Google Ads For Fintech Company

Google Ads For Fintech Companies

Fintech is its own unique niche in Paid Search and has aspects that straddle the line between diverse campaign setups. Fintech campaigns can be lead generation, and some are B2B, B2SMB, or B2C. They can be broadly focused, and some are narrowly focused. However, within all these different permutations, commonalities exist across the various choices, and it is these commonalities that I would like to focus on in this piece.

One product or product group per Google Ads account

Focusing on one product is the ideal account structure for ease of use. Although we have seen multiple product lines per account—while it’s certainly viable—such a setup increases the chances of errors occurring. One product group should have a unified targeting setup and one set of conversion events that are being targeted. Within this one account, at the campaign level, you can then create your unique segmentation (with real-world attributes like geography or campaign-type elements like campaign type).

Define campaign objectives

Each initiative will have a conversion funnel of some sort. Some funnel steps will be tied to Google Ads, and some will be offline. Some offline elements (like source-to-close tracking) can be imported back to Google Ads as long as they happen within 30 days of the initial click. Some cannot. One of the decisions that needs to be made is which funnel stage Google will optimize towards.

We have optimized towards “top of funnel,” “middle of funnel” and “bottom of funnel.” As a rule of thumb, we recommend optimizing to the lowest funnel stage possible where 50+ conversions happen within the first 30 days (the more, the better). There are Fintech products where leads take much longer than 30 days to close. In that situation, it’s important that mid-funnel conversions are “built-in” to the process to best inform Google. These mid-funnel conversions don’t need to take place on the website, they can be something like a successful client call (which will be noted by the Account executive / Sales Rep in the CRM) or a proposal creation.

Source to close tracking

Source to close tracking is what enables Google Ads to track each funnel step. If you haven’t implemented it yet, here’s how you set it up:

  • Tag each landing page URL. You can use auto-tagging or appending gclid={gclid} to it. When the visitor lands on the landing page, a unique gclid is assigned to that visitor.
  • The gclid information needs to be passed into your CRM where it gets tied to a unique prospect record.
  • When a prospect passes certain stages in the funnel, the CRM is updated with that information, and each relevant funnel stage conversion is passed back to Google.
  • Google sets the funnel stages being targeted for conversions to “Primary” (with the remaining conversion types set to “Secondary”). Thus, one can create a bidding strategy targeting these primary conversions.

Profitable optimization

There are two types of bidding strategies for Google Ads that are typically put into play for Fintech firms. The first is deciding how much the company is willing to pay for a “funnel conversion.” Once that is decided, then a Target CPA bidding strategy is set up, telling Google to get as many leads as possible within the client budget for that Target CPA.

The second type involves targeted leads that could have variable values that get passed back into Google Ads. In this case, the company can bid for a certain Target ROAS (Return on Ad Spend). In this scenario, one decides how much they are willing to pay for an “average” conversion and sets up the bidding strategy to target a 1 ROAS – where the revenue earned equals the amount spent in Google Ads.

Keyword optimization

I’m pretty certain that anyone reading this article works at a company that has run Google Ads in some form. Campaigns have been set up with keywords in them that map to the company’s offering, even if they are not set up in an optimal fashion. My strongest recommendation for doing keyword research involves reviewing the search queries that Google served against (which differs from the keywords that the account is bidding on).

If you are currently tracking conversions, first examine the queries that generated conversions for you. If their Target CPA is acceptable, that is a term you should specifically target (if you are not targeting it already). If the Target CPA is too high, you might want to either exclude it or bid much more conservatively in the future. You should focus on terms that have generated conversions for you but are not currently present in your setup. Those should be added to your campaign. Similarly, if you have spent an sizable amount of money on queries that have not converted for you, they should be excluded from your campaign.

Once you have your keyword list, you should consider the match types you are using. Google is telling people that you can bid on broad match only or if you insist on using other match types, you can put them all in the same campaign. I’ve yet to see any instance with my Fintech clients where broad match terms performed as well as exact match terms – although I have seen similar performance to phrase match terms. For now, we recommend segmenting campaigns by match type (I recognize that future evidence might change that view).

I recommend doing separate Exact Match, Phrase Match, and Broad Match Campaigns, with the exact match terms negated in the phrase match campaigns and the phrase match terms negated in the broad match campaigns. With rare exceptions, I would bid on all targeted terms in all match types, though I would be incredibly careful in setting a tight bidding target for Broad Match.

Ad copywriting

Every Fintech company we have worked with has a mandatory ad approval process…some more extensive than others. We’ve identified 4 core rules to help you get the most out of your ad copy and creative assets.

