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PPC for Banks: Win Quality Customers Profitably (+ Free Calculator)

May 19, 2023
Updated: January 11, 2024
Reading Time: 18 minutes
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PPC for Banks: Win Quality Customers Profitably (+ Free Calculator)

Meta description: Discover the ultimate PPC strategy to attract more customers to your bank. You’ll find everything from a profit calculator to PPC tips to improve your campaign. 

During a conversation with the main partner of a 50-employee bank, we discussed three main problems stopping their business from growing:

  1. Difficult to stand out in the competitive market. 
  2. Complex products and services make it hard to advertise.
  3. Strict regulation in the industry limits marketing options.

To solve these problems, the bank needed to invest in marketing to attract valuable customers. Pay Per Click (PPC) is one of the best ways to do this because it helps:

  1. Find potential customers who are looking for banking services today.
  2. Generates a predictable flow of new customers.
  3. Ensures affordability if you use the right strategies (read below). 

Using our PPC strategies with 200+ businesses, we’ve generated 1000s of new customers for our clients. Read this article to learn how to find new and valuable customers through PPC, and book a call if you’d like an honest digital marketing agency to run your PPC campaign for you.

How much profit can PPC make your bank?

It’s very likely one of your competitors is growing rapidly as a result of a well-executed PPC strategy. 

But every bank is different. Your bank will have different positioning, brand awareness, service offering, and costs compared to a local competitor. That is why you need to have a strategy that is suitable for your bank. 

Therefore, before you read our winning strategy, it is essential that, with our interactive calculator, you should first work out if PPC will be a profitable method to acquire new customers. 

But first, read these three definitions to understand how the calculator works!

How PPC Works

When you run a PPC campaign, you will pay to appear on a search engine every time a potential customer searches a specific keyword (which we will define later). Every time a potential customer clicks on your ad, you will pay money to the ad platform. This is called the Cost Per Click (CPC). For the banking industry, CPCs typically range from $0.50 and $5. 

Cost Per Click (CPC)
Cost per click is the amount of money you pay to an advertising platform, like Google, to have a user click on your ad.

Of the people who click on your ad, some will convert into becoming a customer. This is your Conversion Rate (CVR). For the banking industry, CVR typically range from 1.5% and 3.5%.

Conversion Rate (CVR)
Conversion rate is the percentage of users that convert into becoming a customer after clicking your ad.

We can use this to determine the cost of acquiring a single customer. Typically, this is called the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). For the banking industry, CACs typically range from $0.14 and $3.33.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
This is the cost of acquiring a single customer or client. 
Customer Acquisition Cost = Cost Per Click / Conversion Rate
CAC = CPC / CVR

Interactive PPC Profit Calculator 

Use this interactive calculator to work out how much profit you will receive from each customer acquired through PPC.

We’ve built this calculator using typical CPC and CVR across the banking industry. All you need to do is enter the amount of revenue a single customer generates for you. The calculator then subtracts the marketing costs from the revenue to give you a profit per customer. Hence, by using this calculator, you can develop an understanding of the potential profits PPC could generate for your business. 

It is important to note that PPC is not 100% predictable, so we have created three unique cases which represent how well your PPC campaign could perform. 

Step 1

Enter how much a single client
generates you in revenue

best average worst
CPC
CVR
CAC
Profit
Step 2

Visualise how much profit you could make with PPC

Overview of our PPC strategy

There are three steps to running a profitable PPC strategy.

  1. Set up PPC campaigns correctly to target the right audience and keywords.
  2. Design high-converting landing pages. These are the pages that your potential customers will visit. 
  3. Optimise your ads and landing pages to get the maximum profit. 

Paid Search + Paid Social

We create and manage ad campaigns on all search and social platforms

Landing Page Design

We design and implement landing pages that are made to convert

Conversion Optimization

We perform ongoing analysis and experimentation to optimize performance.

Without experience, a lot can go wrong. Doing even one of the steps incorrectly can result in losing money for every single customer you acquire. 

That’s because choosing the wrong keywords can result in you paying a massive $200 per click, not a mere $20. It can result in your page converting at a lowly 2%, not an optimised 20%. It’s the difference between you paying $100 for every new customer or an unprofitable $10,000. 

To not lose money and grow your business profitably, it is important to get each step right. The rest of the article will shed light on how to achieve a profitable PPC campaign.

Should you run ads on paid search or paid social?

There are two ways to advertise your banking services online:

  1. Paid Search (Google Ads, Bing Ads)
  2. Paid Social (Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat)

What’s the difference? Paid Search is when your ad appears on a search engine, like Google, after you’ve searched a term. This is a very powerful advertising method because you can choose what keywords your bank appears for. 

We know which keywords potential customers use when they’re looking for a bank, so we can specifically choose to show your business at the top of Google for those keywords. But because of this amazing feature, your competitors will try a similar strategy and make it expensive. You’ll need to optimise all parts of your PPC strategy to ensure costs don’t spiral upwards!

