Ultimate Guide to PPC for Financial Services

Pay Per Click

Many financial professionals do not fully understand pay-per-click (PPC), although they are familiar with the term.

PPC is now an essential tool within financial marketing. You should at least know the basics, even if you do not carry out daily maintenance and campaign creation.

We will help you understand PPC as a whole. We start with the benefits, and then move on to the key terms you need to familiarise yourself with.

PPC for financial services

PPC for financial services

PPC or pay-per click is a type of advertising where you pay a fee to have your website appear higher on the search engine result pages (SERPs) by bidding on particular terms and phrases related to your financial services. 

When someone searches for your specific keywords and phrases, the SERP displays your ads to direct people to your website or landing page. 

The cost depends on whether they click on your particular ad and how competitive the keyword or phrase is. 

PPC for financial services can provide your firm with quality leads, if done correctly. A seamless user experience (UX) can make your PPC campaign extremely profitable. (You’ll see how to do it later in this article).

Although pay-per-click is best known for its search engine capabilities like Google and Bing, it can also be used on social media channels.

Terms and Definitions

What marketing channel is complete without mind boggling jargon?

There are some terms that you need to know if you want to immerse yourself in paid advertising. Let’s explore these. 


Setting up your PPC ads begins with deciding on your ad campaign. Your campaign can be considered the main message or theme you want to convey with your ads.

Ad Group

One size doesn’t fit all. You’ll need to create several ads for your campaign based on highly related keywords. Each ad group you create can be assigned a CPC and unique content.


Your ad group will target specific keywords. These keywords tell search engines what terms or search queries your ad should be displayed next to. 

Once you have determined which keywords are most effective, you can create a micro-CPC for certain keywords in your ads.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

All forms of digital advertising have the same goal: to rank for a targeted keyword or phrase. There are many ways to achieve this. 

SEM is any form of digital marketing done through a search engine like Google or Bing.

SEM is a broad term that covers both paid advertising and search engine optimization (SEO), which is the organic ranking for keywords.

Cost-per-click (CPC)

Cost-per-click (CPC), is the cost that an advertiser charges for each click on your advertisement. 

CPC is your bid in an online auction. It determines where your ads will appear. A higher bid will lead to better placement.

Your CPC is set at the highest price you will pay per click for your ad.

Quality Score

This is the score search engines assign to your ad based on your click-through rate (CTR). It’s calculated against the average CTR for ads in the same position. 

It takes into account the relevance of your keywords, the quality of the landing page, and past performance on the SERP.

Ad Rank

This value is used to determine the position of an advertisement on search engine results pages. It is equal to Maximum bid x Quality Score.

Maximum Bid

This is the maximum price you are willing to pay for each click on your ad.

Your CPC can be set to manual where you decide the maximum bid for your ads, or enhanced, which allows search engines to adjust the bid to meet your goals. 

Bid strategies are one of the enhanced options that allow you to adjust your bids automatically based on clicks and conversions.

CPM (Cost Per Mille)

CPM is also known as cost-per-thousand. It’s the cost for one thousand impressions. This is most often used for display and paid social ads. 

Although there are many other cost-per… such as cost-per engagement (CPE) and cost-per acquisition (CPA), we will stick with clicks for the sake of our mental space…. Like I said…. It can be mind boggling! 

Ad Text

Your ad text should include keywords. Your Quality Score is determined based on how relevant your advertisement is. 

Therefore, the text of your ad and landing page should be consistent with the keywords and terms you are targeting.

Landing Pages

A landing page is a standalone web page on which potential customers will land when they click through your ad. 

The sole purpose of a landing page is to collect information from contacts in exchange for something of value, such as a guide or white paper. 

Your paid advertising strategy should always include a landing page or multiple. After clicking your PPC advertisement, users will land on the landing page. 

To maximise conversions, you must use landing page best practice. 

Two quick suggestions are to answer questions that people are looking for on your landing page, and to always include a chat bot!

The Best performing PPC Platforms

PPC Platforms

After you have mastered the basics of PPC for financial services, your next question might be: Where do I advertise?

There are many online places where you could spend your PPC budget. The best way to verify them is to consider the potential ROI of each platform.

Because they are easy to use and, above all, well-trafficked, the most effective advertising platforms are highly popular. 