  • The first rule of Google Ads copywriting is understanding what the internal ad reviewers are going to accept and what they are going to reject.
  • The second rule is because approval processes can be slow, ensure you get a large amount of ad headlines and ad description lines approved in each go around, to allow for testing and tweaking.
  • The third rule is to make sure you utilize the maximum number of ad headlines and description line alternatives available to you for each ad type. Yes, some of your ad text will be better than others but giving Google the maximum number of choices to work with will increase the likelihood of getting the prospect to enter your funnel. For Google Display Network Ads and Discovery Ads, utilize the maximum number of image assets and (if possible) video assets that the ad type allows. If certain ad text performs poorly, Google will let you know, and you can make a substitution at that time.
  • The fourth rule is to ensure that your core targeted keywords appear in your ad text variants. If a prospect sees the term that they are searching for appear in your ad text, your ability to earn the prospect a visit goes up.

Landing pages

Landing pages are critically important for the success of Paid Search. In an ideal world, Fintech companies should follow the same best practices as other industries, like:

  • Utilize specific landing pages for Paid Search that follow best practices
  • Eliminating extraneous page navigation
  • No redundant marketing copy – like one would find on an SEO-focused landing page
  • Quick load times, especially on mobile, etc.

Not every client has given us the ability to influence their landing page experience. Much of the time, we have been limited to working with the website landing page that is designed to serve all marketing, and have been created and approved without any input from our team. The pages may perform, but any change/update processes are slow or non-existent.

One workaround (if available) is to use a program like Optimizely to run Landing page tests that allow page variance without making changes to the page itself. While these page tests undoubtedly need to get approved by the client, at least there is not an engineering hurdle that must be overcome for testing purposes.

Fintech companies should be focused on making funnel entry and conversion as seamless as possible. We have seen large Fintech firms lose sight of some of these issues, and if they are a well-known brand, sometimes a sub-optimal funnel experience can be overcome. However, if a big brand can act nimbly like a small brand, the larger brand’s scope and scale can add a huge amount of revenue to the effort.

Compliance

Fintech is an industry that is heavily regulated and can have extensive compliance procedures that need to be followed. It’s not an industry where someone can create an ad and immediately roll it out live – without approval and oversight.

Every aspect of the Google Ads Experience that is seen by the public must be reviewed and approved. Each client we have worked with has done compliance a little differently. Compliance review can range from “one person reviewing the ads in an Excel Spreadsheet” to very formal meetings involving multiple stakeholders including the legal department going over every variant of ad text plus all visual campaign elements.

It’s important for the Google Ads stakeholders to get intimately familiar with what their compliance team will and will not approve to get new ads into the marketplace in a timely manner.

Compliance rejection and revision can add weeks to the timeline. Disclosures are important. Some disclosures must go in the ad text itself which will reduce the available ad space for the “advertising.” Videos require asterisks appended to the advertising text with small legal print at the bottom of the video. Landing pages are full of required disclosures. The Google Ads team will not know what disclosures need to be added to the various parts of the campaigns, but they absolutely need to know the cases where disclosure is required and flag it for the appropriate compliance team to decide.

In support of their brand values, it’s not uncommon for Fintech companies to restrict where they are comfortable having their ads shown. Twitter and TikTok are “over the line” for many brands. They may also require internal (within Google Ads) or external (e.g., DoubleVerify) content screening systems that keep the ads from showing on the same page as “questionable content.” Within Google, we have produced a list of Topics that we block automatically for Fintech clients are specifically in the areas of politics, news, live video, and children-focused websites.

Sales assisted

For Fintechs, any Google Ads initiative involving a contact/meeting with Sales adds a human element that must be actioned in the same methodical manner as the automated parts of the sales funnel. Google’s algorithm can’t factor in somebody not updating the CRM in a timely manner.

If the CRM is not updated, to Google, it means that no activity has taken place. Funnel “breaks” are not understood as “breaks”, Google perceives them as periods of no sales activity which push Google to change its bidding strategy to account for the lack of sales activity. We worked with one sales-assisted client (not in Fintech) who had their entire Paid Search initiative crash and burn because they couldn’t methodically get Google the information it needed to bid appropriately even though the sales team took the initiatives that “should” have pushed the leads down the funnel towards a successful close.

If the Sales team is diligent about entering the data, those nuances only known by the sales team can be effectively communicated to Google and acted upon for the benefit of the business. For example, a business opportunity that is worth $100K but only has a 40% chance of closing can be pushed back to Google as having a value of $40K. Businesses can use any schema they wish to value the leads, but the key is communicating the information as quickly as possible. Since CRM updates to Google Ads are usually automated and happen (at least) daily, all the Sales team needs to do is to update the CRM with the correct information and the automation does the rest.

Closing

Fintech is a unique Google Ads niche. It’s heavily regulated, so certain aspects of marketing creativity and out-of-the-box implementations are not available for those account managers. However, it’s also a very profitable niche that has the ability to scale given the depth of the marketplace.

Position2 has deep, high-value Google Ads experience for all shapes and sizes of Fintech clients. Our Fintech client experience can be applied to any new client engagement.

Todd Mintz

May 14, 2024

By Todd Mintz