Case Study: FinTech Brand Increases Organic Traffic by Over 6,000% in 13 Months
The weight of consumer debt is a problem countless Americans know all too well, and one that industry experts are constantly trying to help borrowers navigate. A current client of ours developed a solution for those wanting to take control of their finances. Their personal finance app helps qualified users consolidate and pay off credit card debt, making automated, on-time payments on the user's behalf, and with a lower APR.
But in such a crowded category, standing out from competitors means not only providing effective tools, but simultaneously establishing their expertise in the FinTech space.
Despite their impressive product, the brand lacked the online authority to generate enough inbound site traffic and app downloads to grow their business. By December 2019, their blog saw an average of just 729 sessions per month, despite the company being in business for more than 4 years.
That’s where Growth Machine came in.
The Business Problem: Low Traffic in a Highly Saturated Market
This brand’s goal was to use their blog as a growth tool. They wanted to capture the eyes of consumers who were actively searching for ways to consolidate their credit card debt and establish their brand as an industry expert.
In addition, they hoped to expand their user base by positioning debt payoff as a necessary stepping stone to life’s larger plans. They wanted to target consumers whose financial goals include saving for retirement, taking family trips, paying off student loans, and ultimately creating a more secure financial future.
With that purpose in mind, they faced two key challenges:
- Low blog traffic: In 2019, the site saw minimal inbound traffic to their blog. Sessions hovered around 180 per week, rarely (if ever) crossing the four-digit threshold for monthly visitors.
- Saturated market: Typing “credit card debt” into Google will have you staring at 334 million results (and counting). This makes it difficult for a relatively new company to break through the first page of Google against well-known content competitors like NerdWallet and SoFi. The brand was competing for Google real estate that was occupied by news publications, credit card companies, and personal finance sites that existed long before the app’s initial launch.
The Strategy: Growing Traffic While Leveraging the Blog as a Sales Funnel
This client enlisted Growth Machine in late 2019 to help grow their monthly traffic and ultimately help them reach more Americans looking to pay off debt.
Our primary challenge was to increase the brand’s site traffic as quickly as possible. This would allow them to finally begin competing for online attention in a saturated market, and build brand trust and awareness.
So that’s where we started, crafting a content plan that targeted low-difficulty, high-volume keywords to drive relevant organic traffic, and establish the brand's place in the market.
Next, we pivoted our strategy toward transforming their company blog into a sales tool by increasing the app’s pool of potential users. As organic traffic grew, the objective shifted to adjusting the content strategy toward a funnel approach. This required writing broader parent articles, and linking them to lower-funnel, conversion-focused child articles targeting lower-volume, long-tail keywords.
Here’s how we did it:
The Keywords: Implementing the Funnel Approach
To implement our two-pronged strategy, keyword research had to strike a balance between:
- High-volume but moderate- to high-difficulty keywords surrounding broader financial terminology
- Long-tail, lower-volume keywords that came with less search volume but more targeted search intent
We then organized the selected keywords into their respective positions within the sales funnel, assigning the appropriate calls to action based on funnel level:
- Top-of-funnel: This focused on the broader, short-tail keywords related to anything personal finance, and positioned the brand as an industry expert. For example, covering beginner investment strategies as a relevant topic area, but not one directly related to debt payoff.
- Bottom-of-funnel: This focused on long-tail queries that position debt payoff as a necessary step in a number of financial topic areas. For example, it’s nearly impossible to save for retirement until debt is paid off, and you’ll get approved for a larger mortgage with zero credit card debt.
This unique keyword strategy had two benefits. Top-of-funnel articles were strictly used to drive traffic and build brand trust, while bottom-of-funnel articles were meant to be hyper-targeted and convert readers into customers.
The Pace: Slowly Increasing Content Published
To help drive traffic, we implemented a moderate cadence, publishing 8 articles per month for the first 13 months. Initially, this was highly effective. The blog hit an all-time high for inbound, organic traffic, followed by a plateau.
To break through the stalemate, we pivoted to a gradual increase in publishing cadence. We started by doubling the amount of content published, increasing to 15 posts per month, then 20, 25, and finally 30 posts per month over the course of the next year.
Differentiation: Breaking Out in a Saturated Market
In a highly saturated market, the content strategy quickly exhausted most obvious (top-of-funnel) keywords — which also held the most stiff competition. The next step was to start targeting keywords that had less competition, yet attracted potential customers further down the sales funnel.
The brand’s target customer is someone actively searching for a solution to eliminate debt and build better credit. Therefore, our writers created articles surrounding budgeting methods, planning for retirement, negotiating credit card fees, building credit post-bankruptcy, and other topics related to personal finance.
This approach looked for opportunities to fill gaps where competitors hadn’t (yet) published content online. We searched for out-of-the-box keyword phrases, anticipating other topics a potential user might type into Google.
The Results: Blog Grows Over 6,000% in 13 months
The results of our strategy were immediate, and continue to pay dividends.
In January 2020 — a mere 3 weeks into launching their content strategy with us — the brand's blog hit 1,284 organic sessions, an all-time high at that point for the company.
In January 2021, exactly a year into our partnership, their blog hit an all-time high of 44,876 monthly organic sessions, an increase of 6,055.8% over their December 2019 volume of 729 sessions. These days, the brand's blog consistently sees traffic in the mid 20,000-30,000+ range.
While the increase in monthly traffic is impressive, they also achieved their goal of increasing their monthly users and becoming a trusted brand within the personal finance space. The average time on page for their blog is incredibly high, with most readers spending more than 8 minutes reading each piece (the average time was 2 minutes at the start of the project). This proves that readers thoroughly enjoy reading (and learning from) the content.
In addition, they were able to break through the stiff competition within the credit card payoff space. Today, the brand’s blog ranks #1 on Google for 251 organic keywords.
What Would Your Business Accomplish With 44,000+ Monthly Visitors?
Our client was able to attract tens of thousands of prospective customers through a two-pronged keyword strategy, consistent publishing, and solutions-oriented personal finance articles. This unique strategy was implemented by our SEO strategists who understood the brand's challenges in a heavily saturated market.
If you’d like to see how Growth Machine can implement a one-of-a-kind strategy to help increase inbound traffic and transform your blog into a sales tool, schedule a consultation today.
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