Around 40% of the world has an Internet connection today.
That’s pretty incredible on many levels.
One of the most incredible things about that is how location has become less of a barrier for businesses.
And for SaaS companies it’s probably the case even more than for other types of businesses.
For a lot of software, location isn’t important. And if the Internet allows the opportunity to reach 40% of the world think of the potential.
I know that you know the importance of a great SaaS company website.
But it’s important to have the right mindset when it comes to your website.
Remember that a website is never “done”. It can be “good enough” for now. But it’s good to think of it as something that can always improve.
You don’t want to set your website and forget it. If you do that you’ll be leaving sales on the table. I see it all the time. I visit a lot of websites and so many times I can’t figure out what the SaaS company is offering.
With that in mind there are some things I notice that make for a great company website.
I’ll list them in order that a visitor would notice when they first visit the site where they most likely are visiting the homepage.
1. Meta Title & Description
A study from a couple years ago found that a whopping 51% of traffic to business websites is from organic search or SEO.
This compared to 5% from social media and 10% from paid search ads.
Obviously there are exceptions to this rule, but in most cases your visitors are coming from somewhere else on the website.
The first thing they see is a title and description of your website. That is the first thing that convinces them to visit your site.
It’s like creating an ad. The title and description help determine if a person will investigate the offer or company further.
With SEO, you really only get a title and description. How you phrase your title and description are huge for determining if you even get traffic in the first place.
A few tips:
- Look at your competition. Choose what they do best and refine to make it even better.
- The fewer words you use the better for the title. Get to the core of what your business is and offers your customers.
- Include your brand name. The value of brand recognition is huge.
2. Page Speed
Is there anything worse than a slow loading website?
Okay, obviously there are worse things in life, but a slow website is incredibly frustrating.
You’ve honed your title or ad or whatever and someone is interested in visiting your site. You don’t want to immediately put them on edge with a slow site.
Do kids slowly remove the wrapping from a gift on Christmas?
No, they rip into it with speed only seen at the Indy 500.
That’s how fast your site needs to load. People don’t like waiting.
3. Clear Page Title or Heading
Now someone found your site, it loaded fast…what’s the first thing they see?
Usually the title on the page. Or the heading. Whatever you call it.
In a lot of cases this title will probably be very similar to your SEO title.
And that’s good.
Let’s say you’re a dentist office in Chicago.
Your heading will probably be something like:
Smith Dental: Your Chicago Area Family Dental
Simple, clear, concise. All those things.
People instantly know they’re on the right page. They know what you’re offering them. They can move ahead through the sales cycle.
4. Fitting Image, Graphic or Visual
One thing that can throw the whole deal off is an awkward image, graphic or visual.
How many times have you visited a site only to have your focus distracted by a weird stock photo?
Many people are visual. They’ll want to notice the heading, but a bad image or photo will be distracting.
The main image or graphic or whatever should convey the same message as the title.
If you’re offer is a family dental office then an image that conveys that is fine.
If you’re a software company it might not be a photo, but perhaps some kind of graphic.
Let’s say you offer restaurant scheduling software. A graphic of an employee clocking in on their phone might be a great image to support what you’re offering your customers.
5. Simple Layout Free Of Distraction
One of the downfalls of business websites is distraction. Or confusion. You can define it a few ways, but basically it’s anything on a site that distracts the focus of the visitor.
It’s easy to fall into this trap because we naturally want to cover all of our bases.
We want to account for anything and everything a visitor might want to read, see, hear or ask.
That’s not really a possibility and in the chase to try to accomplish it things just get muddled.
Focus on the most common and most important path a website visitor takes through your sales cycle. Those elements should stand out and any other element should be secondary. Not distracting, but there if someone really wants it.
A common example if a newsletter signup on a homepage. Some people may want to do that, but most want to learn more about your software.
You can have the newsletter signup, but make it small, secondary and only there for those looking for it.
6. “Just Right” Amount Of Text
You know the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears?
The one about the porridge that was too hot and then too cold and then finally just right.
That’s the rule for text on your website.
This comes from testing. Asking people. Following how they use your site.
It’s common for people to lose interest if a site has too much text.
But if you feel you need that text it could mean that you need to break it up more.
More headings. More graphics. More photos.
Think about what you prefer reading.
A research paper with very few paragraphs.
Or an article in a nice magazine?
Break up your content. Limit the content by watching for repetition, industry jargon, vagueness, etc.
7. Follow The Sales Cycle
Every business has a sales cycle.
It’s so important for your software business that you understand yours.
Your website is really just another salesperson on your team. Except they’re not working in person with a potential customer. They’re online. They can’t really talk to the person (although live chat is becoming a crucial element).
When you map out your website, starting with your homepage, you want to follow your sales cycle.
Let your website take the person through the cycle. From the introduction of what you offer to answering common questions to showing proof to getting to know a little bit about each other all the way through to closing the deal.
If you don’t follow your sales cycle you’ll confuse visitors. Their questions won’t get answered. They probably won’t convert.
Speaking of proof. This is proof that what you’re selling works.
Amazon does this to perfection. They have got to have one of the biggest collections of customer reviews ever assembled. And that’s what most of their customers are concerned with.
Even if some of those reviews are fake people still pay attention. The more reviews the less chance of error. And people learn so much about a product by reading what others say about it.
People want to see that your software will work. They’ll take your word for it…to a point. They want to see proof.
9. Answer Questions
Speaking of answering questions I wanted to bring that out into its own point.
If you’ve sold your software directly to customers think back to the questions they’ve asked throughout the process.
If you get the same question from multiple prospects then it’s a prime indicator that the answer should be on the website.
If multiple people ask a question you can bet that people visiting your site will be asking it in their head. If your website provides the answer then the person will move to the next question or the next stage of the process.
That’s why I believe in adding a price or at least a price range on a business website. It’s usually one of the most commonly asked questions in the sales cycle.
Finally, let’s end with activity.
Some sign that your company is current and active. That you’re alive.
You never want a person visiting your site to wonder if what they’re seeing is current. Or if your company is still active.
There are little things like the copyright and year in the footer. Every once in awhile you’ll see a site with a copyright year from 2 or more years ago.
That makes people think, “If they haven’t updated their website in two years how often to they update their software?”
Another way to keep a website active is a with a regular schedule of blog posts. That helps in other ways too…
That was pretty extensive, but hopefully you could kind of scan through it and pick up a few tips.
Your website can be so great for helping grow your software company. You can sell in person and make partnerships and things like that. But a great website can take things to new levels.
Use the tips above to help guide the design and structure of your website.
And remember that a website is never done. There is always room for improvement.