Here’s Everything You Need to Know About What Great Inbound Marketing Websites are Made of
Is your website giving you a headache every time you look at it? If your website has turned into a problem that feels like it’s too big to solve, don’t close your browser and pretend it doesn’t exist! Whether you need a few tweaks or a major overhaul, a website redesign can breathe new life into your online presence.
If people are finding you online at all, your website is the first impression you’re going to make on potential customers and early stage leads. No one wants their site to be infamous like the guy at networking events who wears bad suits, but how do you recognize if your site has reached the point of no return?
For starters, let’s avoid the sales rack. Invest some time and maybe a little money into figuring out what you can do better. (Reading this blog is an excellent starting point, keep going!)
You might already know you need help if you’re prepared to throw your computer through a wall the next time someone from the sales team tells you they want the site to bring them more leads. (You’re trying, Karen.)
Everyone wants their site to drive more leads. But you know as well as we do, it’s easier said than done. It helps to have a strategy backing you up. We’d like to suggest the inbound marketing route. Why? Well if you really want to put Karen from sales in her place, inbound marketing is going to help you do it. The whole basis of an inbound marketing website redesign is to turn your site into a platform that reels in organic leads through content that answers the questions your audience is asking.
Okay, yes, we saw that internal cringe. But content is important! Trust us: 47 percent of B2B buyers are doing more content research before they buy in 2017, so it’s key that you have engaging and industry relevant content on your site so people start paying attention.
47 percent of B2B buyers are doing more content research before they buy in 2017
So how do you approach an inbound marketing redesign for your website? Each of the steps we’re going to talk about are essential factors to having your website really pull its own weight for your business. When they’re all combined each of the steps can turn your site into a powerful marketing force for your business.
Go grab a snack, and let’s get started! Here’s a list of everything we’re going to dive into, and feel free to jump ahead if one of these catches your eye:
- If You Ain’t First You’re Last — Even on the Web
- Let’s Get This Blog Train Rolling
- Stick Those Horses’ Noses in the Water With Clear CTAs
- Social Media is Here to Stay #getwithit
- “Mobilegeddon” Came and Went, Where Were You?
- Karen Needs Leads, SEO Helps You Find Them
- Make Your Website a Safe Place to Learn and Convert
If You Ain’t First You’re Last — Even on the Web
Ricky Bobby said it best, and it holds true for websites. The faster the pages on your site load, the better your site is going to be ranked on Google.
Everyone hates waiting, but this impatience is amplified on the web to the point that you have mere seconds before you start losing your audience. Your website performance is hinged on how fast your site is. If your site is lagging, people are going to leave before your site even shows up on screen. Consider this your first red flag that a website redesign might be necessary.
Think about the last time you met someone, the first thing you noticed — whether it was the horrible suit they were wearing or their handshake — it set the tone for the rest of your interaction. How people experience your site is everything. This also goes for how often people land on your 404 page. Make sure you’re using 301 redirects whenever you make updates so that every link goes where it’s supposed to.
Struggling with your site speed? Websites are slow because there’s too much on your pages or your site overall to pull up quickly. Images, videos and graphic elements can be really heavy because their file sizes tend to be a lot larger than most of the things on your website, but that doesn’t mean don’t use them! When you have bigger files, cache them so that browsers only have to download them once instead of every time someone visits that page.
Let’s Get This Blog Train Rolling
Get all your comments on how much you hate writing out now, because if you want to build an inbound marketing site you have to have a content strategy. Yes, this applies to the pages on your site, but it also means you need to start maintaining a consistent blog. 53 percent of marketers say that blogging is a top priority, so it’s time you jumped on the bandwagon.
53 PERCENT OF MARKETERS SAY THAT BLOGGING IS A TOP PRIORITY
But wait! No one in your industry blogs — why should you? Glad you asked. Here’s three really great reasons why:
- Competitive Advantage – This one is obvious, but if you’re creating organic content that is engaging, answers your audience’s questions and has a solid keyword behind it, you’re not only going to show up higher in search, but you’re going to look like a thought leader over everyone else.
- Leads for Karen – Well-written blogs don’t just include engaging content, they include links to other pages and CTA’s that drive people to your contact form or additional assets, i.e. they have a purpose. If you can get your readers to follow through you’ll start collecting valuable leads.
- Get Found Online – All of your blogs should be written with a specific keyword in mind, and that keyword should be based on research that this topic is what your audience is looking for. Your blog will become the answer to the question, and your brand will be put in front of more people.
