Software as a Service (SaaS) is one of the most popular technology business models in 2023. This type of product has some common elements that all SaaS businesses should consider for their website.
If you're running a SaaS business or developing a SaaS website, staying up-to-date with the latest best practices is important. With so much competition in the market, SaaS companies need to design their websites to attract and retain customers.
In this blog, we'll discuss the 12 essential elements every great SaaS website should have in 2023. From design to functionality, we'll cover everything you need to know to create a website that looks great, drives conversions, and helps your business succeed.
What Makes SaaS Websites Unique?
Software as a Service (SaaS) means that customers pay a subscription fee to access the software hosted by the provider. Therefore, this distinction makes SaaS websites unique. They are not just marketing or business websites but also web-based software applications that customers can use to solve their problems.
SaaS websites have some common characteristics and features that make them stand out from other websites, including:
- Clear and compelling value propositions that explain what the software does and how it benefits the customer
- Engaging and interactive product demos or free trials that let customers experience the software before buying
- Detailed and persuasive product pages showcasing features, use cases, and benefits of the software
- Customer testimonials, reviews, or case studies for social proof and credibility for the software
- Pricing pages that display the different plans and options available for the software
- Blogs, resources, or guides that provide useful and relevant content for the target audience
- Comparison pages that highlight how the software is different or better than its competitors
One example of a SaaS website that has a unique redesign is Simplestream. RCCO reimagined an innovative video streaming platform with new branding and website design by following these steps:
Step 1: We understand the client's goals, challenges, target audience, and pain points. This step involves gathering insights from the client and researching their target audience, along with existing website data, to identify key objectives for the website.
Step 2: We research and analyse the client's industry, competitors, and best practices to gain insights into the market landscape and inform our design decisions. We would also recommend a detailed evaluation of your brand to establish core values and ensure holistic results.
Step 3: We create a strategy and concept that align with the client's vision and values, incorporating the insights gathered in Step 2. This step serves as the foundation for the content and design of the website, your externally-facing communication.
Step 4: Once the pages are designed, we create a fully functioning website prototype in Figma, so clients can interact and experience what the final product will look and feel like before we build the website. This is a great opportunity to spot anything that doesn't feel right and to save time and cost-making changes during the development phase.
Step 5: Using a custom Webflow CMS solution, a powerful and flexible web development tool - we develop the website and create a scalable platform for the client to build upon. Using a powerful CMS enables us to create a site that can grow with the client’s ambitions and provides them with control if they wish to maintain the site in-house following launch.
Step 6: We test and optimise the website for performance, accessibility, and user experience. This includes ensuring that the website is responsive and loads quickly and that the user interface is intuitive and easy to navigate. We also test that the site is optimised for the client’s conversion goals and records vital analytics data, such as a user ‘booking a demo’. During this phase, we maintain open and active communication with the client. RCCO reviews the website together with the client and refines its features based on their feedback to ensure it fully aligns with their vision and objectives.
Step 7: After testing, we launch the website and provide ongoing support and maintenance. This includes regular updates, backups, and security checks to ensure the website performs well and meets the client's needs. We see the website as a growing tool; as such, we continue to test and implement fresh content regularly. We always involve the client in key decision-making steps to ensure continuous success.
By following these steps, RCCO can deliver a website redesign that looks great, aligns with the client's goals and values, performs well, and provides a positive user experience.
Why Your Website Structure Matters for Growth
SaaS website structure is crucial in driving growth and converting leads into paying customers.
Research has shown that a clear and organised website structure can improve the user experience, increase engagement, and drive conversions. According to a study by Stanford University, 46.1% of users judge a website's credibility based on its design and layout.
A well-structured website can also improve search engine optimisation (SEO) and make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your web page. This can lead to higher search engine rankings, increased traffic, and, in turn, more conversions.
Here's a step-by-step guide on how RCCO would deliver a website design and structure that bolsters growth for a $100 million ad tech brand, based on our Ad-Lib.io case study:
Step 1: Review the current website's analytics to identify high-performing pages and areas that need improvement. Analyse the target audience's preferences and priorities to create a content hierarchy that caters to their needs.
