Xace - Creating a European challenger payment provider with SEO

A case study in an SEO only market entry.

Developing the foundations of a high growth brand from scratch.

At Searched we’re advocates of getting shit done. Be quick to market with product development, prepare for launch way in advance and build value from day one with your website.

Xace is not only a client case study, it’s a case study in our own internal philosophies, which is to build the foundations early for long term growth.

We’ll explore how we did this below, from preparing for growth, achieving growth pre launch, developing great products and launching to an existing audience and straight to revenue.

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Growth Strategy;

(n) [not just a buzz word ]

Growth and strategy are thrown around a lot, we’re guilty of it too. But in this case, we could see what our strategy needed to be immediately. Strong brand story, optimised and well created content, healthy web technology and fast application development to get to market in the shortest time possible. On Plan.

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Website structure;

(n) [ which is..? ]

The website turnaround needed to be fast to make use of the 3-4 month application development time. Over that period, we would need to find customers and create a whitelist for onboarding, with a structure that would scale for years not just the next few months. Two week turnaround, Xace was live online with a structure formed from our strategy. Speed.

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Content & Delivery;

(n) [easy and hard! ]

Content was indeed going to be king when it came to winning customers before we had a product. We set about creating content while our dev team powered through development and API integration. Who said Open Banking was easy? Our targets online scaled within weeks, sign ups soon followed. App launched 4 months from start. Goals Achieved.

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The Brand

The name was chosen for us, the rest was up to us to define.

Xace was born from very dedicated founders solving a very real problem for industries they knew inside and out – gaming and crypto. They had spent over a year battling regulators and taking on legal challenges to get to the point where they could provide licensed accounts to casinos and blockchain businesses across Europe.

There was no way we could overlook this story for the brand and so Xace became a Warrior brand, out there to take on the establishment for the better of these emerging markets, and breaking down barriers that were constantly erected by traditional finance.

A simple type logo that can be utilised recognisably as a single X was the chosen route.

Initial Strategy

Identify, discover, capture and grow an audience – from 0.

We’ve this before, many times. Starting a website from 0 traffic is incredibly tough but so rewarding, with the added advantage of getting it right first time, rather then time 3, 4 or 5 as so many brands do who focus too much on design and tech.

1. Build a website that’s structured around our target markets – gaming, crypto, bitcoin etc
2. Create a design that suits the required function laid out in our strategy
3. Implement design with a speedy CMS that the client could edit as easy as a word doc – Webflow.
4. Fulfil the requirements of the data – use the research to create optimal content for our primary sales pages.
5. Develop supporting article content on mass to suit the targets of the strategy alongside financial writers.Internally link up all content in our structural verticals.
6. Outreach for just a few homepage links, to let Google know Xace.io exists.

The initial result
This was pretty mind blowing stuff for the client.

April 1st = 2 visitors / 2 total new users / 0 applications
June 1st = 40 visitors / 637 total new users  / 143 total applications

Xace was off to the races with leads just 4 weeks after STARTING the build of their website.

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The Website

Bringing our brand message to life, in just a few days.

The design and build of the Xace webflow website was just over 1.5 weeks, from preliminary wireframes to online, optimised website ready for leads. We removed all over design influences and controlling forces from the process to just focus on the get to market strategy – this was a very good decision by all involved. And one we appreciated from the client.

Webflow off the bat is a good CMS, not flawless but it would provide a very sound base for Xace for a solid couple of years. We worked around some of the limiting URL configurations, working with a complex array of collections but a setup that would provide the topical segmentation we really wanted to have in place.

Right now, the website delivers 15 leads per day on average from Gaming and Crypto customers.

At the time of writing, no PR, no advertising, no promoted social media. Just content and SEO = 7500 leads.

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The most powerful part of Xace right now. The killer SEO.

Many new brands rush to social media promotions, buying likes and Google adwords to get their brands moving from the 0 customer base point that is so intimidating at first. This is not a bad thing, but it’s costly and sometimes unsustainable. We always preach to start SEO from the initial wireframes of a website, the wins will be a no brainer.

The SEO for Xace moved on from the structural and technical configurations to the content and filling in the areas we needed content. We wanted topical content that our potential customers would be looking to read, such as informative, well researched articles to guides and industry statistics. In fact the strongest article so far has been picked up as a featured snippet for virtual debit cards and provides 3% of all traffic.

Xace organic visibility and traffic has flown, consistently since launch. Notice the weekend dips then new growth week. This is content, structure and ultimately SEO driven growth.

Xace has gone from 0 traffic in April, 2020 to averaging 160 on weekdays, 2000 leads and hundreds of account sign ups in Sept, 2020.

Account Integrations & App Development

From no accounts to accounts – in 4 months.

As with the marketing, the technical development of the Xace banking applications had to be rapid, for multiple reasons. Firstly, this was not an unlimited budget technical masterclass, this was customers needing accounts, where the high street continued to ignore them. So we had to plan to work fast, hard and put in the technical masterclass as well.

Integration of account and payment providers for small payment institutions is relatively straight forward, with the usual teething problems that can eat up the time when it comes to CI/CD, environments and flaky documentation and error codes from the providers – but you get there in the end. Not only did we get to live with 20 customer accounts inside the first 2 weeks, we also immediately began our second account provider integration to further the offering of Xace.

This tech project was delivered on a minimal budget, at speed, with a dedicated small team from Searched. We’re genuinely unsure if this could have been achieved for a lower budget or in a quicker time frame – hats off to our amazing CTO Barrie for taking this on.

The world is their oyster now for Xace, with a winning SEO strategy, an easy to maintain and high growth website, booming inbound leads, 2 account provider integrations in just 7 months and hundreds of paying clients.

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Why Searched?

The journey you’re brand is starting is a long and challenging one, that will often require support and guidance to overcome many obstacles but it’s one that will deliver amazing experiences to your users and ultimately bring change for a new generation through blockchain technology. We believe in the power of blockchain and we understand what’s required for your journey to be successful.

What Xace say

We've generated scale, delivered high value solutions and been retained partners of Unicorns, our reputation speaks for us.

“They're co-founders, not just a service provider.

We enlisted the help of Searched to build a payment institution - essentially asking them to build a core banking product. 3 months later we had our first account customer and 6 months later we had 2000 corporate account applications. We're now a European leader, what more can we say.

David Hodkinson
CEO, Xace