation, and grandstanding that you simply get with SaaS firms and their rivals.

Perhaps it’s as a result of there are sometimes dozens of SaaS firms doing the identical factor, however there may be solely room for a couple of huge gamers.

Perhaps it’s as a result of a variety of SaaS firms are in Silicon Valley and there are huge egos, with plenty of cash concerned.

Regardless of the motive, competitor campaigns are a unique beast on the subject of SaaS, they usually have to be approached in another way than chances are you’ll method them in some other trade.

Listed here are the principle takeaways I’ve discovered on the subject of focusing on SaaS rivals with PPC.


A mentor of mine as soon as stated, “Do or don’t.  There isn’t a attempt.” That mentor was Yoda in “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Again.” And Yoda couldn’t be extra proper.

The largest determination you must make on the subject of competitor campaigns is whether or not or not you’ll even determine to launch one.

You definitely don’t should, and there are some good causes to keep away from it altogether – like, amongst different issues, placing that cash in direction of different campaigns that will probably be extra environment friendly and worthwhile general.

Nevertheless, if you happen to determine to create a competitor marketing campaign, the place you instantly bid on branded, competitor key phrases, it’s essential to actually perceive why you might be doing it and what profit it offers you, after which actually decide to offering the assets mandatory to realize the objectives you select.

Break Opponents Into Tiers

Within the SaaS trade, going after each competitor you’ve is a certain technique to fail.

It’s often greatest to interrupt out one to 2 rivals that you simply contemplate your major competitors right into a Tier 1 competitor marketing campaign.

Create one other marketing campaign for Tier 2 rivals and fill it with three to 6 different rivals that, whereas not as huge a risk as Tier 1, are nonetheless formidable.

Doing this can help you regulate how a lot funds you allot between rivals, and it’ll permit you extra management over the focusing on, advert copy, bid technique, and so forth., to your two distinct tiers of rivals.

Plan Accordingly

When you determine to hitch the competitor battle, a bit of planning can go a good distance.

Clearly, it’s essential to first determine how a lot of your funds you’ll allot to this endeavor.

I usually advocate allotting sufficient funds to acquire 10-25% of Search Impression Share, or as much as 20% of your general PPC funds – whichever is smaller.

Doing this offers you sufficient funds to be seen and present your rivals that you’re within the battle, however not take an excessive amount of away from extra worthwhile campaigns.

You will have to plan for the next price per motion (CPA), decrease conversion charge (CVR), and decrease key phrase high quality scores than different campaigns, so regulate your conversion and ROI expectations accordingly.

Be Intelligent With Advert Copy

When you truly can use competitor names in your search marketing campaign advert copy, these adverts will probably find yourself not being proven as a lot in contrast with adverts that don’t use competitor names.

So, it’s greatest if you could find a technique to confer with your competitor with out truly utilizing their firm or product title.

Problem your self to discover a technique to allude to your competitor or use well-known competitor model language as an alternative of instantly stating their title.

Is Microsoft one among your major rivals? You possibly can write an advert description line that claims, “There’s nothing micro or gentle about our answer to cloud database administration.”

Not solely will this stand out to your potential clients, however it’s going to additionally drive your rivals loopy!

At all times Run A Model Marketing campaign

Whereas it’s undoubtedly a subject that’s up for debate, I imagine you must most likely have a paid marketing campaign, of some type, that targets your individual model phrases.

Nevertheless, if you’ll be focusing on your rivals’ model phrases with a marketing campaign, it’s important that you’ve got a strong model marketing campaign to your personal model phrases.

There are two major causes for this.

First, you don’t wish to depart your individual model susceptible in case you are seen focusing on your largest rivals.

They’ll, and certain will, create a competitor marketing campaign of their very own that targets your model phrases, and also you don’t wish to make it simple or low cost for them to run that marketing campaign.

Second, a model marketing campaign is the best sort of marketing campaign to earn high-quality scores and get the most cost effective doable clicks.

In flip, this makes it very troublesome to your rivals to get greater than a 3 or 4 high quality rating to your model phrases, thus making the clicks they obtain fairly costly.


In terms of PPC, particularly PPC for SaaS, there may be probably by no means an ideal answer or excellent determination if you find yourself constructing and optimizing campaigns.

Nevertheless, I’d encourage you to check at the least a couple of of the concepts talked about above and discover out for your self in the event that they may help to make your PPC SaaS account constructed to final.

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Featured Picture: TierneyMJ/Shutterstock


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