How To Improve the Conversion Rate of a SaaS Landing Page
Fabio Duo | @easyusertest
October 27, 2021
Software as a service (SaaS) companies face mushrooming competition for customers. SaaS products are so convenient and so cost-effective that it’s a challenge to compete for search terms for their offerings. In addition, companies are developing new SaaS products faster than ever thanks to their innovative processes, including Agile, DevOps, continuous delivery, and continuous integration models.
For that reason, many of them have turned to search engine ads and blog posts to inform potential customers about their software. These ads and blog posts usually lead the searchers to a landing page — the goal being to drive them to conversion, be it submitting their email address for an ebook or white paper, signing up for a free trial, or even a sale.
But without a properly optimized landing page, all their efforts will be in vain. Learning how to optimize landing pages to attract and convert prospects is essential for success in this highly competitive field.
In this paper, the EasyUserTest team will discuss many of the challenges landing page designers and content creators face and propose cost-effective solutions that even start-ups and small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMEs) can leverage to convert the lion’s share of their prospects.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Providing software as a service (SaaS) is so convenient that the field has become intensely competitive. To capture the attention of their prospects, SaaS companies need a convincing landing page to drive conversions.
A simple, easy-to-understand landing page is essential to drive prospects to the next step along the sales funnel.
It’s no longer enough to have informative content on a landing page. Today’s prospects demand a dazzling user experience that seems more like fun than work to read.
Whether the goal is to download an ebook, convince prospects to start a free trial, or purchase a paid subscription, their experience must be paramount. Otherwise, they’ll click away to the company’s competitors.
Unfortunately, as Entrepreneur’s Michael Georgiu (1) points out, landing page designers often overlook on-page experience. Perhaps this phenomenon occurs because designers and content creators are too familiar with the page’s layout.
“Of course,” they say, “it makes sense to put the call-to-action at the end of the page.” But that’s not always the case. In fact, as Khalid Saleh (2) discovered, having multiple calls to action can drive up to a 20 percent increase in conversions.
That’s only one example. From navigation to where to place design elements and images, having an easy-to-use, attractive, and intuitive landing page is essential. Success comes from a seamless experience, says Georgiu, in which prospects can move from element to element, thought to thought, without even thinking about the navigation process itself.
But to do so, a landing page must first address a broad spectrum of challenges. Identifying and tackling those challenges must take top priority when looking at ways to boost a SaaS page’s conversion rate.
To improve a landing page’s conversion rate, web design and content teams must work together to overcome several common challenges. These challenges include:
Tailoring Landing Pages to Readers’ Attention Span
One of the most critical challenges landing page creators face is their readers’ attention span. The average attention span of an American adult is shrinking to 8.25 seconds (3).
At first glance, landing pages look easy to create. However, they often take longer to create than blog posts or static content.
They take longer because their sole purpose isn’t a deep dive into helpful information. It’s to convert — and they need to do so quickly. Therefore, writers and design teams need to pack a lot of meaning into short pops of information and images.
Making the Landing Page Revolve Around the Prospect
All too many SaaS teams make their landing pages about their software and its features. After all, they’re excited about their product.
However, prospects don’t see it that way. What interests them is whether the software will solve a problem they face.
So, it’s imperative that SaaS landing pages avoid highly technical jargon. Instead, they need to focus on explaining how the software’s features will help their prospects.
Landing Page Distractions
Videos, infographics, and images are necessary to reach the 65 percent (4) of the population that are visual learners. Even people who are not primarily visual learners retain 80 percent of visual information as opposed to only 20 percent of the information they read.
However, visual information can easily become a distraction if it fails to move the audience on to conversion. On-page explainer videos, for instance, are an excellent choice for landing pages, as are infographics that provide data that demonstrate the advantages of the product.
However, if clicking on the video takes the reader to a third-party site, such as YouTube or Vimeo, there’s a huge risk that the prospect will become distracted, leaving the landing page permanently to pursue clickbait videos or their favorite tunes.
Keeping readers on the landing page is essential to moving them toward a conversion. Using videos and other visuals that drive them toward a decision do just that.
Burying the Lede
Journalists know to lead a story with the most critical information. That information, called the lede, grabs readers’ attention.
For that reason, the number-one rule for journalists is “Don’t bury the lede.” That’s even more critical for landing page copy.
Here’s why. If the opening section does not provide enough information to drive a decision for busy prospects, many of them will leave the page.
