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Analytics 8 min read

Research in FinTech: Key Trends & Opportunities In Search

Research in FinTech: Key Trends & Opportunities In Search
Ekaterina Hordiienko
Research Editor at Serpstat
Fintech is a term related mainly to small start-up companies, which develop innovative technological solutions in such areas as online and mobile payments, big data, alternative finance, and financial management. Despite its youth, the financial technology industry is rapidly growing.

In the Quality Raters' Guidelines, such businesses are classified as "your money or your life" fields, since they are essential to a person's well-being. This is why fintech optimization needs to take special aspects into account.

Meet our guest expert:

Introduction

The term fintech now refers to a variety of financial activities, including sending money, depositing a check, bypassing local banks to apply for credit, raising money for startups, or managing investments. The penetration of fintech and fintech-related words into everyday life is increasing.

A few of the most active areas in fintech innovation are (among others):

  • Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, NFTs). Bitcoin was introduced in 2009 and had a significant impact on the financial world. As the fintech industry developed, various business models emerged, including alternate credit scoring, digital wallets, and small ticket loans.
  • Neobanks — fintech companies that offer apps, software, and other tools for making online and mobile banking more efficient.
  • Insurtech aims to simplify and streamline the insurance industry using technology.
  • Regtech company helps financial services firms comply with industry regulations, especially those relating to anti-money laundering.
  • Wealthtech uses algorithms to automate investment advice to cut costs and make it more accessible. The concept covers any digital solution that facilitates wealth management processes.
Areas in FinTech
In addition, there is the term "techfin", which refers to companies that offer software solutions that are not primarily related to financing. Techfin companies include Big Tech giants.

In general, fintech refers to non-traditional financial offerings, such as PayPal and Revolut. In alternative terms, techfin describes a technology company that develops a better way to deliver financial products as part of a broader service offering. As examples of techfin, ApplePay and GoogleWallet stand out from fintech because they place their focus on technology rather than finance.
FinTech spheres
How can fintech development be hindered?

The sphere is so promising that I don't know what can block it, except for the global crisis, which probably won't have a drastic effect. More and more services are becoming available online, including mobile banking, online invoicing, and accounting. There is a proliferation of digitalization in many countries. I am sure the market will grow substantially in the next ten years.
Burban Ivan
Burban Ivan,
With so many companies entering the financial technology space, it can be difficult to identify the major players to improve your promotion strategy. In order to help, we've compiled a list of the largest fintech companies by related keywords in Google search, as well as their SEO metrics, backlink strategies, keywords, SERP features, and SEM campaigns.
Key SEO metrics for market leaders
SEO strategies for FinTech companies can be challenging. Striking a balance between overpromising promotion and informative content requires real diligence. Google will heavily consider your expertise, authority, and trust (EAT). You'll rise in organic search results if you pass Google's test. 

Your strategy should be based on specific organic search queries. You provide value when you create content that solves your target audience's problems.
We analyzed a set of parameters of the leaders in SERP to determine what patterns you should consider if you wish to develop your project aimed at financial technologies. In our study, we used related keywords (without brand names and informational keywords) to analyze data in SERP from fintech companies based on the search databases of the United States.

Using API integration for Google Spread Sheets, we analyzed search engine results pages for two mentioned countries by keywords from our dataset. As a result, we have compiled a list of the best-represented companies as follows:
  1. nextinsurance.com — finance and insurance;
  2. opensea.io — NFT-marketplace;
  3. ramp.com — computers and technologies;
  4. intuit.com — finance;
  5. usa.visa.com — finance;
  6. revolut.com — financial planning and management;
  7. stripe.com — computers and technologies;
  8. wise.com — banking credit and lending;
  9. mastercard.com  — banking credit and lending ;
  10. paypal.com —  business and customer service.

In order to find out, which traffic source works better for analyzed companies, we checked the traffic distribution using SimilarWeb.
Traffic distribution
Traffic distribution by SimilarWeb
As we can see, direct traffic is the largest source for analyzed websites, 49 %. Traditionally, this traffic comes from visitors manually entering the website's URL or clicking on a bookmark. However, many factors can affect this traffic source. They may include internal employees, customers logging into client portals, emails sent using particular email clients that do not pass on referring data, or users clicking on mobile apps or desktop software.

