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How to Leverage Google Ads as a Financial Advisor

A financial advisor reviewing a Google Ad strategy for his firm.

Digital marketing has become increasingly important for advisors as more investors turn to search engines to connect with financial professionals. Investing in Google Ads can be an effective way to increase your business’s visibility and attract new clients if you know how to use them. Understanding what a Google Ad campaign might be able to do for you can help you decide if it’s worth the investment.

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How Google Ads for Financial Advisors Work

Google Ads is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform that works by allowing you to promote your business in multiple places online. Businesses create ad campaigns targeting certain keywords. When someone searches for that keyword or a related one using Google, it triggers an auction.

Google then places all relevant ads into the auction and selects which ads show up in search, based on different quality and ranking factors. The person searching will see the winning ads and advertisers pay Google each time someone clicks their ad.

In terms of how to get started, you first set up your ad campaign using your business name and website. You then tell Google Ads what your primary goal for the campaign is, which may be generating new leads, increasing brand visibility or something else.

Once you’ve completed those steps, you can upload your marketing assets to Google Ads. Google’s AI will review your assets to determine the best promotion options for your campaign. The last step is telling Google Ads about your target audience and setting the budget for the campaign.

Your Google Ads can appear in multiple places online, including:

  • Above or below search results on Google Search
  • Above, below or beside search results on Google Play
  • In the Shopping tab
  • On Google Maps and in the Maps app

Google Ads can also appear on the websites of Google search partners. Financial advisors can use Google Ads to promote their business website or YouTube channel if they’re creating video content for their audience.

What Can Google Ads Do for Financial Advisors?

Financial advisors deciding on Google Ad campaign can attract prospective clients to their advisory firm.

Running a Google Ads campaign can attract attention to your advisory firm and make it easier for prospective clients to find you in local search results. If you’ve ever searched for anything using Google, you’ve probably noticed the advertisements that appear in search results.

Google Ads gives you control over which keywords you’d like to target to get the attention of your ideal client. You can also get to the top of the search much more quickly by running an Ads campaign compared to how long it might take to see the same results with SEO.

Google Ads for Financial Advisors vs. SEO

SEO or search engine optimization refers to a variety of strategies that are designed to make it easier to be seen in online searches. For example, if you have a professional website for your advisory business then some basic SEO plays you might make would include incorporating keywords into your written content and to the alt tags on your site’s images.

While SEO is something to consider when shaping your marketing plan, it’s entirely different from running digital ads. With SEO, your placements are limited to search results only and where you land in the rankings depends largely on how good your optimization strategy is. Google Ads, meanwhile, can make it easier to crack the first page of search, while also allowing you to get your business seen elsewhere online.

Aside from that, SEO doesn’t offer the same level of control as Google Ads can. An advisor can create a highly optimized site that ranks well and gets a steady flow of traffic each month, only to have their hard work wiped out by a Google algorithm update. Google Ads, on the other hand, remain in place for as long as you continue the campaign.

How Advisors Can Create an Effective Google Ads Campaign

If you’re considering including Google Ads in your marketing budget it helps to know how to leverage them to make your investment worthwhile. Google Ads can quickly become a drain on your marketing budget if you’re not taking the time to flesh out your campaign based on your goals and objectives.

With that in mind, here are five general tips for making the most of Google Ads when promoting your advisory business:

  • Set your budget. Google doesn’t require advertisers to set a minimum budget to run ads; it’s entirely up to you to decide how much to spend. If you’ve never done any type of digital advertising for your advisory business, it may be wise to start with a smaller budget so you can test different strategies to see what’s most effective.
  • Consider the cost per click. Before you begin setting up your Google Ads campaign you first have to figure out what it will cost you to get clicks. For reference, the average cost per click is around $4 but your cost could end up being higher if you’re targeting more competitive keywords. You can find your average cost per click by dividing the total cost of your clicks by the total number of clicks.
  • Select keywords carefully. Your keywords can make or break your Google Ads campaign’s success and there are a few different ways you can approach choosing them. For example, you might target keywords that are specific to your branding, such as your firm’s name. Or you may try to capitalize on local searches by using terms like “financial advisor + your city or zip code.” You could also choose keywords that reflect your niche but add a location-based qualifier. The more specific you can make them to your advisory business, the better.
  • Optimize your campaign assets. Google has some guidelines for the assets you use in your campaign. Headlines and descriptions are required, and Google recommends making them compelling and unique while emphasizing user benefits. Adding more headlines and descriptions can allow more opportunities for Google to serve your ads to prospective clients.
  • Prepare your site for incoming traffic. Assuming the goal is to drive traffic back to your firm’s website, it’s also helpful to review your site structure to ensure that it’s easy for visitors to navigate and that your contact information is displayed. Google has a scheduling feature that you can use to determine what time of day your ads should run. You might specify that you want your ads to run during business hours so that if visitors to your site decide to call you, you’re not missing any opportunities to connect.

Here’s one more tip: Track your metrics. Keeping track of what you’re paying per click, the number of leads you’re generating and your average cost per lead can give you a better idea of whether Google Ads are working for you.

Are Google Ads a Good Investment for Financial Advisors?

Financial advisors researching how to make Google Ads a good investment for their firm.

Google Ads can help you to get more clicks to your website and potentially generate more leads, but there’s a learning curve that goes along with learning how to use them. If you don’t have time to research the finer points of using Google Ads as a marketing tool, you might consider hiring a third-party firm to handle it for you.

There are companies that work with financial advisors and wealth managers to craft and manage your Google Ads campaigns. They can help with everything from the initial setup to creating a Google Ads account to optimizing your campaigns and tracking results.

Of course, you’ll pay a fee for those services and the cost could easily outstrip anything you’d planned to spend setting up a DIY Google Ads campaign. If you’re not quite ready to test Google Ads, there’s one more option you might consider.

You could use an online lead generation service to get more eyes on your business. Lead generation services can send a steady stream of leads your way, based on your ideal client profile. Lead-generation platforms can also provide you with the tools you need to follow up on those leads promptly.

Bottom Line

To run Google Ads or not run Google Ads? That’s an important question to consider if driving more leads to your advisory firm is a priority goal. While Google Ad campaigns can produce results, there’s a certain amount of nuance that goes into creating them and it’s wise to weigh the pros and cons before diving in.

Tips for Growing Your Advisory Business

  • When you’re working with a limited marketing budget, you may have to be more selective about how you promote your business. Social media is an excellent choice for advisors who want to cultivate a loyal following with relatively little cost. You may also consider email marketing or even direct mail marketing to connect with your target audience.
  • Hiring a digital marketing agency can take the pressure off if you’re struggling to produce the right campaign to promote your firm. If you don’t have room in your budget to hire a full-service agency, lead generation services may be a more affordable option. With SmartAdvisor, you can get matched with prospective clients who are looking for an advisor.

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