Has the time come for your business to redesign its website, yet you feel like something is missing from the process?
The digital world seems to change at lightening speed. No matter how much time, energy or money you pour into your website, you’re never officially done. Two or three years down the road, you know you’ll be right back in the same place doing it all over again.
Plus even with all of those updates and redesigns, your ROI is short-lived at best and in some areas, non-existent. There may be traffic (and if there is, consider your business lucky), but hardly anyone buys or seeks additional information. Your website just doesn’t seem to be enhancing your marketing and lead generation strategies.
You know that your web presence is under-performing, but you don’t know what analytics to measure in order to make the necessary improvements, nor do you have the technical skills to implement them.
All of this leaves you wondering, “there’s got to be a better way!”
There is a better way, and it’s called inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is a form of business promotion that puts your customers’ needs and opportunities front and center in your content creation and web design decisions. While you may still highlight the strengths and qualities of your products or services, the goal with inbound marketing is to educate potential buyers instead of selling to them, to nurture a relationship before closing a sale.
There is a growing body of research to support the idea that this is what your customers want. Here are a few interesting statistics:
- 88% of consumers will research a product online before making a purchase
- 57% of the purchase decision is complete before a customer even calls a supplier.
- Over two-thirds of consumers report that trust in a brand has a great deal (31%) or a lot (37%) of influence on their purchasing decision.
- Companies that focus on their lead nurturing generate 50% more purchase-ready leads and spend about 33% less per qualified lead. Purchases from nurtured leads are also 47% bigger than those made by non-nurtured leads.
- Companies with successful lead nurturing programs experienced a 20% increase in sales opportunities and saw big improvements to the sales conversion process.
The the main vehicle for powering this lead nurturing, educational experience is your website.
With inbound marketing, businesses need to completely rethink their online presence. The websites that produce the best sales conversions today are not static entities choc full of immutable information about your products or services. They are dynamic experiences that can adapt to user behavior and offer customized content to visitors.
Today’s business websites are also connected to data driven systems that work to attract potential buyers, develop a robust sales pipeline and ultimately convert your visitors into paying customers. These websites are designed with both the needs of your targeted audiences and the commercial goals of your business and in mind.
4 Steps to Inbound Marketing Website Redesign
According to Hubspot, an inbound marketing approach is a dynamic process that basically follows 4 steps:
- Step 1: Determine your inbound strategy
- Step 2: Create a marketing funnel to guide visitors down the buyer’s journey
- Step 3: Develop your website around the different points of the buyer’s journey
- Step 4: Regularly monitor performance with an in-house or hired team, and make necessary changes
Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps:
Step 1: Determine your inbound strategy.
Inbound marketing means creating various forms of content, including articles, eBooks, guides, white papers and studies, as well as videos, podcasts, images, and webinars. The ultimate goal of all this content is to attract, educate, and delight potential customers and eventually turn those potential customers into paying ones.
Different kinds or tracts of content are developed in order to reach potential customers at the point where they are in the buyer’s journey and lead them down a customized marketing funnel that will eventually convert to a sale.
The buyer’s journey as defined by Hubspot, is the process of investigation and searching an individual or business team goes through before eventually purchasing a product or service. This experience can be divided into three stages:
- Awareness: Buyers have become aware of problem or difficulty, and they are researching potential causes by searching the internet, social media, and online forums in order to identify and understand it.
- Consideration: Buyers have now figured out what the problem is, and they begin researching available approaches or methods, such as your products or services, to solving their problem, and they actively seek to understand these solutions better.
- Decision: Buyers are more fully convinced that a particular solution will solve their problem, and they are now researching the various suppliers of that solution. At this stage, buyers will consult various sources of information, reviews, and endorsements to make an informed final decision. In other words, they are now deciding where, when, and how to make their purchase.
Your inbound marketing content strategy should try to meet potential customers at the various stages of the buyer’s journey and should thus be the guiding force for your website design, including its setup and user pathways. Without having such a strategy in mind at the beginning, your business will likely struggle to generate leads and drive sales through your website.
Step 2: Create a marketing funnel to guide visitors down the buyer’s journey.
Each piece of content and page of your website corresponds to a specific stage along the buyer’s journey. Once potential customers visit the content in your inbound marketing plan, they are directed to various areas of your website. There they are led through paths that are determined by their personal actions and level of engagement.
A visit should thus be viewed as the first, personalized step on a journey towards a sales conversion. As you go through the possible journeys a visitor could take, each action should be clearly defined and form a logical progression.
In order to help guide visitors along the buyer’s journey, and to turn them into qualified leads, your website will need to be equipped with various conversion elements, such as calls-to-action and landing pages.
This brings us to the third step…
Step 3: Develop a website that supports your inbound strategies and engages visitors.
By this point, you know that your website sits at the center of your inbound marketing and sales strategies. Instead of being a series of static pages, it is a complete, self-sustaining and personalized lead generation system.
For this reason, a redesign of your business’ website is more than just updating the template and giving it a more modern look and feel. You need to create experiences that will help visitors solve their pain points and will ultimately guide them to your products or services.
Here are several things to keep in mind:
- Your website’s layout should be clean, logical, and easy to navigate. According to one study, 75% of potential customers report that they judge a business’ credibility based on the design of their website alone.
- Website performance is also an important factor to consider. This means, fast loading times, a clean, responsive design that shows up neatly on a range of desktop and mobile devices devoid of coding errors. It also means your website is hosted on the platform that can grow and evolve with your business and your inbound marketing strategies.
- Pages and blog content should also be optimized for search engines in order to attract new visitors.
- Data capture and analytics capabilities should be built into your website so you’ll have an idea of where people fall in your sales cycle. Measurable actions include, pages visited and time on page, any forms that were filled in, and any offers that were downloaded. This will help you to provide further material that meets visitors where they are in the buyer’s journey.
Step 4: Regularly monitor performance.
Typically, businesses go into their website redesign without much strategy behind them, and they willingly inject money into the process without much promise of an ROI. To make matters worse, in between these website redesigns, the platform isn’t growing and improving.
With consistent monitoring and data analysis, this result is avoided. Instead, changes to customer behavior and other patterns are recognized early on so adjustments and tweaks can instantly be made to both the content and the website. You can also either prove or disprove the effectiveness of these changes.
In place of those yearly or bi-yearly redesigning initiatives, you or someone hired by you, will be watching the activity on your website every few weeks. You’ll set realistic, measurable, time-bound goals, like increasing the number of qualified leads or sales, reaching a certain number of webinar attendees, or getting social mentions on a particular piece of content.
As new data is generated and analyzed, you will automatically return to step 1 of your inbound marketing strategy in order to improve it. In the end, you help to ensure that your website, the hub of your marketing and sales activities, is always putting its best face forward.
In short, many businesses today still make the costly mistake of treating their websites like a static print advertisement, and they fail to recognize why it does not convert in the way they want it to.
The reality is that we now live in a dynamic, fast-paced world, and your customers are expecting you to be with them in all of this transformation. By following an inbound marketing strategy and designing a website to support it, you can truly meet your potential customers where they are, and not only provide them with a helping hand, but offer them the very solutions they’ve been searching for.