Step 2: Develop a comprehensive sitemap based on the analysis from Step 1, ensuring that it includes all essential pages and considers SEO and crawlability for optimal online visibility.
Step 3: In this instance, RCCO chose Webflow as the CMS for the project, which allows for scalable and cost-effective growth of the website over time. This platform also facilitates ease of content creation and management for the team.
Step 4: Design the website with accessibility in mind, prioritising simplicity and ease of use. Ensure that the innovative, groundbreaking, and technically complex product is easily understood by a wide range of clients, from CEOs to creatives.
Step 5: Adopt a mobile-first approach, considering the devices most frequently used by the target audience. This ensures a seamless and user-friendly experience across all platforms.
Step 6: Focus on website speed and performance, especially when incorporating content or data-heavy sections. Optimise these elements to ensure a smooth browsing experience for users.
Step 7: Implement Lottie animations, page interactions, and playful success animations to create an engaging and delightful user experience that aligns with the brand's identity.
Step 8: Utilise Figma to design components and prototype interactions, which will support fast development and testing by the engineering team. This approach will facilitate efficient collaboration and ensure a high-quality final product.
The final result would be a website with a well-designed structure that fosters growth for your brand. It communicates effectively that your company has an in-depth understanding of the creative and media industries. The strategic arrangement of information, seamless navigation, and logical user flow inherent in a well-structured website enhance the user experience and drive customer conversion and retention.
SaaS Website Best Practices
SaaS websites have become a crucial component of the modern business landscape, and SaaS companies need to ensure their websites are designed to attract and retain customers.
Here are 12 essential best practices for creating a successful SaaS website:
1. Case Studies
Publishing comprehensive and insightful case studies on your SaaS website is a vital practice. They serve as social proof of your service's efficacy and reliability, substantiating your claims with real-world examples. These studies should detail the problem, your solution, and the achieved results.
Highlight the most significant outcomes, improvements, or growth achieved by your customers. Well-crafted case studies bolster your brand's credibility and can often tip the balance for prospects still in the decision-making stage.
2. Ensure Responsiveness
People use a variety of devices to browse the internet. A responsive website design ensures your website looks and works great on all devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.
A responsive website design is essential for SaaS companies as it helps to improve the user experience, increase engagement, and ultimately drive conversions.
For example, RCCO completely rebuilt Simplestream’s website, focusing on elegance, scalability, and responsiveness. In addition, RCCO crafted a scalable component library that put the brand at the heart of the site to ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience for users across different devices. This helped elevate Simplestream’s brand and drive conversions.
3. Live Support or Live Chat
FAQs can be a useful feature on your website. However, users have to manually locate that specific question, and sometimes they find that it isn’t even listed.
Therefore, enabling live support or live chat on your SaaS website can help you convert leads into paying customers. Live support or live chat allows users to ask questions and get help in real-time, which can help increase trust and ultimately drive conversions.
4. Make It Easy to Contact You
A visible and compelling call to action (CTA) is essential for a SaaS website to guide users through the buying journey. It should be short, persuasive, and clearly define what happens next.
Contact forms, too, are invaluable - providing a simple, non-intimidating means for users to reach out. Ensure they are short and ask only the necessary details to respect the users' time.
Also, remember to create a user-friendly UX by strategically placing these elements where users can easily find them. For example, the CTA might be at the top of the home page, and the contact form could be included in the footer.
When you provide clear, easy paths for contact, you increase conversions and improve customer relationships.
5. List all Features and Price Points
There is no universal solution for delivering software as a service, so tiered pricing is typical. Often, each tier has a name, like HubSpot's Starter, Professional, and Enterprise options.
However, it’s advisable to provide thorough information about different pricing tiers and what each one includes. Remember that each visitor is at a different stage in their buying journey. People researching their options want all the details before making a decision.
Therefore, list all the features for each tier. A comparison chart can help simplify this by showing the features side by side.
6. Product Videos
Product videos are an effective way to showcase the features and benefits of your SaaS product or service. They can help users understand how your product or service works and how it can benefit them. A well-produced product video can help increase engagement, build trust, and drive conversions.
