The Elements of a Highly Engaging SaaS Homepage
In order to design a highly engaging homepage for your SaaS business, you first need to consider what your audience is looking for. What will grab their attention and help you nurture them all the way down your sales funnel? What will make them ultimately become true brand advocates?
Is your product complex and requires a broad introduction? Are there hundreds of similar products on the market, and are you trying to stand out above all else? What problems are you solving, and why should your audience care? These are just some of the questions you need to answer before you (re)consider your homepage elements. Here are the ones you should carefully vet.
A Brilliant Value Proposition
The first thing your website visitors see is your value proposition. This is where you need to sell your SaaS product to them in as few words as possible. If you do a good job, they will keep scrolling, and you will get the chance to wow them with other homepage elements. If not, they may click away, never to return again.
Remember: there are many other products like yours out there. In order to align your value proposition with your audience’s needs, you need to:
Let’s take a look at an example. Typeform has a great value proposition. It’s clear and honest. It cuts right to the chase and sells you the value and the solution in one sentence. Their tagline is just as brilliant. “There’s a better way to ask” again encapsulates their value and the core of their product without using too many words.
Your audience will care nothing about your product, the time and effort it took you to create it, or the hopes and dreams you have for it. All they will care about is how your SaaS solution fits into their life. If you can not only solve their problem but also show them that you care about them, they are more likely to convert.
Customer-focused marketing works especially well in SaaS because you are selling a service, not a product. You are offering your audience something they can use to achieve a very specific goal and solve a very specific issue.
This is why your goal is to show them what they can do and how they will benefit. You need to speak their language, highlight their specific needs and address the way they can satisfy them with your help. Not tell them what the product actually does.
Take a look at Notion. They never call themselves a productivity or a project management solution. They tell you specifically what you can do: connect teams and projects, build workflows with a drag-and-drop system, and keep every important piece of information in one place.Source: https://www.notion.so/
The Product Itself
In an oversaturated landscape, designing a highly engaging homepage for SaaS means you first need to design something different. And once you have that stand-out product, you need to show it.
In the world of SaaS, UI and UX design play a vitally important role. If your product is brilliant under the hood but exceptionally cluttered and difficult to use, you won’t be nearly as successful as with a clean, usable, easy-to-navigate design.
Demonstrating your UX and UI qualities and efforts will help your audience see additional value in your product. The simplest way to do that: show the product.
It gives you a chance to use images and videos to add another layer of information to your homepage without having to use any words. Don’t talk about the design and how clean and intuitive it is: just show it.
Lark does this very effectively. They are, after all, just another communication app. They have entered a very competitive market. They clearly understand that the best way to boost engagement and stand out is to show what the product looks like and how it works.
They have dozens of images that show the workflows, features, and capabilities of their product. It’s enough to get anyone interested in seeing more.
Balanced Product Descriptions
Speaking of showing the product, you also need to strike just the right balance between providing detailed information and over-explaining the features. As we keep saying, it’s about the user, not about the product. However, this does not at all mean that you should completely omit explaining what the product actually is and does.
Features are important, but they need to be presented through the “benefits for the user” lens. Instead of using a lot of text, use plenty of images. Don’t overwhelm your visitors with lots of complex text and jargon. Show the critical features on the homepage, and let interested users explore the rest of the website to find out more. Your task is to intrigue, not to oversell.
Let’s take a very complex product as our example. January is not a straightforward product by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a smart glucose monitor, but it’s not sold as just that. It’s explained as an app that can help you make better food and lifestyle choices.
The copywriters and designers have worked very well on this homepage together. The images of the product help you understand how it works, while the straightforward copy explains why you need to care about this product and how it can impact your life.
A Product Demo
A highly engaging homepage for SaaS products will often feature something you can only do in SaaS: a live product demo.
Think about it. There is no other industry out there that allows you to show the product in action before you buy it. Sure, you can watch the trailer for a game, for example, but it still doesn’t let you play it for yourself. Physical objects you obviously can’t touch or examine for yourself. But you can test drive a SaaS solution.
How much of the product you decide to demo will be up to you. You can unlock all the features and let users see the full scope, or you can give them a glimpse into the opportunities they will have with your product. You can, of course, test out both options and see which one gets you more conversions.
Remember that this demo is not like a demo visitors can schedule with a member of your team, nor is it a free trial. It’s a no-commitments and no-other-action-whatsoever-required demonstration. For a great example, take a look at how Majestic SEO did it.
They show you what the tool does, what the report looks like, and what kind of data you can expect when using it. You didn’t have to leave any information, and it only took a couple of seconds. If you like what you see, you can sign up for an account.
