Google Ads for SaaS | Comprehensive Guide to Boost ROI

Google holds around 92.48% of the search engine market, with more than 70% of people using one of its products – Search, Maps, YouTube, etc. before making a purchase.

Around 85% of the top 100 SaaS Companies, including HubSpot, Salesforce, Atlassian, etc,. use Google Ads, and it comes for a reason. 

With the right Google ads strategy, SaaS companies can incrementally increase their ROI and MRR while cutting customer acquisition costs. 

As one of the few Google Ads for SaaS examples, Camel Digital PPC agency could reach a 350% increase in ROI and a 294.29% increase in trials for Hopper HQ in just 3 months. 

Based on our 5+ years of experience, millions of ad spend dollars and tons of data to learn from, we share our deepest Google Ads secrets in this blog.

You’ll learn how to scale your revenue with more targeted Google ads and how to find potential subscribers who are already searching for your products in Google.

Let’s explore…

  • What’s Google Ads and its main types
  • Why use Google Ads for SaaS
  • What are the best Google Ads Strategies for SaaS
  • What are the best practices to get the most out of it for your SaaS business

Let’s dive in!

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Google Ads: The Fundamentals

The online advertising leader – Google Ads, is Google’s online advertising program that works on the PPC (pay-per-click) principle. 

That means…

  • You set campaigns, goals, budgets, preferred ad placements, and other options in the digital Google Ads dashboard.
  • You’re only charged for your ad when viewers click on it. There is no charge for your ad if it’s not clicked.

You can run campaigns for different purposes, such as boosting traffic, brand awareness, conversions, app promotion, and more – configuring the KPIs in the corresponding campaign types. Further, your ad is displayed in the search results and on the websites and apps that are part of Google’s vast advertising network. Ads appear when customers are searching for words related to your business or interact with other websites related to your keywords.

Reasons Why Does Your SaaS Company Need Google Ads

Here’s just a glimpse of the extensive benefits of Google Ads for SaaS. 

  • Get in front of your potential subscribers: With the help of Google Ads, SaaS companies are targeting people who are looking for their solution in real-time. As you target people by the keywords they search in Google, your advertisement appears at the right time and place. As a result, you get right-fit visitors that will likely turn into subscribers.
  • Get search traffic faster than organic. Ranking organically for your target keyword typically takes months. Especially in the SaaS industry, where high-intent keywords are very competitive, extra help is needed to secure good positions in SERP. Google Ads for SaaS helps companies accelerate this process, getting in front of their potential users faster and getting more qualified visitors.
  • Have advanced cost control. Besides the pay-per-click model that secures your budget, Google Ads lets you use the most cost-effective options, such as setting bid limits and time-specific scheduling

Always stay data-informed. Google ad analysis provides detailed reports on your campaigns’ performance, showing the users’ Acquisition-Behavior-Conversion (ABC cycle). Simply put, it lets you track leads who came to your website from Google ads, signed up, and subscribed to your software.

Main Types of Google Ads

There are seven main ad formats in Google Ads, including:

  • Responsive search ads (Google rotates the headlines and descriptions and serves the best combination)
  • Responsive display ads (ads automatically adjust their size and appearance to fit the ad space)
  • App promotion ads (suitable for app promotion ads)
  • Video (runs on YouTube, usually inserted in the streaming video content)
  • Shopping ads  (ads taking to e-commerce platforms, displaying product, title, price, store, etc.)
  • Call-only ads (search ads that include phone numbers and call options)

More than 20+ ad types can be created within those formats, but the most common for SaaS is the following.

Google Search Ads

Google search ad

These Google ads for SaaS companies appear in search results above the organic results or bottom line when people type in the keywords, like “email marketing automation software”, for example.

Google Display Ads

Google Display Ads

Source: Google Support

You can also use SaaS ads that are shown in the wide collection of third-party websites that agreed to display Google ads. These types of Google ads for SaaS can be in many formats – text, image, video, and rich media. 

