Wise (fka TransferWise), the fintech company offering multi-currency accounts, is one of the strongest players in the SEO game.
They get around 7 million organic visits per month (even despite recently migrating to a new domain).
Here are a few of the reasons why Wise’s SEO strategies work so effectively.
1) Scaling up landing pages
Wise tries to be present for the searcher throughout the entire customer journey, especially at the top of the funnel. For their purposes, this means creating tens of thousands of landing pages.
For instance, they have nearly 12,000 landing pages about SWIFT code combinations targeting US visitors.
How do they produce so much content?
They use templates. Wise realized that people searching for specific SWIFT/BIC codes wanted very similar information.
The only variable was the code itself. So, what they did was create one stellar landing page. From there they simply replicated that page for all the different content queries.
2) Custom content management system built around their needs
Wise built their custom CMS to scale up their SEO activities.
WordPress can work great for most content businesses, but custom systems can work better for businesses with specific needs.
3) Content optimized for Featured Snippets
They own the most featured snippets in their niche.
Snippets aren’t just luck. They’re a function of how well they answer the particular query and the formatting of the article (bullet points and numbering can often help).
Aim for descriptions of 60-75 words to increase the odds of receiving a featured snippet.
If Google’s search algorithm likes your answer to a query enough, it may slingshot a featured snippet of that summary to the top of the page – even if the page itself isn’t ranking.
Here are a few methods that may turn you into the snippet master…
First, add a “What is” heading
The “what is” heading automatically signals to Google that the section can solve a reader’s problem.
Ideally, it would be close to the top of the blog, making it easier for bots to find it and extract the “snippet” from that section.
Use the “is” sentence structure
The clearer your answer, the easier it is for the algorithm to pick it up.
If the heading says, “What is [keyword]?” then you should answer with “[keyword] is…” immediately after.
For example: [H2] What is influencer marketing? [Paragraph] Influencer marketing is…”
Define the entire topic in 2–3 sentences
Your answer should summarize the entire section in the first paragraph of the section, following this order:
- First sentence defines the topic.
- Second and third sentences describe 2–3 must-know facts about it.
Be short and concise.
Match the snippet formats
Featured snippets come in three types: paragraphs, bulleted and numbered lists, and tables (though tables are rarer).
So first, make sure your sections are optimized for these formats, otherwise Google won’t pick them up.
Second, there’s a possibility a featured snippet for your desired query already exists. See which format it takes and try to optimize your content so it’s better and can “overtake” the existing one.
4) Multiple ways of attracting and acquiring links
Link building is the part of SEO you can control. Wise employed multiple approaches to link building. Here are some of them:
A solid brand and satisfied customers
This is arguably the best strategy to naturally build backlinks without outreach.
Creative PR campaigns
People especially love data and numbers. They’re easy to link to.
Referrals and affiliate programs links
Referrals and affiliate links can be questionable link building tactics at best, but they can be a great form of marketing even independent of the SEO purpose.
By having people share affiliate and referral links, they are able to generate more standard links and coverage.
Wise Copywriting Tactics
We looked at how Wise’s copy changes over time.
Their copywriting playbook is quite simple and is based on three points:
1) Focus on value propositions rather than features
Wise focuses on communicating how you’ll live better when you use their product.
2) Simple language
Wise is a product for the masses, and their simple language reflects that.
3) Specific language
They often use numbers to specify what benefits the user is getting.
”It’s 3x cheaper, you can get your debit card for $9, and you can use the card in 200 countries.”
But let’s see how their header copy evolved in their 10 years of being in business. We found some winners and losers.
Here are some of them:
The bad ones:
- Bye-bye bank fees, hello world.
- Bye-bye banks. You’ve had your fun.
- The 3x cheaper international account.
The good ones:
- A cheaper way to send money internationally.
- A cheaper and faster way to send money abroad.
- Send money with the real exchange rate.
You can notice how the losers are not specific and they don’t communicate the core value proposition of Wise.
The winners, on the other hand, are specific and go right into Wises’ value propositions: “Send money internationally for cheap.”
The lesson. When you write copy for your website, ask yourself these two questions:
- Does the reader know exactly what I’m selling?
- Will the reader care?
Wise’s most popular posts
A huge chunk of their traffic isn’t branded nor is it going to their blog posts.
Since Wise offers a product with an extremely broad appeal, they can write about nearly any topic.
And the most popular are:
- Currency exchange
- Banking FAQs and information
- Lifestyle articles (like how to pay property tax in Spain, for example)
And many of the pages look like these two:
- USD to JPY – Convert USD to JPY at the real exchange rate
- Wells Fargo Routing Number
None of these two pages are traditional blog posts
And the same is true for most of Wise’s pages driving huge amounts of organic traffic.
This allows Wise to put a CTA further up on the page.
Not at the end of a blog post, so the path to turning a visitor into a lead gets smoother.
The lessons for you?
- Look for SEO opportunities outside of traditional blog posts. It can be a tool like Wise’s currency converter, or whatever is relevant for your business.
- If someone is Googling a simple question, you absolutely can rank a short piece of content on the first page. No need to write a 3000-word article.