How to run Google Ads Campaigns for Financial products

The financial services industry is highly regulated to protect consumers’ money, lower risk, and prevent fraud. It’s a complex sector with complicated products that sometimes require a thorough understanding of finance or need explanation and accompanying information.

As with any transaction where money is involved, SEM and PPC managers working in this sector must take extra care when it comes to how they run their Google Ads campaigns. 

Google also updates its policies regularly as new financial products and trends emerge (e.g. cryptocurrency) and in line with data privacy laws or other local and global regulations. 

This article will explain how to advertise financial products in Google Ads. 

Key Restrictions and Regulations

Google has introduced a number of regulations over the last few years that marketers who run PPC campaigns for financial products need to be aware of.

1. Personalized Advertising Policies: Housing, Employment, and Credit

In an update to its policy in October 2020 and in a bid to improve inclusivity for users disproportionately affected by societal biases; Google decided that marketers can no longer target products or services based on gender, age, parental status, marital status, or ZIP code.

Examples of the products affected include:

  • Houses for sale or rental
  • Job ads
  • Credit cards
  • Home, car, and appliance loans

PPC managers can still use location-based targeting, but they must target by city, county, or radius targeting, rather than ZIP code. There are many other types of targeting available as well. These include household income, education, life events, and in-market, similar, intent, and affinity audiences.

You can also target other products that don’t fall into this category by the above factors. Here are some examples of products and services that aren’t restricted:

  • Vacation rentals and hotels 
  • Property inspection services
  • Office building or office space rentals
  • Home design services
  • Career advice and employment training
  • Financial guidance
  • Gift cards

If you’re worried that you won’t know whether you can target your product or services based on the above criteria, then Google can help you out. It will provide alerts on the Google Ads platform if you have ads that are affected. Google will also include the ads that are affected in the Policy Manager section, which you can find in the tools and settings menu. 

Finally, you can apply filters so that Google only shows ads that fall into these categories, so you can make changes to all these ads at the same time. 

2. Third-Party Cookies

In another blow to targeting, Google is phasing out third-party cookies in its Chrome browser by 2022. We’ve talked before about how this will make it more difficult for marketers to tailor their ads to a user’s behavior, which will mean that the ads served could be irrelevant or out of place. 

PPC and SEM managers who are marketing financial services products will need to find other ways to target users and continue to run successful Google Ad campaigns. We’ll explain how they can do that successfully later on in the article. 

3. UK Financial Services Verification

If you want to run Google Ads for any kind of financial services products in the UK, there are extra steps you need to take. You have to be verified by Google, which involves demonstrating that you’re authorized by the UK Financial Conduct Authority or qualify for one of the exemptions. Advertisers who don’t complete the process won’t be allowed to show financial services ads of any kind in the UK. 

4. Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is a buzzword in the financial services industry, but many consumers (and even many within the finance industry) don’t understand what it is or what it does. You are only allowed to serve users with Google Ads campaigns for cryptos and related products and services in limited circumstances.

Google allows cryptocurrency PPC ads for: 

  • Products and services associated with cryptocurrency mining, so long as explicit user consent is obtained before enabling or otherwise facilitating any use of computing resources
  • Cryptocurrency exchanges

Google does not allow cryptocurrency PPC ads for: 

  • Ads for initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency token sales, or otherwise promoting the purchase, sale, or trade of cryptocurrencies or related products (except where explicitly allowed above)
  • Ad destinations that aggregate or compare issuers of cryptocurrencies or related products

Creating a Framework to Deal With Restrictions

The above restrictions are some of the recent changes and updates Google has made in relation to running Google Ads campaigns for financial products, but it’s not an exhaustive list. There are a number of other restrictions for personal loans and related financial products. 

Google Ads will not be allowed when there is a:

  • Failure to provide minimum and maximum period for repayment and maximum APR for loans, as well as a failure to display a representative example of the total cost of the loan, including all applicable fees
  • Failure to provide legitimate contact information for a physical location for the business being promoted, to disclose associated fees, or include links to third-party accreditation or endorsement for financial products and services disclosures

As financial services marketing is a highly regulated industry, you must stay on top of these restrictions if you want to run successful Google Ads finance campaigns. We recommend that you create a framework or blueprint that lists all regulations and that you proactively track new developments so you never end up in a situation where Google has stopped running your ads and you don’t know why. 

You can do this by following the Google Ads blogs and reading their announcements. The OrbitalAds blog also contains a ton of useful information relating to best practices for Financial Services Google Ads, as well as Google Ads processes automation. We’ll talk more about how automating PPC process optimization can help you improve performance. 

How to Advertise Financial Products in Google Ads

Google has imposed a number of restrictions for running PPC financial services ads on its platform, but don’t despair because you can still run successful campaigns if you have the right tools for the job. 

OrbitalAds has a number of features that mean you can target the right audience, improve ROAS, make the most of your budget through tracking the right metrics, and make sure your ads don’t get disallowed. 

1. Quality Score Dashboard

One important metric to track that can help you predict the performance of your ads is Quality Score. This tells you how well your ad is likely to perform against your competitors and is an indication of whether your ad and landing page are relevant and useful to someone searching for your keyword. If you want to make sure your ad appears in Google’s search results for your chosen keywords, you need a high score out of 10.

OrbitalAds’ Quality Score dashboard – which works at a campaign and a keyword level – shows you the evolution of your score over time. You can work out which factors influence your score and how you can improve it to ensure it gets the most (and best) traffic.

2. Automating the Keyword Discovery Process

As language changes and your products evolve, you need to be aware of new keywords so you can add them to your campaigns and ad groups. You also need to add keywords that reflect how people actually search on Google. 

OrbitalAds uses AI, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing to automatically place keywords in the most relevant ad groups according to the language people use when searching Google. The platform also finds new, relevant, and popular keywords and adds them to your campaigns. 

3. Negativizing Keywords

It’s important not to attract the wrong traffic and users who won’t be interested in your products, which means you need to focus on both the right and the wrong (negative) keywords. 

OrbitalAds automatically adds negative keywords across different ad groups when it detects they aren’t relevant. This helps you make the most of your budget.

Automation is Key

Financial services marketers face many challenges. Trying to stay up to date with regulations while optimizing your Google Ads campaigns is tough. That’s why we help you do both. We automate PPC and keyword processes so you can focus on making sure your ads meet the relevant regulations and show up to the right users on Google.

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