YouTube Ads

YouTube Ads

Source: Google Support

PPC for SaaS also includes creating video, display or text ads that are displayed during or before YouTube videos or elsewhere in YouTube’s platform. Video ads can be skippable (from 12 seconds to 6 minutes, which viewers can skip after five seasons) or non-skippable (viewers have to watch the ad for 15 or 20 seconds).

App Campaigns

App Campaigns

Source: Google Support

If your software has a mobile app, you can benefit from the Google ad strategy that helps drive mobile app installs and in-app conversions. Google automatically creates these SaaS ads by pulling the most relevant text, images and ratings from your app store. App ads include a logo, headline, description, and a CTA

Challenges of Using Google Ads for SaaS Companies

While Google Ads stands as a top-tier advertising platform for SaaS, it can be a double-edged sword if not properly managed. In the saturated and dynamic SaaS industry, ad strategies must be very target-oriented and audience-centric and constantly updated to drive results. 

Quite often, Google Ads don’t bring results to SaaS companies because they are not structured and used properly. Other times, the acquisition costs can appear to be very high.

Here, we must recognize the crucial role of properly formatted and relevant landing pages, which play a big role in conversion rates.

This is where digital PPC agencies can offer their support, not only in running ads but also in analyzing the data and making informed adjustments.

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Challenge #1 | It’s Costly to Stand Out in the Industry with Many Players

There are around 30,000 SaaS companies in the world, where even the largest ones, like Salesforce, hold just 10% of the market share. Considering Google Ads for SaaS is intent-based advertising (you run ads on the existing demand or searched keywords), SaaS companies face tight competition and higher cost-per-clicks – as more companies are bidding for the same keywords.

The higher the competition, the more you’ll have to pay for each ad click, which can turn out quite costly for large campaigns in the long run. Additionally, too many players in the game also means less space on the first page of Google, meaning your ads have to be highly relevant and well-targeted to rank higher.

Challenge #2 | It’s Not That Easy to Attract Qualified Traffic with SaaS PPC

Well, as contradicting as it may sound, the most precisely targeted ads that display the most relevant keywords can’t guarantee a higher conversion rate. 

Poor structure can be one of the main reasons Google Ads fail. Also, ad groups should be structured correctly so that when a user is searching for something, the ad answers what the user is searching for. Finally, optimized landing pages – the ones that answer what the user is searching on Google and match the ad, is also crucial. 

These mistakes lead to attracting traffic with low conversion potential – the worst scenario for SaaS PPC campaigns. That means you’ll be paying for bringing less qualified visitors to your website, which will not convert regardless of how optimized and informative your ad is. 

How Can Camel Digital Help? Get Proven Google Ads for B2B SaaS

Camel Digital is a SaaS PPC agency with a proven record of boosting SaaS company ROIs in around three months. Thanks to millions of dollars in ad spend, we developed strategies that work for SaaS, including broad smart bidding, targeted CPA, top-of-funnel acquisition, and more!If you want to utilize Google Ads for SaaS effectively but want to avoid the cliche mistakes and learn the true potential of your ad dollars, the team at Camel Digital is ready to help you

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Best Practices to Turn Google Ads for SaaS into MRR

Running successful Google ads for SaaS Companies has the basic formula –  displaying the most relevant and engaging ad to the right user at the right time. Breaking down the components, the most crucial elements of a profitable ad campaign are:

  • Highly targeted yet not too narrowed down audience: You should find the balance between targeting the most relevant users and cutting out too many potential ones.
  • Relevant keywords: Target the audience that needs your SaaS solution and uses specific keywords to search for it. Make sure you include them in your ads.
  • Captivating ad copy: Work on having the headline, text, and visuals convincing enough to make the user click on your ad.
  • Clear call-to-action (CTA): What action do you want users to take? Make it straightforward and align it with their intent.

Let’s delve into the steps in more detail.

1. Define Your SaaS Metrics

The key to creating and converting Google ads for SaaS is understanding the behavior of your (potential) customers. Accurately tracking some SaaS metrics will help you with that.

