Getting Started with HubSpot Series: Sales Enablement

Getting Started with HubSpot Series: Sales Enablement

Our Getting Started with HubSpot Series is written to help you understand what to expect when you sign on with a HubSpot Partner Agency. Over the next few months, we’ll work to cover everything from HubSpot onboarding to sales enablement and marketing and sales alignment. If you like these posts, and there’s a certain topic you’d like us to talk about, just let us know!

In the sales and marketing world, the term “sales enablement” is one that’s getting thrown around a lot lately. Sales Enablement is the process of empowering your sales team to sell better. When you enter into a sales enablement service with a HubSpot partner, they give your sales team the tools, technology, training, and content they need to nurture and close deals with the best prospects, faster. 

Typically, the sales enablement process happens after your HubSpot Onboarding session. If your company is already using HubSpot, you can jump right into a sales enablement training service. 

Either way, most sales enablement training services happen in an ongoing way. Many HubSpot Partner Agencies offer intensive training sessions, too, to jumpstart your company to sales success, but we’ll get to that in another blog in this series. 

Today, we’re talking about what you can expect from an ongoing sales enablement training service. 

What Does Sales Enablement Training Look Like?

Like we mentioned in our last installment of the Getting Started With HubSpot Series, every agency works a little differently. The process we’re about to describe is specific to us, and while most agencies will have some similar offerings, you’ll want to speak with any prospective agency directly before you sign on for a sales enablement training service, to make sure they’re a good fit for you. With that said, here’s a deep dive into our sales enablement training process:

 

Kickoff Call

Brooke Geis Hubspot Trainer

Meet Brooke, our HubSpot Project Manager! She’s our Sales Enablement expert, and we’re relying on her expertise to inform this post.

All of our services start with a kickoff call. It’s important to understand exactly where you are before we start any training. We want to make sure that every aspect of our training sessions are geared specifically to your company and your unique sales team. So, our HubSpot Project Manager, Brooke, will start by giving you a call. 

On the kickoff call, Brooke is looking to see where your sales process is at. Maybe your sales team is all on the same page, or maybe they each have a unique process that works for them. Wherever you’re at is great. This call just gives us an idea of where you are, so we can better tailor our training session to you. 

After the kickoff call, we get to work. 

What does that look like?

 

Weekly Meetings

When you’re first getting started with the Sales Enablement process, Brooke will meet with your team for weekly training sessions. She’ll explain HubSpot tools you might not be familiar with yet, help your team learn how to use them, and answer any questions you might have. Here, she’ll also teach you how to organize contacts, how to make sure that you’re tracking every contact’s actions within the HubSpot platform, and more. 

Essentially, what Brooke is helping you do during these weekly meetings is to mimic your existing sales process in the HubSpot platform.

When you’re done with the weekly meetings, and Brooke has helped you recreate your sales process in the platform, your team will be able to pick up right where they left off. The difference is that now they’ll have better contact organization and better tracking of all of their efforts. HubSpot will keep data that tells them which of their sales efforts are most successful, and which don’t seem to be moving the needle. 

This service is part of what makes partnering with a HubSpot Partner Agency so useful. We’re really working to make your transition to the new software as seamless as possible. 

 

Individual Team Member Meetings

One great part of our sales enablement training service is that your team members can meet with Brooke individually if they’re looking for a little more guidance. Working with a new tool is really exciting, but it can also present challenges. Whether your sales team members are looking to extend their HubSpot capabilities, or want a little bit more help learning how to use HubSpot’s tools every day, these individual team member meetings go a long way to ensure your entire team is working for overall company growth.

 

Bi-Weekly Meetings

As you start to get more comfortable with HubSpot and all of the tools they offer, Brooke will continue to meet with your sales team bi-weekly, to see how everything is going, and to answer any questions that might come up as your team progresses further with the platform.

 

Regular Monthly Meetings

Once your sales team feels confident using the platform in their daily operations, we’ll scale back our meetings to once a month. Though you can always call with any questions, these meetings are typically used to review your progress over the past month, and see what’s working, and what’s not. 

At these meetings, Brooke might suggest new tools to try out that can help your sales team provide even better service to your prospects, and ultimately help boost business growth. She’ll also help you set new growth and sales goals once you achieve old ones. 

