So you have decided that you want to build your website in HubSpot - great!
As the old adage goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Building a website without a plan is like constructing something without a blueprint or manual. A good engineer will always consult the blueprint to ensure everything goes accordingly.
And the same goes for your website.
You might think you know what needs to be done, in the correct order, but without a clear website plan, the chances you are missing crucial aspects of the website build! It isn’t until the end of the project that your mistakes may become apparent; features are missing, web pages are not optimised, and your website does not function as you had hoped it would.
HubSpot might be straightforward - yes - but that does not mean you do not need to plan every step of your website build.
Start with a plan
The importance of planning cannot be understated. As the most powerful and effective component in your business’ lead generation engine, it is absolutely imperative that you plan your website build. Planning your website well in advance will not only ensure you have clear direction and avoid backtracking, but also save you time and money overall. But what does a plan look like? We like to use Gantt chart planners, as well as task management software to ensure everything is covered.
What are your goals?
What is the purpose of your website? Do you want more exposure? Do you want to generate more leads? Do you want to sell more products and services?
It’s important to specify the purpose of your website. After all, if you have no specific goals in mind then why are you creating a website in the first place?
In order for your website to succeed, you must develop and agree measurable and achievable goals between marketing and sales.
By ensuring that both marketing and sales are working towards the same goals and have a clear understanding of the new marketing and sales processes, you can streamline and optimise your marketing – resulting in a far more efficient, aligned and effective lead generation process.
As you continue your marketing and sales activity, these goals should be re-evaluated every month to identify progress, opportunities and room for improvement. The idea is that both marketing and sales communicate frequently to assess their performance and to ensure that each department has complete visibility of activities.
Agree on metrics to track performance
You may have already agreed on the key performance indicators relevant to your business, but in the event you have not, KPIs provide you with the means to measure the success of your marketing or sales activity in regards to a particular activity.
For example, you could be focusing on one of these metrics:
- Website views
- Blog views
- Social network engagement
- Direct traffic, organic traffic and activity
- Email engagement
- Leads generated
- Click throughs, conversions, conversion rates
- Social media follows
- Content shares
Of course, there are other metrics you can track, some of which may be unique to your business or industry, but the most important thing is to have this discussion sooner rather than later, and clarify your KPIs with everyone in the business.
Who is involved in the HubSpot website design process?
Assign responsibilities so everyone is aware of what they need to do. Keeping people accountable will not only put pressure on them to deliver, but also allow you to see what is where and how much progress someone has made with a specific deliverable. Ensure everyone in the business involved; transparent communication will ensure everyone is on the same page.
Identify your target audience
Have you identified your target audience? Every part of your website needs to be constructed with your buyer personas and their pain points in mind. If you have not gone through the process of constructing buyer personas already, we would urge you to do so. If you are unsure of where to begin, this blog will help. Your buyer personas can be created directly in HubSpot so you have a constant reminder of who you are targeting.
Structure your website
What will the website include? What services will be offered? What will the navigation be like? If you are re-building a version of the current website, depending on how many pages you have - it may considerable time, effort and resource to re-build the complete site.
Instead, try and understand which current pages are your most valuable - the pages which are actively driving traffic and conversions.
These are your high value pages (HVPs) - and we recommend launching with those.
This website is essentially an MVP website - the most strategically effective website that you can launch within the shortest possible period of time.
Over time, you agree to add pages to your MVP website incrementally on a month-by-month basis. You then use HubSpot’s analytics to assess the performance of your existing pages to determine what pages you should add next.
Furthermore, in regards to your website’s navigation, people who visit your website will want to instantly know what your business is about and where they can go to learn more about your products, services and how to get in touch. If your website is difficult to navigate, your website visitors will get frustrated and simply leave. They do not have time to dig through pages and pages of information to find what they need.
Think about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
What’s the point in having a website if your potential prospects cannot find it and search engines cannot understand it? In order to drive visitors to your new website and rank high on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) you will need to optimise it for search.
Target specific, long-tail keywords with search volume – before you select your templates, build out your web pages and add your content, you need to ensure you have done your keyword research and identified long-tail keyword terms with search volume and relevance to your business’ products and services. You should have a library of long-tail keyword phrases (essentially three or four word phrases), specific to your products and services, which you can use to optimise your content and web pages. By using these terms, you will be able to generate a stream of quality, targeted traffic to your website.
