B2B Accounting Software Website

Part
01
of two
Part
01

B2B Accounting Software Website: Content

Small Business Guides, Accountant/Bookkeeper Stories, Blog, Small Business Insights, and Training Courses/Free Insights are 5 insights presented in this finding on the types of content that B2B accounting software buyers prefer. These 5 insights are backed with explanations and statistics to lay credence to them.

OVERVIEW

  • Xero is a leading "online accounting software for your small business" and is "one of the darlings of the startup world." Although it has its headquarter in New Zealand, the company has a major presence (3 offices) in the United States.
  • The global ranking of the company is 1,533 with 18.69 million visitors to its website in the last 6 months from July 2019 and 114,337 organic visitors per month.
  • Xero's highest content page visit per month from the US is 67,829.
  • Firm of the Future — an offshoot of Intuit Limited, is an online accounting software US-based company with a website country rank of 223,976 and a global rank of 781,211, both in the last 6 months from July 2019. It has 31,789 organic visitors per month.
  • Firm of the Future's highest content page visit per month from the US is 14,506.

SMALL BUSINESS GUIDES

  • Small business guides are content sections developed purposely to attract small businesses and enhance brand awareness.
  • B2B Accounting Software buyers would prefer website content that offers guides for small businesses.
  • Essentially, the preference for this type of content cannot be divorced from the innate need for potential growth; since visitors to such websites are desirous of growing their businesses, and content that proffers them guides to achieving this will attract their interests ultimately.
  • Examples of content that fall under this category include "Business Accounting Software" with 3,559 views per month (vpm), "Online Marketing" with 4,498 vpm, "Amazon FBA Seller Accounting Software" with 3,119 vpm, "How to Add Clients to Quickbooks Online Accountant" with 14,506 vpm, and "How to Better Manage Your Email Inbox" with 9,130 vpm.

ACCOUNTANT/BOOKKEEPER STORIES

  • This type of content is used to develop testimonials and evidence of like-minded subscribers.
  • B2B Accounting Software buyers would be more confident with narrative content that offers testimonials from the same industry players or colleagues already making use of the brand.
  • These testimonials or evidence of like-minded subscribers to the brand will trigger their curiosity about whether they should grow their business with the brand.
  • Examples of content that fall under this category include "US banks that connect with Xero" with 67,829 vpm, "Online Accounting Software — Free Trial" with 52,094 vpm, and "Amazon FBA Seller Accounting Software" with 3,119 vpm.

BLOG

  • This is the general content section that visitors get information on a whole variety of topical issues and trends in a niche industry.
  • B2B Accounting Software buyers would prefer website content that offers feature news/blog posts relevant to their industry.
  • Other things these buyers would like to find on such websites are information about the product and customers' updates.
  • Examples of content that fall under this category include "How to Add Clients to Quickbooks Online Accountant" with 14,506 vpm, "How to Better Manage Your Email Inbox" with 9,130 vpm, and "When You Should Hire an Accountant" with 7,274 vpm.

SMALL BUSINESS INSIGHTS

  • Small business insight is that part on the website where content is used to develop economic analysis, reports, statistics, etc. that enhances the reputation of the brand and can be easily cropped and shared by industry experts or news media outlets.
  • This segment on the website can also be easily linked and quoted. B2B Accounting Software buyers are likely to be on the lookout for such information.
  • Examples of content that fall under this category include "US banks that connect with Xero" with 67,829 vpm and "Online Accounting Software — Free Trial" with 52,094 vpm.

TRAINING COURSES/FREE TRIAL

  • This type of content is built to present user guides for customers on the product or other industry-related issues to convert and retain them.
  • The training and free trial tend to appeal to B2B Accounting Software buyers.
  • Examples of content that fall under this category include "Online Accounting Software — Free Trial" with 52,094 vpm and "Facebook Advertising For Accountants: Email Lists & Conversion Funnels" with 1,685 vpm

RESEARCH STRATEGY

In doing our findings, we used two B2B accounting software providers because of their having bases in the US and the volume of traffic generated to their content pages from the US; the latter backed with statistics from Ubersuggest.

Through our profiling of Xero, we discovered the systemic growth of the company from ground zero in 2005 when it was founded to over 1.3 billion subscribers in 2018 with a market cap of about $6 billion. Having been tested over the years with the outcome of notable success in the industry, we focused our findings on how the company went about the content marketing that made it ranked 1,533 among global websites. It was based on this that we highlighted 5 insights on the types of content that B2B accounting software buyers prefer.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

B2B Accounting Software Website: Best Practices

Creatively developing the homepage, features page, pricing page, and content marketing are 4 best practices considered on how to improve a B2B accounting software/B2B platform website. These 4 best practices are backed with explanations and examples to lay credence to them.

