Chapters

1

WARNING

The following article will reveal classified information, continuation of reading may result in side effects

Head to Chapter 1

2

Want a Peak Performing Website?

Have you got what it takes to stand up, perform and deliver!

Head to Chapter 2

3

History Repeats Itself

It happened before and now it's happening again! What happened in the 90s can help you with your website performance today.

Head to Chapter 3

4

The Culture Shift

Why do you have a website? The exploration of traditional culture Vs modern culture and how it's affecting your website

Head to Chapter 4

5

The Process Shift

Broken processes provide poor results. See how playing by a new rulebook will steer you towards peak performance.

Head to Chapter 5

6

The Technology Shift

Wonderous developments with technology allow you to get the most out of your systems, power up your website and deliver results.

Head to Chapter 6

7

Q&A: What You Want To Know

Answers to the questions that matter

Head to Chapter 7

Chapter 1

Warning

Please read before you proceed

The following article will reveal classified information. Please be aware that if you continue the following side effects may occur:

 

  1. Change in mindset
  2. Greater team cohesion
  3. A deeper understanding of customer and prospect behaviour
  4. Peak website performance
  5. Avenues to drive additional leads or revenue
  6. Extensive knowledge of Growth Driven Design

 

In this day and age, time is short. We don’t want to waste any of your valuable time showing you how to apply new methods and techniques, improve your overall performance or acquire new knowledge, tips and tricks.

If you decide to continue, be it at your own risk. Whitehat SEO holds no responsibility in you showing signs of the above side effects, causing you to create a peak performing website for 2021.

 

 

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Chapter 2

Want a Peak Performing Website?

We'll give you what you need

Want a Peak Performing Website: Have you got enough SaaS?

 

Stressed businessman with head in hands at office, website not performing, traditional website methods

 

 

 

 

 

Picture this...

 

You have that gripping, burning sensation in the pit of your stomach, all eyes are on you! What the hell happened? That’s what the CEO, board of directors, finance department, and sales wants to know too. It started so well…..

Excited and pumped, you and the team bundle into a zoom to form your strategy for the site redesign. This process happens every two years so you know what’s in store, but this time things are different. It will be bigger and better for sure.

You thrash out ideas over what the new refreshed look and feel of the site is to be and endless hours are spent carefully planning to make sure you have the right menus, placement, amount of pages, correct images, products/services and more. It’s a long, delayed and finicky process but finally, everything is assembled and agreed upon.

Now off it goes to the developer, so they can work their technical magic and make it a viable site. There are a few more delays than anticipated and you’re slightly over budget, but the feeling of elation is mounting. The team scurry around making sure that promotion is on point, the buzz is building, and the light is at the end of the tunnel!

Glasses of bubbly, big cheers, high fives, the launch is a success and the team goes wild!

Now six months in and wait a minute something isn’t right, it’s not working, why isn’t it working? You developed the site to attract visitors and generate leads, doing everything you were meant to but there’s been no change.

You planned, strategized, did competitor analysis, optimised SEO, and created new content. You did everything to show the world that you’re the best, better than your competitors and best for your customer.

Now what? All eyes are on you!

 

Back to contents

 

 

Does this sound all too familiar?

 

Poor website performance is all too common, companies are just not seeing the ROI they forecasted and this is causing serious problems and consequences. Ok, we get that but why I hear you shout. In the words of Luke Summerfield:

 

‘Your customers DON’T care about you!’

 

POW, there it is, a hard fact right between the eyes. I bet you weren’t expecting that. The hard truth is literally that, customers don’t care about you, they care about them. So why and how do we keep getting it wrong?

 

Back to contents

 

 

We can give you a HUG to fix that!

 

Today, Whitehat SEO are so excited to be joined by Luke Summerfield to present our London HUG webinar event. Luke is the GTM (go-to-market) Lead for HubSpot CMS (content management system), he is an advocate and brand leader and basically the go-to-person for anything relating to Growth-Driven Design philosophy and methodology.

Everyone wants to perform better! So to get you ready to operate at your optimal level for peak performance, Luke will walk us through the ideas behind Growth Driven Design and the workings of HubSpot CMS.

Once the mind-blowing shift has unravelled, you will be equipped to identify your performance sweet spot! Sounds good right? This HUG edition gives you all the knowledge, tips and tools to keep up and deliver peak performing websites in 2021.

 

 

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Chapter 3

History repeats itself

Learn from the past to be bigger and better

 

 

 

 

 

History does repeat itself

 

History repeats itself, CD ROM used for software updates in 90s

 

Ok so do we know what this is? Yeah, I know you're feeling old if you do and you’re wondering what it actually has to do with websites. But bear with me, I assure you the secret is worth waiting for.

