Part 2: Building Out Your First Set of Google Financial Marketing Campaigns

In Part 1 of our series, we discussed how financial institutions can identify their best customers and products, and established how to measure their success on Google Ads.

Now let’s get more granular about how to build a paid search campaign. We’ll discuss keyword selection in detail, including the process for keyword research that is important for your marketing team to follow.

Selecting Keywords Your Future Customers Are Searching

The future of Google Ads and the products within Google Ads are shifting toward marketing strategies based more on intent, theme, and audience — building user profiles across all of Google’s properties (Gmail, Maps, and so on) rather than on search alone. But we’ll elaborate on that topic in another article future article. For now, let’s focus on keywords, which still remain the most crucial consideration for paid search advertisers creating campaigns for financial clients.

Types of Keywords

First, we’re going to discuss keywords where intent is known and where intent may not be known. Let’s define this:

  • Intent is known – A keyword where, because of what users are searching for, you know where they want to go or what product they are searching for. It is likely that this keyword is longer — 3, 4, or 5 or more words.
  • Intent is not known – A keyword where there is not enough information to tell what the user is looking for.

Why is this important?

The closer you can put a user to their destination, the better. Two examples:

  • “Small business checking account” – This keyword is specific. You know the user is looking for a particular product. Your search team can write ad copy and put in a destination URL with information about the small business checking account options at your financial institution.
  • Brand name – If a user types in your brand name, you aren’t sure, at that moment, what they need. They could be a business, a new non-business customer, an employee, or even a current customer.

When you are providing guidance to your search team or digital agency, make sure you have a discussion about what types of keywords you plan on using.

If you have niche financial products, such as reverse mortgages or a portfolio line of credit, make sure your team is aware of the terms someone would use to search for these products. You can then group them into themes.

To Exclude or Not to Exclude Current Customers

To include or exclude current customers may be one of the most highly discussed items in a paid search account.

Paid search experts generally put forth two viewpoints:

Include current customersCompetitors are bidding on terms for products and services that our customers are looking for. Our current customers may not know about all of our products and services.
Exclude current customersThey are already customers. They know us, know our products, and they will find the product they are looking for anyway.

Sometimes our team recommends including and excluding current customers. For example, excluding — and even negatively targeting — customers who are searching for and navigating to the login page will likely save money for people who are already customers of the bank and know where they want to go. Here are some examples of keywords that might include or exclude current customers:

KeywordTarget TypeReasoning
Bank name loginNegativeA paid search team will likely recommend that you exclude current customers from this keyword for a few reasons: Why pay to show clients how to go to a login page that, as clients, they’re already going to, anyway? The likelihood that a competitor will bid on this keyword is low, since anyone typing in this keyword is your customer and still actively logging into the account they hold with you.
Bank name savingsBidConversely, bidding on this keyword makes sense, especially for customers who already have a checking account, because it allows you to cross-sell those customers on a savings account. A paid search team might also suggest creating ads with this keyword for users who are customers and users who aren’t.

Think through the strategy of how you are going to use your first party data within your paid search account. Accurately leveraging your website and database analytics will allow you to effectively cross-sell existing customers while avoiding spending money on customers who are trying to get to a known area of the website.

Aligning with Product Managers, Banking Center Managers & All Internal Stakeholders

Financial marketers know that compliance departments have to approve their work, but it’s also important to make sure that everything you and your team has done is aligned with all internal stakeholders, including product teams and business leaders.

You want to avoid launching media for a program where front line teams are unaware of the messaging promoting their products and services.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of our financial service marketing series, where we’ll discuss how to craft messaging for your financial institution. 

Want to ask a question or learn more? Get in touch with us today.

Resources: Financial Products & Services Information from Google