 

Ongoing Sales Enablement Support

We like to think that ongoing support is one of the best features of our sales enablement training. For as long as your team wants, we’ll keep helping you optimize your sales process to shorten the sales cycle, and to close more leads, faster. Every month, you get personalized reports on how your team is doing, along with training on the new tools and technology that can help your team do better business. If you’re looking to foster continuous growth in your company, ongoing sales enablement is one great tool for your toolbox. 

 

How Much Work Will This Be For My Team?

Sales enablement provides an awesome opportunity to improve the way you sell, with the tools, technology, and training your team needs to see what’s working, and where they can improve. But, they do have to do a little work to reap the rewards. Here’s what’s expected of the sales team through sales enablement training:

  • They show up to sales enablement meetings. We schedule these whenever is convenient for you, and we also work with team members individually, so there are plenty of opportunities, even for the busiest schedules. 
  • They start using the platform. Brooke recommends starting with just five minutes a day. If your sales team can commit to just entering their contacts into HubSpot, they’ll start to feel more comfortable using the platform consistently. 
  • They ask questions. HubSpot can be a big change for a sales team. If they’re open to the process and willing to ask questions so they can improve, we’re here to offer them all the support they need. 

We know it’s not easy for an entire sales team to make the switch to a new CRM and a new method of selling. That’s why we’re here to work as your partner in this process. After the initial weekly meetings are complete, the majority of the work will be out of the way, and your sales team will be able to start selling even better, and more efficiently than before. 

 

The Benefits of Partnering With A HubSpot Partner Agency

The biggest benefit of partnering with a HubSpot Partner Agency for sales enablement training?

We’ve done it before. 

This is a service we offer to a number of our clients, and it’s something we’re really good at. We know this is a big shift for your team, and we know that one of the biggest challenges is encouraging everyone to use the HubSpot platform consistently to get the most accurate reporting.

We’ve said this before, but we approach our HubSpot training services with a walk/run mentality. 

First, we’ll teach your team what they need to know to start using the HubSpot platform, and your newly optimized sales process, casually. We’ll work hard to bring everyone on board, and make sure each member of your sales team feels empowered to use the tools and technology HubSpot offers to best compliment their sales style. 

When everyone is familiar with the platform and using it regularly, we’ll get into the “run” phase. We’ll introduce new tools, and show your team how to use them for better, faster sales. 

As HubSpot Agency Partners, we know and use HubSpot’s full suite of tools every day. 

Our HubSpot Project Managers, like Brooke, are training masters. They have what it takes to get your entire team using, and loving the HubSpot platform. 

 

And when your entire sales team is on the same page, your company is going to start serious results. And serious results are what we’re here for. 

 

Interested in taking the HubSpot plunge? Evenbound is a HubSpot Gold Agency Partner, and we’re also a HubSpot Certified Trainer. That means we’ve helped tons of clients just like you learn everything there is to know about sales enablement, and the HubSpot tools that support it. We can help your team learn how to use those tools to legitimately grow your company.  

 

If you’d like to know more, just get in touch. Brooke, or our president, John, would be happy to talk to you more about your specific goals for HubSpot. And if you’d like to learn more about how HubSpot training can work for companies like you, check out the case study below.

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5 Best Outbound Marketing Tools for Manufacturers

5 Best Outbound Marketing Tools for Manufacturers

With the rise of the digital world and inbound marketing, outbound marketing can get a bad rap. While it’s no longer the only way to reach potential customers, it’s still an important part of any marketing and growth strategy, alongside inbound marketing practices. This outbound marketing shouldn’t be limited to traditional media like radio and newspaper ads, though, but should instead incorporate modern outbound tools. Here are 5 of the best outbound marketing tools for manufacturers and B2Bs.

#1 Social Media

You might think that social media is irrelevant to manufacturers, that it’s just kids sending pictures to each other, rich people hawking fad diets and scam music festivals, and your out-of-touch aunt leaving odd comments on status updates.

But that’s not entirely the case. Social media has huge potential for manufacturers’ outbound marketing efforts.

How? Social media ads and their amazing targeting options.

All social media platforms have some form of advertising, and most have multiple: boosted posts, banner ads, native ads, even direct messaging ads. Not only do they offer all of these kinds of ads, they provide some of the best targeting options for running your ad campaigns.

This is because of the nature of social media profiles—users indicate their demographics, location, and interests in their profiles, likes, and other platform activity. All of that activity can be used to target the audiences who are your desired market.

You might still be thinking that as a manufacturer, you’re marketing to businesses, not people.