OVERVIEW

  • Xero is a leading "online accounting software for your small business" and is "one of the darlings of the startup world." Although it has its headquarter in New Zealand, the company has a major presence (3 offices) in the United States.
  • The global ranking of the company is 1,533 with 18.69 million visitors to its website in the last 6 months from July 2019 and 114,337 organic visitors per month.
  • The company had 351,000 subscribers added to its base within 12 months (between 2017/18).
  • Xero's highest content page visit per month from the US is 67,829.
  • Firm of the Future (FOTF) — an offshoot of Intuit Limited, is an online accounting software US-based company with a website country rank of 223,976 and a global rank of 781,211, both in the last 6 months from July 2019. It has 31,789 organic visitors per month.
  • Firm of the Future's highest content page visit per month from the US is 14,506.

THE HOMEPAGE

  • Being that a homepage is usually the first point of call when visiting a company's website, the homepage of a B2B accounting software/B2B platform website should highlight the "keyword tagline" of the company in its headlines/sub-headlines to tell the service(s) at first view.
  • Keyword taglines used in headlines/sub-headlines should also be used for links acquisition from referring domains with higher authority.
  • More so, being a B2B accounting software website, the homepage should display "textbook software as a service (SaaS)."
  • A call-to-action (CTA) button should stick out distinctively on a B2B accounting software/B2B platform website with such wordings as "try 'product XYZ' for free'' or "free trial." This usually serves as a low commitment to action that would engender the interests of customers.
  • Quality imaging is essential in the B2B accounting software/B2B platform website and must be placed with a purpose to identify with the topic or content around them.
  • The navigation bar of a B2B accounting software/B2B platform website should be well visible and the choice of placing it in a white background should ideally make this so. This bar provides customers the opportunity to quickly accessing what they are looking for if the website headings or call-to-action (CTA) buttons do not offer them such.
  • Part of what a good homepage should contain are award wins which should significantly increase the confidence of customers.
  • Flashes of social proof like customer stories or testimonials on the homepage of a B2B accounting software/B2B platform website go a long way in improving customer's confidence when visiting such websites.
  • The homepage of the B2B accounting software/B2B platform website should have something like a web form, for example — a "30 days free trial" for new prospects to sign up for with the ultimate aim of turning them into full customers.
  • Xero's homepage has keyword tagline headline, links acquisition, textbook SaaS, quality images, white-background navigation bar, award wins, social proof, and a web form, while FOTF's homepage has keyword tagline headline, links acquisition, white-background navigation bar, a pop-up web form, but missing a textbook SaaS, quality images, award wins, and social proof.
  • As indicated in the overview, Xero's global ranking is 1,533 with 18.69 million visitors to its website and 114,337 organic visitors per month, while FOTF is ranked 781,211 and has 31,789 organic visitors per month.

FEATURES PAGE

  • Even where the homepage mentions the features of products in a B2B accounting software/B2B platform website, the website must have a "features page" with more direct headlines/sub-headlines to indicate what products are meant for and benefits to be derived therefrom.
  • The call-to-action (CTA) buttons on the feature page of a B2B accounting software/B2B platform website should be able to guide customers on the various plans available and pricing options attached thereto.
  • Images for features page should be different from that of the homepage, although they must be of high-quality standard too. Images that reflect the software or its applications should be selected for this page.
  • The features page should provide a list of all the features of the products; however, like the headlines/sub-headlines, its wording should be different and must be more direct compared to that of the homepage to address specific problems the software aims to solve.
  • A B2B accounting software/B2B platform website should have a header for a 24/7 Support availability on the features page. Such a header can be — "Never be put on hold again."
  • Flashes of social proof like customer stories should also be on the features page of a B2B accounting software/B2B platform website to capture testimonials of customers who have engaged the services offered on this page.
  • While Xero's 'feature and tools page' captures all mentions above on its feature page, FOTF's features page (captioned 'efficiency and growth') is missing of direct headlines/sub-headlines, a call-to-action (CTA) button, and a 24/7 Support availability.
  • As indicated in the overview, Xero's global ranking is 1,533 with 18.69 million visitors to its website and 114,337 organic visitors per month, while FOTF is ranked 781,211 and has 31,789 organic visitors per month.