Customer Churn

Use it to understand the percentage of customers that cancel your subscription service in a given time frame. Beyond the raw numbers, try to analyze the reasons for churn as well. For example, if most of the cancellations happen after the trial period, consider trying different onboarding or pricing strategies when running ads.

Customer Churn

Revenue Churn

Tracking revenue churn along with customer churn creates a more complete picture of your paying customer retention. Revenue churn is the percentage of recurring revenue you lost in a certain period. This usually happens when customers reduce their plan (e.g., from $200 to $100) or completely cancel it.

Revenue Churn

Further, use this metric to optimize Google ads for B2B SaaS by targeting the customers with higher LTV and avoiding ones that have lower retention rates.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

The CLV shows how much revenue you earn from a single customer throughout their entire journey with your SaaS. It can help you understand how much revenue you can expect from a customer in the long run and plan your SaaS ads accordingly.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC)

By dividing the total sum you spend on marketing & sales by the number of acquired customers, you’ll get your CAC, showing how much it costs you to acquire a new customer. Why’s that useful for PPC for SaaS? 

It helps you identify which type of SaaS ads are more cost-effective (e.g., targeting a specific industry vs. targeting broader audiences).

Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC)

Let’s Analyze Your Business’s Key Metrics Together!

There are many other metrics that SaaS companies track, and we’d love to help you analyze them all. Camel Digital’s PPC experts will work with you to understand your business model and define the most profitable SaaS campaign structure for your particular case.

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2. Build High-Converting Landing Pages

The landing page is the website page where viewers land after clicking on your website. According to Google, the experience that waits for users after they click on your ad is one of the factors determining your ad keyword’s Quality Score or how well your ad is performing compared to other advertisers. 

Two key goals your landing page should meet to help your Google ads for Saas succeed are:

  • Give a user the exact answer to what they are searching for, match with the ad and the user query.
  • Have a clear layout, copy and elements that have minimal distraction and maximum focus on the desired action – having your target audience’s deepest pain points and insights in mind. 

So, a good landing page should meet the below criteria. 

  • Have an Optimized Above the Fold Structure and Content
  • Be Without Distractions from the Key Content
  • Come with a Simple Checkout Process
  • Be Regularly Tested for Conversion Rate Optimization

Have an Optimized Above the Fold Structure and Content

Everything the visitor sees before scrolling down is called above the fold. It includes an H1 main title, a description, a corresponding image and a Call-to-Action (CTA) button.

All the elements should be very relevant to the keyword. Visual banners should clearly demonstrate your product and its benefits. Overall, users should be able to grasp what your product is about from the first glance.

Most above-the-fold content comprises a catchy headline, a concise and straightforward value proposition, and a clear call-to-action with appropriate visuals.

Remove Every Distraction

You should know what your SaaS visitor came for, having done the keyword research. Remove anything that does not serve them right now:

  • no extra links to other pages, 
  • no navigation menu, 
  • no long paragraphs or other elements contradicting your conversion goal

Leave the space only for the content that supports your conversion goal to make all roads lead to Rome – the desired action your page visitor should take.

landing page example

Have the Least Complicated Checkout Process

Once your visitors click on your desired call to action, they should be able to sign up or book a demo call with no extra effort.

sign up Botton graphic concept

If your goal is to convert visitors into free trial users, make signing up for a trial as simple and straightforward as possible. That’s what you can see in the most successful Google ads for SaaS examples. Lagging pages, complicated forms, and unclear instructions are a big no-no. 
Similarly, any other process you chase your visitors to complete, such as a demo call, subscription purchase, or whitepaper download, should be just a few clicks away. 

Regularly Measure Conversion Rate

The CRO is a powerful metric showing which percentage of your website visitors took the desired action. There’s no one-size-fits-all for what CRO is best. We recommend you focus on continuously boosting it instead of chasing any particular figure.