The crazy thing is, that this shiny round thing was a CD ROM and it was a standard way in which we delivered software in the 90’s. You would eagerly await the delivery of your software, put it into your computer, and then have to look after these discs like babies. You had to make sure they were kept in a safe place, keep them clean, and make sure they didn’t get any marks or scratches etc. Bonkers!

 

 

crazy CD ROM release cycles in the 90s, every two years software updated

 

 

Looking back, the other equally insane thing is that as a product software update, you would see one of these CD ROMs every 2 years. Microsoft 95 would release the software, everybody updates their computer and the developers would then go back to their cave to produce the coding for the next update for Microsoft 98. I think we had a lot of patients in the 90’s!!

Though this practice was considered standard, there were three fundamental shifts happening in the world of software. These shifts were to totally change the way we thought about and presented software.

 

Back to contents

 

 

So what changed?

 

So what changed. These three shifts opened the door to a new, magical way to build software. Culture, Process and Technology

 

 

Three shifts started to push the perceived standard way of software delivery out of the picture.

 

THE 1st SHIFT- TECHNOLOGY

Servers were getting cheaper, the internet was getting faster and that made it a lot easier to run software online.

 

THE 2nd SHIFT- PROCESS

As technology improved that informed a shift in the process of how companies went about building peak performing software. Because it could be released quicker, they had more data at their fingertips on how users are interacting with their software.

 

THE 3rd SHIFT- CULTURE

As processes were refined this informed a shift in culture, of how they thought about building peak performing companies around the software.

 

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We all like a bit of SaaS!

 

These three shifts came together to create magic and the SaaS revolution. In this day and age we know sass sells, but what we’re talking about is software as a service (SaaS). Like with any change, resistance was inevitable and a number of companies did not make the shift from the CD ROM days to the SaaS days. We saw some who did successfully make the shift, and guess what?

 

 

We all like a bit of SaaS. CD ROM companies were obliterated, SaaS companies thrived

 

 

Some of those who adopted early are some of the biggest companies in the world right now! I know that’s nearly three decades ago, that there, is a lot of staying power.

Again, I can hear you shouting ‘WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH WEBSITE PER-FOR-MANCE?’ well I’m going to let you all in on a little secret……

 

Shhh! Here’s a little secret…

 

The same shifts are happening in the world of web design!

Ok, so it’s not the biggest secret in the world! What it does mean though, is that if you’re an early adopter like those companies who have lasted nearly 30 years, things are going to be bigger and better for you.

History repeats itself my friends! We're seeing those same three enabling shifts of technology, process and culture come together to open a door of opportunity for each and every one of us. So as marketers, sales and service providers or business owners as a whole, this is the time to seriously think about how we grow our business differently, leveraging our website.

 

  • Want to be part of the revolution?
  • Want your website at peak performance?
  • Want your business strong in growth?
  • Do you dare to be different?

 

Well, if so, from this point forward, you’re required to abolish traditional methods and forget everything you know…..

 

 

Back to contents

 

 

Your way forward is to use the triangle!

 

The way forward is a triangle, world of web design is shifting, Culture, Process and Technology

 

 

Who’d of thought, the key to it all was a simple triangle! We touched on it earlier when we spoke about the software shift in the 90s, as promised we’re going into a bit more detail to cement what’s needed for you to have a peak performing website in 2021 and beyond.

Think back to the opening story, reiterating the ordeal of a traditional approach to redesigning or forming a business website. You can see how this was a normality but now the new approach is clear and the best way forward.

 

‘The way forward is through the use of the triangle’

 

When forming a website, we are using the same mindset and hitting the same walls as the companies that did not adopt early. Using the culture, process and technology triangle, we can implement this subtle shift to enable us to analyse, produce and perform better on all levels.

 

 

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Chapter 4

The Culture Shift

Traditional culture versus modern culture, which do you choose?

 

 

 

 

 

The Culture Shift: Why does your business have a website?

 

Culture is the WHY, why do you have a website

 

 

Well, what we see when we look at how traditional cultures think about their website, its deemed a business expense, as a necessary evil that we have to go through in running a business in 2020.

But when you look at the modern mindset shift adopted by the fastest growing companies in the world, such as:

 

Facebook

Google

Slack

HubSpot

 

You begin to realise that the way these companies think about their website is regarded as a growth investment rather than a sunken cost. You have to view your website like a machine. As you invest time and energy into this machine, it's going to pay dividends, just like any other business investments.

 

Your website, traditional culture versus modern culture

 

 

‘Ever thought it may be you as to why your site is not performing?’