PRICING PAGE

  • The 'pricing page' has been described as "arguably the second most important stand-alone page (after the home page) for any SaaS business."
  • Pricing pages of any B2B accounting software/B2B platform website should be simple since the essence of it is to keep customers informed of how much the services will cost.
  • Among the price options on a pricing page, it would be nice for a B2B accounting software/B2B platform website to highlight what the average customer mostly buys. The significance behind this is to easily facilitate customers' decision-making process and improve the conversion rate optimization of the business.
  • Texts on the pricing page should be limited as much as possible. So rather than having a volume of information wrapped around each price point, a question mark or other little icons can be used to display more information when it is hovered on.
  • Having a company's product/service features on the pricing page further improves the quality of a B2B accounting software/B2B platform website, because customers can feel comfortable knowing that all features can be accessed with the price to pay.
  • The pricing page should also have the 'free trial' option for customers who haven't concluded in their minds to do an outright purchase.
  • Flashes of social proof like customer stories should also be on the pricing page of a B2B accounting software/B2B platform website to capture testimonials of customers who have engaged the price plans for services offered on this page.
  • Xero's pricing page has a free trial option, and it looks simple and limited in the volume of text information on display even though it captures the features of each price plan. It didn't, however, highlight what price plans the average customer mostly buys and no testimonial is shared.
  • FOTF billing page does not reflect any of the above mentions.
  • As indicated in the overview, Xero's global ranking is 1,533 with 18.69 million visitors to its website and 114,337 organic visitors per month, while FOTF is ranked 781,211 and has 31,789 organic visitors per month.

CONTENT MARKETING

  • The quality of content strategy deployed by a B2B accounting software/B2B platform website goes a long way in the number of customers that will be drawn to it.
  • A content strategy of a B2B accounting software website should encompass the following information: industry news, blog posts, product information, customers'updates, small business guides, small business insights, stories by industry experts, economic and industry analysis by experts, data and industry reports, and so much more.
  • Both Xero and FOTF have shown high performance in the use of content to improve their websites.
  • Xero's content page "US banks that connect with Xero" attracts 67,829 visitors per month while FOTF's content page "How to Add Clients to Quickbooks Online Accountant" attracts 14,506 visitors per month.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

In doing our findings, we used Xero and Intuit's FOTF as leaders in the accounting industry because of the following reasons: 1) they have their bases in the US; 2) they are specifically accounting software providers; 3) their websites global ranking as backed with statistics from SimilarWeb; and 4) the volume of monthly traffic generated to their websites from the US as backed with statistics from Ubersuggest.

In our analysis of Intuit's FOTF of how it improved its website, we discovered a flurry of content posts right from the homepage. According to one of the company's authors, "for businesses like ours — those in markets with a lot of competition — finding a way to cultivate a particular target niche is a focused and efficient way to differentiate yourself and scale in the direction you want." Thus, FOTF concentrated majorly on improving its website by publishing SEO-savvy content, promoting the content, internalizing authors (experts) of these content, putting testimonials on the website, and optimizing website conversion through quality content.

With 0% payment for keywords, unlike Xero, we discovered that 75.06% of visits to the FOTF website came from search engines through their SEO-savvy content. This fact is buttressed on the premise that the highest number of visits it received from the US on its website came from two of its content pages.
Through the profiling of Xero, we discovered the systemic growth of the company from ground zero in 2005 when it was founded to over 1.3 million subscribers in 2018 with a market cap of about $6 billion. Also, this Xero profiling indicated how the company had 351,000 subscribers added to its base within 12 months (between 2017/18). This profiling was carried out by a team of online/social media/digital marketing experts led by Tam Al-Saad — Principal Consultant | Strategy + Growth at Web Profits.

Having been tested over the years with the outcome of notable success in the industry and with the recent addition of 351,000 subscribers to its base within 12 months coupled with 31,789 organic visitors per month and 67,829 content page US visitors per month, we focused our findings on the strategies the company went about to improve its website and what the team of experts considered as best practices.

It was based on our analysis of these two companies that we highlighted 4 best practices with detailed information on how to improve a B2B accounting software/B2B platform website.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
From Part 02
Quotes
  • "one of the darlings of the startup world."
  • "Never be put on hold again."
  • "arguably the second most important stand-alone page (after the home page) for any SaaS business."
Quotes
  • "For businesses like ours – those in markets with a lot of competition – finding a way to cultivate a particular target niche is a focused and efficient way to differentiate yourself and scale in the direction you want."