But, if you’ve been doing any inbound marketing, you know that even to market to businesses, you have to market to people. There are certain people at your ideal client company that are key decision-makers with regard to your product, whether that is a product designer, a sourcing specialist, or a purchasing associate. You can absolutely market to those people with social media.

For manufacturers or other B2Bs, we find that LinkedIn is one of the best outbound marketing tools available. LinkedIn has very specific targeting options for ad campaigns, down to the specific companies and job titles at those companies that you want to target.

If you want to know more about LinkedIn’s outbound marketing potential, we’ve written about it, a lot. Check out The Definitive LinkedIn Guide for B2Bs and LinkedIn Ads and B2B Marketing to get started.

#2 Google

If you know anything about the internet, you know that getting people to your site means showing up on Google. While appearing in the organic search results for the keywords you want to rank for requires a certain amount of inbound marketing savvy—lots of good content, SEO optimization, keyword research, and so on—Google is also an outbound marketing tool.

Like social media platforms, Google has advertisements. And like social media, Google is ubiquitous. If you run Google ads, they’re going to be seen. Plus, Google Ads also have great targeting options by keywords, location, and even audience behavior.

Google Ads include two distinct types of ads: search ads and display network ads. Search ads are native ads (i.e., ads that look like regular search results but are actually ads) that appear at the top of the results page on searches for specific keywords you select.

If you look at the first two or three results the next time you search on Google, you’ll see that they are actually ads, and are designated as such.

Display network ads are banner and sidebar ads that appear on Google sites and sites they partner with, like local news sites, weather.com, and a host of other national and local organizations’ websites. These too can be highly targeted.

#3 Inbound Marketing Software

Does this seem like a contradiction? Probably. But the thing is, inbound and outbound strategies should always be working together, and not only can your inbound and outbound strategies support each other, but your inbound marketing software can also help you with outbound marketing efforts.

This is one of the many reasons we use HubSpot, because there are so many great features of HubSpot’s inbound marketing software that work for outbound marketing.

How? There are a few key ways. All of the tools incorporated in your inbound marketing software such as lead management systems, prospect reports, and analytics can be used by your sales department to make sales calls and direct mail campaigns more effective. These tools can also help you see which of your marketing content is most effective and with whom it’s effective, so your outbound marketing efforts can be more targeted.

#4 Email

Again, this might seem like double-dipping, since email marketing is generally considered an inbound marketing practice. But, again, it can be both. You send emails out rather than waiting for them to come in, and in our book, that’s outbound marketing. Click To Tweet

This isn’t just an email newsletter—that’s staunchly an inbound marketing practice. We’re talking about targeted email campaigns that nurture leads and bring them into the sales cycle. Using a targeted email campaign, you can push your brand, product, or service to a specific audience that has a genuine need and use for what you’re offering.

Creating valuable and targeted messages for intuitively segmented leads can yield huge results, especially when your campaigns provide the right information at the right time, without spamming or overwhelming your leads. Using email marketing effectively can transform it from just an inbound technique to a cornerstone of your outbound strategy.

#5 An Outbound Marketing Agency

A tool is anything you use to achieve a desired end state or goal. When it comes to outbound marketing, a full-service marketing agency with years of experience is going to be the best outbound marketing tool at your disposal. Especially as a manufacturing company that may not have a dedicated marketing department or any existing marketing efforts that fall outside the umbrella of sales, a marketing agency can help you reach the growth goals you care about most.

You can do all your outbound marketing all yourself—and you can use a screwdriver to get a screw into a piece of wood… but wouldn’t you rather use a drill? Click To Tweet Hi, we’re the drill.

Manufacturers can seriously benefit from outbound marketing tools, especially as more and more of your target buyers trend online. For help developing an outbound marketing strategy that actually works, talk to Evenbound.

 

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Step-By-Step Guide to Defining Your Buyer Persona

Step-By-Step Guide to Defining Your Buyer Persona

Buyer personas are a major component of any effective inbound marketing strategy. The truth is, you have to know who you’re marketing and selling to before you can make a sale. Today’s consumers only pay attention to marketing messages that are personalized, and highly relevant to their unique experiences. Buyer personas are a key way to address that consumer need, while streamlining your marketing and sales process so you’re only spending time on the leads most likely to convert. 

