What is Digital Marketing for Banks?

Digital marketing for banks is about using the internet to tell people about the bank's services, talk to customers, and handle banking activities online. It includes strategies like putting ads on the internet, using social media, sending emails, and making sure people can find the bank easily when they search online. This way, banks can reach out to customers who prefer to do their banking without going to an actual bank.
What is Digital Marketing for Banks?

Digital Marketing Funnel for Banks


Brand Marketing - Focuses on building awareness and establishing a brand's identity within the market. At the top of the funnel, the goal is to reach a broad audience and make a memorable impression, rather than to drive immediate conversions.


SEO - SEO is essential for banks to advertising online, ensuring that potential customers can discover you, whether they're searching for your products, your bank's name, or seeking financial representation for their issues. This solution captures audience from the top funnel, but also the bottom funnel as well if you are able to rank for product-related keywords.


PPC & Advertising - Digital advertisements can allow you to perform retargeting, which means showing your ads to people who have already seen your company through SEO or social media. This means your ads will only target people who have shown interest in your banking products, and have a higher chance of conversions.


CRO - After drawing people to your website via SEO or PPC, you must now ensure that they are converted into leads. This solution belongs to the lowest end of the marketing funnel, and is also the most crucial part, as this is where you really sell yourself to would-be customers.

Why Do Banks Need Digital Marketing?

Why Do Banks Need Digital Marketing?

Why Do Banks Need Digital Marketing?

Local banks used to have the edge because they could get to know their customers face-to-face, earn their trust, and create a feeling of community. But now, with online banks and the ability to deposit checks through a phone, fewer people feel the need to go to their neighborhood bank.

Statistics shows that Hong Kong was the region with the highest adoption rate of mobile banking, about 82 percent of respondents had installed banking apps. With technology making it simple to bank from anywhere, local banks have to work on getting better at digital marketing.

As younger people, like millennials and Generation Z, grow up with everything online, it’s more important than ever for banks to be seen and active on the internet.

1. Getting Your Manager’s Approval

This is a rather weird way to start a solution’s guide, but this actually happens fequently with First Page bank clients. There are many strong arguments for putting money into digital marketing, yet even the best strategies can change once they come out of a boardroom meeting! To secure your bank director’s approval for investing in digital marketing, you’ll want to present a compelling case that aligns with the bank’s goals and demonstrates a clear return on investment (ROI). Here’s how you can approach this:

  1. Research and Data: Gather data on current digital marketing trends, including case studies of successful campaigns in the banking industry. Show how competitors are benefiting from digital marketing.
  2. Customer Insights: Present evidence of changing customer behaviors, such as an increased preference for online banking services, mobile app usage, and digital customer service interactions.
  3. Strategic Alignment: Explain how digital marketing aligns with the bank’s strategic goals, such as reaching younger demographics, increasing customer acquisition, or improving service offerings.
  4. ROI Projections: Develop projections that show potential returns from digital marketing investments. This could include increases in new accounts, higher engagement rates, or SEO traffic forecasts.
  5. Testimonials and Endorsements: If available, include testimonials of the team or the agency to showcase their experience in banking industries.
  6. Customized Proposal: Craft a proposal that specifically addresses your bank’s needs, including a detailed plan of action, budget breakdown, and timeline.
  7. Success Metrics: Outline how you will measure the success of digital marketing efforts. Include key performance indicators (KPIs) like website traffic, conversion rates, and social media engagement.

By presenting a well-researched and thoughtful proposal that demonstrates an understanding of both the opportunities and challenges of digital marketing, you’ll be better positioned to get your bank director’s buy-in for the investment.


2. Set Up Goals

Given the wealth of data emanating from your website and the influx of visitors steered there by your marketing efforts, it’s imperative to establish clear success benchmarks. This enables the tracking of your bank’s digital marketing performance and informs necessary strategic adjustments. A robust framework for this purpose combines leading indicators with key performance indicators (KPIs) to deliver comprehensive performance insights.

Consider these potential leading indicators:

The organic visibility of your website’s pages and Google Maps listings within Google search results.

Traffic breakdown by source (organic search, social media, paid advertising, referrals) and visitor type (new versus returning).

User engagement metrics, such as average duration of visits, number of pages viewed per session, and bounce rate.