 

 

I know that may seem personal but sometimes we have to be brutally honest with ourselves. So even though we haven’t totally abolished traditional methods yet, with this subtle yet important shift, of how to view and regard your site, I see some lights starting to come on!

From a tactical perspective, this changes what you will do to your website. Like the growth of a baby, you will discipline and nurture it, you will instinctively do the best, give it the best and be the best. In turn, it will return blessings tenfold.

 

YOU DON’T WANT CUSTOMERS TO CLICK, LOOK, BYE-BYE!

 

Traditionally we also see websites like a digital brochure, and in terms of sales reference that’s still helpful but modern companies have shifted to thinking differently about their website.

 

‘They think about it as a product with wide sweeping impact’

 

Say what?! Now let me break that down for a second, what I mean by product. Your company has products or services that deliver value to your customers that folks are willing to pay money for, right? With that view, this is how you package it on your site. Yet, with modern companies they see their website as an extension of their product line, the site is part of their products that they offer.

It could be a free product, a pre-sale, but it's still a product that delivers value. Some people are willing to pay money to receive information, learn about the content that's on there and be guided in their decisions.

Many modern companies these days now are monetizing off their website. There’s e-commerce possibilities to sell directly, online learning management systems, training course like we see on HubSpot Academy. As you start to dig deep, you can think about other products you could sell to maximise impact and deliver intrinsic value.

 

ASSUMPTION IS THE MOTHER OF ALL FAILURE

 

Traditionally, there's a culture around the website of assumptions. What looks pretty? What does the CEO think? Then basically that's what we should do. What modern cultures reveal, is instead, having access to data insights and analytic reporting enables them to work smarter not harder.

So whether using a tool like HubSpot, Mixpanel or Google analytics, you have this data at your fingertips to make more informed decisions about where to prioritize your time. You will be strong in your knowledge and can build a website, that's going to deliver value to your customers and impact the business in a proactive and effective way.

 

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Data Vs Thought

 

With a data-driven decision culture versus a thought culture, you get results. When you head down the wobbly road of oh what do we think? What should we do? What looks pretty? What are our competitors doing? Oh, maybe we should copy them! Your site will be mediocre, outcomes unstable, and growth negatively affected. With first-hand data, your decisions are informed, precise and proven. So I ask you, are you prepared to reject traditional culture and to start shifting the way that you think about your website in your business.

 

1

The first thing that I would recommend, is to gain an understanding of how real, existing customers and new visitors are interacting with your site. There are two tools that are really good for this:

 

Hotjar

Lucky Orange

 

Use their free plans today, to start seeing scroll heat maps. These heat map recordings give user data to diagnose friction points within your website experience so you can see exactly where people are getting hung up. Understanding your customers and prospects by collating data, you will naturally start the culture shift to data-driven decisions equalling better success.

 

But it doesn’t stop there, you can take it even further when you’re a HubSpot customer. The beauty of this is, as a HubSpot customer, you get a 1+1+3 effect. You can install lucky orange, integrate it (through our app marketplace), then all of the user heat map data will appear in a contact timeline.

Then, once in the contact timeline, this information can trigger automations and personalisation; all off how an individual user is clicking around your site. Absolute magic!

 

 

2

The second tactic here is to get a meeting together with the other heads of the company, the other departments. The purpose of this session is to ask yourselves:

 

‘How might we as a company, leverage our website to remove friction and build a world-class customer experience in all of these other departments?’

 

What this means is that your website should be impacting more than just marketing. Yes, you heard it right, but we will say that again!

 

‘Your website should be impacting more than marketing.’

 

Lead generation, brand awareness, and marketing related things is absolutely the place you should start as a department that's on the hook for generating leads and driving revenue. Yet there are other ways that you can leverage the website to drive business growth, such as sales, HR, or customer support.

Having a marketing background myself, I too had traditional blinkers on and thought a website is only a tool to attract visitors and convert leads. But trust me, take the blinkers off and expand your thinking! Once you do, you see start to see the customer journey, you consider how best we can leverage the site to better engage prospects and customers. We can build educational centres, better sales enablement materials, but also interactive tools and calculators for THEM!

 

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How to use your website for brand new customers?

 

EXPAND~1

 

 

The first 14 days of a customer's life at your business is absolutely critical. That's the point where they're going to see value and act on it. So, to save you from high bounce rates, you need to make that value evident as quickly as possible.

 

New customer onboarding

Build an onboarding flow for them to activate, see immediate value and start using and accessing your products and services.