 

We can say the word “buyer persona” as many times as we want, but they’re not going to do much for you if you don’t know how to create or define one. That’s why we’ve put together this Step-by-Step Guide to Defining your Buyer Persona. Here, you’ll learn what exactly a buyer persona is, and how to define your own buyer personas in a clear, manageable (we hope) step-by-step way. Let’s get started.

Just looking for some hot tips? Use this menu to skip to the step you’re most interested in. 

What is a Buyer Persona?

Creating Your Buyer Personas in 5 Steps

What Is A Buyer Persona?

The first part of any great guide to defining your buyer persona should be a definition of what a buyer persona actually is. Buyer personas are an integral part of any quality marketing or sales plan. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal client or target audience. With a clear picture of who you’re marketing to, it’s much easier to develop effective, targeted content that speaks to your ideal buyer’s goals and challenges. 

 

Think of your buyer personas as a personal narrative. You’re developing a story for and context around the people who are most interested in your product or service. You want to know as much about them as possible, so you can provide personalized service, relevant content, and helpful sales information. Your buyer personas are the best place to organize all of that information into a story that will resonate with you, and with the rest of your team. 

Creating Your Buyer Personas in 5 Steps

Defining your buyer personas might seem like a big, unwieldy task. But, if we break the process down into manageable steps, you can move through them one-by-one to develop thorough, thoughtful buyer personas that will genuinely improve the way you market and sell. And don’t feel like you have to create all of your buyer personas at once — taking it step-by-step is a great way to make sure you’ve got all of your bases covered, without feeling too overwhelmed. This guide to defining your buyer persona is set up so you can leave and come back whenever is most convenient for you. With that in mind, let’s get into Step 1.

Step 1: Research Your Buyer Personas

All great personas start with a  little bit of research. Even if you feel like you already have a pretty good grasp on who most of your clients are, it’s worth it to take a hard look, not just at who you’re already working with, but who you’d like to work with in the future. 

via GIPHY

Who is Buying From You?

It’s always easiest to start with what you know. Begin your research by taking a look at your existing clients. Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • Who at their company contacted you first?
  • Were they the final decision maker?
  • What does their job look like?
    • Are they your company’s primary point of contact?
    • What are their roles at work?
    • Do they manage people or processes?
    • Do they have to answer to a boss or supervisor, or do they make most decisions?
  • What does their home life look like?
    • Do they have any hobbies?
    • How old are they?
    • Are they married or single? Kids or no kids?

These questions will get you started, but there are a few other tactics you might consider when doing buyer persona research:

Talk to Customer-Facing Employees

Your account managers are going to have the best insight into the lives of your clients, since they’re the ones in direct contact with them. Talk to the customer-facing employees at your own company to get a better sense of the people your company is already working with.

Talk to Your Clients

If it’s feasible, it’s also a great idea to talk to some of your existing clients. Consider sending out a short survey to your main points of contact, asking them a little about themselves. You might have to send along a small incentive to get them to fill it out, but their answers will be worth their weight in gold. After all, the people who have already invested in your product or service are your ideal audience. 

Who Would You Like to Buy From You?

Once you’ve pulled together as much information as possible on your existing clients, think about who you’d like to sell to in the future. 

 

Is there an ideal prospect that your marketing and sales team just can’t get to convert? Maybe your competition has had a lot of success in a certain segment of the market that you’d like to break into, too. 

 

To narrow down who you’d like to buy from you, we suggest starting by taking a look at your competition. 

Where is Your Competition Seeing Success?

Are your competitors seeing a lot of success in a certain segment of the market you’d like to break into? Check out their website! 

 

They’re probably developing content and sales offers that speak directly to that market. You can learn a lot about those ideal buyer personas you’re not quite hitting yet by seeing how your competition is successful.

Where Do You Want Your Company to Grow?

Another great way to identify buyer personas for clients you haven’t quite snagged yet is to think hard about where you want your company to grow. 

 

For example, we often work with home builders, many of whom are working to break into higher markets. Even if they don’t yet have clients in that higher market, we still work to do as much research on those buyers as possible. We look at our clients’ competition to see what they’re doing to draw that market in, and we look at those buyers specifically to see what they’re most interested in, and what their greatest pain points are. 

 

You can do the same thing for your company. Look at the clients you’d like to get in the future, and do the same research to see what they’re interested in, what their lives are like, and what challenges they face that your company can solve. 