Referenceable Earned Media
In order to both boost engagement and demonstrate your expertise, you should consider some form of social proof on your homepage. Most SaaS websites go for testimonials, which we will get into in a minute. The other popular option is showcasing earned media mentions.
What most SaaS websites do is simply show the logo of the publication that has featured them. This, however, is not enough. First of all, it demonstrates no trust. No one will take time out of their day to check if you have actually been featured. And anyone can just pop a Forbes logo on their website. In fact, a lot of brands do.
Instead, give your visitors something more. Show them a quote from the article, or better yet, link to it from your homepage. This will significantly boost your credibility as well as your engagement rates.
StarryAI does precisely this. They link to their mentions in The Washington Post and Vice, to mention just the two. This helps them highlight their value and gives visitors the opportunity to check out some reputable reviews of the product.
When it comes to the social proof you choose to feature on your website, testimonials are probably one of the best options. They can help you highlight different aspects of your product, and they will naturally be more trustworthy. After all, they come directly from your customers, and not from you.
As for the format of said testimonials, video is often more engaging than text. They help make your customers more relatable, and they are also a great medium for further explaining your product and showing how it works.
You don’t have to overproduce your video testimonials, either. Authenticity is more important. Note that you do need to aim for high video quality, but you can record it with a phone. As long as the image is sharp and your customers are honest and genuine, it will work well.
Let’s take a look at a B2C example of the way a video testimonial should work. Bay Alarm Medical has three videos on their homepage, each focusing on different aspects of the product. There’s an unboxing that shows the product and two sit-down videos with people who have had experience with it. It’s a great way to boost homepage engagement.
Testimonials From Different Audience Segments
Note that one testimonial often won’t be able to highlight every aspect of your product and that you will likely need several of them to truly convey its value and benefits.
As this is the case, you ideally want to include testimonials from different audience segments, i.e., from customers who will appeal to different members of your target audience. If your solution can be used by, for example, large enterprises, small businesses, and freelancers, you should place a testimonial from each of these users on your homepage.
This will ensure your visitors know that they are your target customer. If you only display testimonials from major brands, your freelancer visitors might mistakenly believe you are not the right choice for them.
Ahrefs does this very well on their homepage. They have spoken to SEO experts, content marketers, and bloggers (among others), and they are thus able to convey the different applications their tool has for all of these various roles. They have successfully widened their appeal with this simple element.Source: https://ahrefs.com/
In order for your visitors to be more engaged, they will want to know that they can reach you easily. If they have questions you have failed to address (which is natural, as you can’t possibly write a homepage that says it all), they will want to get in touch.
By clearly highlighting your customer service hours, the different ways you can be reached, and what prospective customers can expect when they reach out, you will significantly boost your appeal. Make sure you do actually provide exceptional customer service; otherwise, words on virtual paper won’t be worth too much.
Clockify did a great job of showing their availability. Plus, they are also there for you 24/7, anywhere in the world. And they do actually mean it. Having met one of their customer service managers, I can tell you that their customer support team was online and working during their Christmas party this year.
They have also nailed it by highlighting all the different ways in which you can contact them, ensuring their visitors remain engaged and continue exploring their solution.Source: https://clockify.me/
Show Reliable Figures
This one is a bit of a double-edged sword, so you do want to be careful if you decide to use it.
In the SaaS space, which is often also a B2B space, there will be customers who want to see cold hard figures that demonstrate your value. They won’t commit unless you can prove you are worth the investment.
Displaying actual numbers on your homepage is a great way to assuage the fears of this group. However, they need to be reasonable and provable, and they can’t provide any false hope. If you claim users can achieve X, but if even a single user does not, it will come back to haunt you.
Appcues solved this issue brilliantly. They don’t provide general numbers but rather tell you what their actual customers have achieved. And since one of those customers happens to be a major name, the numbers mean so much more. If you are able to, include similar case study-based figures which speak to your expertise and the results customers can potentially achieve.
Utilize Footer Space
Finally, in order to boost the engagement of your SaaS website homepage, you want to be clever about the way you use your footer.
You may mistakenly believe that most people won’t even see it. However, a lot of your visitors will scroll down to the end of the page. They might not take most of it in, but they will want to see the entire page.
This gives you a chance to put some valuable and relevant information in your footer, where it will catch their attention. Evernote has a great one to check out. They’ve sectioned it into resources, product features, and actual products, which tell you at a glance what they can offer. Not something you see elsewhere, and a great way to funnel different audience segments to different pages.
Consider all of these homepage elements carefully before you decide to implement them. Some of them will significantly help you boost engagement on your SaaS website, while others may not quite deliver the results you are hoping for, as they are not the best fit for your particular audience segment.