Your website is old and tired. It takes forever to load and is a pain to update. Your customers have even asked you: are you working on a new website?
You need to bite the bullet and get to work.
Oh, and your boss has said your website needs to serve a business function (same thing she said about your social media). What this means is the following.
Your website needs to…
- Generate revenue
- Help find new markets
- Generate more traffic
- Get found without PPC
- Foster brand recognition, affinity, and loyalty
- Generate sales-qualified leads
- Never look static
In other words, you need a marketing-ready website that performs and can be monetized. Yeah right, but how?
Your responsive website is an investment, not a cost
Considering that mobile is the fastest adopted technology of all time and SMEs that leverage it are the fastest growing (Boston Consulting), you have a choice: you can be a mobile laggard (as many companies still are today, so don’t feel bad), a mobile follower or a mobile leader (using mobile in multiple applications in your company’s value chain). Which will it be and what could be its ROI in your case?
With the decision for mobile applications and responsive design and thus a new website of course come other questions, such as your ability to make fast, on-the-fly updates through a Content Management System (CMS) and your wish to target contextualized content at specific user groups or personas (smart content).
Open source CMS is not really free
The Content Management System (CMS) is what makes websites easy to update, timely and more useful to visitors. With thousands of inexpensive new WordPress sites appearing every day, you feel safe. What you heard is that it’s free, widely used, and has lots of plug-ins.
Your IT might demand better security, marketing is looking for advanced custom features, your CEO wants a 99% up-time. You can’t afford to have a broken site due to incompatible, ill-maintained or buggy plug-ins, no matter how inexpensive the system might be. Nor do you want to pay coders for the inevitable changes.
There’s also a nagging feeling that you should get around to getting a cyber liability insurance policy in case you get hacked. Think about this, according to a 2012 Data Breach Investigations Study 71% of data breaches happened in businesses that had less than 100 employees. How much will it cost your business if that happens? With a proprietary CMS that is hosted by professionals you are managing your risks far better.
Of course your website design also needs to be “responsive”, working on all mobile devices and tablets and optimized with SEO. That all comes with a cost.
Invest in a responsive website design that will help grow your business
While an advanced, proprietary system such as the HubSpot Content Optimization System (COS) costs money, it offers distinct advantages that translate into fast development and new revenue. Some responsive website advantages with HubSpot:
- Out-of-the-box responsive design
- Contextualized content targeted to different personas that visit your site
- Customizable pages and templates for rapid production with no coding knowledge needed
- Built-in keyword tools for SEO
- Social media tools
- Fully integrated with your online marketing campaigns to measure how you’re doing and optimize on the fly
- Page performance analytics that matter most
- Twice as fast as a WordPress site
The last point is debatable, but a third-party CMS benchmark test by Yoottaa tested six CMS systems used by 10’000 random sites for page and image load speed and other KPIs and found WordPress sites to be the slowest and HubSpot COS websites the fastest by far.
Benchmark test by Yottaa shows HubSpot to be fastest, WordPress slowest CMS
Finally, with systems integration an ongoing business concern for increasing productivity and lowering cost, would your small marketing team, let alone management, not rather have website, marketing and sophisticated analytics under a single system?
Our agency has cobbled together systems for years with plug-ins, social analytics, APIs and more. In the age of integrated online marketing, we ditched all that and came to the one platform that does it all. With 15 years experience building hundreds of websites, our experience shows that the return on investment by using a solution described above to be the best in class.
The new first rule of a customer-centric website is to build a “smart” website
A static website that offers the same content to all comers is old school and will not attract and engage the maximum of visitors nor get them to convert to leads. An existing customer interested in a particular product or service or a returning visitor already familiar with the brand (lead) does not want to see the same content as the first-time user.
Being up to date with the help of a CMS is one thing, but getting found on search, integrating with all online functions, incorporating a sales process, and connecting to the CRM and sales with a responsive site is where it’s at.
Responsive websites dynamically adapt to screen size and configuration (HubSpot)
Video is huge on websites, but if the entertained and better informed viewer does not drill down further after watching your movie, it serves little purpose and may quickly be forgotten.
Modern, responsive CMS websites integrate CTAs (Call-to-Action), landing pages and lead capturing mechanisms as part of the sales funnel to make your website convert anonymous visitors to named and increasingly qualified leads. This is what makes for new sales and more business by turning clicks into customers™.
Image source: HubSpot
For decent Google search results, content is extremely important, a fact that many companies have still not fully grasped. WordPress was created for blogging (thus its name) and is a useful platform for this function (easily integrated into HubSpot).
The website, however, needs to offer content in the right context to be truly useful to today’s demanding user. The HubSpot COS website platform offers this increasingly important “smart” content feature that empowers even small businesses to create a customized, Amazon-like experience for their consumers or B2B users. These data-driven websites allows marketers today to deliver meaningful content to their customers because they can be more engaged and thus develop a closer relationship with your brand.
The right context creates the relationship most companies aim to build online by better reaching them, especially when it all runs perfectly on all devices and platforms (think email, newsletters, social). Consumers in both B2C and B2B spend an increasing amount of time on mobile devices and make more and more decisions of huge consequence while traveling or on the road. If you don’t reach them, you’re missing out (with smart phone user demographics of little relevance).
In deciding what type of CMS system to use we need to take a wider perspective and look at the goals our business and marketing are trying to achieve. Website upgrades are still mostly looked at as an expense, but as an investment in growth that creates a return (Versio2 ROI case study), they start more than paying for themselves and can create major financial leverage through sales and new business.