When a user finds you through a site other than a major search engine, it's known as referral traffic. In our dataset, the rate of such traffic is 30%, which is second place. Visa, Mastercard, Stripe, and PayPal use this traffic source more than any other.
Like direct traffic, organic search traffic (15%) has some gray areas. In most cases, organic traffic is driven by search engine optimization. The higher you rank for competitive keywords, the more organic traffic you will receive. Consistently creating search-optimized content will result in increased organic search traffic and improved placement in search results. A marketer must analyze your keywords and high-ranking pages monthly to identify SEO opportunities.  

The rest of the sources — Mail, Ads, and Social — are together 6 % of the total traffic.

The following step involved collecting data on Organic SEO traffic in Serpstat, estimated using the keywords domains, ranking in the Top-20, and visibility in the search engines for Google US. Visibility varies, but there are a few recognizable leaders in each region. Organic SEO traffic has some specificities as well:
Both SEO traffic and visibility depend on the keywords the domain is ranking for in the top 20, taking into account CTR and search volume of these search queries. You can evaluate any line of business using these metrics with a few similar competitors.
 What is the focus of the market leaders' attention?

This will not be a piece of new information. The importance of localization, integration with local vendors, and concise and high-quality content cannot be overstated.
Burban Ivan
Burban Ivan,

What does this mean for market representatives?
Considering the importance of traffic from referring domains, this is especially true. Direct traffic indicates a good level of brand awareness and loyalty. In any case, brand familiarity alone is not a scalable strategy for long-term growth. 

Fintech traffic highly depends on organic search, so investing in SEO is a wise decision. A scalable organic strategy would be to complement on-page SEO efforts with link-building activities aimed at high authority domains to improve rankings and brand awareness for your website.

Last but not least, social media and paid search are not the primary sources of site traffic, but they serve to increase brand awareness. It is important not to dismiss either of these scalable strategies.
How to conduct such an analysis?

How can Serpstat help you improve your SEO performance?
  • Use tools for optimizing your marketing process include keyword and backlink research, competitors' search strategies analysis, daily rankings, SERP features checking, and content analysis;
  • Discover keywords opportunities across 230 countries. Select keywords that will attract your target audience for SEO and PPC campaigns;
  • Identify your audience's interests by collecting real-time search suggestions;
  • Optimize single pages for multiple keywords that have the same search intent, and build a website structure that is SEO-friendly by using keyword clustering;
  • Find local results for desktops and mobile devices with title, review, thumbnail, rating, pricing, and other attributes using SERP crawling service. For your business, you can find thousands of ideas and examples.
Not sure what Serpstat can do for you?

Our experts will answer all of your questions during a free demonstration of the platform! ;)

Keywords in organic search

Organic search is a significant source of the traffic to fintech websites. It's also a part of a long-term strategy for bringing awareness to your brand. 

Our organic research revealed insights into the total quantity of keywords used in organic search for each analyzed domain and keyword difficulty (KD) distribution.
Keywords by domain
The top ranking websites in search results have a substantial semantics volume, confirming the importance of ongoing keyword research.

The next research is related to the keyword difficulty score. This is a prediction of how difficult it would be for a keyword to rank in an organic search compared to its competitors. For calculation, Serpstat uses the number of backlinks in the top 10, URL complexity, the number of search terms associated with the page in the top 10, and the level of commercial of the query, based on internal Serpstat algorithms, following the classifications of request.

The gradation for KD (%) is as follows:

0-20 — easy to rank in organic search;
21-40 — medium level of difficulty;
41-60 — difficult to rank;
61-100 — very difficult to rank.
KD distribution
The graph shows that most keywords — 49.4%, are characterized by low KD. Despite the rapid expansion of the sphere, organic promotion faces relatively low competition. The reason for this may be that our dataset consists of companies with a wide range of services. Their products may be diversified using less competitive keywords to gain more specific clients.
How to Create a Content Strategy in FinTech: Skyscraper Technique + Life Hacks from Serpstat

What does this mean for market representatives?
People look for information about investing, creating a budget, making good money, etc. Demand creates offers, and some companies try to advance on high-volume requests, causing difficulties in the promotion. There may be more benefits to using less-competitive "long-tail" keywords. 

Align your content strategy with your target market's needs. Make your blog a destination for well-known authors and include a short author bio to boost credibility. Ensure you check KD for keywords when preparing technical requirements for your copywriter.
How to conduct such an analysis?
How can Serpstat help you improve your SEO performance?

