SaaS, or Software as a Service, is a new-fangled way for businesses to provide their customers with software over the internet by means of a web browser. It means that rather than having to locally install the software, the program is efficiently-hosted in a central location where it is effortlessly accessed by millions of customers. The users only pay for a license to use the software.
According to Statista,
“The SaaS, Software as a Service, market is likely to be worth around $92.75bn worldwide in 2016.”
While lots of thorough and careful planning goes into the creation of a great website, it can be very time-consuming and taxing. Yet, in spite of everything, the website still may not look appealing to some visitors. For this reason, you need to have a clear plan and strategy right from the start.
Why is a SaaS Website a Must?
When developing an advanced SaaS website, a high level of focus needs to be placed on marketing. In the early days of business software, this was not the case, as most sellers were satisfied with their ill-designed, low-tech, static websites. Nowadays, however, it’s crucial to make your website stand out from the competitors.
Fortunately, businesses back then could get by with those less-than-impressive websites because the internet was still in its early stages of development, which means websites were not a business’s key marketing tool. Nowadays, however, with a marketing campaign solely dependent on a SaaS application and the use of a non-invasive sales model, it is doubtful that your consumers will ever have any communication with your sales team. It also means that your website now becomes the real face of your business and its no. 1 salesperson.
Here are 5 key things to focus on when building SaaS business website:
Without a doubt, the key objective of your website should be to entice the most possible visitors, while simultaneously turning those visitors into leads and future customers.
However, there are several other less important objectives for your website, like collecting a database of email addresses from visitors who have yet to start their free trial or to make the most of any other promotional offerings; sharing important information between your website and its associated partners; sharing information related to careers and job opportunities; and supporting your brand.
Using the Skyward SaaS website as an example, they have perfected their message, image and call-to-action. Since getting visitors to your website is crucial to the survival of your website, your brand’s sales pitch needs to not only be appealing but also convincing. It has to be able to grab the visitor’s eye and make them want to explore more; that coupled with a clear call-to-action. Thus, it’s crucial that you offer your visitors, who are not yet ready for the trial offer, something to attract their interest. It can be something as simple as a newsletter subscription or as benign as a call-back button or even a guide download. Or, you can offer an even more interactive option like a webinar or a live-chat window. All of these features can help you to gather an email database that can be used for future contact with your prospects.
2. Video & Demo
A video does things that words and pictures cannot. Videos enable the visitor to watch, rather than read big paragraphs of information. A brief, but well-crafted video can boost the user’s experience and help them to understand your solutions much faster than pictures and words can.
Without a doubt, screenshots are helpful. But for someone who is expecting a realistic picture of your UI and UX (and doesn’t have the time to go through a free trial), a video featuring your products/services/solutions is a powerful tool.
Employing a video on your website’s homepage shows your visitors how consumers can actually benefit from and interact with your SaaS in real-life.
Tagove Live Chat, a customer support platform, has rightly-used the video to show a demo about how their software works in order to ease a business’s pain point when communicating with web visitors in real-time.
Some visitors are inclined to try products right away without having to register for a trial. Visitors today want the ability to instantly try out a product without the time and effort needed to proceed through different technical steps. This is where a demo or a quick tour of your business’ offerings comes into play.
3. First Impressions
There’s an old saying, the first impression is a lasting impression. This saying has never been truer than when applied to your business’ homepage. Homepages are the virtual and practical doorway for most businesses. When a visitor isn’t immediately impressed, his first reaction is usually to make a quick move back via his browser’s “back” button. Taking a closer look at Capium’s website, it has a clear message and call-to-action.
It’s very important to adequately describe who you are and what your brand represents. Many brands don’t have that opportunity and so you should endeavour to answer those important questions to your visitors’ satisfaction.
You want to be sure to narrow the focus on your homepage. You should target the right audience in a language they can easily understand. A well-designed homepage will help you prevent a lot of unnecessary information and confusion that are likely to bore your visitors.
Your website’s homepage needs to be attractive in order to compel visitors to stick around and explore what your website has to offer. Homepages are the hook-and-eye that grabs the visitor’s attention and eliminates any ideas about diverting to a competitor’s website.
It’s also crucial that your website be user-friendly and responsive so as to let visitors maneuver the site smoothly with a rich browsing experience. The homepage needs to be free of fancy objects and easy to navigate or else you risk slowing down the browsing. Animations, banners and pop-ups have their own place, but using them can turn a website into a chaotic mess that distracts your visitors’ focus away from what is actually important; the real message you are striving to convey to your visitors.
Primary and secondary call-to-action (CTA) buttons are the decisive elements of a homepage. In the image above, there are clear CTAs — install Hiver for Gmail or sign up the email ID. A CTA directs the visitors to the next logical step in your webpage hierarchy. In the end, the goal of the homepage is to coerce visitors to dig as deep into your website’s inner pages as possible. CTA buttons are similar to a road map that steers the visitor through your website, stopping them from losing their way while luring them into purchasing your offered products and services.
A well-designed homepage is essential to establishing communication, building rapport and showing the path. Hence, homepages represent the optimum use of CTA placement and effective layouts, colors, fonts and other crucial page elements.
The common phrase, Simplicity is Beauty! is particularly true when it comes to your website’s appearance. You want to be sure that visitors won’t be distracted from your website hastily and before a more thorough view of what your website has to offer is exposed.
Hiver offers a simple, yet elegant, homepage to catch the visitor’s eye and interest. This is the primary job of the inner webpages. This has been a slowly but surely evolving technique of the SaaS websites from their time of inception.
5. Free Trials
For people who want to make use of their own data to test your product/software with their business, there are free trials. This means there’s no need to enter any credit card details.
BambooHR is a business that has long-allowed their users to try their products for a month before deciding whether or not to continue with the subscription. For all SaaS companies, it’s almost as important to offer a trial. BambooHR doesn’t refer to a trial; rather, they ask users to create an account with a “Try BambooHR Free” button.
A Bonus Tip
6. Customer Support
Offering a live-chat option on your website will provide your web visitors with an opportunity to contact you quickly without having to wait for an answer to their queries.
The Software as a Service (SaaS) market is predicted to grow steadily into the future. Building a successful SaaS venue starts with building a quality product and an innovative website that makes it easy for visitors to see how advantageous it would be for them to register for a free trial with you. By cracking down on the crucial details, SaaS can eventually boost online visibility significantly and therefore intensify lead generation results. It’s important to focus on the product that you are designing a SaaS website to promote as well as the target audience. Utilize the homepage to deliver the information to visitors about what they can expect to get on the inner pages. And to finish, it is worth mentioning again the significance of giving the visitor clearly-specific CTA buttons that invite them to sign up, but at the same time, making sure not to make them feel compelled to do so.