For that reason, it makes sense for a landing page to have a call to action right after the opening section. Prospects who tend to make decisions quickly might not need to read more to convert, especially if the goal is to get them to sign up for an ebook, a white paper, or a free trial. Since those conversions entail no risk, why waste their time by forcing them to read to the end of the page?
Making Signup Forms Too Long and Intrusive
It’s tempting to look at landing pages as opportunities to gather a wealth of data from prospects. However, that’s likely to turn them off, especially if they’re at the top of the sales funnel.
In exchange for an ebook, white paper, or newsletter subscription, an email address should suffice. Your prospects understand the value of their email address. So, what are you giving them in return? Make sure that their reward is valuable enough for them to want to share their email address.
For free trials, ask for only the necessary information to get them started. Consider not asking them for a credit card number until they’re ready to sign up for a paid subscription.
Some landing pages look like they’ve taken a trip back in time to the 2010s. Color schemes that alternate black text with blue or red (and sometimes both), dotted with tons of exclamation points for emotional clout, can turn off today’s prospects.
They expect quality, even on a landing page. Instead of overloading the page with exclamation marks, use the text itself to give it emotional clout.
Using Stock Photos Instead of Original Visuals
While stock photos are perfectly acceptable in blog posts, prospects want to see relevant images on a landing page. Instead of the typical vanilla images of generic office scenes, use actual screenshots of the interface or photos of customers (along with short testimonials) that demonstrate the ease of use or success rate of using the software.
As Unbounce’s Luke Bailey (5) points out, SaaS landing pages’ conversion rate averages more than 10 percent less than those in other industries. One reason might be that software companies focus too much on the technology itself and not how it can change people’s lives and businesses.
It’s not rocket science — or computer science — for that matter. Software companies need to find creative teams that can transform yawn-worthy content into compelling copy.
Getting a Third-Party Perspective
Unfortunately, Bailey observes, many landing pages today don’t use customer testimonials in landing pages. That’s a big mistake. Nothing is as powerful as a customer’s word — particularly if that customer comes from the segment that the landing page is targeting.
For that reason, it’s essential to ask existing customers for reviews and for their permission to use them in marketing materials. Their authentic observations are precisely what prospects need to see to move further down the sales funnel with a conversion.
Weak Calls to Action
Too often, landing page calls to action are too bland — they don’t inspire prospects to action. Others do not specify what the prospects will get when they click through.
Difficulty for Users in Finding Critical Information
While a conversational style is a great fit for most landing pages, many landing page teams fail to guide readers to find exactly what they’re interested in. Using subheadings to identify key sections can help prospects who want to know whether the software will meet specific needs.
While there are a plethora of challenges facing landing page creators, there are at least as many solutions to those challenges. The next section of this paper will examine these solutions.
Start with a Problem the Prospect Needs to Solve
That seamless approach starts with a nagging problem the prospects need to solve, as Juan Carlos Quirino (6) points out. Revolving the design, navigation, content, and calls to action around that problem will do two things: catch their attention and keep them hooked until the end.
However, if the content fails to solve the problem, they’ll move on. Or, if the content or navigation confuses them or fails to stick to the topic, they’ll become frustrated or bored — the exact opposite of what a landing page should do.
Use a Succinct Yet Detailed Title and Subtitle
Instead of an elevator pitch, like “We help companies do X, Y, and Z,” an effective landing page title and subtitle tell precisely what the software does, who exactly it works for, and the main benefits.
A better choice would be to lose the “we” and focus on the problem. Something like “A Content Marketing Platform That Helps Small Companies Grow” for the title and “Everything you need to produce and publish content in a single place. Scales as you do, with 24/7/365 support.” for the subtitle.
Find a Way to Say More with Less
The old saying “Less is more” is never more apropos than with landing pages. Although it might take more time to whittle landing pages down to only the essential information, it’s well worth the effort.
Keeping readers’ attention spans in mind when crafting landing page content is essential for success. Framing the text in an attractive, easy-to-follow design entices readers to stay on the page until the end.
Use Language That’s Customer-Centered
Instead of featuring the software as the hero in the copy, put the prospect in the center of the action. Positioning the prospects as the “heroes” allows them to visualize success using the software to solve a problem that keeps them up at night.
Content that shows empathy with the prospects and gives them the tools to conquer their challenges is more likely to convert than copy that focuses on the product itself.
