Powerful PPC Marketing Strategies for Credit Unions and Community Banks

Lay the foundation for successful PPC marketing

Spend your ad budget wisely by taking the time to lay the groundwork for successful campaigns. Without these efforts, you’ll waste time on ads that don’t gain traction and money on clicks that don’t drive conversions. Before going live, you’ll need to: 

1. Clarify your campaign goals. You want to get your community bank or credit union in front of as many prospective customers as possible. The best strategy is creating specific campaigns that drive qualified traffic. Instead of PPC campaigns to draw people simply looking for a bank, for example, you’ll target searchers looking for ‘lowest fee banks” or “banks with personalized service.” You can even get more specific with campaigns for people looking for auto loans or home equity loans.

2. Optimize your website and landing pages. Before starting any PPC campaign, ensure your website and landing pages are ready for the increased traffic. Things to check on and polish: 

  • Does your website load quickly? 
  • Does your landing page copy state the value proposition clearly? 
  • Does your landing page clarify next steps and have a compelling call to action?
  • Is your contact form short and easy to fill out? 
  • Is your website mobile-friendly so people can fill out contact forms when they are away from home?

Even if your PPC ad is effective, most consumers will bounce away quickly if they encounter a slow website, confusing copy, and time-consuming contact forms. 

Research long tail keywords based on your goals

Long tail keywords are less competitive and the searchers are typically more qualified. That’s because longer keywords are more specific—they cast a targeted net designed for people with a narrow search focus. Perhaps you’ll uncover keywords for those seeking a small business loan from a local community bank or a credit card from a credit union with outstanding customer service. 

As you dive into your keyword research with tools such as Google Ads Keyword Planner or SEMrush, you’ll discover other ad campaign opportunities. For example, you might find that people in a geographic area surrounding your community bank are looking for home refinancing offers. You can set up an ad campaign to draw interest and new accounts from this active customer base. 

Include negative keywords in your campaigns

Negative keywords prevent your ads from displaying in the SERPs when people search for specific terms. For example, a community bank running an ad campaign for a low-interest home loan wants to draw people in the market for home loans. But some consumers searching for home loans may inadvertently leave out the word ‘home.’ You don’t want to attract people searching for car loans or personal loans, so you’ll add ‘car’ and ‘personal’ as negative terms. 

Perhaps you also want to attract consumers with good credit. A search for ‘best community banks for home loans’ will fold in people looking for ‘home loans with bad credit.’ Including ‘bad credit’ as a negative keyword will keep those unqualified consumers from clicking your ad. 

Separate targeted keywords into ad groups

Specificity and relevance rule in PPC marketing. The primary goal of search engines is returning ads that are MOST relevant to every search—ad groups help you laser focus simultaneous campaigns. 

Most community banks and credit unions will create multiple ads for home loans, car loans, and business loans. Though these are all loan programs, a home loan offering is not relevant for people searching for a small business loan. To boost your ads’ specificity, separate them into three distinct groups: home loans, car loans, and small business loans. Grouping ‘like with like’ helps you drill down and conceptualize your specific offering. This guides the ad copy, the choice of keywords, and your ad quality—a critical metric that improves the success of an ad AND lowers the cost of your bid. 

Keep tabs on your ad quality score

The quality score is how Google rates the user experience of your ad. Is the ad relevant and accurate to the user’s search? Are the keywords related to your landing page? And is your landing page helpful to them when users visit? 

Ad quality is ranked on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being excellent quality and 1 being low quality. Monitoring quality scores helps you make adjustments that improve your expected click-through-rate and relevant keywords. Once again, someone searching for community bank home loans is more likely to click on an ad that includes the word ‘home’ than on an ad without this word. But don’t assume you know all the keywords without doing the research and watching the quality score—a common mistake that wastes your ad budget.    

Track results, adjust, and improve 

It’s clearly a mistake to ‘set and forget’ your PPC campaigns. The best PPC ad campaigns take time to build as you adjust your keywords and ad groups and improve the user experience based on results. To do that requires tracking of the quality score and other key metrics, including:

  • Click-through rate – How often users click on your ad offers insights into their value and the relevance of your keywords.
  • Conversion rates – How often do visitors submit contact forms or sign up for emails after they click-through? This gives you insights into the user experience on your landing page. 
  • Cost per conversion – This helps you determine your return on ad spend (ROAS). 

These metrics help you determine ad performance and guide decisions about ad campaigns you should build and others you should suspend. For example, you may discover that ads for home loans are delivering significant customer leads and ROAS, while ads for car loans are underperforming despite efforts to improve their quality. This suggests your organization may benefit from shifting PPC ad spend to home loan campaigns. 

Find out how Eight Oh Two can help your financial institution design effective PPC campaigns that drive business growth. Contact us today for a campaign audit and opportunity analysis.

Learn more about our credit union expertise here.