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PPC for financial services: restrictions and recommendations

The financial industry is one of the largest economic sectors in the world, and all parts of the global economy rely on its smooth functioning. From a marketing perspective, finance companies show enormous variety. Industries such as private banking and insurance show high costs of acquisition, high lifetime client values and a willingness to compete aggressively to grow their client base. In between fierce competition and the tightly regulated financial marketplace, PPC campaigns face unique challenges.

The financial sector includes all businesses that manage risk, invest money directly or sell financial instruments such as derivatives. Banking and insurance are two of the main divisions; client types vary in size from individual personal accounts (‘retail’ clients) to massive global institutions or even national governments.

Some of the most familiar financial companies to consumers are banks, insurance companies, cryptocurrency companies, FX brokers, investment managers and mortgage or loan providers. Some firms provide all of these services, such as high APR personal loans, debt services, credit repair services and others, under one name; others are hyper-specialized.


Financial PPC keywords are among the most expensive for any industry. Particularly in the case of insurance, the lifetime value of clients is so high that keywords can cost $100+ per click.  Throughout the industry, costs of $50+ are not uncommon. This means there is little margin for error in prospect targeting.

Asides from cost, state and local regulations are a massive part of what makes this sector unique. Due to the complex products and sensitive data handled by financial firms, all content endorsed by them is subject to thorough checks, resulting in long approval times.

Against a backdrop of intense competition, a rapidly updated industry, new technology and a global marketplace, there are many challenges for successful financial PPC campaigns.

Benefits of PPC advertising

Three key advantages of using PPC in the finance industry:

  1. PPC allows you to reach new potential clients. A PPC campaign will guarantee your results on the search engine result page (SERP) of clients making specific, active searches.
  2. PPC allows for the greatest level of customization. After picking relevant keywords, you can target these down to extremely precise user profiles. For example, a geographically targeted PPC campaign might target the financial district during weekday lunchtimes.
  3. PPC typically has a high return on ad spend (ROAS), and perhaps most useful of all, can go live minutes after the campaign is launched. This is in marked contrast to slower SEO solutions.

PPC in finance – what to keep in mind

These are just some of the advantages of using PPC in the financial sector. In order to maximise campaign potential, there are several things for marketers to remember:

  • Use a framework to deal with restrictions. Understand the regulation, how to fix the disapproved issues, and have contingency plans. These plans could include having a backup landing page with softer language or totally avoiding sensitive keywords. A/B testing will be useful.
  • Expect and prepare for a high CPC. Both Microsoft and Google ads have high CPCs for financial keywords. Be prepared for this and consider targeting niche keywords.
  • Mass targeting is not appropriate. Each audience has its own touch points, even if their needs are similar. The more customization you use and the more precise your targeting, the easier it will be to find your audience.
  • Use customized, unique ad copy. Avoid spammy practices like using competitor names in headlines. Avoid repetitive language.

Finally, the synergy between SEO and PPC is extremely important. Customers expect high-quality, consistent content. SEO and PPC should work in tandem to ensure that your brand features highly on SERP, especially for brand keywords. No one wants to see their competitors ranking above them on brand keywords.

Digital marketing agency for financial services

There’s a lot of competing demands on companies when planning PPC campaigns in the financial industry. Increased cost, regulation and cut-throat competition all add to a challenging environment for marketers.

Collaborating with an international marketing agency that understands the local regulations and difficulties of the financial industry will result in more precise, high-value campaigns. If you want to learn more about our services for the financial sector, feel free to contact us!

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