Looking at the landing page from a reader’s perspective allows content and design teams to see areas that might become distractions on the road to conversion.
Visuals or links that lead to off-page content distract readers. In the worst-case scenario, these distractions can set readers on a “rabbit trail” of sites from which they’re not likely to return. Instead, keep the text link-free — with the exception of the call-to-action button — always moving toward conversion.
Spend the Most Effort on Above-the-Fold Content
Instead of “burying the lede” and making readers wait until the end before introducing the solution, consider at least a short introduction and benefits in the section of the landing page that appears when users click on the link to it (called “the fold”) (7).
Since some prospects might already be primed for conversion upon reading the introduction, especially if it tells how the software solves the reader’s problem, it pays to include a call to action above the fold as well.
Make It Easy for Prospects to Convert
All too many SaaS companies are confused about the purpose of a landing page. It should have one purpose alone — getting the prospect to move further along the sales funnel (8).
When they try to give the landing page a dual purpose, both as a source of prospect data and conversions, they make it more difficult for prospects to convert. Data privacy is a major concern, even for B2B campaigns (9).
Instead, make the conversion form simple, especially for top-of-the-funnel prospects. A simple email address should suffice.
Once the prospect opts in to receiving emails, SaaS companies can follow up with a series of emails that provide prospects with helpful information that builds trust in the brand. At that point, prospects will be more likely to share more information about themselves or their company.
Use Top-Quality Design Elements
Just because the landing page’s main function is to drive conversions, ultimately leading to a sale, doesn’t mean that it needs to look “salesy.” Quite the opposite.
A landing page is to a SaaS company as a storefront is to a brick-and-mortar business. It should reflect the quality of the company’s products.
Imagery should be of the highest quality, as should be the font in the text. If possible, images and infographics should be original, not borrowed from generic stock sources.
Forgo overuse of punctuation (such as incorrect usage of ellipses or excessive exclamation points). Instead, let the text and imagery themselves evoke emotion.
Hook Readers with Compelling Content
Content that spells out the technical specifications and benefits of software as a service doesn’t have to bore its readers. Instead, focus the copy on what the software can and will do for its users.
Transforming yawn-worthy landing pages into binge-worthy content isn’t rocket science — or computer science — for that matter. Encouraging development teams to collaborate with more creative types, as DivvyHQ’s Danka Jankovic (10) advises, can help creative teams understand the technology behind the software. That understanding can help them translate the technology into copy that drives conversions.
Adding customer testimonials to the mix can help landing page readers insert themselves into the story, allowing them to visualize what the software can do for them and their companies.
Close the Landing Page with a Rousing Call to Action
While software companies might be on the leading edge of innovation when it comes to development and engineering, they often fall short in verbal creativity. They should consider hiring a creative agency to partner with them to write calls to action that drive conversions.
Instead, use specific, inviting language that drives action. Instead of “Contact Us” or “Get in Touch,” use something like “Start Your Free Trial Now” or Get Your Ebook Today.” They’re specific and have the element of immediacy, driving prospects to act before they leave the page.
Identify Sections That Need Improvement
Certainly, landing page content teams can go through the list of challenges above to manually check for where their pages fall short. What’s missing, however, is a comprehensive method that identifies these issues quickly before the landing page goes to publication.
Whether it’s difficulty finding sufficient information on the landing page to make a decision to convert or a negative impression of specific sections, a usability test can identify areas on the page that need improvement.
Usability testing gives landing page teams the advantage of a third-party perspective. It allows teams to see how actual readers interact with the page. Unfortunately, traditional usability testing companies charge anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 (11) for that service.
To global enterprises, that amount represents only a tiny fraction of their marketing budget. However, for start-ups and small-to-medium-sized businesses — or even larger ones without enterprise-size budgets — spending that kind of cash on a landing page is impossible.
But there is an alternative. Companies that range from start-ups to massive corporations can save money and time by using a tool like EasyUserTest (12).
Thorough Usability Testing Made Affordable
Like traditional usability testing, EasyUserTest provides SaaS companies with comprehensive results for their landing page. In fact, landing page creators will receive on-demand feedback on both their copy and design, all from real people, not AI algorithms.
Teams can set up a test in minutes and receive results in 12 to 48 hours. That way, they can revise the page to maximize its conversion rate within two days, getting a more effective landing page out more quickly, with better results.
