6 Must-Have Elements for Every SaaS Website
The B2B space is one where buyers have a lot of choice. In fact, 60% of B2B companies research 2-3 sites before making a purchasing decision. Software as a Service (SaaS) is a major part of this space, with sales expected to hit $112.8 billion this year. SaaS represents a low cost, agile way for users to access software – and for SaaS companies that means there’s a lot of opportunity, but also a lot of competition.
You’ll be competing against an industry of talented and driven companies like yours, all vying to direct potential customers to their website and convince them to sign up.
This means that your website not only needs to have the right design, but it should also address pain points – particularly because it’s the first interaction visitors will have with your company. Consider your website as the first sales person your future customers come into contact with - in which you attract, inform, and (with the right strategy) convert visitors to leads, and leads into users of your software.
In this article, we’ll share six elements that a SaaS company’s website must have to engage visitors and ultimately, convert them into subscribers.
1. Responsive Design
Responsive design is all about how well-adapted your site is to different devices. The number of mobile devices is predicted to hit 16.8 billion by 2023, and people no longer browse the internet solely from their desktop computer. In fact, in 2018 58% of website visits were from mobile devices, and these devices made up 42% of total time spent online.
That means making your website compatible with and user-friendly for mobile devices is an absolute must. A responsive site is different from building a separate mobile site: it’s building one website that runs smoothly on various devices. Most current CMS platforms have responsiveness baked in, but if you’re site is older, it’s possible your site is lacking in this area.
Here are some features of a responsive site:
- A mobile-first mindset; keeping things simple and clean with a focus on content
- A mobile menu that allows users to navigate your site on smaller screens without a hover option
- Media queries — lines of code that allow you to adjust elements of design just for mobile devices
2. A Data-Driven Approach
More websites today are designed based on a data-driven approach. (We call it Data Driven Design). It’s a way of building websites that removes guesswork and chance from the equation and relies on hard data to make crucial decisions about your website design and user experience.
In the past, companies would spend a ton of time and money putting together a website and then begin testing its effectiveness once it was up and running. (Many companies still approach it this way.)
In contrast, a data-driven approach starts small, with a minimalist site, and then measures user response (like bounce rates, exit rates, and traffic) and makes changes accordingly. The result tends to be:
- Quicker to launch, since you’re starting with the bare bones and building up from there instead of waiting for every element to be perfect before launch.
- More cost-effective, as you can work on a retainer model instead of paying for everything up front (and all the changes afterwards).
- More successful, because you’ll be able to track every area of your site and make changes according to hard data.
3. Effective SaaS Marketing Utilizes SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a crucial part of building and marketing websites. If your site fails to rank in the top pages of Google (and other search engines), you’ll struggle to attract visitors organically – and ultimately fail to gain any customers through your site.
There are many factors to consider for SEO strategy. The basics involve taking time to research and implement keywords (the words and phrases in your niche that people tend to search for), but there’s much more to learn.
If you don’t have your own marketing team, it would make sense to hire a strategist that understands SEO – whether that means partnering with an agency or consultant. Without a strong SEO strategy it doesn’t matter how well-written and valuable your content is, you’ll find it difficult to generate a meaningful amount of traffic.
An essential part of your SEO efforts should include content. Content is what draws customers in, builds trust, and guides them towards buying your service. It’s a core feature of digital marketing, and SaaS marketing is no exception.
Some tips for creating effective content across your site:
- Deliver real value. Your visitors should learn something practical and understand that you’re a knowledgeable authority in your niche.
- Make it scannable. The person’s average attention span is about 3 seconds (equivalent to that of a goldfish), so make sure your content is engaging and accessible enough to keep readers on the page in a short period of time. Bullet points, numbered lists, and short paragraphs are all good ways to achieve this.
- Link to other authoritative websites. This helps your site appear more trustworthy and reliable. In addition, make sure to link internally to other pages on your site.
Your SaaS company will (hopefully) solve an important problem for your customers. Start by building your content to address these problems, offer solutions and best practices, and finally, work up to pitching your service and explaining how it works.
4. A Focus on the Right Audience
The best SaaS websites are right for their intended audience. If your service helps retirees with their finances, for example, your site shouldn’t include images of younger people, nor should your design and other content.
It’s important to take the time to think through who your target persona is and conduct research to really understand their motivations, challenges, and any information that can help you reach them.
One idea for researching your target demographic might include talking to current customers to really understand their motivation behind seeking out or choosing your company’s software. You can also spend time on relevant social media pages and forums, ask questions and send surveys to your email subscribers, and look at industry research.
5. A Free Trial
According to Neil Patel, “It’s common for nearly all SaaS companies to offer a trial.” There are many ways to offer trials and which one you choose depends on your software and customers.
The benefit of trials is that they allow your visitors to try to the product without feeling pressured to make a purchase or get locked into a commitment.
It tends to be successful too — research from Marketing Charts found that 2 in 3 B2B free trials result in paid subscriptions. Some tips for getting the most out of your trial include:
- Drop the credit card requirement. Software companies that allow trial sign-ups without a credit card generated twice as many paying customers.
- Don’t forget to follow up — once your free trial ends, it’s time to catch up with the user and stay in touch so they don’t forget to subscribe.
- Make sure the timeframe is right. There’s a lot of disagreement over the perfect length of a trial. A good approach is to A/B test a longer and shorter trial and see which one works best for your prospects.
6. A Compelling Call to Action
Let’s face it, the ultimate goal of a website for a SaaS company is to get subscribers. A good call to action (CTA) helps achieve this by converting undecided visitors to paying subscribers. Your CTA should be direct, to the point, and convincing.
A CTA can ask visitors to:
- Share their email (usually in return for a free product or service) so you can add them to your list
- Sign up for your free trial
- Start a subscription to your service
Building a website for your SaaS company that works will be a challenging task. The bar is set high, and this isn’t an industry where you can get away with a subpar website.
However, if you include the elements above, build on a sound strategy and invest the right amount of time and resources in your site, you’ll soon see a return on your investment with more engagement, leads and subscribers. To learn out how Spot On can deliver the best website possible for your company, sign up for our website performance audit now.