For KPIs, you might measure:

  • The cost incurred for each lead generated through website interactions, emails, or phone calls.
  • The expense associated with acquiring a new customer through online applications.
  • The investment required to prompt a physical visit to a branch, as measured by map direction clicks or Google’s Store Visits tracking.
  • Defining these success criteria and regularly benchmarking performance against them is vital for optimizing your marketing spend. It ensures that investments are channeled toward the most effective campaigns
  • and avenues. Furthermore, it empowers the marketing department to be viewed as a generator of profit, shifting the perception from being a cost burden to becoming a value-adding segment of the bank.


3. Define Your Audience

Banking has a wide variety of products and services, ranging from credit cards, insurance products, investment services, structured products and so on… Each of them serve a different group of audience, from demographics, businesses to investment portfolios. You must first understand your audience before kickstarting any sort of digital marketing campaigns, as any mis-calculations on the audience targeting stage would result to money down the drain.


4. Select The Marketing Channels Based On Your Goals

To effectively engage your bank’s target audience with pertinent marketing efforts, you’ll need to exploit the digital marketing landscape, which essentially breaks down into two primary categories:

Continuous Digital Marketing Strategies (for sustained engagement)

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): This encompasses a broad spectrum of activities, both on your website and on external platforms where your brand is present.
  • Content Marketing: Focus on crafting valuable content for your customers and potential clients, steering clear of merely pushing bank updates.
  • Search Ads: These are the advertisements that pop up on search engines like Google, triggered by user queries.
  • Social Content Ads: Exceptional content doesn’t guarantee discovery—paid promotions on social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn are essential for visibility.
  • Remarketing Ads: These ads are tailored for individuals who have previously interacted with your website, using their engagement history for targeted outreach.
  • Email Marketing Automation: Streamline the delivery of blog posts and resources to enhance engagement and drive conversions by using automated systems.
  • Organic Social Media & Employee Advocacy: Despite limited reach through organic updates on most platforms, your employees can amplify your brand’s message on their personal accounts when they’re properly guided and equipped (find more detailed strategies in our complete social media guide for financial institutions).

Targeted Digital Marketing Campaigns (for specific initiatives)

  • Display and Social Ads: Utilize image and video ads for cost-effective exposure during branch launches, special promotions, community events, and other singular campaigns.
  • Email Campaigns: Leverage your robust data to create opportunities for targeted messaging.
  • SMS/Text Messaging: Exercise caution with this highly visible channel, understanding that most recipients will read a text from your bank.
  • Digital Radio: This platform offers a more trackable alternative to traditional radio, with similar auditory engagement potential.

Both strategy types should be tailored to meet the needs of your specific audience, ensuring that your bank’s marketing stays relevant, effective, and capable of achieving desired results in an increasingly digital world.

Banking Sitemap Refinement Step By Step

Banking Sitemap Refinement Step By Step

Banking Sitemap Refinement Step By Step

5. Structure Your Website

All banks should have a website, no matter if you are a traditional bank or a digital bank. However, not all banks that we’ve seen have a clear structure that allows easy user navigation between their homepage and various products. On the right is a step-by-step guide of First Page’s experience in helping banks rebuild and restructure their sitemaps and page layouts to best fit SEO, UIUX and CRO elements (SXO). Below are a few other reasons why a bank should have a clear website structure.

  • Improved User Experience (UX): A clear sitemap helps users navigate the bank’s website with ease. Customers and potential customers should be able to find information about accounts, loans, and other financial services without confusion. A well-organized sitemap ensures that visitors can find what they are looking for quickly, which can enhance their overall experience and satisfaction.
  • Enhanced Search Engine Optimization: Sitemaps are critical for SEO because they help search engines like Google understand the structure of a website. This understanding allows search engines to crawl the site more intelligently and index the pages appropriately, which can improve the site’s visibility in search results.
  • Efficient Site Crawling: A sitemap acts as a roadmap for search engine crawlers, directing them to all the pages on the site. This is particularly important for new or updated content to be discovered and indexed promptly.
  • Content Discovery: Banks often provide a wealth of content, including financial education, news updates, and advisory articles. A sitemap can ensure that this valuable content is accessible to both users and search engines, potentially increasing the reach and impact of the bank’s educational efforts.
  • Site Structure Insights: A clear sitemap allows the bank’s web team to maintain an overview of the site’s structure, which can be useful during redesigns, content audits, and for ongoing site management. It helps in identifying gaps in content or areas where the site could be expanded or streamlined.
SEO For Banks

SEO For Banks

SEO For Banks

6. Kickstart With SEO

SEO is valuable as it attracts free organic traffic to your website and enhances your visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). We can see that various banking product and services are seeing a year-to-year increase (left hand side image). Digital bank search volume has also seen an increase of 80% comparing to last year.


