Financial Services PPC Ads: Words That Work [Study]

Messaging is one part art and one part science. Bing Ads has helped out with the science by analyzing word choice in PPC ads across verticals such as education, retail, travel, and diet and exercise.

Anything you can do in your search campaigns that gets your click-through and conversion rates to tick just a bit higher will be a huge advantage.

Researchers at Bing Ads recently took a close look at word choice in financial services search ads to see if there were specific terms that got more clicks than others – and to see if this varied according to device.

A couple things struck us right away.

Establish Trust Immediately, or Lose the Click

“Official” and “secure” in the ad title or description draws clicks in all categories except Credit Cards and Credit Reporting – reflecting the general wariness of the audience searching for financial services.

Targeting by Device is Critical to Match User Intent

The terms getting top clicks vary tremendously by device. PC users are willing to fill out forms, request quotes, and do other activities that take more time. Mobile users click on calls-to-action and tablet users are adaptable, responding to words that work well for both PC and mobile.

Financial Institutions Ad Performance Heatmap All Devices

Breaking Down the Study

The Bing Ads researchers looked at 55,000 search ads in January of 2014 in the Financial Services vertical. We broke the vertical into five categories: Financial Institutions, Insurance, Loans and Lending, Credit Cards and Credit Reporting. These ads generated more than 180 million impressions. Only queries that were used by at least 10 different advertisers were included.

Let’s look at the findings for the Financial Institutions, Insurance, and Loans and Lending categories; to see the entire report, get the deck on SlideShare.

Insights By Device

Financial Institutions Top Word Combos

  • Ads with “official” in the title do well on all devices.
  • PC users click on ads with heavyweight financial services involved, including “accounts” and “loans,” which matched the desktop mindset.
  • Mobile users are, predictably, looking for location. They’re also clicking on ads with “fees” in the description, which might suggest showrooming.
  • Tablet users respond to the same words that are important to PC users and mobile users, demonstrating the adaptability of the device and intention.

Insurance Top Word Combos

  • When it comes to Insurance, ads with “official” in the title are critical to both PC and tablet users. Mobile users could care less, looking for more specifics like type of insurance and affordability.
  • PC users are willing to click on ads with “quote” in the description, suggesting that the desktop environment is more conducive to a more time-consuming engagement.
  • Mobile users are hard to pin down in the Insurance category, responding to a wide range of relevant words.
  • Tablet users look for “official” in the title, then drill into specifics with the description.

Loans and Lending Top Word Combos

Putting it All Together

  • Focus your search campaign by device, and tailor your ad copy to the device.
  • Adding sitelinks (extensions) to all ads increases lift.
  • Test your ad copy, then test it again and again until you land on the combo that delivers.

What word combos have you found to be most successful in financial services PPC advertising? We’d love to hear your experience!

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