On the other hand, if you use Paid Social, you appear ‘in-feed’. When someone is scrolling on a platform like Facebook or Instagram, ads appear. These ads interrupt the scrolling process. The person scrolling has not said they’re interested in financial services, but you’re hoping your ad will attract a customer. The disadvantage of this technique is your ad is also shown to people who don’t need your services. On the other hand, this advertising method is cheaper. 

We’ve mostly seen banks generate more profit on Paid Search, but there are some cases when Paid Social can work very well.

Hence, it’s not completely black and white which way of advertising will work best for your business. It depends on the following:

  1. What exact financial service are you selling?
  2. Who are your target customers?
  3. Where do your customers spend their time online?
  4. How much money do you make per customer?

We’re going to discuss Paid Search in this article as it is the most profitable PPC strategy when starting off. Also, sometimes a hybrid strategy using Paid Social can improve effectiveness — if this is something you’d like to discuss, you can book a call.

Running PPC paid search ads  

The most common paid search ads are keyword based. When a keyword is searched, ads appear at the top of Google. 

For example, here’s a generic keyword ‘Bank Loan’. Notice how the PPC ads appear first, and then the organic results (from SEO) appear second.

By paying for this ad, you can appear above SEO results (which takes longer to achieve). But, there are some pros and cons to this.

Pros of PPC:

  1. You can get in front of your potential customers quickly.
  2. You can win valuable leads.
  3. You can test which keywords bring in qualified customers.

Cons of PPC: 

  1. It can be expensive if you don’t set it up right.
  2. Most people scroll straight past your ads. They prefer to look at SEO/organic results (however, we can help you counter this by running a hybrid strategy so you appear for both).

Up till now, you’ve learnt and understood: 

  • How PPC works
  • If PPC will generate profitable customers
  • What paid search is
  • The pros and cons of a PPC strategy

But we mentioned that PPC could sometimes be expensive if you go for the wrong keyword. How do you know which keywords will make you money? Let’s explore this further. 

Which PPC keywords should you target to get new customers?

Most inexperienced PPC managers will make the mistake of choosing the wrong keywords. That mistake alone can be the difference between swimming in 100 new customers or drowning in $1000s of debt. 

Here’s what wrong keywords look like:

Firstly, the wrong keywords are based exactly on the service you offer. Initially, it may seem perfect, but it can have an adverse impact.

Let’s take the example of the keyword ‘bank loan.’ There are many competitors bidding for the exact keyword. This means the CPC is higher than is profitable for you to pay for, and results in you losing money. Remember, PPC operates on an auction-based bidding model. That means the more competitors that want to appear for the keyword, the more you pay.

Secondly, the wrong keywords have low intent. 

For example, ‘what is a bank loan?’. The person Googling that keyword is not ready to instruct a bank to carry out a service. They’re in education mode. Typically, these keywords have a very low CPC because no one wants that traffic. 

But what do the right keywords look like? 

Firstly, the right keywords that have a high intent to purchase services and receive a quote. For example, these could be branded, product, or pain point keywords.

Secondly, the right keywords have reasonable CPCs, which make sense for the services you sell. You can look back at our interactive calculator to figure that out.

We’re going to show you all the types of keywords that can result in a lot of profit for your bank.

Type of keywordExamples of keywordProsCons
BrandedBank of America Loan
Natwest Bank Account
Metro Bank
Bank of England
Cost-effective strategy to win new customers when your competitors may not be the best servicer.The competition usually bids on their own branded keyword to protect against it.
Product/serviceSavings Account
Credit Cards 
Small Business Loan
Fixed Rate Mortgages 
High intent keywords for purchase or solving pain point and can be very profitable.Service-level keywords are usually competitive, and services need bespoke landing pages.
LocationBank of America New York
Bank Near Me 
Barclays in West London 
High intent and very cost-effective. 
The big competitors usually avoid these keywords.
You’ll be competing with local providers. 
You’ll need to be locally present or have easy ‘contact us’ information.
Pain pointHow to start a small business with no money?
How to take out a mortgage?
How to save money for a down payment on a house?
How to improve your credit score?
It is possible to capture this lead before they go to competitors. 
You’ll be able to close this customer without competition.
Slightly lower buying intent as the user is in education mode. 
Will need a well-designed landing page.

Excellent PPC ad creative and copywriting examples 

Your ads appear next to your competitors, so you have to find a way to stand out. That is why we first analyse the competitive landscape before bidding on a keyword for a customer.

Here are some examples of banking-related ads and what we think of them.

Ad 1: Tide appearing for ‘Small Business Loans’

Keyword: ‘Small Business Loans’

Verdict: 5/5 

Good areas: The headline is engaging and relevant thanks to the keyword inclusion. It also contains a clear call-to-action (CTA) to help businesses see their eligibility. There are some excellent features including ‘No Monthly Fees.’

Bad areas: It might benefit from specifying the loan range or some social proof, such as press mentions. 

Ad 2: GoHenry appearing for ‘Debit Card for Kids’

Keyword: ‘Debit Card for Kids’

Verdict: ⅘  

Good areas: Good use of cross-promotion and social proof with ‘As Seen On TV.’ The company aim is clear in the description and it includes a compelling ‘Free’  CTA.

