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Website Redesign Tips from Mike Volpe at Hubspot

I just finished attending an online webinar, called “Doing a Website Redesign for 2010 with an Internet Marketing Strategy in Mind,” led by Mike Volpe (@mvolpe) from Hubspot (@hubspot), purveyors of tools to help optimize website design for improved business outcomes.

I tweeted the comments live as he spoke, and decided to reproduce them here so I can refer back to them myself, while sharing them with you, too! I understand that Hubspot also made a live recording of the webinar, but don’t know where it will be posted yet. (Will update if/when I find out!)

Hope this is as helpful to you as it was/is to me! (Thank you, Mike!)

ea/

  • Attending online webinar w/ @mvolpe (#hubspot) right now. You can, too — it’s free!
  • @mvolpe says Right Reason for Web ReDesign: lead generation
  • @mvolpe says personal opinion about website attractiveness is irrelevant; what matters is how people use it.
  • @mvolpe says “beautiful and empty” is useless; “ugly but crowded” is better business
  • Websites should attract prospects (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
    1. Attract prospects: a) Get Found–great content, optimize for search, promote content using social media (@mvolpe, @hubspot)

  • Content: better for SEO, people, like more tickets in a lottery — fundamental strategy (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Forms of content: as many as you can afford! Blogs, podcasts (iTunes), videos (YouTube), photos (Flickr), slideshare (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
    2. Convert visitors into leads (@mvolpe, @hubspot)

  • Conversion is the goal of the website! What will drive that process? (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Good strong calls to action all over site –need great landing page that encourages people to sign up (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Links in all emails/newsletters/ads — don’t send traffic to homepage, send it to landing page to get contact info (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Websites should produces measurable ROI (@mvolpe, @hubspot) — what are redesign goals?
  • Measurement is easy online vs other marketing methods! (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Need to benchmark old site for comparison, first. (Sounds obvious, but very important!!!) (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • (I should have mentioned, benchmark site metrics) (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
    3. Analyze stats – produce measurable ROI on redesign (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Tips for successful redesign process is next list in webinar (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Audit your website, protect what works well (key assets) — content, inbound links, keywords, conversion tools (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Redesign pitfalls: remove good content, lose links, lose keyword rankings – destroying assests is suicide! (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Inventory content, links, keywords – numbers, where is traffic from, what gets read most, etc (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Conversion Tools – what generates most leads? best conversion tools? (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Lots of online tools that do parts of these inventories — @hubspot has free 7 day trial of comprehensive service (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • @hubspot — Page Grader, Link Analysis, Conversions, Landing pages that work, leads that work (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Tech info: protecting assets: change domains? use 301 redirect for EACH page, not globally (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Have permanent redirect (check at http://www.websitegrader.com) (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Spend resources on CONTENT, more than beautiful design. (@mvolpe, @hubspot) Compelling, interesting content trumps design.
  • (Design isn’t without merit, but it isn’t as important as content.) (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Others that feel the same way about content vs design: Seth Godin http://bit.ly/7QV9mr **
  • Companies that blog get 50% more traffic than those that don’t (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Also, blogging increases social media success dramatically! (eg Twitter) (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Make it easy to run conversion experiments b/n old site vs new – limited navigation, clear and simple, above the fold (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Hubspot software includes services that help compare conversions (their sales pitch! LOL!) (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Landing page editing: how fast can you launch a new landing page? can one person do it in 15 mins? (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Reminder: website redesign isn’t about improving its looks, it’s about better business (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Make it easy to measure results (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • “Avoid paralysis by analysis” — don’t measure everything, simple is better, pick 3-5 metric that matter most (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Suggest measure: 1) traffic (how many, where from?) 2) leads 3) sales 4) all above by channels: SEO, social med (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
    RECAP: 3 Keys: 1) get found 2) convert 3) analyze (@mvolpe, @hubspot)

    4 Tips: 1) audit site/protect assets 2) content matters most 3) easy conversion experiments 4) easy results measurement (@mvolpe, @hubspot)

  • @hubspot knows how to help with all this – business blogging software, blog analytics, social media monitoring (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • @hubspot has earned right to promote their services to me b/c they are giving me good info!
  • @hubspot also helps with lead generation, tracking competition, marketing analytics
    Now Mike Volpe is taking questions in webinar — if you want to ask something, Tweet your question to @hubspot! (@mvolpe, @hubspot)

  • Q: Do we need to redesign website constantly? A: big difference b/n a) redesign vs b) updating content. Do (b) a lot. (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Good point: Google can’t see what site looks like, just cares about quality of content
  • Q: what’s a lead? A: someone fills in a form, gives you contact info so you can engage in convo with them (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Q: How to track visitors/leads? A: Try 7 day trial of @hubspot software (@mvolpe, @hubspot) (another marketing pitch! LOL!)
  • Q: What is a good call to action? A: Well, Bad One is “CONTACT US” — first thing people as is “WHY?” (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Good example: this @hubspot webinar got them 9,000 leads! (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Q: Conversion experiments–what to test? how? A: 1) a vs b calls to action, e.g. sign up for webinar vs. download ebook (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • A 2: maybe which landing page converts better — eg colour, whatever (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Q: Should company blog be homepage? (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • A: role of blog is to attract people to company — wouldn’t have blog be homepage of website (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • A: having blog is great, purpose it to attract and convert into customers (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Q: What about WordPress — how to get into site? A: use a subdomain of your OWN URL (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • A: whatever comes just before TDL is the owner of content (don’t want x.wordpress.com, for eg.) (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Q: What about SEO? A: Go to http://www.websitegrader.com – tons of great info (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • A: Want search engines to understand what site is about – text, title, lots of inbound links is critical (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Q: What about Flash? A: Generally speaking, it’s best used as small part of individ. pages on site (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • A: Vast majority of time, whole site made of Flash=search engines can’t understand it! V. difficult. (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • A: Flash is best in little, selective bits. (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Q: Does Hubspot work for small businesses? A: Yes, different packages for different sized companies. (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • More questions and answers from today’s Hubspot Webinar on website redesign will be at http://inboundmarketing.com (@mvolpe, @hubspot)
  • Was that webinar really an hour long? Wow, went SUPER fast! Thanks, @mvolpe, @hubspot for good info. ea/

** Seth Godin’s blog post is called How to create a good enough website, and it’s located here: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2007/10/how-to-create-a.html

CORRECTION (Jan 13, 2010): Additional Q&A from Webinar will be at http://inbound.org/

UPDATE (Jan 13, 2010): Fixed formatting up a little

UPDATE (Mar 29, 2010): Fixed formatting up a little more and added meta keywords and meta description as per Hubspot’s software (esp. Website Grader) recommendation.

About Erin Anne Beirne

I use storytelling and “content marketing” to promote my clients’ work. I develop and implement communications strategies using all the on- and offline tools and media at our disposal, publish books and ebooks and market them internationally, or even just simply create a new website and teach the client how to run it. If you have something interesting to say, a valuable service to offer, or an important cause to promote, I’d love to work with you, too!

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