 

Customer dashboard

A personalised dashboard, where your customers can log in, see exactly what's happening, new announcements, best products etc. This is a great place to drive cross-selling and upsells for new and existing customers.

 

Advocate program

Drive word of mouth campaigns. Let your customers know that you care, for what they care for. Let’s be real, their loyalty is what helps to keep you in business.

So you can now see how this is coming together, and how you can start to think broader about how you leverage your website. But the big question you’re probably screaming at me is HOW does it work practically? Worry not we have a working example!

 

 

Back to contents

 

See it in action

 

See it in action, G2 reach 2020 virtual conference, marketing hub, CMS hub

 

 

We have an example here from our friends at G2, who are like the Yelp of software reviews! They combined the use of our Marketing Hub and CMS hub to run their virtual conference in 2020.

Their results were astounding.

 

  • 3000 registrants to their event
  • 300 net new leads
  • $5 million attributed revenue

 

So this is wider thinking about how you can leverage the website, as a tool to help other parts of the company grow. To help start your culture shift now, we have a recap of our instant result top tips below.

 

Back to contents

 

 

Top tips to start your culture shift

 

Data-driven decisions:

  • Install behavioural research tools on your website and turn on the heatmaps and user session recording
  • If a HubSpot customer, integrate them!

 

Product with wide impact:

  • How else might your company leverage your website to remove friction and build a world-class customer experience?

 

Back to contents

 

 

Chapter 5

The Process Shift

Transform your processes to produce continuous results

 

SECTION LIST
Let’s shift gears A high-level process, sneak peek
Growth Driven Design Methodology: the clear difference between modern Vs traditional 6 ways you can start your process shift

 

 

 

 

The Process Shift: Let’s Shift Gears

 

Lets shift gears, process shift, triangle

 

We have been using an outdated and broken playbook for building websites, therefore setting ourselves up for failure. Traditional methods cause pain to emotions, egos and finance and inevitably always delivered late and over budget. This is not due to lack of talent, it’s simply because we’ve been doing it wrong all along.

Instead of a huge time depleting project of 6-8 month journey, you want to build something NOW! You want a site that is a starting point (because that’s literally what it is) and then with continuous improvement efforts it will begin to pay those dividends we spoke about.

 

THE WAY WE PROCESS

 

 

Traditional companies

 

Business-focused strategy- why are we the best, why are we better than competitors, what are our best products?

Modern companies

 

Customer-focused strategy- how can we help, how can we understand better, what do they need?

 

Top tip

 

Your audience doesn't care about you! They care about how you can help them progress and if you can do something faster, cheaper, or easier compared to working with your competitor.

 

 

 

Traditional companies build something and throw it at their customers and hope that it resonates. Whereas modern companies, meet the customer need and provide solutions that enable a faster, positive customer journey.

 

Your website, traditional process versus modern process

 

There is no such thing as perfection and that’s where many businesses get caught up. You want a site that looks and performs better than what we have today, which we call a launch pad website. Simply a launch of all those continuous efforts you’re putting in.

 

 

Impactful website improvements

 

 

I'm not talking about blogging or building landing pages for inbound campaigns. I’m talking about changes to core pages: home page, pricing page, contact. Of the core pages that are driving value to the customers, 42% are amending them only once per year.

So what happens is you let the site sit for a year, two or even a decade and it becomes outdated and performs poorly. So then you embark on an arduous 6-month redesign, this is where the 90s software cycle starts to creep in. Using a traditional process in the traditional mindset, we are living in the days of the CDs.

 

Traditional website design, resembles 90s software update cycles, thinking emoji

 

 

But using the modern mindset, modern companies have thought of a better way to do it! Instead of this, set it and forget it attitude, they think about how to continuously improve the website over time. With consistent data, you can expand and release things quarterly, monthly or even weekly if you choose. Ensuring your site is up to date, working and performing correctly as a product with wide sweeping impact.

 

Back to contents

 

 

A high-level process, sneak peek

 

Here, I'm going to give you a little sneak peek of the high-level process to ensure continuous improvement. We have a full free certification in the HubSpot Academy which I'll give a link to in the detailed continuous improvement mini-guide.

So what does continuous improvement look like, how do you achieve it? It’s all about getting into a rhythm, that way everybody can tap to the same beat. We get into a quarterly rhythm and then a monthly rhythm, and it goes a little something like this!

 

Sprints, continuous improvement, execution

 

QUARTERLY SUMMIT

Assess how you’re leveraging the website (leads, revenue and overall growth). You can choose a theme to change direction, once your theme is set, you then move into continuous improvement.