Bad areas: It would be better if the description didn’t cut off and the searcher could see the benefit of referring to a friend. 

Ad 3: Allica Bank appearing for ‘Business Savings Account’

Keyword: ‘Business Savings Account’

Verdict: ⅘ 

Good areas: Excellent headline. It includes the keyword and convincing ‘Award-Winning’ position. Also a great use of USPs, such as ‘No Monthly Fees.’ 

Bad areas: A clear and compelling CTA would really drive the clicks for this ad.

Ad 4: Halifax appearing for ‘First-Time Buyer Mortgages’

Keyword: ‘First-Time Buyer Mortgages’

Verdict: ⅘ 

Good areas: Compelling headline offering a unique ‘Calculator’ to help searchers. The use of the key phrases is also great.

Bad areas: The ad could make it clearer what an ‘Agreement in Principle’ is since the audience is first-time buyers who lack an awareness of the industry. 

How to create a high-converting landing page for banking PPC?

A high-converting landing page is one of the biggest factors in PPC success. Without it, you’ll be paying for traffic that doesn’t convert into customers. That’s a huge waste of cash! 

We recommend you have a conversion rate expert build out your landing page. Our winning landing page framework is reserved for our clients, but we’ll reveal the most important sections you need.  

Hero Block

The first section of the landing page is called the ‘Hero Block’. You can see the whole section as soon as you open the web page. You need to have three things in this section:

  1. Great headline. For example, ‘Award-Winning Business Bank in the UK.’
  2. Social proof. For example, 5.8/5 stars, 4,000+ reviews.
  3. Call to action. For example, ‘Check Eligibility in Less Than 5 Minutes.’

Your hero block needs to simply call out exactly what you offer, who it is for, and why you are a low-risk solution. 

Service Block

High up the page, probably in the 2nd or 3rd block, you will need to explain your services and/or products. You should explain its features and benefits. For example, if you provide personal loans, you would have features and benefits as follows:

Features:

  • Flexible repayment options.
  • Competitive interest rates.
  • Quick and easy application process. 

Benefits:

  • Get the funds you need for any personal expenses.
  • Repay the loan at a pace that suits you.
  • Save money with lower interest rates compared to credit cards or other loans.

Call to Action Block

Every PPC landing page needs a highly compelling call to action block. It is solely designed to get the user to fill in a form or book a call. 

We highly suggest including several call-to-action blocks throughout your landing page, such as at the top of your page, one in the middle of your page, and one at the end. You’ll be surprised how much it can increase your conversion rates and reduce your customer acquisition costs!

We include 6+ other high-converting blocks in our landing pages. Reach out to learn what they are and how to implement them. 

Engage an agency to run your PPC ads

There are lots of aspects to running a profitable PPC campaign for your bank. You can attempt it yourself, or you can engage us, NUOPTIMA. We’ve worked with 200+ businesses and run thousands of PPC campaigns profitably. 

A bit about us

We’re an honest growth agency, and our goal is to drive profit for your business. 

We don’t work with everyone. In fact, we actively refuse 50% of all businesses that try to work with us. That’s purely based on if we think we can make your campaign a success. We only grow as an agency if we can get you results and you refer us to your friends and family. 

Before you choose a PPC agency, reach out to our team. We’ll objectively tell you what we think, and if it’s good, we’ll propose a fair price alongside a set of growth expectations and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Once you start to work with us, you’ll be in regular contact with our team. You’ll be provided with extensive data tracking and will communicate with us on regular calls.

Our PPC capabilities:

  • We can service budgets from $100+ ad spend per day.
  • Management costs start from $1,000 per month, depending on ad spend, platform, and requirements.
  • Work on all ad platforms: Google, Facebook, Tiktok, Snapchat, and Reddit.
  • We’ve worked with local service providers to public companies.
  • We’ve worked across B2C and B2B, having driven brands to 7 figures in sales, and exceeded B2B SQL quotas.

Next steps:

  • Firstly, you should visit our PPC services page here.
  • Then, you should read through some case studies here.
  • And when you’re ready, send us a message or book a call here.

Book Call

Start your growth journey today.

FAQ

What is a PPC in banking?
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Pay Per Click or PPC for banks is a way to advertise your services to specific audiences. Though the ad manager only pays when someone clicks on the ad.

How do you advertise a bank?
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Banks must adhere to strict rules when advertising so it’s essential to use the right strategies to ensure affordability and profitability. PPC is a quick way to attract qualified leads to your site thanks to the hyper-specific targeting. Comparatively, SEO (search engine optimisation) is a long-term growth strategy. Both are effective and we can help you determine which suits your business goals better.

What is lead gen for banks?
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Lead generation is the process of attracting qualified potential customers to your website. The purpose of lead gen is to transform a potential customer into an actual customer.

Author's image

By: Alexej Pikovsky

CEO & Founder

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Alexej spent 10 years in investment banking, venture capital and private equity. Running the wider group’s brands and building one of Europe’s fastest growing growth agencies, Alexej is well positioned to advise founders and funds. Alexej graduated MSc from Imperial College London and is a fellow of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation.

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