Many fintech startups are challenging much larger financial services companies in established markets. They have much smaller marketing budgets than their competitors so it’s difficult for them to rank for popular financial services keywords. As a result, many of them focus on PPC ads and other marketing tactics rather than trying to attract traffic with blog posts.
But today I saw a receipt organizing app with less than 10 employees that was outranking larger competitors. Its website was still competitive with the websites of financial services companies that had over 100 employees. With the SEO tool Ahrefs, you can see how SimplyWise built this fintech marketing strategy. The strategy itself revolves around creating a directory of local Social Security offices, but first I’ll explain what this fintech startup offers to its customers.
What SimplyWise Does
SimplyWise helps retired people manage their finances. It’s very important to closely track your bills if you’re retired and your main source of income is Social Security benefits. SimplyWise’s main product is a bill and receipt organizer app. It’s a smartphone app that comes with optical character recognition (OCR) software that you can use to scan paper documents and receipts.
The software can automatically identify the purchases you make at places like the grocery store or the drug store by reading the receipts. It then records those transactions for you so you can transfer them to an accounting app. That’s much more convenient than typing all of the receipt records into your accounting app yourself. Some businesses don’t accept payment cards and only accept cash, and others send paper invoices to their customers, so it’s convenient to have a way to scan paper receipts for your financial records. The SimplyWise app competes with receipt organizer apps from Abukai, Evernote, Expensify, and Shoeboxed.
Many receipt organizer tools are designed for small businesses that need a way to track their cash purchases. SimplyWise competes in a slightly different niche because its app is designed for retired people who are collecting Social Security. But its features are similar enough to those of other receipt organizer apps that they’re its closest competitors.
SimplyWise was founded by Sam Abbas in 2018 in New York City. It raised $3.5 million in seed funding in November 2019. It has five employees. It has an Angellist profile here. The founding team has very strong technical skills and this may have helped them raise a relatively large seed round. So this startup already has a few advantages in comparison with other startups in the same lifecycle stage. But it’ll need to spend a lot of the venture capital money it raised on salaries for its engineers. Fortunately, it’s discovered a SEO marketing strategy that could generate traffic at a much lower price than what using PPC ads would cost.
Using Local Office Directories to Generate Website Traffic
Do you know where your local Social Security office is located offhand? If you don’t, and you decide to look it up on Google, SimplyWise has a directory of social security offices conveniently available on its website. The directory is organized by state. So there’s a page for Texas social security offices, for example, but there’s no main social security office directory page. Each of the local office pages includes a map to the office, the operating hours for the office, a few pictures of the office, and customer reviews for each office. For example, here’s the page for the Corpus Christi social security office.
These individual directory pages frequently show up in the top 10 results for searches like “Social Security Office near me” and often result in more than 100 visits per month from Google users. SimplyWise also has a few popular blog posts that answer questions about Social Security and bring in traffic that way, but most of its traffic is coming from the local directory web pages.
Traffic Comparison With Other Receipt Organizing Apps
Evernote is the category leader. It gets 1.7 million website visitors per month from Google, according to Ahrefs. It was founded in 2000 and has about 500 employees. It has 1.6 million ratings on Google Play and 30,600 ratings on the Apple Store.
Expensify gets about 76,000 visitors per month from search engine traffic. This San Francisco-based fintech was founded in 2008 and has 130 employees. It has 98,800 ratings on the Apple store and 15,900 ratings on Google Play.
Right now, SimplyWise gets about 60,000 visitors each month from Google. It currently has 103 ratings on Google Play. Remember, this startup has five employees and was founded in 2019.
Shoeboxed gets about 7,400 visitors per month in organic traffic. This app was launched in 2007 and according to the company it has more than 1 million users. Its app has 1,500 ratings on the Apple store and 287 ratings on Google Play.
Abukai is another widely used receipt organizer app. It gets 301 visitors per month from Google traffic and its app has 1,100 ratings on the Apple Store and 1,800 ratings on the Google Play store. This San Francisco-based fintech was founded in 2010.
This Fintech Marketing Strategy Is Effective
SimplyWise demonstrates that a fintech startup can attract more website visitors than larger, more mature financial services companies with a well-designed SEO strategy. By creating a directory of Social Security offices, this fintech has accomplished this goal without targeting major keywords that a receipt tracking app would normally select.
It’s not clear how much revenue this SEO strategy has generated for SimplyWise, but several competitors have found customers who will pay around $10 per month for a receipt organizing app that helps them budget. And with highly skilled engineers and strong support from its venture capital backers, SimplyWise can compete on features and benefits with the other fintech startups in its niche.