  • Find hidden keyword opportunities by using related keywords and search suggestions;
  • Create a comprehensive keywords list with main SEO metrics, like keyword difficulty and search volume trend using Keyword batch analysis;
  • Begin by getting a list of all the domain URLs ranking in search engines worldwide. Then, focus on the pages that can bring immediate SEO results;
  • Get a list of competing pages to get new ideas for a content strategy. Expand your keywords list with missing and unique keywords based on competitors' analysis in the Compare URL report.

SERP features in the search result

Google SERP features are elements that simplify search and make the result page more informative. When you search for facts and instructions, the "answer box" SERP feature will help to get structured solutions; a "knowledge graph" will provide detailed information about a company or another functional entity straight after you google it; the "sitelinks" SERP feature appears below the main URL for a particular domain and takes people to specific pages on your site, helping to receive more traffic.

CTR and traffic can be affected by these features, so check whether Google has marked your site with any of these elements.

To check how Fintech leaders improve their snippets, we analyzed the keywords and SERP features of examined domains.
Elements by keywords of analyzed domains:

  • Breadcrumbs
  • People Also Ask
  • Related Search
  • Video
  • Information snippet in large format
  • Pictures
  • Knowledge graph carousel list (one row of dice, each transitioning to a different page of search);
  • Image in snippet
  • Links inside the snippet
  • Local pack
  • PPC unit, bottom
  • PPC unit, top
  • Reviews, stars
  • Map
  • Local graph
  • Brand graph
  • Card with tournaments
  • Dates, addresses
  • Sitelinks
  • Other search options, on the right under the knowledge graph 
  • Context-specific information on a card 
  • Featured Snippet
SERP features
Source — Serpstat
As a result of the study, we found that “Breadcrumbs” is the most common SERP element — it occurs in more than 20 % of cases.

SERP features also often appeared: the People Also Ask (17%), Sitelinks inside the snippet (17%) and Related Search (15%). 
Note, since several special elements can be displayed for one keyword at once (for example breadcrumbs and a star rating.), the sum of the shares of special elements does not equal 100%.

What does this mean for market representatives?

There are many features on the SERP for Fintech sites that site owners cannot control, and sometimes these features take away from the user's attention on the listings. When you are doing keyword research, you need to be aware of these factors. The features that are at the top of the search results are very competitive.

A good strategy might be to provide long tail-keyword-answers to popular search queries. Google has clearly explained methods and algorithms for delivering special search results elements in its documentation for webmasters.
What is the peculiarity of promotion in the Fintech sector?

In fintech, microservices, various calculators, and any pages with reasonable retention rates become especially important. This is relevant for many sectors, but ours is pretty vividly reflected.

We have a unique fintech company, as if we are both B2B and B2C in one, so we can attract a lot of traffic, like specific SaaS in other economic sectors.
Burban Ivan
Burban Ivan,
How to conduct such an analysis?
How can Serpstat help improve the special elements?
  • Use the Rank Tracker module to get information on what special elements appear in search results for targeted keywords in real-time and track the site positions for those keywords. 
  • Make keyword research based on the target requests in organic search using the Keyword selection report and note shown SERP features.

Sector representatives' backlink profiles

After conducting a Domain batch analysis for our top 10 websites, we checked backlinks profile quality with the following metrics:

  • Domain authority, measured by SDR (Serpstat Domain Rank);
  • The number of referring domains;
  • The total number of backlinks.

Let's take a closer look at what it all means:

SDR ranges from 0 to 100. In addition to looking at the number of referring domains, domain authority also considers the number of referring sites to those referring domains. So, all websites in the backlink index associated with the domain under analysis are evaluated.

Referring domains are the number of unique websites pointing to those we are looking at.

Backlinks are the particular links with unique IPs that lead to the analyzed website.

Graphs confirm the initial conclusions — the top is diverse, but the authority level for each domain in our list is generally high. High-handed websites have a quality backlink profile, as well as smaller sites with fewer links.

