Paid Search Funnel Best Practices

Paid Search
October 1, 2020
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

Content & Messaging — Focus on Singular Objective for Landing Pages: For all of Chime’s landing pages, there is only one singular objective, which is to convert the visitor. As such, each landing page only has one CTA, which is a variation of a “sign-up” button that shows up once above the fold and once at the bottom of the page. All messaging on the landing page should be there to support that singular objective. Anything else should be removed to prevent distracting the viewer from the key message and adding unnecessary bulk to the page.

Content & Messaging — Use Image/Information Carousels with Caution: In general, image/information carousels are poor choices when it comes to displaying information, especially when each “slide” has unique information that does not correlate with each other. As such, try to avoiding using carousels on landing pages, unless, like Chime, it is used to provide fringe information that does not greatly impact conversion.

Ad Tactic — Direct Paid Traffic to Unique and Personalized Landing Pages: For each search ad series, Chime created unique landing pages for visitors to be directed to. For visitors looking to build credit, they landed on a “credit builder” landing page; for visitors browsing for a new bank, they were directed to their “sign-up” landing page. Not all landing pages have to be completely unique - for example, Chime customized their “sign-up” landing page simply by switching up the messaging depending on search keywords - if a customer prioritized “quick” and “easy” sign-ups, they saw their “Sign up in under 2 minutes” landing page.

Since late March 2020, Chime’s Organic and Paid Search traffic has been on an upward trend—especially Paid Search Traffic, which has grown +142% since April.

Chime - Search Traffic

The increase in paid search traffic is directly correlated with Chime’s spending on search ads, which they increased heavily in September.

In particular, Chime spent over $1M on a search ad series that emphasized the ease of signing up (“signing up takes 2 minutes”). Web traffic to the landing page for this campaign totaled over 200K visits from September to October.

Chime - Search Ads
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Chime uses the top half of their landing page to quickly deliver key messages to visitors.

While the bottom half of the page expands on the summarizations above.

In addition to that search ad series, Chime spent another $1M on a similar search ad, this time focusing on their “banking that has your back” message.

Chime - Paid Search Funnel - Ranking Keywords

Aside from a switch in header image, the landing page content is the same. This landing page garnered 150K visits over the same two month period.

Another landing page that Chime created is for their “Credit Builder” Credit Card. Chime spent $160K on this series for roughly 56K visits over September to October.

Chime - Credit Builder

The top sections of this landing page is mostly similar to Chime’s other landing pages.

However, this landing includes a slider section and FAQs.

A closer look at Chime’s carousel content:

  • Something to Consider. In general, image/information carousels are poor choices when it comes to displaying information, especially when each “slide” has unique information that does not correlate with each other. As such, using carousels in a landing page where you’re trying to convert a customer usually isn’t the best idea.
  • Why Chime Uses Carousels. Out of all the information presented on this landing page, this section does not include the *most* important information. Rather, this is information that’s largely the same across all banks (add money > spend money > build credit) - it is not unique to Chime and unlikely to be a large factor in converting a visitor to this landing page.
  • Why it Works for Chime. As such, even if a viewer were to miss the content from the carousel, it wouldn’t have a huge effect on their overall objective. However, for the viewer that does choose to look, Chime has managed to include additional information without creating an unnecessarily lengthy landing page.

A closer look at Chime’s FAQ section:

  • Separate Set of Questions. Chime has one set of FAQs for “Before Applying” and one for “New Member Benefits”, each section answer a different viewer need. The “Before Applying” address questions that helps Chime’s landing page objective: conversion. The “New Member Benefits” answers questions that newly joined members might have - this helps build up Chime’s brand (showcasing their expertise, professionalism, trustworthiness, accountability, etc.). This ties back to their message of “banking that has your bank”.
  • Brand Persona. Chime makes sure that each question is addressed in a way that 1) thoroughly answers the question and 2) matches their brand persona. From answers like “No way! We think everyone deserves a chance to build credit, so we don’t check your credit score when you apply.”, Chime shows off its personable and rather casual brand persona rather than a straightforward “No, you don’t need to check your credit score when you apply”. They also keep their answers short and concise so that the main message doesn’t get lost.

How Chime’s landing pages compares with its homepage:

  • Similar "Look". At first glance, both pages look fairly similar, with both pages sharing the same key message (Banking that has your back), usage of an email submission form and, the similar header creative. Even the page layout (block layout) remains the same.
  • Why that’s important. While landing pages typically don’t “live” in the main website’s hierarchy, they still need to bear the same branding as the main homepage so that visitors know exactly whose landing page they are looking at. This also primes them to seamlessly interact with your main website if your landing page bears resemblance.
  • Multiple Actions vs. Singular Action. In all of Chime’s landing pages, there is only one single action that visitors can take, which is to sign-up for an account. On Chime’s homepage, visitors can go to different sections of the website, from “Features” to “Who We Are” to “Log In”, all without scrolling further down the page. For visitors who do make it to the bottom, they see a full-sized footer with even more external links/social media to access.
  • Why that’s important. Landing pages are optimized for conversion. Having multiple “exit” opportunities like a homepage achieves the opposite effect. With every scroll on the homepage, Chime is providing users with “escape” routes, allowing visitors to leave their homepage without any conversion.

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