2022 Website Trends: Innovation with Victoria Rudi
In this interview, we discuss:
- Why small companies have more innovative websites
- How thought leadership can set your SaaS company apart
- How Webflow can improve the look and feel of your website
To start, give a high-level introduction of your background
I am a SaaS fanatic, so your introduction was perfect!
What are some gold standard websites that you just love right now?
If you’d asked me one year ago, I’d have pointed to bigger sites, like Miro. But now, I’m becoming more and more interested in smaller businesses. Micro SaaS and Indie Hacker companies are making some great websites.
And when you look at big SaaS company websites, they all start to look the same. If you want to search for innovation and want inspiration for new experiments and other new things, you have to look at the small players.
Website #1: Tally
One of my favorite websites is Tally, a no-code form builder.
Even if you aren’t an ideal customer, there is so much to explore on the Tally site. They have slack and reddit communities you can join, and you can see what it is like to use the product right from the homepage.
Beyond that, site visitors can generate a form without even creating an account. They don’t ask for your contact information until you publish the form — that’s how they hook you in.
Tally’s website aesthetic is nice too. It’s very neat, it’s very white, and it’s very clear what the company is offering. The product is the hero on the Tally site, and that’s so important. In my opinion, people need to see the product and understand what it does.
Explore an interactive demo of Tally:
See why Victoria choose Tally as one of her gold standard websites.
Website #2: Veed
Another website I like is Veed, an online video editor. You can immediately upload your video and start editing. If you don’t have a video to work with, they provide a sample.
Veed’s website also has over 170 landing pages dedicated to every single feature. For example, they have a landing page for how to translate Hindi speech to English text. These pages are useful to their audience – you can tell they are executed very thoughtfully and purposefully.
This strategy, called “programmatic SEO,” helps your Google page rankings.
What are top trends you’re seeing for websites this year?
Companies have stopped following trends as much. More and more are leveraging their websites for growth experiments, and they aren’t only trying to attract leads. Mostly, they aim to position themselves as thought leaders – a critical growth strategy.
I checked the MarTech map recently, and saw that there were only a few hundred companies in 2011. Now, there are nearly 10,000. This same explosion of growth is happening across other industries as well and thought leadership is a key way to differentiate your product.
But getting to that level of awareness is tough – you can’t just copy what everyone else is doing. You have to be willing to try new things and test extensively.
What is a trend you’re ready to see end this year for websites?
I really hope corporate B2B companies start making their messaging clearer.
We forget that much of business is human, and B2B buyers expect the same frictionless, easy experience as the typical interactions they have with a B2C company. Super gated websites that require an email address just to access a blog post are frustrating and ultimately make users want to explore alternatives.
So I hope this trend will fade and B2B SaaS companies will start providing a B2C-like experience on their website.
What are some of your favorite tools right now for website design or optimization?
I have two favorite tools. One is Webflow. I built my website using Webflow. Although it has a steep learning curve, you can buy a course or go through their university courses. The freedom Webflow offers you is unparalleled, making the pre-work worth it.
Once you’ve learned the basics, you’ll feel like the queen of the world, able to design your website however you want it to look.
The second tool I want to shout out is Fathom Analytics. This platform was built by Paul Jarvis, the author of the book Company of One. He argues that companies shouldn’t be a hustle. Companies should automate as much as possible and run on its own.
So in that vein, he created his own version of Google Analytics. Fathom offers a different way of tracking visitors while remaining GDPR compliant — overcoming a crucial challenge for marketers everywhere. I am a Fathom Analytics customer and a big fan.
Tell us more about SaaS Minds
I spend most of my time observing what the best SaaS companies are doing and reverse engineering their growth practices. When I spot obvious trends, I write out the framework so that other SaaS founders can learn.
I publish these articles almost daily because I find that the most successful SaaS professionals have an appetite for this content. The problem is that they don’t have the opportunity to do as much in-depth research as I do. So I basically function as a private researcher for them.