Spy on Your AdWords Competitors with SpyFu

How would you like to know your competitor’s strategy for Google AdWords? (If you haven’t yet read The Financial Brand’s introduction to AdWords for banks and credit unions, you might want to do that first.) What keywords are they buying? How much is their daily budget? It’s easy to find all this information…and much, much more. All you need to do is type your competitor’s web address into SpyFu.com and you have access to a goldmine of data.

Take Bank of America, for example. Their daily Google AdWords budget ranges from $22,160 to $95,910. Their website, bankofamerica.com, gets 122,000 organic hits from Google searches every day vs. 56,800 clicks they pay for. BofA uses 30,465 keywords, among the top ten include “bank,” “reverse mortgage” and “checking account.”

You can see the specific ads BofA ran in which months for each keyword, and when they decided to change copy. For instance, for the search term “mortgage,” BofA was running ads with refi rates in April, but switched to a free mortgage guide in May before taking a month off.

You can find this same kind of data for any company that’s buying Google’s AdWords — all for free! Pay for a SpyFu subscription ($69.95 monthly, $469.95 annually) and you have access to an unbelievable level of granular information and enhanced analytics capabilities.

SpyFu does an excellent job visualizing data, especially considering the wealth of information available to financial marketers. The site makes all the numbers that more digestible. You can even pit 2-3 advertisers against each other using SpyFu’s Kombat feature. This lets you compare keyword overlaps, budgets, organic search results and ads.


BANK OF AMERICA – SPYFU ADWORDS DATA

Free data includes budget, average ad position, paid vs. organic clicks, ten best paid keywords, number of keywords used, top ad competitors, organic search terms and competitors for organic search results, along with lists of the advertiser’s subdomains and other domains owned. That’s what you can get for free, just imagine what you get when you subscribe.

SpyFu Comparisons for Banks & Credit Unions

Advertiser Daily Budget Keywords Used Paid Clicks
Bank of America $22,160 – $95,910 30,465 56,800
USAA $1,960 – $24,100 34,651 13,600
Wells Fargo $1,360 – $19,500 23,838 4,360
Chase $847 – $13,100 8,190 2,030
US Bank $213 – $2,680 6,238 248
Regions Bank $222 – $1,550 6,115 236
PNC $272 – $2,390 4,658 513
SunTrust Bank $65 – $906 3,243 108
Fifth Third Bank $60 – $906 1,383 56
Umpqua Bank $5 – $118 81 10
Navy FCU $1,440 – $34,660 317 4,830
Pentagon Federal $49 – $313 1,408 64
BECU $10 – $27 171 4.5

Out of the top 10 largest credit unions in the US, only three have any kind of AdWords campaign running: Navy FCU, Pentagon Federal and BECU. But many banks don’t embrace SEM too. Even the much-loved Umpqua Bank only recently started tinkering with a small AdWords budget.

The detailed reporting SpyFu provides can reveal some interesting trends, like Navy Federal Credit Union who started their AdWords campaign in March 2009 and let it coast for about a year…then whammo! The budget skyrockets from around $1,000 to over $18,000 — that’s around $6.5 million annually (see SpyFu’s chart below).

SpyFu Keyword Comparisons

You can also type Google AdWord keywords into SpyFu to view a mountain of competitive data, allowing you to compare costs and even see how many of your competitors are running ads for the specific search terms you desire.

Keyword Searches/Day Cost/Click Clicks/Day
online banking 12,266 $0.99 – $16.56 215 – 272
checking account 8,200 $0.98 – $12.70 111 – 141
bank account 603 $1.06 – $6.99 32 – 41
bank 33,333 $0.79 – $3.10 18,700 – 23,700
mortgage N/A $1.00 – $16.72 21,400 – 27,000
home loan 1,103 $1.17 – $19.46 49 – 62
credit card 10,033 $0.92 – $15.28 637 – 806
cd rates 3,666 $1.05 – $10.79 65 – 82
home equity laon 1,103 $2.51 – $41.80 40 – 51
mobile banking N/A $0.71 – $2.58 2 – 3
online bill pay 403 $0.91 – $4.26 3 – 4
savings account 1,350 $0.90 – $14.12 62 – 78
money market account 603 $1.07 – $17.85 9 – 11
fico score 903 $0.94 – $15.60 19 – 24
reverse mortgage 2,016 $0.97 – $16.17 44 – 56
mortgage rates N/A $1.45 – $24.24 134 – 170
personal loan 2,466 $1.04 – $6.36 161 – 204

SPYFU DATA FOR ‘ONLINE BANKING’

Free data includes cost-per-click, clicks-per-day, cost range per day, number of advertisers, number of search results, daily search volume, top advertisers, sample ads, related keywords and keywords other advertisers also bought. Here are the results for “online banking.”

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