If you have a smaller budget, you could also consider other lesser-known players.

Other factors to consider when choosing a platform include the availability of keywords, where your target audience spends time, and your advertising budget.

How often do you hear “I’ll Google it”? Most probably once a day… or more… which is why Google Ads is the king of paid advertising.

Google ads receives an average of 90,000.00 search queries per second. This gives you ample opportunities to target keywords that will attract your targeted audience. 

This platform is highly competitive, which means you will have to spend more on ads.

Bing Ads is another search engine advertising platform to consider. While Bing advertising has a lower CPC, it also has a smaller audience. 

It is worth noting that the typical user on Bing is generally over 35, most commonly between 55 and 64, and most are parents. One-third of the Bing Ads audience also has a household income of $100,000 or more. 

Got you thinking twice? When it comes to PPC for financial services, the Bing Ads audience may well be something you would like to tap into. 

Facebook Ads
are a popular platform for paid advertising. It is more commonly used as CPM than CPC, primarily because of its targeted targeting options. 

Facebook lets you target people based on their interests, demographics and location.

Facebook also allows native ads. This means ads can be introduced to the user’s social feed and blended in with their content. 

You can also use Facebook Ads for Instagram advertising. Now known combined as Meta

Building PPC campaigns

Let’s now understand the benefits and find your keywords. Now let’s start creating a quality PPC campaign with Google Ads, or another platform.

These items do not have to be tackled in order, although they should all be ticked off to create a powerful marketing campaign.

Set parameters

Although I did not say you need to do them in order, you should complete this step first. You risk making your ad ineffective and untargeted without parameters.

Your ultimate business goals should be the focus of your ad campaigns. Think about how your paid campaigns can help you achieve those goals. 

Next, consider what you want from your ads, whether it be sales, visits, brand awareness or some other goal. Finally, consider how much money you are willing to spend on that goal.

Your advertising strategy should be based on the answers to the following questions:

  • What is your campaign theme?
  • Who do you want to target?
  • What is success to you?
  • What type of campaign will you run?

Let’s talk about some common PPC goals, and how they can be measured.

Brand Awareness refers to how familiar your target audience is with your company. Display ads might be an option to help you add engaging imagery to your copy. 

You can measure brand recognition via social engagement, surveys and direct traffic.

Lead generation comes directly from having an engaging and relevant landing page for your paid ad. You will need to create separate landing pages for each ad group. 

This allows you to track conversions in Google Ads via a tracking code or UTM parameters.

Sales is a measure of how many services are sold using paid advertisements. This should be possible to track using CMS software and attribution reporting.

Website traffic can be a great goal if your website has high-quality content. You want to keep people coming back to your website and convert them into leads if you spend money to get them back.

Selecting the right campaign type

Not only do you need to decide where you will advertise, but also how. There are different kinds of paid advertising campaigns. 

The type you choose depends on the reach you have. This doesn’t mean you have to advertise using all means. 

You can still try different campaign types, as long as your campaigns are constantly being revised and tested.

Search Ads is the most popular type of PPC. These are text ads that appear on search engine results pages.

Display ads allow you to place images-based ads on external websites, such as social media. You can buy display ads via Google Display Network (GDN) and many other ad networks.

Social is any ads you see on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Depending on the platform, you can either pay to appear in your target audience’s social feeds or elsewhere within their profile.

Remarketing uses cookies or a list of your upload of contacts to target people who have engaged with your firm previously through some action. 

This could be filling out forms, reading blogs, or simply visiting your website.

Keyword Research

Every ad group you create must be given a set of keywords that target. This is how search engines determine when and where to display your ads. 

A good rule of thumb is to choose between one and five keywords per ad-group. These keywords should be highly relevant, as it will affect your Quality Score.

You should choose keywords closely related to the theme of your ad groups. You should create an additional ad group if you discover keywords that are not related to one theme.

Important to remember that your keywords are not fixed. You should monitor your keyword list all the way through your campaign. 

This will allow you to eliminate keywords that aren’t bringing in the visitors you want, and increase your bids for those that do. 

You should do your best to choose the most relevant keywords. However, don’t be pressured to get it right the first time.

Google Analytics and Tracking

Google Analytics is free, so you should definitely have it on your website. 

