How to Target and Convert Credit…

How to Target and Convert Credit Card Searchers: US Market

Key Search Trends & Audience Insights

Reaching credit card seekers early in their research phase (before the competition does) is the key for most credit card brands. In this report, we explore keyword trends, audience behavior, and other examples of how brands can use strategic insights to reach credit card searchers first.

Unbranded Searches: SEO Opportunities


“Branded” searches (those that include a brand name) are by far the most common amongst credit card searches, because most consumers begin research with specific store rewards or banks already in mind.

However, “unbranded” search terms represent an opportunity for credit card companies to compete for SEO rankings by incorporating highly organic keywords into their website metadata and content strategy. Below, we see several opportunities where travel credit cards in particular have strong opportunities to rank organically.

US Credit Card Report: Top Unbranded Searches
Data pulled over 12 weeks ending 5/6/2017. Search % rebased from top 100 “credit card” searches.

Branded Searches: Non-Financial


Below are the top 10 branded credit card searches (from from financial brands). These retail cards are extremely popular, and add up to well over half of the top 100 credit card searches.

US Credit Card Report: Branded Non-Financial Searches
% rebased from top 100 “credit card” searches. Data pulled over 12 weeks ending 5/6/2017.

We see several patterns amongst branded credit card searches in the last three years:

Walmart has consistently lost search share
Best Buy has held steady and only eclipsed Walmart in the last few months
Amazon has shown the most growth, with over 2X credit card searches since 2014

US Credit Card Report: Top 5 Branded Retail Searches

Branded Searches: Financial


Here, we share all of the credit card search variations (out of the top 100 searches) which include brand names of banks or financial institutions.

US Credit Card Report: Financial Credit Card Searches
Data pulled over 12 weeks ending 5/6/2017.

Chase sits in the number one spot with the highest share of credit card searches, although this was not always the case. At one point, “capital one credit card” held nearly 7% of all credit card searches.

Let’s explore what happened, and several ways Capital One might be able to regain traction.

Spotlight: Capital One


Searches for “capital one credit card” have fallen YOY, down a total of 95% since April of 2014.

US Credit Card Report: Searches for Capital One

In spite of challenges, several Capital One terms have been steadily growing, particularly for cards like Quicksilver, Venture, and Spark. This suggests that building the brand value of specific cards is paying off, and can provide strategic advantages within search marketing.

US Credit Card Report: Top Capital One Searches

Another strategy is to capture interested consumers earlier in their journey. Below are the top five news publications that Capital One credit card searchers visit before hitting a credit card or banking site. The Daily Mail and several local news sites represent a key opportunity to reach interested consumers before they hit Capital One’s website—or that of a competitor.

US Credit Card Report: Top News Sites
Data pulled over 4 weeks ending 5/6/2017

Spotlight: American Express

In contrast to Capital One, American Express pulls a smaller percentage of credit card searchers. How can Amex better reach their niche audience? One area where Amex credit cad searchers stand out is their engagement with social media before hitting a financial website. Based on the information below, Amex might consider allocating more funds towards advertising and retargeting on YouTube and Twitter, rather than Facebook.

US Credit Card Report: Top Social Media Sites
Data pulled over 4 weeks ending 5/6/2017

Amex is known for pulling older customers, but attracting young consumers will be key to their future. Amex credit card searchers actually over-index for consumers aged 25-34. However, when compared to the index of actual Amex cardholders, there appears to be a huge drop-off amongst older Millenials, especially men aged 25-34. How could American Express better nurture this untapped audience?

US Credit Card Report: Age and Gender Index

Source: Data pulled using Hitwise Intelligence and AudienceView, based on search terms that indicate interest in credit cards. Search share & traffic percentages rebased from top 100 searches. YOY charts are from 4/19/2014 through 4/13/2017.