Check Out Your Own Analytics

Our third and final suggestion for the research phase of defining your buyer personas is to look at your analytics. You’ll find no better, more concrete data on your ideal buyers than through the analytics on your own website, social media ads, and pay-per-click advertising campaigns. 

 

Take a look at the reports from each, and pay specific attention to the demographics of the people clicking your ads. When you’re looking at your website analytics, see what pages your visitors view the most, and the longest. 

 

Are there content offers that are downloaded more often than others? Who is downloading those offers? Answers to all of these questions provide you with useful information and data you need to compile relevant, effective buyer personas. 

Step 2: Segment Your Buyer Personas

I’ll be honest, the research step is the most time-consuming. Once you have that out of the way, feel free to step back and take a break. Leave that research alone, and let it marinate for a while. When you come back, you’ll have everything you need to actually start writing your buyer personas.

Organize Your Information

Alright, now that you’re back refreshed and ready to continue work on those buyer personas, it’s time to organize all of the research you collected. You probably learned a lot about a variety of your clients. Start looking for similarities in the goals and challenges you’ve uncovered in your research. These similarities — in what clients and prospects are looking for from your company or your product — will help you group all of the many potential clients into distinct sets of buyer personas. 

Decide How Many Buyer Personas You’ll Have

Now that you’ve reviewed and organized your research, you can start to determine how many buyer personas you’ll actually define. It’s good to remember that you don’t have to cover everyone right now. 

 

If you’re just starting the inbound marketing process and are new to buyer personas as a whole, it might make the most sense to create buyer personas just for the market segments you sell to the most. You can always add or change buyer personas as you learn more about your marketing strategy, and as you gather more data on your leads and prospects. 

 

The way you segment your buyer personas is totally up to you and to your company. You know best who you’re in contact with most. But, if you’re not quite sure where to start, here are two very common ways to segment your buyer personas:

Segment Buyer Personas By Industry

Some companies work with clients in a variety of industries. In a situation where you sell a variety of products, each corresponding to a different industry, it might make sense to dedicate one buyer persona to each industry you serve. It’s good to remember that this is only worthwhile if clients in each industry have different goals or pain points. For example, let’s say you manufacture a product that’s useful for both the automotive and marine manufacturing industries. 

 

If your clients in the marine industry have different goals than the clients in the automotive industry, it makes sense to have two buyer personas. 

 

But, if your product helps both marine and automotive manufacturers in the same way — by helping them streamline processes, manufacture more efficiently, and develop a better product, then it probably won’t make as much sense to segment your buyer personas by industry. In that case, let’s look at the second way we often see clients segmenting their buyer personas.

Buyer Personas By Job Title

For many companies, their sales process remains the same regardless of the industry they’re working with. Here at Evenbound, we work primarily with manufacturers, home builders, and construction professionals. Even though clients in each of those industries are fundamentally different, they approach finding a marketing partner in the same way. So, we’ve segmented our buyer personas to align with the job titles our sales process touches

 

This often works similarly for manufacturers. Let’s say you manufacture a product that is useful in a variety of industries, but that is most often used by a lead engineer at any company, regardless of industry. In this situation, it doesn’t make sense to have a buyer persona for each engineer in each industry, because they have the same goals and pain points. Instead, you can write one buyer persona, and then use that buyer persona as a guide when you write content that’s specific to each industry later on. 

Step 3: Create a Name and a Story

You’ve completed your research, and you’ve decided which buyer personas to start with. Pick one, and let’s get writing. Everyone writes differently, so do what works for you. I always find it’s easiest to paint a full picture of your buyer persona and then pull out the most important segments for the final persona you share with the rest of your team. Here’s what that process might look like:

Who Is Your Buyer Persona?

Start by giving your buyer persona a name. The point of defining buyer personas at all is to help you market and sell more personally. Giving your buyer personas names makes it personal. Once you’ve got a name in mind, start writing down everything you discovered in your research. 

  • How old is your persona?
  • What job titles might they hold? 
  • Where do they live?
  • What hobbies do they have, and what do they like to do outside of work?
  • What are their career goals? Are they looking to move up, or just hoping to cruise through to retirement?

Answers to all of these questions, and any more that you can think of, help provide context for your buyer persona’s goals and motivations. The better you understand what they want, and why they want it, the better you’ll be able to interact with them in the future. 

Give Yourself a Full Profile to Work With

When it comes to buyer personas, more information is always better. Challenge yourself to a free-write. Set a timer for 15-20 minutes, and write down everything you know about this buyer persona. And don’t be afraid to get a little creative! 

