Where Big 5 Banks Funnel 16% of its Search Traffic Searching for Mortgage Information

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February 1, 2022
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

While Google searches for mortgage-related information continued to grow in 2021, the Big 5 Banks focused on driving traffic to its online mortgage calculators and financing pre-approval pages. 

Search Keywords — Canadians Actively Search for “Mortgage Calculator” and Similar Tools that Will Help Them Estimate Their Payments. In recent years, Canadians heavily relied on online banking tools. Online mortgage calculators are a great way to independently research and estimate mortgage payments. While the public looked for mortgage payment and affordability calculators, the banks actively competed for these search terms with paid search ads. 

Landing Pages — Mortgage Calculator is the Top Landing Page for Search Traffic Looking to Buy a House. All Big 5 Canadian Banks developed a variety of comprehensive online tools that help prospects estimate their mortgage payments and get pre-approved. 

Paid Search Ads — Throughout December 2021, Banks Focused on Targeting “Mortgage Calculator” Keywords with Their Search Ads. TD invited prospects to get pre-approved for a mortgage online. CIBC called Canadians to get to know how what house they can afford. RBC got very specific with their keyword targeting and ran ads for such searches as “how much would a mortgage be on a 400 000 house”. Scotiabank launched and promoted a comprehensive eHome portal will all mortgage-related information. BMO focused on driving traffic to its get pre-approved page.

In 2021 Google searches for “mortgage” in Canada slowed down over the summer and picked up during the last quarter of the year.

On average, 10% of Big 5 Banks’ search traffic lands on their websites after searching for mortgage-related terms. RBC has the highest share of mortgage-search-driven traffic (24%), while BMO has the lowest (5%). Almost all banks, except CIBC, saw a YoY increase in search traffic looking for mortgage information.

*Percentage points 

Looking into specific keywords that drove the most traffic to Canadian Big 5 Banks, the mortgage calculator is the most sought-after tool. Often Canadians would also specify whether they are looking for a mortgage payment or mortgage affordability calculator.

Consequently, mortgage calculator pages are the top organic search landing pages for traffic searching mortgage information. 

TD, CIBC, Royal Bank, Scotia Bank, BMO

Big 5 Canadian banks leveraged high interest in mortgage searches and ran paid search ads to compete for relevant traffic. Looking into the paid traffic that landed searching for mortgage-related terms, we see that CIBC has had the highest share of paid search traffic that followed mortgage-related searches.

*Percentage points 

Analyzing Big 5 Banks’ investments in search ads promoting its mortgage-related services, banks on average allocated 25% of their total paid search advertising budgets to capture web traffic looking to learn about mortgages. RBC is the largest investor in paid search ads.

Diving into top mortgage search ads run by TD, we can see that the bank leveraged the market’s urge to estimate mortgage payments and ran ads to drive traffic to its mortgage calculator. In addition to this, TD also advertised its online mortgage pre-approval platform and mortgage protection.

The mortgage calculator and the pre-approval pages received the highest budget allocation in December 2021. However, people responded better to the mortgage calculator ads, which received 4% of total search traffic visits. At the same time, less than 1% of search traffic landed on the mortgage pre-approval page.

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CIBC focused on driving traffic to its mortgage calculator page leveraging a variety of very specific search queries, such as “income for 500,000 mortgage”,  “203k mortgage”, and “650,000 mortgage rate.”

Looking into CIBC's December 2021 search ads focus, the bank allocated $38K to advertise its “$3,000 cashback when you get a CIBC Mortgage” promo.

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RBC also focused on driving traffic to its mortgage calculator page leveraging a variety of keywords, from “how much would a mortgage be on a 400 000 house” to “mortgage pre-approval”

In December 2021, RBC invested $24K to direct traffic interested in mortgages to its online pre-qualifier tool, which absorbed 95% of all mortgage-related paid traffic.


Scotiabank consolidates all its mortgage-related online services into the eHome hub and drove paid search ads aiming to capture relevant traffic.

eHome hub received the highest budget allocation in December ($4K) amongst the mortgage-related Scotiabank pages. The other two pages Scotiabank drove traffic to were the “Get Started” page in the Advice+ section and Banking 101

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In 2021, BMO focused on driving traffic looking for mortgage options to its get pre-approved online page.

In December 2021, the bank invested $18K into search ads promoting its special 130-day mortgage rate guarantee.  

Link #1, Link #2, Link #3

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