Recently, SEMRush published a report that detailed research concerning Fintech websites across the world. Data was pulled from over 500 websites in seven countries: United Kingdom, United States, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, and Brazil.
The insights that SEMRUSH pulled from the data revealed some surprising habits of online users researching Fintech brands. While Australia and New Zealand pop up only sporadically throughout the data, these insights are quite useful for global Fintech companies. The history of Fintech starts way before the hottest Fintech topics, blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. Fintech started with the ATM a few decades ago. Mortgage lenders, mobile payment services, and cloud storage technologies also fall under this umbrella of apps and services that make our lives much easier.
The following insights are just a brief sample of the information pulled from the 2018 Fintech Study, which you can access here. At Digital Squad, we work with SEMRush to deliver in-depth information to each of our clients about SEO best practices, keyword research, and how their sites rank among competitors. We continue to pull insights and conduct research on the Google algorithm and SEO best practices to help all of our partners reach the right online consumers.
Direct Traffic Dominates; Shows Importance of SEO for Brand Growth
Direct traffic was the leading source of website traffic across the globe, driving at least 45% of traffic for each country. Organic search followed, and then referral traffic, paid search, and finally social media.
In every case, the country saw most of its traffic from domestic users, followed directly by traffic from the United States. This is less of a surprise, but shows how influential the United States (where cryptocurrency first gained popularity.)
Direct traffic is a sign of brand loyalty, but it does little to ensure brand growth. A neglected website and a good product can only take you so far when 40,000 search queries are processed on Google every second. If you want consumers to find your website before they know your name, it’s time to optimise your website and boost your keyword rankings.
SEO best practices increase keyword rankings and increase organic search traffic at every stage of brand awareness. Even if you just want to introduce your brand through blog posts and evergreen content, a high domain authority score (DA) will help you appear on the first page of SERPs.
Throughout this post, we will discuss more on formatting your content for SERPs and how to put your content in front of customers at the beginning of the buyer’s journey.
International Traffic Proved To Be The Most Loyal
While traffic was dominated from domestic sources, the domestic bounce rate was either equal to or less than global bounce rate. An international source always took the prize for the time spent on the website and how many pages were visited. Australia visited the most pages and spent the most on U.K. Fintech sites and topped domestic traffic.
If you are hoping to reach international users, set up your page with the Hreflang attribute. Adding this small tag allows Google to understand what language you are using in your website, and makes it easier for international visitors to translate the page into their language. You may already have this attribute on your site; an impressive 96.83% of Fintech sites had Hreflang implemented already. Talk to your developers or marketing team about implementing this on your website.
The Switch To Mobile Is Slow for Paid Advertisements
Surprisingly, the split between searching on mobile and desktop is pretty even. SEMRush predicted that a lot of research happens on both platforms before conversion. What is surprisingly, however, is that most countries have some work to do to optimise their PPC strategies for mobile. The U.K. adopted the html format for most of their display ads, but they are the sole country surveyed who have a majority of paid ads in this format.
When it came to overall mobile health, most Fintech website pages were mobile-friendly. Italy took the prize for the most mobile-friendly websites; 87.5% of all Italian Fintech site pages are mobile friendly. Brazil trails behind, but still can boast that 72.22% of their Fintech site pages are mobile friendly.
Android took the prize for the target of most display ads, with the phone and tablet alternating for the top spot in most countries.
Paid Traffic: Go Big or Go Home
In every country except for Italy, fintech companies bought paid search ads that cost less than $5,000 most often, followed by paid search ads that cost over $50,000. Media ads dominated in most countries except for the U.K.
Visual Content Is Key On Social Media
This is a less surprising insight, but important to note nonetheless. Visual content is key to driving traffic and increasing your overall ranking across many industries, Fintech included. Facebook drove more traffic to Fintech websites. LinkedIn and Twitter followed in Facebook’s dust. Across the countries, photos and videos were key for driving traffic.
These should be considered when setting up and maintaining social media platforms. Social media is far from being the top driver of traffic, but can provide a base of information for customers who are conducting research and expressing brand loyalty.
A Quick Overview of Trigger Words
The study revealed that most keywords that drove organic search traffic were branded. In every country except Germany, branded keywords accounted for over 49% of the traffic. The most used keywords in U.K. and U.S. search queries included “credit card,” and “online banking.” Searches for “long-term credit” dominated queries over “short-term credit” in every country except for the U.K. and the U.S. Both countries had high search volumes for “payday loans.”
When it came to paid search, urgency and CTAs played a part in triggering clicks. “Apply online,” “online today,” and “apply now,” made the list as some of the top trigger words employed by U.S. and U.K. paid search ads.
Conclusion: Fintech Companies Should Prioritise Promoting Brand Loyalty
Brand loyalty is a recurring theme throughout the insights. We see the importance of brand loyalty in dominating direct traffic and the high rate of branded keywords. Users conduct research throughout mobile and desktop devices before converting, so it’s important to show users the reliability of your brand. When consumers see brands that they have used in the past, or brands with stellar reputations, linked with your fintech brand, they will be more likely to convert and transfer their trust to you. Testimonials and online reputation management are key.
Brand Loyalty and Trust Build SERPs
We see the importance of brand loyalty on search results as well. Google builds SERPs based on what users are looking for in Fintech companies. Based on the insights from SEMRush, users want to see how trustworthy these brands are, and where they can learn more information. Reviews were the leading SERP feature throughout the United Kingdom and the United States, followed by site links and Knowledge Graphs. (SERP features were only evaluated in these two countries, and the results were very similar.)
SEMRush makes two important notes in this section of their report that are important for content marketers and businesses to remember as they build their SEO strategies.
First, it’s important to remember that “many, if not most, of the SERP features for Fintech sites cannot be directly influenced by site owners and specialists.” Overall page optimisation is important to rank highly for these features, but you cannot necessarily guarantee your spot on a specific feature. (We do, however, offer resources and tips for how to set a path toward becoming an entity.)
What Fintech companies can do is talk to their marketers and content creators about creating content that answers visitors’ questions. Create content that adds value to overall experience and establishes your position as a leader in your industry. If you can write high-quality, informational, and relevant content, a high ranking will come naturally.
Where can you start?
Answer questions as if you are writing for Featured Snippets.
This brings us to the second suggestion from SEMRush: “Also, while Featured Snippets were not among the leading SERP features overall, they are gaining momentum. The coveted “position zero” Featured Snippet search listing at the very top of search results is highly competitive. A smart strategy to incorporate in your keyword research and competitive analyses is to provide long-tail keyword answers to trending search queries.”
Landing pages, blog posts, and other forms of content can be formatted and written with Featured Snippets in mind. As leaders in the fintech industry, you have the ability to educate your consumers about what the information they want to know: credit card rates, mortgage rates, blockchain technology, etc. Use this knowledge to reach the consumers conducting research on mobile and desktop devices.
Learn More About Search Engine Optimisation With Digital Squad
Digital Squad is no stranger to optimising websites for Fintech and businesses within the financial industry. You can read more about our work with one of New Zealand’s leading mortgage brokers on our website.
Ready to optimise your website and create content that answers the questions your customers have before they buy? Talk to one of our SEO specialists to see what we can offer your business.
Megan Okonsky is a copywriter and content marketing specialist with Digital Squad. She is originally from Philadelphia but has landed in Melbourne after traveling for eight months in Southeast Asia and New Zealand. She also teaches vinyasa yoga online.