7. Local SEO

The Localized keyword “banks near me” results in 1600 average monthly search volume and a 1592% year-to-year growth. This shows how important local SEO is for bank’s search and visibility.

Local SEO is essential for banks aiming to improve their placement in local search rankings and draw in customers from their immediate vicinity. This is especially beneficial for smaller banks facing competition from larger banks.

Moreover, banks with favorable online reviews tend to eclipse those lacking such feedback. Local SEO is adept at matching your services with clients in your area by taking into account both the customer’s location and the targeted keywords associated with your bank.


8. Optimize With PPC

PPC advertising is important for banks because it provides a quick and efficient way to appear at the top of search engine results. This helps banks reach potential customers at the moment they are searching for financial products and services. PPC also offers precise targeting and budget control, allowing banks to tailor their advertising efforts to specific audiences and manage costs effectively. Additionally, the data from PPC campaigns provide valuable insights, enabling banks to measure their return on investment and make informed decisions to optimize their marketing strategies.


Banking PPC Keywords Examples

Here are a few banking PPC keywords example to get you started on your bank’s PPC campaign.

Keyword Volume Highest Cost Per Click (HKD)
banks near me
1600 $47
online banks
480 $134
banking services
110 $35
private banking 1000 $56
bank account opening
170 $130
ebanking 8100 $40
investment banks 1600 $37
commercial banking 720 $55
savings account
170 $33


9. Write More Content

There is a saying in 2023, and will even be more emphasized in 2024. “Content Is King”. Every content piece you share can drive new visitors and leads to your bank. Simply put, content marketing helps with search engine optimization. Do competitor research for your content. We are seeing a lot of financial blog platforms writing amazing content and having a clear cut site structure that are outranking banks even on “Branded” search terms, such as insurance product comparisons, introductions, branded banking product promotions etc… This is a huge threat towards banking digital marketing. If banks are losing out on these financial blog platforms, even when they should have superior E-E-A-T, domain authority, relativeness and backlinks, then the cause must be the content quality and heading structures.


10. Wrap Up With CRO

Conversion Rate Optimization is all about effectively utilizing the leads acquired through your various strategies. CRO entails gathering contact information from potential clients and establishing a follow-up process to further engage them into the sales funnel. Without CRO, your lead generation techniques might not significantly influence your business. Since bank have so many different wireframes and page layouts entailed with various products, it is crucial for banks to keep optimizing and A/B Testing their pages.

Common Bank Digital Marketing Mistakes

Common Bank Digital Marketing Mistakes

Common Bank Digital Marketing Mistakes

1. Lacking Online Presence

If prospective customers cannot find your firm through search engines, or your website doesn’t expand your presence to new people, your business will never grow. This would also negatively impact your bank’s branding as well. When people search for generic terms and increasing see your competitors, while your bank is being drowned under the second or third page, your bank’s name will never be seen, and will soon be sitting at the very back of the line when people think of different banking brands to pursue a purchase.

— Solution

Adopt robust SEO tactics to enhance your online presence and elevate your position in search engine results, particularly on platforms such as Google.


2. Inadequate Marketing Budget

You can’t expect to rank well for informative keywords that has lots of search volume, if you do not invest in good content writers for them to do in-depth keyword research, heading structure buildups and descriptive writing. You also can’t expect to bid for competitve keywords for PPC, if your budget couldn’t match Google’s cost-per-click algorithms.

— Solution

Dedicate a significant part of your anticipated revenue (between 6% and 10%) to marketing activities and seek guidance from seasoned digital marketing professionals. Ask them to provide traffic forecasts and PPC forecasts before embarking on a digital marketing campagin to estimate ROI.


