Increasing Paid Search Traffic by +445% YoY

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August 23, 2021
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

Budget Allocation — Differentiate from Competitors: As Canada's big five banks already have strong brand awareness, new Fintech institutes such as Wealthsimple, KOHO, and Questrade have utilised paid search ads to drive web traffic. Relative to Wealthsimple's competitors, Wealthsimple has the most significant portion of paid search traffic. Look at opportunities to differentiate your paid advertising budget by channel from your competitors. Consider investing in paid search ads to increase brand awareness. 

Paid Search Tactic  — Branded Keywords: Being relatively new and less established in Canada's financial service industry, Wealthsimple bids on their own branded key terms to secure clicks and drive up the CPC for competitors bidding on their branded keywords.

Paid Search Tactic — Non-Branded Keywords:
56% of Wealthsimple's paid search traffic is from non-branded keywords. Of these top-performing non-branded keywords, Wealthsimple focuses on five main categories: tax, investing, trading, stocks and competitor branded terms. Bidding on competitor keywords such as TD Bank and Questrade increases Wealthsimple's brand exposure and reaches qualified users. 

Paid Search Tactic — Experiment with Ad Copy: 
Wealthsimple uses a variety of different headlines and ad descriptions. In addition, they utilize varying ad lengths and different CTAs. Descriptions are created using a combination of phrases that focus on trust, accessibility, USPs, ease of use, account promotions and tax features. Try testing a variety of different headlines and descriptions to see what performs best for each keyword. 

Paid Search Tactic — Use Strong Call-to-Actions:
Wealthsimple uses strong call-to-actions on their search ad copy and its corresponding landing page. These CTAs drive clicks and conversions on the site. The search ads and landing page use the term “autopilot” to emphasize Wealthsimple’s easy usability and automated features when referring to investing tools. 

Paid Search Tactic — Relevant Long-Tail Search Queries: Wealthsimple bids on relevant long-tail search queries such as "what is an etf?" and uses these keywords in the ad headline. These ads link to educational blog posts on their website that answer the search query. Blog posts feature the search term in the article title and include a CTA to get started with Wealthsimple.

5.2% of Wealthsimple’s overall web traffic is driven from paid search - the most significant relative to its competitors. Canada's traditional "Big Five" banks have a much lower share of paid search compared to other FinTech brands such as Koho, Questrade and Wealthsimple.

View our previous case study here to learn about TD’s personalized paid search campaign.

From June 2020 to May 2021, Wealthsimple experienced a +147% YoY increase in search traffic in Canada. During this time period, paid search saw a +445% in growth, spiking in October 2020 and in February 2021.

Paid search traffic is an estimated number of users to visit a domain on Google ad spend

This significant growth in paid search traffic coincided with a +544% increase in Wealthsimple’s monthly paid search spend. MoM growth spiked in October 2020 and February 2021 by +316% and +139%, respectively. 

Spend is a directional approximation calculated in USD

Wealthsimple’s growth in paid search traffic correlates with their increase in the number of paid keywords, which spiked in February 2021 with over 3.4K keywords. From June 2020 to May 2021, Wealthsimple increased their average number of paid keywords by +158%. 

1. Keywords

Of their top performing paid keywords, 41% are branded and 56% are non-branded.

Wealthsimple’s top performing keywords can be split up into the following six categories: 

2. Headlines

Wealthsimple’s top headlines can be broken down into these six key themes:

1. Smarter Investing

Top Keywords:

  • wealthsimple
  • td waterhouse
  • wealthsimple canada

Top Headline:

Smarter Investing is Here

2. Trade

Top Keywords:

  • trade
  • stock
  • wealthsimple trade

Top Headline:

Trade Stocks With Wealthsimple

3. Tax Calculator

Top Keywords

  • tax calculator  
  • income tax calculator
  • income tax calculator canada

Top Headline:

Maximize Your 2020 Refund


Top Keywords

  • tfsa
  • tfsa contribution limit
  • tfsa limit 2021

Top Headline:

Try Wealthsimple Trade

5. Financial Goals

Top Keywords

  • td bank stock
  • td stock canada
  • td mutual funds

Top Headline:

Account That Fit Your Goals

6. Educational

Top Keywords

  • scotia itrade
  • exchange traded funds
  • dividend stocks

Top Headline:

What is an ETF? A Beginner's Guide

3. Descriptions

Wealthsimple uses a variety of different phrases to generate unique descriptions that vary in length and objective. They test these descriptions amongst different headlines and keywords.

Key Themes:


  • More than 175,000 People Trust Us with Over $5 Billion
  • Great Tech + Human Help
  • Knowledgeable Advisors


  • Weathsimple Trade puts the stock market in everyone’s hands
  • Thousands of stocks to choose from
  • Get started with as little as $1
  • Easy Investing 
  • No Account Minimums
  • 2F & Data Encryption
  • Diversified Portfolios
  • No Paperwork
  • Mobile Investing
  • Powerful Financial Tools


  • No Fee Trading
  • No minimums. No commission. 
  • Lower Fees, Free Trading 
  • Invest in an intelligent portfolio of low-fee funds designed to meet your financial goals. 

Ease of Use: 

  • Do It Yourself Investing
  • Easy DIY trading
  • Buy and sell stocks easily
  • Jargon Free
  • Easy Investing
  • Trade With a Few Taps
  • Put your money on auto-pilot with automatic deposits, dividend reinvesting & rebalancing.

Account Promotions:

  • Free Stock Promo: Get up to CAD$4500 in total stock when you open and fund your account.

Tax Features: 

  • Quickly estimate your 2020 taxes with our free calculator. 
  • See how much tax you'll pay on CERB and other government relief.
  • Quickly estimate your 2020 taxes with our free calculator.
  • CRA Certified. 
  • 100% Accurate Guarantee. 
  • Made in Canada. 
  • ADC express.
  • File Provincial Taxes.
  • Step-by-step Guidance. 
  • Maximum Refund.

4. Landing Pages

Looking closer at a paid search ad landing page, the Smarter Investing landing page uses a CTA with the copy “get started” in both the ad description and on the landing page.

Target keywords: “wealthsimple”| Get Started

When referencing their investing features, Wealthsimple uses the term “autopilot” to emphasize their easy usability and automated features. 

Target keywords: “td bank stock”| autopilot

Wealthsimple uses the term “autopilot” both in the search ad description and in the landing page’s title.

Wealthsimple bids on relevant long-tail search queries and uses these keywords in the search ad headlines. These search ads link to educational blog posts on their website, which helps answer the users' search questions.

Target keywords: “what is an etf”| Start Investing

Blog posts are informative and are free from jargon. The blog post uses the search query as the blog title. Wealthsimple uses a strong CTA below the title and in the ad description

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