Regularly Measure Conversion Rate

Get Your Proven Landing Page CRO Optimization from Camel Digital

Find it hard to reshape your landing pages so they result in higher conversion rates? Let Camel Digital’s expert CRO strategists do the job for you – with advanced A/B testing, heat mapping, customer journey analysis and other techniques. 

We have winning landing page layouts tested with massive traffic and conversion data from our clients and are ready to apply all those learnings to your ad strategy.

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3. Create a Funnel Strategy

Converting your target audience is a slow and steady race. Many would be unaware of your brand when they first click on your Google ad. So you need no sorrow if the Google Ad reports show a high new visitor percentage with low conversions. 

Only regular and well-thought-out interaction with your brand gradually warms your audience, growing their interest and trust in your product or service.

So, how do you create a funnel strategy for SaaS PPC? Here are the three stages or types of audiences you should work with.

Create a Funnel Strategy

TOFU – Top of the Funnel, Cold Audience

Here, you meet your target audience for the first time. They are complete strangers to your brand, unaware of your existence and what you offer. Consequently, you shouldn’t expect them to take any action after clicking on your ad. 

Your goal at this stage is to evoke interest, increase brand awareness, and stick in your target’s minds so they want to revisit and explore your brand further. 

What’s characteristic of this stage is that you usually deal with high-volume keywords (those with high monthly search volume) that have lower Cost per Click (because they have less intent, and you are less likely to earn money on them).

So, it’s a good opportunity to invest in spreading information about your brand and boost brand awareness. 

Usually, the audience at this funnel stage is searching for competitor comparisons. For example, they know a SaaS product similar to yours exists, but they are looking for a better one to switch to or monitor the market with the intent to buy. 

Here, showing you can solve the pain point of your target audience is of the utmost importance. “How-to” format blog articles and educational content work great when they are structured to meet the pain points of your potential subscribers. 

You can also use engaging video campaigns with a strong hook, story and offer in them. Highly-targeted videos that use in-market segment audiences, custom intent audiences from target keywords and competitor keywords are a great way to present your brand and give value. 

SaaS Ads type: search, display, videos, discovery ads, PMAXContent type:blog articles, comparison articles, YouTube videos, lead magnets like PDFs, cheat sheets, etc.

MOFU – Middle of the Funnel, Warm Audience

A warm audience is not yet determined to purchase and is no longer clueless about your brand and what it does. You can silently congratulate yourself, having stepped further from the previous stage. Now, you should welcome your warm audience with a more targeted, convincing, and detailed message. 

Your key weapon for attracting leads at this stage is lead magnets – e-books, whitepapers, case studies and similar content that gives detailed information about solving specific problems in your niche. 

Lead magnets should give actual value to your visitors and be of high quality. For example, an e-book on “10 effective strategies for increasing e-commerce sales”, a case study showing how your SaaS product helped a business increase their ROI by 200%, a calculator helping your leads easily calculate their ROI and get personalized recommendations from your brand, etc. 

Using the Google Display Network for advertising a lead market is a very effective method here. Use Google search network with a bit lower intent keywords so you can spend less but still enjoy great results.

The MOFU stage is also when retargeting performs best. You can retarget your website visitors by understanding their intent from their visited pages. For example, if they visit your service page, you can retarget them with a detailed cheat sheet on using your service to achieve specific results and invite them for a free demo. 

You can also use Google search ads for your middle-of-the-funnel campaigns, targeting keywords with slightly higher intent- those people who are actively searching for a solution but haven’t yet made up their mind. 

SaaS Ads type: intent-based, search ads with more solution-oriented keywords (e.g., “accounting software for small businesses” instead of “what is an accounting software”)

Content type: custom landing pages, case studies, customer testimonial videos, infographics and other more detailed content that showcases your product’s benefits in detail.

BOFU – Bottom of the Funnel, Hot Audience

High five! You did it. Your visitor is now willing to become your customer. They know what they want, have done their research, and have chosen you over the competition.

But don’t mistake it for the end. This is one of the crucial stages where you should help your audience cross the finish line with good offers, discounts, and incentives. 

