Financial Marketing

Why Is AdWords Failing My Financial Marketing?

By July 7, 2017 No Comments

Let’s not dodge the fact of the matter. AdWords is difficult. Especially for those involved in financial marketing, whether that’s a large finance company or a one-man band IFA.

However, the potential for lead generation and brand awareness is often huge. For IFAs, in particular, in many parts of the country, financial advisers are neglecting AdWords as a marketing channel. This is actually a positive thing for you, as it leaves the door wide open for forward-thinking IFAs like yourself to exploit the empty advertising space.

AdWords allows you to show targeted ads in Google to a specific audience. For instance, you might want to attract clients within 15 miles of your office in Newcastle to your website’s landing page on defined benefit pensions. With AdWords, this is possible.

However, it is tricky to get right. We sometimes speak to IFAs who are trying to manage a campaign themselves, only to discover that PPC (pay per click) advertising like AdWords is a discipline in itself.

In this respect, AdWords is a little like inheritance tax, or pension planning. You could do it yourself, but you know as an adviser that people would be better off to seek professional, qualified advice. The same holds true in Google advertising. Working with a PPC specialist like CreativeAdviser, you will have to pay, but if the strategy is right then the returns will more than pay for the investment.

However, perhaps you really are determined to do it yourself, and just want to find out what’s going wrong with your campaign.

Or, perhaps you have been working with a financial marketing partner and haven’t seen the results you wanted. What’s going on? Should you find a new agency who will actually deliver results?

In this article, we’re going to cover some of the main reasons your current AdWords campaign might be failing your financial marketing.


google adwords logo, for financial marketing blog


Financial Marketing Mistake #1 – Not Regularly Log In

Did you know that around half of AdWords advertisers only bother to optimise their campaign once per quarter? When you consider some of the eye-watering budgets some companies pour into PPC, this is quite astonishing.

Yet it is easy to fall into a “click and forget” mentality when it comes to AdWords. IFAs are busy. Understandably, not everyone feels they have time to trawl through lists of search queries to eliminate negative keywords, or split test ads, or find and add new keyword opportunities, or perform conversion rate optimisation.

This stuff takes time when you know what you’re doing. It will take even longer if you have to learn it yourself as well. Moreover, you will make costly mistakes along the way.

That’s a natural part of learning, but wouldn’t it just be better to outsource it to someone who knows what they’re doing, and who will be able to dedicate the time to refining your AdWords regularly?

It’s not unusual for a prospect to show me their AdWords account, only for me to see that hardly any new keywords had been added in the last 3 months.

Leaving your account unattended can result in poor keyword targeting, and low quality ads. In turn, this can drive up your cost per click as your quality score and impression share plummet. This means you get less and less bang for your buck as time goes on.


Mistake #2 – Poor Keyword Grouping

Within your AdWords account, you can have multiple campaigns. Each campaign, moreover, can hold multiple ad groups. In turn, each ad group can contain multiple keywords and ads.

Often, ad groups is where most people make mistakes in their financial marketing. Often, what we see is an IFA has created one ad group, lumped all of their keywords in there, and created one ad.

This is a problem, because PPC 101 tells us that your ad should match the keyword being searched. The more closely your ad copy is aligned to the user’s search query, the higher the chances of your ad getting a click.

for intance, there’s no use putting “income protection” and “defined benefit” in the same ad group, and showing the same ad. A person who searches for the first keyword isn’t going to want to see an ad relating to the second, and vice versa.

Don’t be afraid to create multiple ad groups within your campaign. You won’t necessarily spread yourself too thin. It’s not uncommon for us to create an ad group with just one keyword in it, for instance. What’s important is that the keyword relate to each other, and are linked to relevant ads within the group.


Mistake #3 – Using Incorrect Keyword Matches

There are different keyword “types” you can use. In simple terms, these are known as exact match, phrase match, or broad match.

One problem we also see in the financial marketing world is people not knowing how to use keyword match types correctly.

A broad match keyword shows your ad if any of the words in your keyword are used in the user’s search, regardless of order. A phrase match keyword requires the words to be entered in the right order (e.g. financial adviser Essex). An exact match keyword requires the user to be enter the term precisely as the keyword is constructed.

This is important, because the keyword types you use will have a big impact on how many people see your ads, and what engagement you get. Broad match keyword are less precise, but tend to show to more people. Exact match keywords tend to show to fewer people, but are usually more precise.

In many IFA niches, the number of people searching for what you offer can often be low compared with other industries. If you have too many exact match keywords, therefore, you will get considerably less traffic than you could otherwise get.

On the other hand, if your financial marketing simply relies on broad match keywords, you risk attracting every man and his dog to your website and the phone number displayed on there!

The important thing is to monitor your campaign and to refine it as you go along, in order to strike the right balance.


Mistake #4 – Not Identifying Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are important, because they stop your ads showing on searches that are not relevant to your business.

For instance, let’s imagine someone types “financial adviser course” into Google. Would you want your ad showing up in their search? Possibly, but most probably not. To stop the ad showing, therefore, you’d simply add the word “course” as a negative keyword.

This would allow your ad to show to someone who searches “financial adviser”, but not to someone searching for “financial adviser course.”

The advantage of working with a financial marketing agency like us is we already have built up a long list of negative keywords, because we know the industry and have worked on multiple IFA campaigns. We can then apply these negative keywords to your campaign once we start working together.

Doing it on your own, however, you’ll have to build up your list from scratch. The problem is, because you are charged for each click a user makes on your ads, you’re going to waste more money in the shorter term as you eliminate unwanted searches in your campaign as they spring up.


Closing Remarks

Like what you’ve read? We’ll be releasing Part II very soon about ways to improve your AdWords’ financial marketing performance. To keep in touch with us, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Alternatively sign up to our email updates by sending a quick message to



Phil Teale is the Sales & Marketing Manager at MarketingAdviser, an agency specialising in marketing for financial services – and especially for financial advisers. Along with our sister company, CreativeAdviser, we also provide bespoke website design, branding, graphic design and video production services to financial clients.

Contact us on 01923 232840 or email me: