The Definitive Guide to Building B2B SaaS Websites
There are lots of elements to consider as you build out your B2B SaaS website. The blog outlines some of the key things to think about.
Co-Founder / CEO
September 13, 2022
There are a number of elements to consider when it comes to building a B2B SaaS site. First and foremost is being clear on the primary goal of the site: what do you want visitors to the site to do? When it comes to SaaS B2B sites, it is usually about lead generation. Secondary goals could range from educating visitors (especially relevant for ‘category creators’), through to hiring.
The following represent some key elements to think about as you build out your B2B SaaS website.
1- Pick Your Content Management System (CMS)
When it comes to B2B SaaS Sites, there is no standard CMS used as the dominant platform (here at Contento we believe there should be, which is why we built one!).
When choosing a CMS, factors to assess include:
Speed: Websites need to be fast (speed is an increasingly important element for SEO and usability)
Easy to Use: The marketing team need to be easily able to use it and to add pages
Cost: Depending on your budget your options will vary. Template based all-in-one solutions such as Squarespace or Wix can work well for new startups, whereas scale ups are more likely to consider more sophisticated options like Headless CMS. [What is a Headless CMS?]
Security: Ensuring your CMS has strong security credentials will help give visitors confidence.
Site size: Smaller startups may be content with a small brochureware site, whereas Scale-ups will often require a steady stream of content to fuel inbound marketing.
SEO: Ideally your CMS facilitates Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to help build visitor numbers to the site.
The following resource will help if you are undertaking a B2B SaaS Migration.
2- Design Your Top Level Navigation
There are a number of key pages for most B2B SaaS sites. Again the number of pages expands depending on where the company is on its journey.
Homepage - main page, bulk of traffic - long form needed. Primary and secondary Call to Actions (CTA’s) are needed.
Top Level Navigation - signposts the main secondary pages
Linked pages - pages that are linked from other pages
Not Linked - orphan pages (need to avoid this ideally)
Dedicated Landing Pages - for Google Ads for example (see hidden pages below)
Long form blog page [1500 words thought leadership]
Hidden pages (no index no follow) often used as duplicates for A/B testing and for paid acquisition
3- Install Google Tag Manager
Websites should run Google Tag Manager (or equivalent) to house 3rd party code.
4- Add Google Analytics (GA4)
The new GA4 is replacing Universal Analytics in 2023 and again should be installed as part of a new site. The tags can be housed within Tag Manager and it is recommended that both GA4 and Universal Analytics (standard) are run in parallel until Universal Analytics is phased out. Ensure to set up Goals within your analytics aligned with the primary goals of the site (and your CTA’s).
5- Add Google Search Console (GSC)
It is important to run GSC and to index the site on a regular basis. Search Console can help you assess which keywords (and pages) are bringing traffic to your site and to help you identify problems with the site that need to be remedied.
6- Add a Hello Bar (Announcement Bar)
Adding an Announcement bar is a simple strip deployed across the top of sites - which is easily editable. The bar appears on all pages and sits above the Top Level Navigation. Its primary function is to highlight key content so as to funnel more traffic to high value content.
7- Prioritise Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
It is important to have a list of 10-20 keywords that you are focused on creating content for as part of your content strategy.
Ensure you have a dedicated page for each keyword (blogs are best)
Optimise on page SEO - URL, H1, Meta Title and Meta Description
Add Internal links to all content using the keyword / dedicated page combination
Index via Search Console
There is more to SEO than just the above and “off site” activity is also important, however getting the above basics right will give you a good start.
8- Set Your CRM up for Success
Most B2B sites are looking to capture data - primarily name, email and phone in return for providing value (access to resources like white papers). This data is captured in forms and needs to be pushed into a CRM where action can be taken.
Download WhitePaper (Email a copy and send drip emails)
Request Demo (Get in touch to arrange a convenient time to speak)
Depending on the Average Contract Value (ACV) you may want reps enriching the data also (using data from Linkedin and other sites to add additional data to the data captured via the site forms).
9- Layer in Classical UI/UX Elements
Alongside the clean lines of a well designed site the following elements are increasingly common:
Mild Animation i.e. elements fading in on scroll- see animation on images here
Sticky header that disappears on scrolling and reappears when you scroll back up
Hide navigation while scrolling down (to avoid content blocking)
When visitors scrolls up, show navigation again (indicates user intent to navigate)
Change primary action button colour
Up close product shots of SaaS applications to showcase the UI/UX (not illustrations)
Strong Hero Shot + Messaging + CTA + social proof (Above the fold) See here
Mega Menus are also popular nowadays (see below)
10- Leverage Messaging Experts
Most B2B SaaS scaleups bring dedicated copywriters in to aid with copywriting (particularly for more technical solutions). Early stage SaaS companies may lack budget and view this as lacking sufficient RoI but there are a number of Freelance contractors that offer entry level options that should be considered (even if it is to focus on copywriting for the home page alone). The following are a couple of examples of dedicated B2B SaaS copywriters.
11- Optimise Call to Actions (CTA’s)
The primary goal of most B2B SaaS sites is to generate leads - funnelling as many site visitors into a sales process. Messaging is designed to align on the need to ensure that those entering the process are informed and are thus in play. The “route in” is via Call to Actions (CTA’s) or form fills as well as via Chat Bots (best used on high traffic sites).
Primary CTA’s tend to be:
Secondary CTA’s tend to be:
[Download White Paper]
Once the form submits a cadence of emails follows for secondary CTA’s whereas primary CTA’s should get immediate follow ups.
12- Layer on Social Proof
Using independent validation is hugely important for SaaS companies and the below represent the key areas that are covered on B2B SaaS sites.
G2 / Capterra
13- Add Content Regularly
Category leaders invest heavily in content early on with long form blog posts (1500+ words) optimised for SEO that showcase expertise and educate the target personas. As companies grow, white papers (gated content) accompanied by drip emails grow in importance. This tends to be followed by webinars, podcasts, PR and videos. Part of the education piece relates to ensuring you are positioning clearly compared to legacy solutions.
14- Add a Cookie Popup/ Banner
Cookie banners need to be added - ideally a pretty unobtrusive popup at the end of the home page.
15- Create Dedicated Landing Pages
Dedicated landing pages are common for Google Ads where you create long form pages optimised for certain keyword categories. One initial landing page is created and multiple versions of it are then spun up for different Google Ads campaigns.
Content and images can be tweaked to align with the keyword being targeted (either dynamically or via multiple versions). You can also flag duplicate pages as no index no follow so Google knows not to crawl them.
16- Layer on Additional MarTech
The following are tools often used by B2B SaaS companies as they scale (again you’ll need to align with your ACV, your marketing budget, team size and Total Addressable Market (TAM) before deciding which ones to consider):
17- Drive Traffic to the Site
Once the site is ready the aim is to attract visitors with the following representing key routes to do so. Bear in mind for most B2B SaaS sites traffic volumes are pretty low (especially when filters are applied i.e. removing bot traffic, customers returning to sign-in, traffic from India etc).
Organic (long form educative content) - playing the long game
Paid Acquisition (Google and Linkedin primarily)
Word of Mouth Virality (smaller numbers)
Other - mixed including PR, directory listings, referrals etc
There are lots of elements to consider as you build out your B2B SaaS website. The above represents a checklist of some key things to think about.
Alan Gleeson is the CEO and Co-Founder of Contento, a B2B SaaS content platform that helps B2B SaaS companies scale via a best-of-breed website.