Your only choice and the best strategy here is to invest heavily in high-intent keywords – purchasing terms containing “software”, “tool”, “platform” and similar, showing that the searchers have a clear intent to buy. 

For example, someone searching for “Marketing CRM software”  is much more likely to convert into a paying customer compared to someone searching for just a low-intent keyword like  “CRM in Marketing”.

This audience knows a solution to their problem exists, and they are actively searching for the best one. That’s why competitor terms like “HubSpot alternative”, “Salesforce alternative,” and other direct comparisons are widely popular among SaaS BOFU search campaigns. 

Your biggest challenge here is crafting a really converting copy because the high-intent keywords are fiercely competitive. Very concise and targeted ad copy is a must here. The most converting call to action –  “Import your contacts”, “Upload your voters list”. “Try now”, “Start today” and similar.

Come up with custom landing pages that are not overloaded with much content but 3-4 targeted value propositions, features, social proof and clear calls to action, where the whole page takes the visitor to try your platform, tool or software.

We recommend you also use RLSA (remarketing list of search ads), where you retarget those people who have visited your website and are still looking for target keywords. These also refer to those who have seen your video and navigated from your YouTube channel to your website. 

SaaS Ads type:  retargeting ads, remarketing, search campaigns

Content type: free trials, demos, personalized consultations with the key sales-driving information, such as free consultation, one-on-one demos, conversion-focused landing page selling the product and other incentives clearly mentioned.

4. Use Automated Bidding Strategies

Automated bidding in Google Ads uses real-time data and smart algorithms to make bidding easier. Two effective strategies are:

  • Maximize Conversions with Target CPA: This helps get more conversions within your set cost per acquisition (CPA).
  • Target ROAS Bidding: It aims to get the most revenue compared to what you spend on ads.
  • Enhanced Cost-Per-Click (ECPC): This strategy adjusts your manual bids to maximize conversions while still respecting your set budget, aiming to get more conversions within your target CPC range.

These strategies save time by adjusting bids automatically and make sure you get more conversions or revenue. But, they need enough data to work well and might spend money on the wrong keywords if not watched closely.

Google Ads for B2B SaaS with Camel Digital

At Camel Digital PPC agency, we’ve spent hundreds of thousands to find proven PPC strategies that work today… and work for SaaS specifically. 

Specializing in SaaS and B2B tech niches, we have a ready-to-use, battle-tested plan and team to put your software product or service in front of your target audience. 

Here’s how we got 191% more demo tours for Tribes, spending 12% lower CPC for search. And here’s another success story where we’ve recorded a 367% increase in brand awareness, resulting in 73.33% more website leads. 

If you want a comprehensive Google Ad analysis for your business and the development and implementation of a 100% working Google Ad strategy, don’t hesitate to get your free proposal from us now!

Advanced Market Research for SaaS Companies

As the first step, we will start with extensive market research to find realizable opportunities in your niche. Our services include a full account audit and keyword research, keyword match type testing and other smart PPC techniques that set up your business for high-performing Google Ads campaigns.

You can expect thorough competitor research and a list of account improvements from us shortly after the first virtual coffee with our team. Based on the comprehensive insights we gain, we develop a full-fledged 90-day growth plan. 

We move on to the implementation phase only after every detail is discussed and approved. 

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The Bottom Line

Running Google Ads for SaaS is the way to go if you want to win over your competitors and drive targeted traffic to your website. With the right strategy, ad setup and ongoing optimization, you can achieve significant results in brand awareness, lead generation, and conversions. 

With many features and tools at your disposal, it’s important to stay updated and continuously experiment with your Google Ad campaigns. This includes adjusting bid strategies, testing different ad formats, trying your ads on different platforms, and watching your competitors’ moves. 

If you know how to navigate Google Ads for B2B SaaS, skyrocketing your conversions and revenue is more than possible. And if you want a professional, tried and tested approach to SaaS ads, Camel Digital PPC agency is always at your service. Get in touch with us now to discuss your Google Ads strategy and take your business to new heights! 

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