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Learn how word choice can make or break PPC search ads for financial services

May 2014

"Choose your words carefully." It's great advice not only in life but also in your search campaigns. The search advertising marketplace for financial services is both hyper-competitive and has the highest cost-per-click (CPC) among all verticals. And one campaign definitely does not fit all categories. Your choice of keywords can make or break your campaign.

We analyzed 180 million impressions and the results show the importance of finding the right combinations of keywords in titles and descriptions — especially for financial services advertisers. It also reveals that the best keywords for different categories in the financial services vertical change across devices and scenarios.

We broke the financial services market into five categories:

  • Financial institutions
  • Insurance
  • Loans and lending
  • Credit cards
  • Credit reporting

We found that keyword combinations that work well for one category, such as loans and lending, may perform poorly in another. For example, financial institution ads with "official" in the description tend to perform well, while insurance ads perform better when "official" is in the description instead.

But the success of keywords also differs depending on what kind of a device a searcher uses. There is no prescriptive set of ad copy that will generate the same results across devices. People use different devices for different things — they don’t look for the same info on their PC as they do on their phone.

To learn how to read a keyword heat map and find out the best-performing combos for each category and each device, check out our insights presentation on this page.