3. Not Creating Positive Reviews

Reflect on your personal experiences as a consumer reading reviews. For instance, have you ever sought reviews for a movie, a restaurant, or a product on an e-commerce platform like Amazon? Even if you’re not in the habit of writing reviews, chances are you’ve read reviews and testimonials while contemplating a purchase, opting for a service, or planning to visit a business.

— Solution

Genuine online reviews from actual clients are essential to building trust. Just as with blogging, keeping things current is key. On your website, your “testimonials” can be timeless and need not be dated, but you should regularly solicit reviews on third-party websites like Google and Yelp. Remember to include review schema once you added them on your website, so Google can understand them better!


4. Targeting Wrong Search Intent

Search intent is the purpose behind a user’s search on the internet. It’s crucial for SEO because it helps provide the most relevant results.

For the keyword “banking services”:

  1. Informational Intent: Users want to know how different banking services would help their investment, or the definitions of various structural products.
  2. Navigational Intent: Users are trying to find a specific brand related to banking services.
  3. Transactional Intent: Users are looking to open a bank account, or to apply for a credit card.
  4. Commercial Investigation: Users are comparing different credit card’s rebate offers, or comparing different investment products.

Understanding these intents helps tailor content to meet user needs, yet sometimes our banking clients might make the mistake of targeting the wrong keywords of the wrong intent.

— Solution

Look at what Google shows on the SERP when you type in the keyword in the search bar. When you read more of these results, you will start to gain insights and patterns on what type of keywords Google prefer to rank for which search intent. This also help banks during their phases of sitemap restructuring.

How To Write Educational Banking Blogs?

As mentioned previously, banks are currently losing out to various financial blog platforms in terms of content quality. Banks must constantly publish educational, helpful legal insights to boost their website’s E-E-A-T and match Google’s search intent. This is how you prove to your potential clients that you are an experienced, trustworthy bank that can help them with their financial issues.


1. Choose a niche topic

Banks starting a blog should focus on a tightly defined niche. Niche content can rank higher in search engine results for targeted keywords, as there is often less content available on specific, narrowly-focused topics. A well-defined niche also caters to a specific audience seeking specialized information, leading to higher engagement from readers who have a direct interest in the topic.

Below are some blog ideas for lawyers to write:

  • Mortgages 101
  • Small Business Banking Solutions
  • Eduational Savings Plans
  • Benefits of Digital Banking
  • Personal Loans Ultimate Guide
  • What are structural products?


2. Prioritise Content Quality Over SEO

I understand this section might be quite confusing. Didn’t we just said we’re doing this BECAUSE OF SEO? While SEO can improve online visibility, you should emphasizes quality content as the priority. Engaging, informative posts are more likely to be shared by influential readers, naturally boosting SEO.


3. Ongoing Publishing

Blogging is conversational. Stay updated on relevant current events and provide your take to ensure a continuous flow of content. Subscribing to other legal influencers or Twitter or Linkedin can help getting insights and references on what kind of new topics for you to write.


4. Focus on Client’s Interests

Instead of promoting your bank, answer common client questions through your blog. This approach positions you as a helpful resource and encourages repeat visits. For example, you may write about different product’s tips during selection, what to look for when choosing a credit card etc…


5. Just Start Writing

Begin your blogging journey without fretting over perfection in every post. We understand that banks often have multiple layers of restrictions and teams that you will need to go through for each piece of content, but the moment you start drafting out the content, the ball will start to roll, and you must not allow the momentum to stop. Maintaining a consistent posting schedule is the key.

Frequent Asked Questions From Our Law Firm Clients

Results can vary based on the strategies used. SEO efforts often take several months to show significant results, while PPC campaigns can provide immediate visibility.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) like website traffic, conversion rates, and social media engagement can measure success. Also, tools like Google Analytics provide valuable data.

It can be effective if the influencers align with the bank’s values and their audience is relevant to the bank’s target market.

Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who take a desired action on your site, like filling out a form. It’s a key metric in assessing the effectiveness of your digital marketing.

It depends on the size and complexity of your campaigns. Smaller firms may use a single individual, while larger firms may benefit from a dedicated team.

Voice search optimization, artificial intelligence, chatbots, and video content are among the trends shaping the future of digital marketing for banks.

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