Using videos on your website also encourages visitors to spend more time engaging with the content. This makes it simpler for visitors to present your product to decision-makers within their organisation.
7. Offer Free Trials or Demos
Offering free trials or demos is a great way to attract and convert leads into paying customers. Free trials or demos allow users to test your product or service before purchasing.
This can help increase trust and reduce the risk for users.
8. Clear Above-the-Fold Value Proposition
When a user lands on your website, it's important to communicate the value proposition of your product or service above the fold. This means that the user should be able to understand what your product or service is all about without having to scroll down.
A clear value proposition above the fold increases the chances of users staying on your website and exploring further. If there are multiple options, use A/B testing to determine which attracts more potential customers to contact you.
For instance, RCCO crafted a clear value proposition for Giftify by designing a marketing website that embodied the brand's playfulness and simplified the user journey to discover product information. The website effectively communicated Giftify's mission to "raise our customer’s profile, one gift card at a time," emphasising the convenience and personalisation of the gift card platform. Thus, it encouraged users to explore the site and engage with the brand.
9. Clear & Compelling Call to Action
Many SaaS companies fail to convert users due to poor call-to-actions (CTAs). CTAs help guide users through the website and encourage them to take a specific action, such as signing up for a free trial or purchasing. A clear and compelling CTA can help increase conversions and drive growth.
Defining this at the start is important, and ensuring you have relevant tracking for your conversion goals is as vital for optimising towards success.
10. Client Reviews & Testimonials
Client reviews and testimonials are an effective way to build trust and credibility with potential customers for SaaS companies. They provide social proof and can help users understand how your product or service has benefited others.
Including client reviews and testimonials on your SaaS website is an important best practice.
11. Incorporate Targeted Landing Pages
Incorporating targeted landing pages is critical for SaaS sites. Landing pages (such as a SaaS homepage) are designed to convert users into paying customers by focusing on a specific product or service.
By creating targeted landing pages for specific products or services, you can increase the chances of users taking a specific action, such as signing up for a free trial or purchasing. Tailoring your message and offering to each key audience will ensure that the content your users digest is personalised to their needs.
12. Invest in blog resources
Investing in blog resources is another important best practice for SaaS websites. Blogs can help attract users to your website and provide valuable information about your product or service.
You can establish yourself as an authority in the SaaS industry and increase engagement with potential customers by creating high-quality blog resources.
Unleash the power of your SaaS business with our feature-packed website design, expertly tailored to skyrocket success – get your free quote today!
Examples of Successful SaaS Websites
Here are three examples of successful SaaS websites:
Optable is a revolutionary platform that simplifies data collaboration. The platform incorporates the advanced concept of data clean rooms, and makes it accessible and usable for businesses. With a unique approach centred around respect, trust, and knowledge, Optable offers a robust solution for seamless data collaboration.
RCCO designed this bespoke platform to effectively communicate Optable's vision and services and provide an easy-to-update interface for the Optable team. It helped strengthen Optable’s position as a leading name in the emerging data collaboration sector.
Canva is a SaaS tool that helps people make nice visuals and designs, even if they're not experts in graphic design. The website features a simple and intuitive user interface, clear calls to action, and a wide range of design templates and tools.
Canva's unique value proposition and success can be attributed partly to its emphasis on user experience and the democratisation of graphic design.
Slack is a team communication platform that allows users to collaborate and communicate in real-time. The website features a simple and intuitive user interface, clear calls to action, and various integrations and features.
Slack's value proposition is its focus on workplace productivity and making communication and collaboration more efficient.
Designing a SaaS product requires careful consideration of various important elements, from user experience (UX) to security and data management.
By following the best practices outlined in this guide, you can create an awesome SaaS product that meets your customers' needs and stands out in a crowded market.
Remember to keep up with the latest trends and technologies, such as AI and machine learning, and focus on improving retention and reducing churn. Additionally, don't forget to strategically place call-to-actions throughout your website to guide users through their buyer's journey.
For more information on SaaS website design and development, check out RCCO.