Since starting our accounting SEO agency, we’ve noticed some interesting statistics. I’d like to share some of the data we’ve been gathering about how effective SEO is for accounting firms.
Accounting SAAS is a super competitive niche within the industry. One aspect that makes it a tricky niche is that SAAS clients tend to stay with the product they’ve chosen for a long time. Initial set-up costs, integration with their current software, and accounting workflows are all reasons for this.
Bringing organic traffic to a SAAS website is always challenging, but we believed we were up to the task and the results speak for themselves.
We were able to grow our SAAS client’s organic traffic by 403%. PS! Here’s another SAAS SEO case study where we increased the client’s organic traffic by 8000%.
This result delighted our client and far surpassed our initial projections and goals.
These results are from the initial work we did in the first months of the campaign and we are still implementing further strategies. We expect that there will be even more significant growth in the near future.
Our Strategy in Summary
We have found over time that the best growth in organic traffic is achieved by focusing on SEO basics such as high-quality content and building meaningful links.
By researching what potential SAAS clients are looking for online, we are able to re-create existing content and write new content that is keyword focused and highly applicable to the needs of SAAS buyers.
One arm of this strategy is to create blog topics that answer questions that buyers have about SAAS products. Effectively becoming a knowledge base for these buyers and taking the effort out of research for them. SAAS comparison articles, where the pros and cons of different products are weighed up, are some of the most-read articles in this niche.
But as we said, that’s just one way of doing it and we have many strategies that we apply at once to get that 403% increase. We will discuss these more in-depth later in the article.
About Our Client
The client offers a SAAS product in the accounting niche.
The platform they built from scratch saves accounting firms money, time, and resources due to AI and machine learning capabilities. Their main focus is to provide a tool that automates manual data entry and other accounting tasks, such as invoice creation and expense tracking. We think it’s a great product, even if we’re a little biased. But then again, that’s our job – to be superfans of our client’s products and services.
Initially, the product grew through local word-of-mouth advertising – that is, in Estonia. Estonia is located on the shores of the Baltic Sea and is one of Europe’s smallest countries – but it’s also home to some of the fast-growing digital businesses – like our SAAS client.
When we sat down with them, there was no reason the product couldn’t be sold internationally. Our client’s product was extremely competitively priced in this niche at $10/user and would make a definite dent in the SAAS market, but ad spending to achieve this was an expense they could not justify.
This was a conundrum that they wanted to overcome in the short term so that they could grow their market share, not only locally but internationally.
That’s when we were called in.
The founder decided to strategically invest in SEO as an alternative strategy to traditional advertising. They wanted a much higher ROI on their marketing dollars and wanted to know if we could help.
Of course, we were pretty confident we could support our client’s objectives because we had been crafting a well-thought-out SEO strategy for SAAS companies that we were keen to keep testing with our clients.
As predicted, this hypothesis has proven to be correct and they are now seeing an increasingly positive return on their investment. Our client is happy and we are satisfied that we’ve found a proven method to increase organic traffic.
Some Challenges We Overcame
As said above, besides the niche being expensive to advertise with paid ads, it’s also highly competitive regarding SEO.
Many of our client’s competitors have put hundreds of thousands, if not millions, into advertising and content marketing. They were much larger than our client and their annual revenue justified huge campaigns to flood the market with their products.
It was a real-life David and Goliath situation.
Another challenge was that even though they were doing quite well in their native country on SERPS, they weren’t featured on the international search results. This was likely due to the product and website development being done in Estonian, not English.
Our Strategy in Detail
After extensive investigation of our client’s website analytics and their desired goals, we came up with the following plan of attack:
- Keyword research
The site had almost zero rankings in the English language. It was the first hurdle we had to get over. We had to get Google to increase the relevancy of this site and consider it authoritative in the English language. To achieve this, we did in-depth keyword research to find top-of-the-funnel content ideas within the niche in the English language.
- Create well-optimized articles
We targeted low-difficulty keywords that the behemoths weren’t bothering with. It’s kind of a secret tactic of ours. This would give us a foot in the door, so to speak, and allow us to build on those entry-level keywords.
- Launch link building
To gain authority and Google’s respect in English, we needed to build links from the countries the client wanted to rank, mainly the UK and the US.
At first, we built links to the homepage through two of our go-to link-building services, HARO and guest posts. Once we saw which articles started to climb in rankings and needed a push to reach the first page, we also built links to those adding another link-building strategy – link insertions.
- Once authority was achieved, we focused our efforts on ranking for competitive terms.
Now we really got stuck into high-level SEO tactics. Having achieved Google ranking in English and topical authority, we attacked ranking for competitive terms. Initial research showed we need a DR of at least 50 and 30+ links to rank for those terms. The positive results of our campaign up to this point gave our client the confidence to authorize going after these terms aggressively.
At this point, we knew we would be taking our client to at least the top 3 in SERPs because we had achieved this with the exact 4-point strategy for many of our other clients.
The traffic increased steadily over time and we expect a continuous growth curve. When writing this, organic traffic increased from 1,862 sessions in January 2022 to 10,800 in April 2023!
Initially, most of the traffic came from Estonia, where the company was founded and has seen a lot of its early growth. Then something exciting happened – an increase of 7.5K International visitors! Now, we were on a roll and could only go from strength to strength.
Traffic value generated
Traffic value at the start of the campaign was under $1,000. This was mainly because the rankings were based in Estonia, where there’s less competition in paid advertising, which served as the basis for the Ahrefs traffic value calculation formula.
Through the successful implementation of our strategies, roughly $15,000 of monthly traffic value has been generated.
As mentioned previously, this will likely continue to grow and remain at this level for a few years, even if we were to stop our campaign right now.
At this point, I think it’s important to emphasize what has been said above. Effective SEO strategies are like foundations of high buildings. If they are correctly laid, that building will keep standing for decades, even during an earthquake. If we lay down the foundations correctly for SEO, our client’s website will keep attracting organic traffic for years to come, even when there are changes to the accounting industry.
This is what the current cumulative link values look like for the period Jan 2022 – Oct 2022.
The cumulative value add has surpassed the cumulative investment and is growing fast. This means that the campaign is getting increasingly more profitable for the client as time goes on.
Even if the client had halted the SEO campaign at this point, there would still have been an increase for another 6-9 months. But thankfully, our client recognized that you don’t stop a winning strategy in its infancy.
The traffic remained steady for several months, as anticipated, and after that it naturally tapered off, as expected with campaigns like this.
This is what the ROI graph would look like until October 2023:
Once you build the traffic up, it will continue to grow and exist for years without any further work being done. Sounds like a good plan, right?
Compared to an SEO strategy like this, paid ads stop generating traffic as soon as you stop paying.
Future Plans for the Campaign
In the short term, we won’t fix anything that’s not broken. Our current strategy is providing the results that our client wants and we can keep tracking the success of our 4-point strategy and increasing its effectiveness.
However, as mentioned above, we will start to attack one high-value keyword after another aggressively. We proceed to the next target page only once we’ve achieved a ranking within the top 5. We have tremendous enthusiasm from our team for accounting firms, so we’re not likely to give up anytime soon.
Besides, we’re rather passionate about small and medium-sized businesses making their mark in the industry and leveling the playing field in this competitive niche.
If you want to see the same results we’ve been getting for our other accounting clients, then contact us today for an SEO Audit – if you mention that you read our entire case study – we will give you the audit for FREE!
As you can see, it doesn’t matter where you’re located or what language you speak, we are more than happy to help you burst onto the world scene! If you want to know how to get high-quality leads for your accounting firm, click here,
NB! This is an ongoing case study; we will update the results as the campaign progresses.