Notice we keep mentioning “engaging” content? That’s not a pun. You don’t have to be the next Stephen King to write a good blog, you just have to talk on the same level as your audience — and don’t be afraid to have fun!
Stick Those Horses’ Noses in the Water With Clear CTAs
When you write content, like we mentioned before, it needs to have a purpose. When someone lands on a page on your site what do you want them to do? This needs to be clear so that people don’t miss it, and so they know what they’re doing and why. The best way to do that is with a CTA, learn more here.
Calls-to-action (CTAs) are your best friend. Use these to inspire your readers to act with a clever message both within your text (see above link) and as a custom designed call-out so that you’re covering all your bases. Phone your favorite designer to pair a catchy message with something that will grab people’s attention, make them want to click and make it clear what they’re getting. For example, if it’s a downloadable asset, saying “fill out this form!” and making it bright blue isn’t enough. Your message should still be short, but it needs to say something like “stuck with this issue? Learn more with our awesome asset! Get your download now!” and work with your site’s colors. For our visual learners, here’s one we made just for this blog:
Social Media is Here to Stay #getwithit
If you want to expand your online presence, you have to start making noise on some form of social media. If you’re just starting out, it’s going to feel awkward at first, but people will start to take notice over time so hang in there.
Are your accounts outdated and full of posts from six months ago? Big mistake. In today’s world it’s so easy for people to jump to the conclusion that your business doesn’t exist anymore if you’ve been radio silent for more than a few months. Start building a strategy to share all that great content you’re going to create, run ads, use hashtags and tag, follow and like people within your industry. Not sure where to start? Facebook remains the most popular network, with 8 in 10 Americans having an account.
8 IN 10 AMERICANS HAVE AN ACCOUNT ON FACEBOOK
“Mobilegeddon” Came and Went, Where Were You?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock cradling your Motorola Razr, you probably have a smartphone. And if you thought you were cool because your business has social media, try this one. Your site needs to be optimized for mobile. There’s no exceptions for this one — you have to have a mobile site. (You can keep the Razr though, we won’t judge.)
Google released its “Mobilegeddon” update in 2015, which changed its algorithm to push sites that were optimized for mobile higher than those that weren’t. Remember when we mentioned user experience? That’s Google’s game. People are using their phones to search more than ever, and if your site is clunky to use on a phone screen, you’re going to lose visitors, plain and simple.
Karen Needs Leads, SEO Helps You Find Them
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is going to help Karen leave you alone once and for all. Without an SEO strategy, how are people finding your site? There are leads out there looking for you, but if they don’t know where to find you, they’re going to find someone else.
What you need in your website redesign are keywords, and a strategy to go with them. Keywords are terms that people are typing into search for something, and if your page is optimized around the right ones, your brand will come up as a result. The higher your page is ranked, the better results you’ll see.
There’s a saying that “the best place to hide a dead body is the second page of Google,” because barely anyone makes it to the second page of search results. 95 percent of people are going to click a result on the first page, leaving the remaining five to be spread out to page two and beyond.
95 PERCENT OF PEOPLE ARE GOING TO CLICK A RESULT ON THE FIRST PAGE
There’s still a bit of work to do. In order to find the right keywords, you have to understand your audience. Do some research to find out what questions people are asking. (Ask Karen, the sales department knows what your audience wants, seriously.) Use your research to determine topics that you can provide the answer to through content, and then find keywords around those topics. You can learn more about how to optimize fully here.
For the pages on your redesigned site, use keywords that are specific to your product or service, or the areas you serve. People are going to find these pages because they’re already searching for what you offer, or a business like yours in your area — rather than looking for answers, so you want to make sure you’re targeting those spaces too.
Make Your Website a Safe Place to Learn and Convert
Last but definitely not least, let’s make sure everything you’ve built is well-protected! Your site should have an active SSL license to show your visitors that your site is protected and their information is safe. Google isn’t punishing sites without these yet, but it could be on the horizon, (we’re looking at you, “Mobilegeddon”) so go ahead and put yourself ahead of your competition and throw a green lock on your site.
Now that you’ve read through this, use these points as standards to check your own site against! Your website is one of the biggest marketing tools that your business has, and you need to use it to your advantage. You’ll be able to to figure out if a website redesign is a good idea for your business if you’re missing a few of these. If you want to learn more about these steps to a better website, check out our eBook, Your Website Sucks! 7 Steps to a Better Website to keep learning about everything we talked about, and start working your way towards a top-notch inbound marketing website.
Disclaimer: While we can all relate to Karen, who needs leads, she is completely fictional. No Karens were harmed in the making of this blog.