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How Have the Changes to Google's Search Engine Results Page Affected Financial Businesses?


Insights for Financial Businesses: How do people search for financial services online and what can service providers do to reach them effectively?


Google search results finance

Heat map of results to the task "find information about corporate bank accounts"


We conducted an eye-tracking study and asked participants: "Imagine you are starting a business and you want to get a corporate bank account. Use Google to find information about corporate bank accounts". 




Many searches for financial services, as with this one, are unbranded with no local intent. In this case, the SERP only displays sponsored ads and organic results, so SEO and PPC are going to be the most effective online marketing strategies.



  • 58.1% of clicks were to the top 3 organic listings with 26% to the first organic listing.

Google search results finance - top organic


Have a strong SEO strategy to appear within the top organic listings:

  • Develop a solid content strategy and use keywords related to the intent of people searching for your services. 
  • For every type of service you offer, create a separate page on your website outlining the specifics of the service in a keyword rich language.
  • Think about the types of searches that are going to occur during the year and plan your strategy accordingly (E.g. RRSPs will be more heavily researched in Jan-April.)


  • 23.3% of clicks took place below the 4th listing.

Google search results finance - organic


People are scanning less horizontally and more vertically and will scan further down the page if they don't find the information they are looking for within the first listings. People clicked on listings containing keywords relevant to their intent, even though they were further down the page. Front-load content in page titles based on the intent of the searcher.



  • 14% of clicks were to a sponsored ad.

Google search results finance - sponsored ads


  • The financial industry is very competitive online. With a sponsored ad, in addition to an organic listing, your brand will own more space on the SERP which will improve overall brand authority and clicks.
  • In our study, the sponsored ad that got the most activity is the one that included keywords relevant to the intent of the searcher. Front-load relevant content in titles.
  • No activity was observed on the right rail sponsored ads. Make sure your sponsored ad is displayed above the organic listings rather than on the right rail.


Do you also operate from physical locations? Read tips for a location-based finance/insurance digital strategy.