The keys to fighting fraud?

September 8, 2016
/   Insights

We're constantly being warned that fraud is one of the biggest threats facing the banking industry, but the true scale of this was revealed by a recent survey that suggests it could make up...

Cause and Effect: If you build it, will they come?

July 23, 2014
/   Spotlight

Many financial institutions assume that digital banking is lucrative because the most valuable customers happen to bank online. While there is certainly a correlation between online bankers and higher profitability, quantitative evidence suggests that...

Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services

April 11, 2011
/   Insights

Today, Intuit released the latest edition of the Intuit 2020 report, Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services, which identifies and examines four key trend areas that will  transform the financial services industry...

Fast Facts: Student Loans

January 22, 2013
/   Insights

The Financial Services Roundtable recently released another iteration of its Fast Facts, reliable, bullet-point research about issues facing the financial services industry. Topics span TARP, Dodd-Frank, insurance, lending, retirement savings and more.  Below are some updated Fast...

The Top 10 Trends in the Digital Banking Industry

December 18, 2013
/   Spotlight

2014 is rapidly approaching and as the year wraps, the Digital Insight team has pulled together the top 10 trends in the digital banking industry based on data and trends from studying financial institutions....

Making Banking Fun: Gamification in Financial Services

August 5, 2013
/   Insights

Recently, the team sat in on American Banker’s webinar, “Gamification in Financial Services: Five Proven Ways to Get an Edge,” which shared how leading brands in financial services have applied gamification to reach...

Technology M&As: The Beats Go On

May 29, 2014
/   Insights

The ongoing fascination with Apple’s $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics is entirely understandable, because it’s a cool story. However, it also says a lot about what’s going on between finance and tech.

What We’re Reading

May 5, 2011
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below. Virtual Banking Worlds Provide Tangible Lessons American...

Small Business: Perception vs. Reality

November 21, 2012
/   Insights

In the most recent election cycle, like most others before it, the one sector of the economy that got the most attention was small business.  This is the future, we were told by every...

What We’re Reading: Thanksgiving Edition

November 22, 2012
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom. Mobile Thursday? Plans for Thanksgiving...

Your bank serves a local audience, so have you taken the time to “localize” your Google AdWords campaigns? People searching Google for local financial solutions want to find a bank they can trust, but also a bank that’s close by! In order to establish trust and effectively reach local prospects, make sure to utilize these 5 AdWords geotargeting tips.

Use Localized Ads – After searching for a business bank near BankBound’s headquarters in Newtown, PA this is the first ad that appeared in search results:

business banks in newtown

Clearly, my search query was localized, but this generic ad doesn’t help convince me that Wells Fargo has any locations or investment in Newtown. Instead of generic copy in the ad and ad extensions, Wells Fargo would benefit greatly from including “Newtown” in the ad title, ad copy, and ad display URL. The Callout Extensions they are using feature a number of services they offer, but honestly I’d expect them to offer these services anyhow. Why not include localized Callouts instead? Something like “3 Newtown Locations”, “Near the Bypass”, or anything else related to the area would definitely catch my attention.

Use Location Extensions – Location Extensions are a fantastic way to localize your ads by showcasing the nearest branch locations of your bank based on the searcher’s location. Location Extensions allow users to click for directions and also click to call as well which make for a great user experience and also help measure how your online ads are impacting local branches. It’s also worth pointing out that without the use of Location Extensions, your ads will no longer show up on Google Maps as shown here:

banks in newtown 1

Use Proper Geotargeting – AdWords offers a number of different ways to target users geographically: radius targeting around specific addresses, zip codes, city name, state name, county name, DMA (metro area), and within places of interest (airports, colleges, large commercial centers). Additionally, AdWords offers demographic targeting by household income within the geographic areas that you choose to target.

It’s also important to update your campaign Location Options to only target people in your targeted location:

searching for people

Otherwise, Google will serve your ads to people it thinks are looking for something related to your location. This can be quite problematic, especially if you serve areas which generic town names like “Newtown”. You can also prevent ads from showing for irrelevant searches by using “negative” keywords for any locations you do not want to advertise in.

Use Google Display Network Locally – Most local news and event websites in your bank’s service area will allow Google ads to be placed on their website. Use Google’s Display Planner to find local websites or apps you can place ads on. You can use text, image, video, or rich media ads in the Google Display Network, and your ads can show across an entire website or within a specific section of the website.

Use Geotargeted Remarketing Audiences – Within Google Analytics, your bank can create remarketing audiences to target specific users with ads after they’ve left your site based on the variables you define. You could create a remarketing audience based on website visitors from a specific city, then show those visitors ads that highlight an event taking place at your branch location in that city. If you have individual pages on your site for each branch location, you could create remarketing audiences of users that have visited specific branch location pages. These users would be excellent targets for ads that highlight events or service offerings at the branch they recently viewed on your website.


Brian Reilly is a digital consultant for BankBound, a marketing agency focused exclusively on the banking industry.


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James W. Gabberty

Gabberty is a professor of information systems at Pace University in New York City. An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University Polytechnic Institute, he has served as an expert witness in telecommunication and information security at the federal and state levels and holds numerous certifications from SANS & ISACA.

Zachary Ehrlich

25-year-old writer, and as a native San Franciscan, I am unreasonably loyal to Bank of America, if only for their superhero-like origin story, involving the 1906 earthquake and Italian fruit vendors.

Brad Strothkamp

Marisa Mann

Marisa Mann brings over 15 years of experience in consulting and financial services industries to the Solstice team, working on large scale enterprise initiatives across many technologies, including specializing in the digital space – Internet and mobile. Mann is passionate about mobile and the endless possibilities for the enterprise, delivering business value through strong brand recognition and driving to excellence in the consumer experience. Prior to Solstice, Mann worked at JP Morgan Chase, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, Washington Mutual, Inc, and Accenture.