This tool gives insight into your website’s performance, user interaction within it, and the content that visitors find most appealing. 

Google Analytics data can be used to create PPC ads and other marketing strategies

The Best Practices to Implement a Quality PPC Strategy

Did you think we would let you spend your hard-earned cash on advertising without giving you best practices to follow? Of course not. 

We want you to succeed in your next PPC campaign. Let’s now get into PPC strategies and how to maximise efforts, all while saving you money.

Ad Copy

Targeted keywords can get your ad noticed, and great ad copy can get people to click your ad. 

A search ad is composed of a title, URL and brief description. Each of these requires characters to be followed. 

Make sure your ad copy follows the following guidelines to maximise the space available.

  • Follow landing page best practices
  • Talk directly to your target audience
  • Include keywords you are bidding on
  • Perform A/B testing
  • provide an obvious CTA to help the searcher convert
  • Use language which is in line with your landing page

The page you send leads to when they click on your ads is probably the most important part of PPC. The page must be relevant to your ad and deliver the promised experience.

Why? Because your goal is to convert any new visitor into either a lead or new client. 

A high-converting landing page will not only improve your Quality Score, but also lead to better ad placements. 

On the other hand, poorly designed landing pages will reduce your PPC profits.

A/B testing your campaigns

A/B testing is just as important as any other element of marketing testing. 

The good news is that ads only have four components to test: the headline, description and landing page. 

You can make minor changes to any one of these elements to significantly improve your results. Therefore, you will need to test each element one by one, so that you can track where improvements have come from.

There are many variants that you could test, so it is a good idea to list all possible tests and rank them by impact level. 

You should let your ads run for enough time to collect the necessary data, but stop them early enough to not waste money on poor-performing ads.

Maximise ROI

Maximising ROI from your advertising campaigns at a high level means considering client lifetime value, as well as client acquisition costs. This will help you decide how much to spend on a lead and how much can be made possible by paid advertising.

Additional Tips & Tricks

You can further maximise your ROI for paid ads by implementing the below:


Google lets you personalise your audience to save you marketing funds while getting in front of the right people. 

Upload a client list to avoid spending money on clients already using your financial services.

Google offers several options for prospecting audiences. 

In Market Audiences uses user behaviour tracking to place you in front of prospects looking for products or services similar to yours, commonly known as ‘lookalike audiences’.

It is possible to increase your bid for subgroups of your target audience by layering them. Tools such as connect explore enable these layering techniques. 

Bid adjustments

Bid adjustments allow you to adjust your bids to reflect performance. These adjustments can be made based on different categories, such as device, demographics and language.

If a keyword doesn’t perform as well on mobile than on desktop, you might add a negative bidding adjustment to ensure that the bid you place on your keyword for mobile is X% lower.

Keyword Monitoring

You should not wait too long to see how keywords perform. You can bid higher on keywords that produce the best results, or eliminate others.

Custom Ad Scheduling

To display your ad only on specific days or times, you can use ad scheduling within Google Ads. This will allow you to reduce ad spend while improving the relevance of your target audience.

Sitelink Extensions

Sitelink extensions allow you to add additional information to your ad. You may add a site link extension that displays your opening hours, location, and other information. 

These extensions are more prominent in SERPs, and therefore stand out. They also help improve your Ad Rank.

Conversion tracking

Conversion tracking tracks how your landing pages perform by placing a tracking code on the page that people land after filling out your form. 

This tracking code is usually placed on a page called “Thank You”. This feature can be enabled to help you make adjustments that will improve your conversions.

Match Types

Match Types In Google Ads Allows you to select how closely your ad groups should be associated with a search group. 

There are four types of match: exact, broad and phrase. Google will show your ad according to the selection you have made.

If your keyword phrase is “how to transfer my pension”, and you choose “broad match,” Google will show your ad for any query that includes any word in your key phrase in any order. This includes “pension transfer” or “pension how to”.

Negative Keywords

Search engines can use a negative keyword list to tell them what keywords you don’t want to rank for. This is just as important as what you know. 

These keywords might be known beforehand, but you will likely determine what isn’t performing well in your campaign as it runs.

Ads on Social Media

CPM is not as common on social media platforms. However, PPC can be found on many social media sites. It works in the same way search engine ads do: you can set a budget and bid for ad placements.

