The traditional method of designing a website no longer works. Now that online marketing has become the primary way of marketing in our digitized world, growth driven design of a website, where you extend and refine the site as you go along rather than trying to launch a full fledged project from the get go which you then just leave out in the world until the next re-design, is a much better way to go.
Growth driven redesigns, or what we like to call an Inbound Website Redesign, is a perfect model for startups and small businesses that don’t really have a lot of content to start with, and who are looking to gather data on how to move forward with their digital marketing strategies.
There are various issues with the traditional method of designing a website. Here are some we hear about often:
- The design gets outdated really fast, and we don’t have the resources to update it every 12-24 months.
- Trouble demonstrating ROI from the website and tracking meaningful analytics.
- Hard to make improvements, and with no in-house skills in this department, this usually needs to be outsourced.
- The website isn’t really benefiting the marketing/lead generation strategy.
With an Inbound Website Redesign, the goal is not to just have a nice looking website in hopes of a client/customer contacting your business, the goal is to establish the website as a complete online sales platform for your business. As an integral part of marketing to prospects, if your website isn’t selling around the clock, you’re missing out on leads and revenue.
How it works:
- Your inbound marketing strategy and funnel are essentially baked right into your website.
- You have a dedicated digital team (in-house or hired) that monitors performance and makes changes monthly.
- You typically host on a platform that makes growth-driven design easy (we use WordPress as our platform).
An inbound website is still a relatively new idea for many small businesses and entrepreneurs, so I’d like to break down how the model works.
Here’s some advantages of an inbound website redesign: How it can grow leads and conversions, trade cost for value, and improve ROI for your business.
1) 24/7 marketing funnel = more conversions
Many times, small business owners and entrepreneurs think about a website as a piece of a marketing strategy.
With this new method however, you don’t think about your marketing strategy and your website as two separate things. They’re one and the same. Your website is the hub for your marketing and sales strategy — a complete lead generation platform, with a marketing strategy baked right into the heart of it.
How does that work?
Think about how your marketing funnel works in terms of inbound leads. You have different elements and assets to attract, convert, close, and delight these leads.
When you attract attention online, where do you drive traffic?
Where do you mainly host your blog and content offers?
Where are people converting on your offers?
How do you host forms to gather more information about people, so you can market to them effectively?
The answer to all these questions? Yup, your website.
Your inbound marketing strategy should ideally be the driving force for your website — and should dictate your website’s user behavior and organization.
Ultimately, your website should align with the inbound methodology that has been set up.
Your inbound website funnel should include:
- A blog and SEO’d pages to attract site visitors at the top of your marketing funnel.
- Corresponding conversion elements, like landing pages and calls-to-action, to help convert visitors into leads.
- Forms and other tools to gather lead information, so you can better nurture leads and close them into customers.
- Personalized and smart content that tailors your website to customers.
When you start on your inbound website redesign, you don’t just think about aesthetics — you consider functionality, too. Ideally, you’ll redesign your site’s entire structure in accordance with the inbound methodology.
Put simply, each page serves a specific purpose, and corresponds to a specific point in the buyer’s journey in making a purchase.
A visit to your website isn’t random. It’s the first step on a pathway towards conversion. Each click should be logical and clearly laid out — One page leads to the next, as you move users further down the journey.
What are you left with?
A website that works as a 24/7 marketing funnel, driving conversions while you sleep.
2) Showing up early in the buying cycle = more leads
Research shows that buyers complete more than half of the buyer’s journey before talking to sales. Isn’t that crazy?
This means that your buyers are already researching and deciding on solutions long before a single sales call has been made.
The most successful companies are present in the first half of this journey — their websites help educate buyers throughout the sales cycle.
Can your website handle this? Can it actually educate potential customers as they go through their buying journey?
With a traditional website, you might publish some basic information about your services. Then, you wait for website visitors to visit “Contact Us” and place a call. It’s a long journey from website visitor to final customer, and your website experience doesn’t nurture the gap in between. You can’t expect buyers to make this jump without being educated along their journey.
With an inbound website, you nurture leads gradually, from first touch to final purchase.
Your website is filled with content for the buyer’s journey… AKA, those three stages that buyers take before purchasing a product.
Awareness -> Consideration -> Decision
Do you see how your website has a chance to address all three stages?
By providing content throughout the buyer’s journey on your website, you write the story of how and why your solution is best for whatever problem the buyer is looking to solve.
3. You trade up-front costs for long-term value, with measurable ROI.
Usually with Website Redesigns, most of the effort is spent trying to plan out the look of the website. But what about the functionality? What about lead generation potential, and conversion opportunities?
Focusing just on the look of the site can get costly for several reasons:
- You go into a redesign without much of a strategy, so you pour money into the design without the promise of a ROI.
- Redesigns usually go over budget, and take longer than planned.
- In between redesigns, your website isn’t growing, which means your investment only generates return as long as that strategy is relevant.
With an inbound website, you don’t consolidate all of your strategy for the year into one redesign, you’re constantly improving.
You generate more value by investing month-to-month in small yet valuable changes, instead of one big website redesign cost up-front.
With an inbound website model, you’ll always be monitoring data, so you’re aware of how your site’s performing — and proving that your changes are having an impact.
While there are many platforms one can use to build and manage their inbound website, we at Yosauce have used a combination of WordPress and various add-on software in order to create a platform that outperforms and is more cost effective than commercial options available, while being flexible enough for whatever technologies & processes your business might currently have in place.