Best Practices for SaaS Websites in 2022
Today’s SaaS industry looks a bit different than it used to. The “as-a-service” concept is now fully embedded in most industries, and its novelty has worn off. This isn’t a bad thing, but it means the marketplace is maturing – and the web creators who participate in it have to follow suit.
Previous generations of SaaS vendors could achieve considerable access simply being the first to offer customers the flexibility, security, and real-time accessibility that comes with the product. Convincing customers to trade out their antiquated on-premises solutions is easy when yours is the only game in town.
Today’s environment is more competitive.
There are fewer opportunities to leverage a first-mover advantage. Web creators must define their products and services against a host of competitors, from plucky startups to globally recognized enterprises with near-unlimited resources at their disposal.
Fortunately, you have access to the tools you need to compete. Your website will play a central role navigating the SaaS marketing environment of 2022 and beyond. Equip your site with the right tools and features to position yourself to capitalize on today’s rapidly maturing SaaS market.
Prioritize speed and responsiveness over elaborate design
Admittedly, there’s something impressive and satisfying about complex, out-of-the-box website designs. However, the novelty quickly wears off, especially when users start interacting with your website regularly. If the site doesn’t load quickly and responsively, you’ll lose customers regardless.
Put simply, responsive design is no longer a luxury; it’s an absolute necessity.
Every website has to strike a balance between speed and complexity. The more software you pack into each web page, the more resources it will take to load and run properly. In order to guarantee a smooth user experience, you’ll have to pay for more powerful hosting – and those costs will add up quickly.
A lightweight website may not immediately impress with the digital equivalent of a parade and fireworks display, but it won’t disrupt the user experience either. Users will have an easy time finding the information they’re looking for, and you’ll lower your customer acquisition costs considerably as a result.
It’s common for customers to spend a lot of time on SaaS vendors’ websites. The faster and more intuitive that web experience is, the better your product will perform. These are the characteristics that customers value the most today, so prioritize them first.
Perfect the art of popups for upselling
Popups are a valuable tool for SaaS vendors because they enable targeted upselling campaigns. Upselling is absolutely critical in an environment where most vendors’ cheapest product is free. The freemium model works best when vendors know how – and when – to upsell their products.
One of the best ways to make that conversion happen is through a well-timed, highly targeted popup message. Instead of showing popups to every website visitor clicks onto your page, try programming popups to showcase premium features on your free trial checkout page. That’s the crucial moment when customers are primed to make a purchase, so put your best content right there.
The undisputed master of SaaS upselling is Spotify, with 356 million subscribers, 48% of which are on a paid premium plan. Popups are integral to this strategy because they advertise ad-free listening every time an ad plays. It’s simple, elegant, and incredibly effective, especially for an industry where conversion rates rarely reach the double-digits.
Your website should use popups in a similar way. Identify the pain points that your premium service directly addresses and communicate that fact to users right then and there. Use a popup builder that enables precise targeting and conversion tracking to generate significant revenue through upselling.
Start using video as a real lead generator
Most websites host a combination of text, imagery, and video. One of these formats stands out as the most compelling way to communicate with website visitors – video.
Videos are more engaging and more memorable than text or imagery, and well-produced video content has a remarkable capacity to grab and maintain viewers’ attention. This is especially important for SaaS vendors who often have to communicate a lot of technical and educational content to users during the onboarding process.
Many SaaS vendors already believe in the power of video, but aren’t yet capitalizing on that power in an optimal way. Publishing tutorial content to YouTube is a good start, but it introduces a lot of friction that can take away from the underlying message.
Dedicated video hosting services solve this problem with paid hosting plans. These hosts will charge you instead of showing ads to your users, but the value they provide is worth it. The best video hosting services will provide you with in-depth analytics that you can use to capture leads and move them along your sales funnel. This can significantly improve the performance of your most engaging video content. Check out Wistia and Vidyard if you’re an SME, and Brightcove if you’re a larger enterprise. These companies specialize in video lead gen.