Social media ads can appear directly in your news feed on most platforms. This decreases the effectiveness of ad blocking software. Facebook and other social media platforms allow you to target specific demographics or people based on their interests. 

Paid search, while more keyword-focused than paid social, can be broadened to a demographic focus. Allowing you to target more people.

Retargeting and Lookalike Audiences are two of the most important paid advertising functions in social media. Retargeting allows you to remarket people based on site visits and manually uploaded contact lists. 

Lookalike Audiences analyses the contacts on your marketing lists and creates an audience that matches your list. This expands your target market. Paid social allows you to use more ads, including images, videos and text.

Management and Tracking

Paid advertising does not mean you can just “set it and forget about it.” Instead, you need to monitor and manage your ads to achieve the best results. 

PPC campaigns require management, analysis, tracking, and monitoring. They provide valuable insight and can help you create more effective campaigns.

What is PPC Management?

PPC management can include various techniques, such as split testing, creating goals and adjusting them, adding new keywords, optimising conversion paths and shifting plans to achieve goals.

PPC management means paying attention to your strategy and spending. It means adjusting your strategy to maximise keyword effectiveness. 

It also means focusing on how resources can be allocated to specific keywords, and how to adjust these resources to maximise ROI.

Good management strategies also pay attention to providers, such as search engines, social media platforms, and advertising networks, to monitor any changes or updates that might affect paid campaigns.

PPC management can be quite a task. This is why it is worth investing in PPC management tools or fully outsourcing your PPC management to a specialist agency, such as Opulent Media Group.

Tools and Software

PPC management tools will make it easier to keep track of all the variables. While you can monitor your ads on the platform, it is possible to get additional help and organisation by using a spreadsheet or other sophisticated software that provides insight into your ad performance.

Multi-user support and cross-platform management are key features to consider if you’re considering software.

Here are some of our favourite highly-rated PPC software resources and tools:

HubSpot provides a template that helps you manage and monitor the various parts of your campaign. It makes it easy to track your keywords and ad groups, as well as A/B testing.

SEMrush will help you manage the most crucial part of your PPC campaign: keywords. 

It allows you to find and manage relevant keywords, and can even create negative lists.

Leadpages allows you to create landing pages for your various PPC campaigns.

Ahrefs does more than another SEO tool. Ahrefs can be used to assess the performance of your PPC ads. Ahrefs allows you to spy on keywords of your competitors.

PPC Metrics 

Metrics matter. But you probably already know that. These are the key metrics you should track in your PPC campaign.

Clicks are the number of clicks you get on an advertisement. The keywords can affect this metric you choose and the relevance of your ad copy.

The cost per click (CPC), is the price you pay for each click of your ad.

Clickthrough Rate (CTR) refers to the percentage of ads that lead to clicks. This is the metric that determines the cost per click (CPC). CTR benchmarks can vary according to industry.

Impressions are the number of times an advertisement has been seen. For every 1000 impressions, the cost per million (CPM), is calculated. For brand awareness campaigns, impressions are the most relevant.

Your ad spend refers to the amount you spend on your ads. This can be optimised by increasing your Quality Score.

Return of ad spending (ROAS) indicates the ROI for your ad campaign. This metric determines the amount of revenue earned for every penny spent on advertising.

Conversion rate refers to the percentage that people complete your call-to-action and become customers or leads.

Cost per lead is the cost of generating a lead. This is the sum of the total cost of the ad and the number of conversions.

Quality Score (QS) is a metric that determines ad placement. It’s an important metric to monitor.

You can improve the ROI of your paid campaigns by paying attention to these metrics and spending less money for better results.

PPC for financial services

PPC could be the perfect boost for your financial firm, whether you’re just starting out or in business for decades.

Becoming a true expert in Pay Per Click (PPC) can take years of experience and time dedication. 

With Opulent Media Group as your PPC Agency, we’re there to take away the stress.

As early pioneers of PPC capabilities and Official Google Partners, we have been lucky enough to work with financial advisers in the UK, Asia, USA and UAE and consistently delivered results paired with all important ROI. 

We do things differently.  We’re results oriented and only get paid when you do.

Sounds good?

Let’s discuss your needs surrounding PPC for financial services. 

Read our comprehensive 30-page guide to marketing for financial services in 2022

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