How Financial Service Brands Generated Over 5M Paid Search Visits

Paid Search
October 26, 2022
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

Financial Service brands focused on high-network individuals drove over 5M paid search visits from October 2020 to September 2022. Here's how:

Competitor Scan

  • Wealthsimple drove significantly more paid traffic to its website than its competitors, with 5M paid mobile and desktop visits. Mawer drove the second highest with 63K visits.
  • Next to Letko Brosseau, Wealthsimple and Mawer generated the most significant proportion of traffic from paid search — accounting for 12% and 8% of their respective traffic. Phillips, Hager & North and Nicola Wealth did run paid search ads. 

Channel Identification

  • Wealthsimple, at 60%, and Mawer, at 71%, allocated most of their advertising budgets to paid search ads.

Keyword Strategy

  • Short-tail keywords generate the most traffic for Wealthsimple, but three-word keyword phrases make up the most significant portion (26%) of its keywords. 
  • Wealthsimple's top keywords fall into five categories: branded, cryptocurrency, investing, tax and competitors. 
  • Mawer used long-tail keywords related to investing (specifically mutual funds) to reach high-net-worth individuals. Additionally, they bid on branded and competitor keywords highly relevant to its service offerings.

Ad Creative

  • Most of Wealthsimple's paid search traffic is driven to product pages (55%), followed by its homepage (23%). Wealthsimple drives traffic to content on its website that's relevant to the goals of the respective search inquiries.
  • Wealthsimple's ad copies drive clicks by utilizing actionable CTAs, keywords in the headline, special offers and numbers/stats. 
  • Mawer's ad copy emphasizes the investment firm's long-term view on investing, using the phrases "be boring" and "ignore fads" to convince potential clients of their stable and systematic approach.

In the past two years*, Wealthsimple drove significantly more paid traffic to its website than its competitors, with 5M paid mobile and desktop visits. Mawer drove the second highest with 63K visits. Phillips, Hager & North and Nicola Wealth did not run paid search ads. 

*Date range 01/10/2020-30/09/2022

Next to Letko Brosseau, Wealthsimple and Mawer generated the most significant proportion of traffic from paid search — accounting for 12% and 8% of their respective traffic.

From Oct. ‘22 to Sep. ‘22, Wealthsimple spent $10.7M on paid search ads — making up 60% of its total ad spend.

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting.

On average, Wealthsimple allocates $448K on paid traffic per month. Its paid search spending significantly decreased starting June 2022, with a -91% MoM decline and continued to decline through Q3 2022, with September 2022 having the lowest spend over the two year period. 

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting.

On average, Wealthsimple spent 202K paid visits per month. As a result of Wealthsimple’s decline in paid search spending in June 2022, Wealthsimple has experienced a significant drop in paid traffic, with traffic decreasing by -83% MoM in June 2022. 

In January ‘21 and ‘22, Wealthsimple generated the highest paid search traffic volume with 2.8K and 2.3K paid keywords*, respectively. Wealthsimple focuses its efforts on top 3 positioned keywords such as “wealthsimple”, “cryptocurrency” and “bitcoin”.

*Desktop data only

Wealthsimple generates the most paid traffic from short-tail keywords, but three-word keyword phrases make up the most significant percentage (26%) of its keywords. 

Wealthsimple’s top keywords can be broken down into the following categories: branded, cryptocurrency, investing, tax and competitors

*Based on top 100 keywords used in Jan. ‘22

Most of Wealthsimple's paid search traffic is driven to product pages (55%), followed by its homepage (23%). Wealthsimple drives traffic to content on its website that's relevant to the goals of the respective search inquiries.

Homepage: 23% traffic share

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Product Pages: 55% traffic share

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Tools: 4% traffic share

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Informative Pages: 3% traffic share

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Best Practices:

  • Use the primary keyword in the ad's URL path, such as "crypto" or "tax-calculator".
  • Use unique landing pages for different keywords. 
  • Make sure your landing page content matches the goals of the search inquiries — improving your site's bounce rate and, in turn, your relevance score.

The following were Wealthsimple’s top performing ads in January 2022: 

Keyword: cra

Ad Position:3

Keyword: bitcoin

Ad Position:1

Keyword: wealthsimple trade

Ad Position:1

Keyword: wealthsimple

Ad Position:1

Best Practices:

  • Use the primary keyword in the ad’s headline.
  • For branded search terms such as “Wealthsimple Trade,” Wealthsimple highlights what makes its brand unique and showcases its USPs. 
  • Wealthsimple attracts clicks by offering a special offer in the ad description, such as “Get up to CAS$4500 in total stock….”
  • Wealthsimple uses actionable CTAs in its ads headlines, such as “Buy & Sell BTC..”. 
  • Studies show that including numbers and statistics in ad copy can make it seem more accurate and credible. For example, Wealthsimple uses this technique by stating that “over 1.5 million Canadians…”.

From Oct. ‘20 to Sep. ‘22, Mawer spent $144K on paid search ads — making up 71% of its total ad spend.

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting.

Mawer’s search campaign ran for 8 months over September 2021 to April 2022. The campaign averaged a spend of $18K per month, peaking in September 2021 at $46K

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting.

Mawer sought out high-network individuals by bidding on specific long-tail keywords related to investing and specifically mutual funds. The company also bid on its branded keywords and competitor keywords that were highly relevant to its service offerings.

*Based on top keywords used in Jan. ‘22

Mawer combined the following descriptions and headlines in their paid search ads:

  • Mawer's ads utilized a combination of the above description, varying from 80 to 251 characters.
  • Mawer’s ad copy emphasizes the investment firm's long-term view to investing, using the phrases "be boring" and "ignore fads" to convince potential clients of their stable and systematic approach.
  • The ad description features its incentives of no setup or purchase fees.
  • The ad boasts of Mawer's experience by stating that they have 45+ years of experience and that their approach has been "time-tested."

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