People connect with stories — the more real your buyer personas feel to your sales and marketing teams, the better they'll be able to tailor their efforts to support your clients in real-life. Click To Tweet

So, get to writing, and see what you can do to make it fun. You can always take content out, but it’s good to let yourself get creative, and paint a full picture of this buyer persona. The more content you have at this step, the easier the next step will be. 

Step 4: Focus on Roles, Goals, and Challenges

Take a break for a second. You’ve just written a full, creative narrative about one of your company’s ideal buyers. Pat yourself on the back and grab a coffee — you’ve earned it. 

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Back from that coffee break? Awesome. We’re going to take a close look at the narrative you’ve just created, and pull out the most relevant parts for your sales and marketing teams going forwards. That info falls into three categories: roles, goals, and challenges. 

Roles

You have a full written picture of who your buyer persona is, what they do, and what they want. Take a look at that narrative, and pull out the information that’s related to their “roles”. This is going to be content that’s relevant to their job title and their role at work, certainly, but it can also speak to their role at home our outside of work. 

 

Are they regular volunteers? A parent? Do they manage people at work? All of this information gives you context about what they’re really great at. 


What’s more, it tells your marketing and sales teams what they do. When you know what a person does, and what roles they play in their life, you can create content that speaks to those specific roles. 

Goals

Understanding what your buyer personas want is the key to offering them the marketing content and sales service that will genuinely help them.

Maybe your buyer persona is looking for ways to improve their business’s profitability. Maybe they have a goal to move up in the company and are looking to spearhead initiatives that exemplify their leadership qualities. Conversely, maybe your buyer persona is nearing retirement and wants to do their job well without making any waves until they can retire safely.

 

Pull out all of the goals you identified in your buyer persona free-write, and organize them into a goals section. Understanding a buyer persona’s goals is key to offering them personalized, helpful service.

 

When your team understands what a persona is trying to achieve, even if it’s not directly related to what your company offers, they’ll be able to better tailor their methods and strategies in a way that resonates with that persona. 

Challenges

The challenges section of a buyer persona is the most important. This is where you identify the pain points of each buyer persona. And when you understand your buyer’s pain points, you can work to solve them. 


Take a look at that long narrative you wrote for your buyer persona. What is keeping them from reaching their goals? What parts of their job are difficult? Do they have trouble selling initiatives up to their boss? Are they worried about making big investments? Are they so busy that they don’t have a chance to even consider how their business could improve?

 

Whatever their challenges, this is the place to call them out. 

 

Take the time to get specific, too. The more challenges you can identify for each persona, the more opportunities you have to deliver solutions. And the more solutions you deliver, the more attractive and helpful your company is to those qualified leads. 

Step 5: Use Your Buyer Personas to Craft Tailored Sales and Marketing Strategies

When you know who your buyer personas are, and are familiar with their roles, goals, and challenges, you can develop sales and marketing strategies tailored to just those people who you know are excellent fits for your company. 

You’ve gone to all the trouble to make these buyer personas, now is the time to use them!

  • Help familiarize your sales and marketing teams with each persona
  • Create ad campaigns that correspond to each persona’s favorite platform
  • Develop content that speaks to the specific pain points and challenges identified in your buyer personas. 
  • Take stock of your existing content — does it speak to one or more of your personas? If not, make some changes. 
  • Optimize your landing pages to speak to buyer personas, and in their language. 

Buyer personas help give you inside knowledge into the ways your most qualified prospects function. From their favorite social media platforms to the way they talk to their career goals, you know a lot about these personas, and you can use that information to your benefit, and to theirs. 

Work to create content that those personas want to read, and develop sales and marketing strategies that put your buyer personas’ goals and challenges at front and center. 

When you’re writing, marketing, and selling with real people — your most qualified leads — in mind, you’re going to start to see some serious growth.

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Website Design Checklist: Does Your Site Have What it Takes?

Website Design Checklist: Does Your Site Have What it Takes?

Designing a new website can be a time- and money-intensive process, so naturally, when you do decide to redesign your site, you want to make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth and creating a beautiful and functional site that helps drive business growth.  If you’re designing a new website, here is a comprehensive website design checklist to help you see if your site has what it takes to attract visitors, convert leads, and foster growth.