However, this tool won’t cost up to $10,000. In fact, a company can receive valuable, detailed feedback from 10 testers for under $60 (13). With three price points, EasyUserTest gives SaaS companies of any size the ability to optimize their landing pages for their target audience.
Selecting the “Advanced” option gives SaaS landing page designers the ability to test their page’s effectiveness with 50 specially selected testers for only $129 in 2-4 days. Choosing the “Ultimate” option will provide a wealth of data from 200 users for only $399 within 4-5 days.
Considering how much value conversions can bring to a SaaS company, the return on its investment can be massive compared to traditional usability testing. Without any testing at all, though, it’s just a guessing game to discover where a landing page’s copy misses the mark.
Easy to Use, with Comprehensive Results
The “easy” in the name isn’t only a tagline. The EasyUserTest process is simple to use — for anyone. With only three easy steps, even people without usability testing experience can use it.
- Step 1: Upload a screenshot of the page or a URL. Use the expandable box to select any area on the page to test.Does your checkout procedure work intuitively, or are they likely to get stuck at a certain point?
- Step 2: Choose the participants in the test panel and pay for the test.
- Step 3: Receive the results in 12 hours to 5 days, depending on the number of test panelists.
The results will identify which elements drive conversions and which ones need some work. The testers’ insights, along with EasyUserTest’s analysis, will help tailor the page to the target audience’s needs. After receiving the results, design and content teams can use the testers’ insights to revise the landing page to optimize its conversion rate.
Stand Apart from the Rest
Many SaaS start-ups or SMEs rely only on Google Analytics to optimize their landing pages. Although Google Analytics is a free tool, it only tells a small part of the story.
Google Analytics looks at what users do on a landing page, while EasyUserTest analyzes why users behave as they do. Working in a remote format, test panels duplicate the environment that landing page users experience — a more natural way to test. Combined with its price point advantage, EasyUserTest stands above both lab-conduced usability testing and the guesswork when using only Google Analytics.
Identifying those areas where users drop off or lose interest with Google Analytics and then testing those trouble spots with EasyUserTest panels provides designers and content creators with the whole picture. Armed with that information, the landing page team can revise the content and design to optimize the conversion rate.
Easy to use, yet more efficient and less costly than traditional usability testing
- Highlight the areas to test, up to three parts of the landing page.
- Choose the test panel.
- Wait for the results.
For SaaS companies, optimizing their landing page is critical since the landing page is the first thing prospects see after they click on an ad or a call to action on a blog post.
It must be succinct, compelling, and, more importantly, it must motivate people to learn more about the software and the benefits it can provide to its customers.
Both the design and the content must perfectly align with the prospects’ needs. The information must be easy to find; the content must spell out the benefits to prospects without boring them with overly technical jargon.
Getting those aspects right used to be a matter of guesswork for web designers and content creators until usability testing arrived on the scene. However, due to traditional usability testing’s exorbitantly high cost, it isn’t often feasible for companies other than global enterprises. Even for them, usability testing can be a massive drain on their marketing budget.
With EasyUserTest, more efficient usability testing is now affordable for SaaS companies of all sizes. Within a natural, non-lab environment, companies get a more accurate picture of how prospects interact with their landing page. Armed with that information, SaaS landing page design and content teams can revise each landing page to achieve an optimum conversion rate.
It’s a transformative moment in landing page optimization.
For More Information
EasyUserTest (https://easyusertest.com) is the brainchild of innovative thinkers obsessed with delivering a stellar user experience for webpage users. Using leading-edge technology and natural, affordable usability testing, the Easy UserTest team, led by founder Fabio Duo, optimizes webpages for SaaS and other companies that range from start-ups to global enterprises. Duo, an entrepreneur with a wealth of skills that span software development, expertise in digital and other technological matters, and product development, is an expert in automating traditional business processes. Starting his career at age 18 as a major stakeholder in a startup, Duo worked with several internationally prominent brands, serving in various roles to create efficient, user-friendly digital solutions that save time and money.
During the pandemic, Duo created the Easy User Test platform to analyze landing page performance data to drive conversions through identifying gaps in the pages’ design and content and delivering the missing link. Easy to use and data-driven, EasyUserTest has transformed the world of webpage optimization. Validating our clients’ landing page text and design decisions with real users, its goal is to build better products and experiences people love. Put Easy User Test’s transformative power to work for your company today.
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For more information, please get in touch with the EasyUserTest team at email@example.com.