Choose the right URL (domain name) – this is the address that visitors will type in to find you website. The ideal domain name will include your business name
Think about your content strategy
The content you include on your web pages will depend on your buyer personas and their pain points. Your website - in an ideal world - should serve as a hub of high-quality, prospect-orientated information. Your target audience should be able to rely on your website for information that helps them to solve their business problems. If you have done your buyer persona work, you will have a good idea of the pain points your audience have and the kind of content you can create to help them alleviate their problems.
Further to this, you want to create content at different stages of the buyer’s journey. You want awareness stage content, consideration stage content, and decision stage content. If you have content at every stage of the sales funnel, you will be able to slowly nurture your website visitors through to a point of sale.
Choose a template or create your own
With HubSpot’s web hosting, you have complete control of your website. You can create new page layouts from scratch using the simple drag-and-drop template builder or choose from thousands of customisable templates on the HubSpot marketplace.
These templates can be easily modified with the page editor, so you can add copy, CTAs, forms and much more. Think about the kind of template(s) your business needs and take a look at the HubSpot marketplace.
Add your content
HubSpot’s content management system makes it easy to create blogs, website pages, landing pages and emails. You do not need to be a web designer to use the tools and you can easily customise and modify your web templates.
Agree on your lead stage definitions
Lead generation is important, yes, but if your marketing team and sales team have different ideas on what constitutes a ‘good’ lead, there will undoubtedly be problems when it comes to closing deals.
With this in mind, you need to have a clear qualification process for leads and a series of lead stage definitions to ensure your marketing and sales resource is utilised correctly. Leads passed on to sales via marketing must undergo a basic level of qualification to ensure they are actually interested in what the business has to sell!
Following this, lead stage definitions must be used to help marketing and sales understand where leads are in the sales cycle, whether they are first time visitors, subscribers, leads, marketing qualified leads, sales qualified leads, opportunities or customers.
Sort out your lead capture functionality
By now, your web pages should be built out and on the staging domain. At this point, you need to integrate HubSpot’s lead capture functionality into your website.
With your website built in HubSpot, a tracking code will automatically be installed on all of your HubSpot-hosted pages, allowing you to capture information and track website activity within HubSpot. You can also integrate Google Analytics with your HubSpot Marketing account.
Next, to capture leads through HubSpot, you need to create landing pages and incorporate forms into them.
Landing pages are HubSpot-hosted pages that describe and provide a particular content offer such as an eBook or whitepaper in return for contact information. Your landing pages need to have a form embedded into them so visitors can enter their details.
Forms allow you to collect information about your visitors - operating in conjunction with your HubSpot landing pages.
Thirdly, you need to agree on the capture rules and the fields that your pages will be using, this is effectively the information you will be asking visitors for and recording in your HubSpot CRM.
Lastly, in order to get visitors to visit your landing pages, you use calls-to-action (CTAs) across your website, downloadable assets and blog posts.
Test your website
As soon as your website is ready, you will want to test it so that it works across the different web browsers available and functions as intended. To test your website you would normally have to put it live, but with HubSpot’s content staging area you have a development environment where you can build out your website, test it and then publish it with a click of a button.
Integrate your CRM
HubSpot has several options for integrating various CRMs. A list of in-house and third-party integrations can be found here. HubSpot offers native integration with Salesforce and Zapier.
Want to use HubSpot's CRM? Go ahead - it's free and easily useable within your HubSpot platform. It's incredibly easy to use & navigate, and it means that all of your sales and marketing information is kept in one place.
Having addressed all the above steps, your website should have all the necessary functions in place to help you generate leads and sales opportunities. Of course, it's important to remember that your website is constantly growing and improving - just because you have laid the foundations it doesn't mean that you should not improve them. With your website in HubSpot, you have access to analytics that will help you to understand the performance of each individual web page and how they contribute to your wider marketing and sales activity. Use that information. Refine your website.
If, however, you require support to improve and enhance your website, why not get in touch with our HubSpot website specialists and see how they can help.