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Search Engine Marketing: Google Adwords Costs For Banks & Credit Unions

Every time someone types a financial related term into Google, there are banks and credit unions paying to have their ads placed atop the search results. The neat thing about Google AdWords is that you don’t pay until someone clicks. Some search terms only costs a few cents per click, while other more valuable and popular terms can run you a few bucks. With the Google AdWords interface, you can control how much you’re willing to pay per click, and how much you’re willing to spend every day. If you hit your spending limit, Google simply stops showing your ads. It’s a pretty slick system… if you have someone responsible for tightly managing and massaging your campaigns. A “set-it-and-forget-it” strategy probably isn’t going to pay off.

Here’s a breakdown of who’s paying for what, how much it costs, how many keywords they use and how many clicks they get. The data is divided into four main groups: Banks, Credit Unions, Consumer Search Terms and Geographical Search Terms. There are two bonus sections at the end showing how financial institutions are targeted through Google AdWords by industry vendors and trade groups.

Banks Using Google AdWords

Bank Daily Budget Keywords Used Paid Clicks
Bank of America $15,830 – $29,420 59,373 28,700
Bank of the West $476 – $1,000 3,335 439
Bankrate.com $22,500 – $38,590 64,398 29,500
BB&T $303 – $912 6,849 404
Charter One $931 – $2,010 2,695 1,020
Chase $27,620 – $33,540 40,692 31,700
Citi $929 – $4,490 8,807 2,370
Citizens $229 – $598 1,872 127
Deluxe $6K – $13K 19,805 7,680
DepositAccounts.com $69 – $111 501 114
Fifth Third Bank $570 – $908 2,870 659
First Tennessee $96 – $290 722 142
Harris $1,500 – $2,730 2,646 1,520
LendingTree $12,080 – $23,620 29,618 16,500
MyBankTracker $170 – $597 175 98
PNC $5,070 – $8,070 27,111 6,960
Quicken Loans $43,960 – $44,630 37,532 46,100
Regions Bank $290 – $778 9,219 217
SunTrust Bank $404 – $680 10,878 591
Susquehanna $13 – $27 17 4
Umpqua Bank 0 34 0
US Bank $4,130 – $9,540 15,864 7,470
USAA $9,950 – $20,430 54,312 17,300
Wells Fargo $5,040 – $14,680 58,009 11,100
Kiosk & Display | Digital Merchandising for Financial Institutions

Credit Unions Using Google AdWords

Out of the top 20 biggest credit unions in the U.S., 11 are running Google Adwords campaigns (55%). Navy FCU, the biggest credit union in the world, also has the biggest AdWords budget — probably around $1 million annually.

Credit Union Daily Budget Keywords Used Paid Clicks
Navy FCU $1,220 – $6,870 28,627 4,640
Pentagon Federal $681 – $2,700 6,028 1,510
BECU $241 – $688 22,924 151
Golden 1 $1.02 – $4.19 228 2
Security Service FCU $25.28 – $68.53 48 14
San Diego County $66.85 – $153.95 44 19
CEFCU $7.75 – $22.97 460 5
Alaska USA $9.37 – $38.45 17 3
Randolph Brooks $105.42 – $303.07 174 61
Delta Community $29 – $107 3,473 28
IBM SE $6 – $19 106 3
Associated $80 – $210 344 52
Georgia United $40 – $87 2,850 20
Fairwinds $15 – $30 24 4
Kiosk & Display | Digital Merchandising for Financial Institutions

Common Consumer Search Terms

Keyword(s) Cost/Click Searches/Day Clicks/Day
mortgage $1.16 – $1.42 304,667 4,190 – 5,280
mortgage rates $0.67 – $0.83 40,667 6,380 – 8,860
home loan $0.83 – $1.01 33,333 1,440 – 2,000
foreclosure $0.64 – $0.78 91,333 2,560 – 3,550
short sale $0.48 – $0.58 27,433 563 – 782
reverse mortgage $2.20 – $2.70 6,700 182 – 253
home equity loan $1.24 – $1.52 4,500 160 – 223
car loan $1.12 – $1.38 22,433 964 – 1,340
auto loan $0.62 – $0.76 27,433 792 – 1,100
credit union $0.83 – $1.03 553,333 989 – 1,370
bank account $1.19 – $1.47 22,433 564 – 784
checking account $1.18 – $1.46 18,333 581 – 807
debit card $0.75 – $0.93 22,433 595 – 827
direct deposit $0.96 – $1.18 8,200 136 – 189
online bill pay $0.90 – $1.10 8,200 171 – 237
money market account $1.29 – $1.59 3,017 94 – 131
cd rates $1.77 – $2.17 12,267 509 – 707
savings account $1.12 – $1.38 15,000 494 – 686
fico score $1.08 – $1.32 3,667 64 – 89
personal loan $1.18 – $1.46 15,000 362 – 503
boat loan $0.59 – $0.73 1,350 50 – 69
rv loan $0.62 – $0.76 740 17 – 23
motorcycle loan $0.64 – $0.78 1,103 43 – 60
business loan $1.53 – $1.89 12,267 293 – 408
business checking $1.97 – $2.43 2,467 51 – 72
Getty Images | Content Marketing