✔️ Calls to Action (CTAs)

No website is going to convert visitors into leads without calls to action (CTAs). If you want your website visitors to do something, like enter their contact information into a form or to give you a call or to request a quote, you need to ask them to do that, and you need to make it an easy process.

CTAs are generally clickable buttons with text prompting a specific action, and they should appear in intuitive places on your site, like the top right corner, across your banner image on the homepage, or after useful blog content. 

✔️ Landing Pages

A landing page is a page a website visitor lands on when they visit your site from a specific place or link. Landing pages are useful for directing visitors to content or actions that are relevant to them and that you want them to see, based on their behaviors and interests. 

If you don’t have landing pages, your PPC ads are not going to get great results. If you just direct people who click on your ad to your homepage, they aren’t going to know what to do next, and they’re probably not going to do what you want them to do, which is likely to give you their contact information or get in touch with your company. A landing page limits visitors’ options and presents them with exactly the content and calls to action that are relevant to them and are therefore more likely to convert.

✔️ Great Images

So much of what we respond to is image-based (insert cliche about how 1 picture = 1000 words), that a site needs great images to compete. Gone are the days of irrelevant stock photos of people in business suits and pixelated images from a digital camera that someone in HR took at the company picnic. High quality, professional images of your facilities, products, processes, or people are going to be attractive to website visitors. 

This is especially true if you’re in a B2C industry where they way your products or the results of your services look matter. For example, custom home builders need to have images of the gorgeous homes they build, because that’s what their website visitors want to see. These kinds of images are also perfect for social sharing across a variety of platforms, from Facebook to Instagram to Pinterest.

✔️ Mobile-Responsiveness

It’s 2019. Your site needs to be mobile-responsive. Click To Tweet More than 60 percent of all searches happen on mobile devices, and more than 77 percent of adults in the world own a smartphone. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on a ton of traffic.

Mobile-responsive design isn’t difficult to accomplish, either. Selecting a template for your design that is mobile-responsive will ensure that your content is readable on the tiniest of phone screens and the biggest tablet and that nothing is cut off or hidden to the far right where no one will scroll.

✔️ Fast Load Times

If your site takes too long to load, your design isn’t effective. According to HubSpot, most mobile users expect a website to load in less than four seconds. Not only that, but a one-second delay in page loading means a reduction in page views by 11 percent and a seven percent reduction in conversions. That’s a big deal.

To keep load times fast, make sure that you incorporate best practices, like enabling browser caching, optimizing your images and CSS, and controlling when external Javascript files load.

✔️ Blog

A good website without a blog is like a new car with no gas—it’s not going anywhere, and you’re not going to get to show it off. Click To Tweet Why? Because content is one of the main ways to drive organic traffic from search engines to your website.

In order to do that, search engines need to crawl your content and find keywords in your content. Search engines rank sites with more unique instances of a keyword and more regularly updated content higher, meaning those sites are more likely to be seen by searchers in the search results for that term and are more likely to get clicked on. 

Besides that, a blog is an important way of marketing to your clients and establishing brand awareness and authority. Your blog content shouldn’t just be company updates (though you can include some company updates if you want!). It should address the specific problems, challenges, and stages in the buyer’s journey that your ideal clients are experiencing. 

If you can provide content that answers their questions about your industry, product, or service, you’re more likely to show up in their searches, and when they do read your content, they’re more likely to find it useful and even convert.

✔️ SEO-Friendly

Your website should also be SEO-friendly. SEO (search engine optimization) is another critical factor in getting ranked by search engines and appearing in organic search results for your desired search terms. A good website is going to be SEO-friendly by incorporating keyword-targeted content, relevant, keyword-optimized image alt tags, and on-page SEO including site tiles, social media sharing buttons, title tags, etc.

✔️ Reliable CMS (Content Management System)

A custom web design that was hard-coded by a web designer or someone in IT is a bad idea for a lot of reasons. It’s difficult to maintain custom code, it requires a lot of skill and time to produce, and if the developer leaves the company on bad terms, your site could go with them. 

That’s why every website should operate on a reliable CMS (content management system), such as WordPress or Joomla. (We use WordPress.) A CMS allows for multi-user access, a user-friendly interface for making changes and updates, design templates that are optimized for mobile, and a content publishing platform that is easy to use. 

Did your site come up a little short after reading that checklist? We’d love to help. As an inbound marketing and growth agency, beautiful, functional websites are what we do every day. Let’s chat. 

 


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