Then, for every domain in our list, we found information about redirecting entities to determine whether leaders use drop domains. In light of this, what conclusions are we trying to draw? Link juice flows to a redirecting domain when it completely redirects to the analyzed domain. In such cases, it is likely that the website has purchased drop domains and brought them to life or that it has acquired some related domains and attached them to its main domain to gain their backlinks, history, and traffic.
Redirecting domains
Please note that for the usa.visa.com subdomain, we used the search type "root domain" to exclude the influence of numerous regional subdomains.
Our analysis of websites revealed that all domains in our study promoted their websites using the methods mentioned above. Dropped domains will enhance your promotion and attract more traffic if they match your purpose and product.
What does this mean for market representatives?
Both internal and external links are needed. In addition to helping your SEO, internal links encourage readers to click on other articles on your site. The process of acquiring external links can be accomplished in several ways, but it’s always better to think about quality, not only quantity. 

It is possible to use the “skyscraper” technique. Typically, you must find friendly content in your field (FinTech) with huge backlinks volume with good SDR. You outdo this content by providing more insights, pictures, videos, etc. Then, send email requests to the site's representatives linking to the top 10 ranking articles, asking them to add a link to your article instead. 

Expired domain technics have their pros and cons. You will save money by using an existing backlink profile rather than creating your own. But it is very important to ensure that the reputation of the dropped domain wasn't damaged.
What difficulties did you have to deal with in promoting individual site pages?

We work in one of the most competitive business lines, and most competitors appeared on the market long before us, so it is difficult for us to compete, at least from the point of view of the backlink profile.
Burban Ivan
Burban Ivan,

How to conduct such an analysis?

How can Serpstat help improve the backlink profile?
  • Serpstat has its own backlink index with 1.1 T of links.
  • The platform keeps constantly updating the links index with no duplicates or trash domains. You can manually update the backlinks data for up to 500 URLs daily by submitting them to the URL recrawling tool.
  • Use multiple tools for backlink analysis to find out who is using redirected domains to transfer links from other domains, or remove malicious referring domains that are causing problems for your website.

Paid promotion

Lastly, let's discuss the paid search for promotion in a sector. The purpose of contextual advertising, or PPC, is to attract the targeted audience quickly to the site. If you want to gain traction, you will most likely have to use paid ads, but if you commit to SEO, you can start to use paid ads less and less. After a while, you may not need PPC at all.

We analyzed the Top 100 search results for a dozen of keywords and concluded that representatives of the fintech industry are not so actively using paid promotion:
As you can see on the graph, 41 % of the companies in the top 100 use contextual advertising to promote their business. In some cases, it indicates a new direction that can easily be used for PPC traffic, which is why some players have begun to run advertisements. In terms of the number of keywords in paid search, the following companies led in our sample: wise.com, nextinsurance.com, opensea.io, stripe.com.

Based on the paid search results, we checked how competitive representatives' keywords are.

Competition level as a keyword metric shows how difficult it would be to rank well in paid search. The more domains running ads for this keyword, the higher the level of competition.
The graph shows that the majority of the targeted keywords — 32.2 % — fall into the medium competition category. Meanwhile, only 17.6 percent of keywords from ad campaigns are “easy” competition level.
What does this mean for market representatives?
Despite being a relatively minor source of traffic for Fintech sites, paid search is still valuable. Raising brand awareness and driving traffic to your website can be achieved by combining organic search practices with well-targeted paid ads. Although most search ads are formatted in traditional form, it's never too late to switch to a more friendly format and use a less competitive keyword. In case you want to target mobile devices more than desktops, select the most appropriate campaign option. Try the Rank tracker to observe real-time reports for both mobile and desktop SERPs.
How to conduct such an analysis?
How can Serpstat help improve your paid campaigns?
  • Try SERP crawling tool and get search engine results for mobile and desktop using simple API methods. In such a way, you can track target keywords and get more information according to your competitors' ads.
  • By analyzing keyword PPC metrics, plan budget, and select only effective keywords for running ads.

Conclusion

In fintech, the right content in front of your targeted audience leading them through the sales funnel is only one part of the main strategy. Make sure you plan your approach and identify the specific goals before diving in. Identify your competitors and conduct research on their practices. 

It would be best if you keep in mind at the beginning of planning your fintech digital marketing strategy that there are legal requirements and government regulations concerning this sector. 

You can show and build trust by providing quality SEO-optimized and up-to-date content regularly. Establish your brand as a trustworthy source for your customers, and work on SEO to attract high-quality websites to link back to establish itself as a reliable, authoritative, and expert resource. Try to stay agile in your approach and find ways to use SEO tactics to increase organic traffic to your website and improve your conversion rates. 

Now you know which tools can help you achieve your goals and keep your strategies on track :)
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