Geographically Specific Search Terms

Keywords Cost/Click Searches/Day Clicks/Day
new york bank $0.39 – $0.47 18,333 3 – 5
california bank $0.93 – $1.15 15,000 3 – 4
texas bank $0.93 – $1.15 18,333 9 – 12
kansas bank $5.02 – $6.18 4,500 0
boston bank $0.56 – $0.68 3,667 2
houston bank $1.31 – $1.61 2,467 0
seattle bank $0.68 – $0.84 1,103 1
cincinnati bank $0.64 – $0.78 903 0
new york credit union $1.56 – $1.92 1,350 0
boston credit union $0.36 – $0.44 330 4 – 6
texas credit union $0.80 – $0.98 4,500 2 – 3
seattle credit union $1.15 – $1.41 903 3 – 5
chicago home loan $1.08 – $1.32 63 0
houston home loan $0.90 – $1.10 29 0
tampa home loan $0.94 – $1.16 9 2 – 3
kansas home loan $0.64 – $0.78 33 1
Getty Images | Content Marketing

Financial Consultants Targeting Banks & Credit Unions

 Vendor/Association Daily Budget Keywords Used Paid Clicks
ABA $269.67 – $468.33 2,818 468
Bancvue $40.70 – $159.36 23 27
Branch Xpress $13.28 – $47.30 37 6
Cornerstone Advisors $29.61 – $63.71 975 72
CreditUnions.com $10.17 – $42.53 51 5
CU iDiz $15.22 – $37.06 10 4
CUNA $3.92 – $37.72 415 22
Credit Union Times $20.84 – $93.97 49 18
Currency Marketing $3.84 – $10.48 2 1
EHS Design $59.23 – $174.95 100 40
Financial Management Solutions $7.53 – $49.76 291 6
FMS $82.17 – $246.37 291 74
JCDI $2.41 – $16.62 18 1
LKCS $10.40 – $73.15 84 13
Market Rates Insight $3.32 – $18.97 5 1
NewGround $1.54 – $13.24 21 1
Online Banking Report $20.42 – $53.08 275 33
ProfitStars $335.00 – $728.26 3,370 511
The BA Group $16.55 – $82.80 54 16
Third Degree Advertising $20.95 – $145.57 91 27
Weber Marketing Group $24.78 – $91.86 234 26
Getty Images | Content Marketing

Common Terms Used to Target Banks & Credit Unions

Keyword Cost/Click Searches/Day Clicks/Day
credit union marketing $0.54 – $0.66 97 7 – 10
credit union advertising $0.82 – $1.00 20 6 – 8
credit union website $0.39 – $0.49 220 1
bank marketing $0.50 – $0.62 493 17 – 24
bank advertising $0.66 – $0.82 330 4 – 6
bank merchandising $0.56 – $0.68 6 1
bank marketing plan $1.08 – $1.32 11 3 – 4
bank consultant $0.67 – $0.83 220 12 – 16
bank branding $0.51 – $0.63 20 1
bank brochures $0.57 – $0.69 24 1
bank promotions $0.65 – $0.81 493 22 – 31
bank design $0.48 – $0.58 493 1
bank architecture $0.40 – $0.50 97 1
bank branch design $2.34 – $2.88 7 0
financial marketing $0.90 – $1.10 603 7 – 10
financial branding $0.83 – $1.01 11 0
financial advertising $0.66 – $0.82 120 7 – 9

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CUNA | Youth Week 2014

Comments

  1. The Financial Marketer says:

    Love seeing some data on search marketing thanks for putting this together.

    I do think those CPC’s look pretty low, but they are consistent. (could just be broad pricing)

    Very interesting to see the differences in # of keywords being targeted.

  2. Great information. I find it striking that this data implies that Community Banks and Credit Unions (non mega Credit Unions that have assets < $1 billion) are essentially absent from online marketing.

    How do Community Bank and Credit Union CMOs / VP Marketing explain this?

  3. There are many smaller CUs and community banks running Google AdWords campaigns. When the data was collected, The Financial Brand looked at the biggest banks and biggest credit unions because they are the most likely to be investing in this medium. The “samples” used in this research were not random. It’s a handful of selective snapshots. Also, the free data service (SpyFu) only lists the top advertisers, which explains why the data skews towards the upper end of the asset spectrum. If you pay for more access, you can see everything — all advertisers, all keywords, etc.

    If you want to check and see if any particular financial institution is using Google Adwords, go to SpyFu.com and type their URL into the search window.

  4. Steve Burris says:

    CPC looks low to me also, but overall it’s good useful information. You can also use the free Google keyword tool here https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
    to view average bid among the top bidders, for any keyword, plus the number of searches per keyword.

    What i would fine most interesting is, to see the stated MWR (most wanted response) of each of these (or any of these) top advertising banks.

    Some may have actual measurements to calculate the effects of their advertising, a roi if you will. I’m not sure, i would suspect most big financial institutions may be taking a longer-term approach and shooting for branding. This group simply wants to keep their brand name in front of the eyeballs and they know that will it produce some results at some point in time.

    Interesting!

  5. The data was collected through SpyFu. When comparing this data to data previously collected through SpyFu, yes, I’d agree: it appears the CPC has dropped and/or is lower than anticipated.

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