Integrate with CRM and sales enablement tools
Once you’ve started using your website to capture lead data from multiple sources, you’ll need an organized way to structure and access that data. Your customer relationship management (CRM) solution and other sales enablement tools will play a vital role advancing customers through your sales funnel and convincing them to become paying subscribers.
Once you integrate a CRM tool with your website, you transform it into a fully-featured digital marketing platform. You gain the ability to manage each distinct element of your marketing strategy from a single, centralized place, and to enrich the user experience at every touch point along the customer journey.
Building out your sales enablement tech stack can take time. You need to carefully pick a selection of technologies that work well together. You need to learn how each one works, and identify the best way to use them together. Choosing the right content management system and website builder is a crucial first step towards enabling a best-in-class sales enablement tech stack.
WordPress stands out as one of the most integration-friendly platforms out there. Its open-source architecture and enormous marketplace of plugins and themes ensures a wide variety of viable options. It integrates with almost all of the major CRM tools on the market today, which makes it a great starting point for SaaS marketing.
From there, choosing an integration-friendly website builder and outfitting the rest of your WordPress tech stack with professional high-performance marketing technologies is simple. You can keep track of customer interactions, promotional campaigns, and marketing messaging all in one place while building out landing pages and campaign content easily.
Be proactive in promoting it
It’s not enough to create good content and hope for inbound marketing success. The digital marketing environment is saturated with reputable brands adopting this strategy. To make sure your message stands out above the rest, you need to actively pursue backlink creation and capitalize on guest posting opportunities.
Backlinks remain one of the most important ranking factors for SEO, which makes them a cornerstone of inbound marketing. However, they also play an important outbound role – bringing customers from affiliates and partners onto your website. Actively pursuing those links will help you generate traffic from the right places.
Guest posting is one of the best ways to create a network of interdependent backlinks that truly serve customers’ needs. To make this strategy work, you need to identify potential partners and affiliates who may be interested in sharing content. Then you’ll have to propose potential article topics for your partners to publish under your byline.
You can earn significant marketing synergy by prioritizing high-value websites with good Domain Authority scores, helping the inbound half of your marketing strategy. However, SaaS vendors don’t necessarily have to appeal to the largest possible audience – you may have greater success publishing content for a much smaller but more dedicated group.
Amplify your reach with affiliate or referral marketing
Affiliate and referral marketing have quickly become very popular and highly effective marketing channels for SAAS businesses. If your marketing is your megaphone for reaching your customers, then affiliate and referral marketing let you borrow your affiliates’ megaphones to amplify your message and therefore reach more prospects.
You can recruit professional affiliates to promote your SAAS, or you can use your affiliate program as a means of rewarding your existing customers for referring new customers. Either way, you can incentivize people to share your SAAS with their audiences.
Building a great program has a lot of similarities to building backlinks. While it can take a little bit of time to reach out to and recruit new affiliates, they compound over time. Every now and then you’ll come across one affiliate or customer who is capable of driving substantial revenue to your SAAS.
Some ideas you can use for your program include:
- Social gifting
- Referral contests
- Reward referrals with a mystery gift
Here are some more referral program ideas that you can use to promote your SAAS.
Position Your SaaS Company to Grow In 2022
As the SaaS market matures, competition will become a greater concern for its participants in almost every sector. However, the SaaS market is growing and continues to grow. The SaaS industry is worth $145 billion and experts expect it to grow by 17% by the end of 2022. That’s more than $24 billion worth of new growth that your company can carve a market share out of.
The industry may be rapidly maturing, but it is rapidly expanding as well. That’s good news for SaaS marketers and web creators who can capitalize on these two industry trends to expand brand visibility, generate awareness, and build out an efficient sales funnel for new customers.
A fast, responsive website equipped with the right marketing tools is an essential piece of this puzzle. Invest in your website capabilities now and leverage those tools to generate leads and sales well through the rest of the year and beyond.