 

THEMES: Continuous Improvement

Established theme – harvest, audience, value

Optimise- usability, CRO, personalise

Expand- product, journey, teams

It is important to tackle these sections to the theme in order. If you do not get the foundation done on the established theme and its value, you will then be unable to optimise effectively and then your expansion efforts will be wasted.

 

WISHLIST

Monthly wishlists are all the powerful ideas of the things that are going to make a direct impact on the theme for the quarter.

 

SPRINT CYCLES

Laser-focused two-week rhythm on execution. The team pull from the wishlist and swarm tasks that need to get done. At the end of the two weeks, you go back to the wishlist and reprioritize.

 

With a high-level process such as this, you will see incremental improvement every single month. Results amalgamated from all departments will increase feed this intertwined process, building a robust growth machine.

 

 

High level process, continuous improvement, marketing, sales and website work together for peak performance

 

 

Now that was a very brief overview just for you to get the gist, so download the detailed continuous improvement mini-guide and get going with this.

 

 

Back to contents

 

 

Growth Driven Design Methodology: the clear difference between modern Vs traditional

 

HubSpot were inspired by the way in which software teams in Silicon Valley work with their UX design, product managers and growth experimentation teams. Plus, with the strength of our own HubSpot software team, the software produced and high-level process ideas; we decided to package it all into what we call the Growth-Driven Design methodology.

As you know, HubSpot love to share, so currently we teach approximately 1000 agencies in 50 countries how to use Growth driven design methodology with clients. So we decided to ask these agencies the golden question:

 

When you use growth driven design versus traditional website design, what kind of results do you see?

 

 

They all reported, that when using growth driven design, they were able to see a quicker time to value.

 

Quicker time to value, growth driven design versus traditional web design

 

 

Growth driven design

When using GDD, they typically launched sites in 60 days. This was on time, on budget and continually improved with real user data versus traditional website design.

 

Traditional website design

When using TWD sites were usually 108 days, two weeks late and used the set it and forget it mentality.

 

Of course, the timings are dependent on the size of the site, but in terms of results, the agencies reported it’s evident that growth driven design gives progressive results. What you really want to know, at the end of the day, is the factual result in driving leads and revenue. The same agencies stated that when using growth driven design versus traditional, they saw:

 

16.9% more leads and 11.2% more revenue, six months after the launch

 

 

Ready to be part of the revolution and dare to be different? Resistance is real and when the powers that be are looking at you and ask:

 

Why should we use growth driven design versus traditional website design?

 

 

The above section is exactly what you can show or tell them! Even with an existing site, the process shift will give you more enablement, plus all the other benefits associated with growth driven design.

With this said, now is the time to start your process shift. To help with the process shift we have put together a few tips below.

 

 

Back to contents

 

 

6 ways you can start your process shift

 

Interview: 10 new customers and 10 recently lost customers using an interview template gdd-jobstobedone

These customers will have either switched to you or left for a competitor within the last 30 days. Once you understand how the transition happened, and the factors that drove the decision (in either direction), you can use the data to go back and re-engineer the website redesign.

With 10 customers, using the interview template (if you don’t already have one) will enable a pattern to emerge. This jobs to be done framework is commonly used by UX designers at software companies. We use it internally and you could start applying it immediately as you start to think of your website as a product.

 

Run diagnostics: Let's get a pulse check on how your current website is performing check out our tool websitegrader.com .

It's a free tool, you can enter your website and it'll give you a score to let you know what you're doing or not doing so well. This is an example of a digital product we built during our expand theme. Some people may pay for this but to add value for our customers we provide it for free.

 

Plan: use contact attribution reporting to identify your top 3 lead generation pages. Add a pop-up feedback survey or chat “What brought you here today?” to your site.

As a HubSpot customer, you can use the attribution reporting tool to highlight what content on your site is generating the most amount of leads. The data created will allow you to focus on where you need to prioritise your optimisation. There are other company attribution tool, just makes sure they are integrated for your site.

Once your top 3 pages are identified you can also add a pop-up survey or chat to that page too. It may seem backwards but it’s to gain an empathetic understanding of your customer.

 

  • Why are they on that page?
  • What information are they looking for?
  • What problems are they trying to solve?

 

In addition to the use of the heatmap, behavioural tools mentioned earlier, use all this data to help improve your pages and site overall.

 

Build: Rewrite above-the-fold message using brand script-canvas. Run A/B testing using the new messaging.

With all your data you can begin to rewrite your site including positioning and messaging. You can experiment with this and run an A/B test to see what works best. For testing, start with high level messaging especially above-the-fold.

Above-the-fold is anything you see in your browser window that you don’t have to scroll to view, below-the-fold is information you have to scroll to obtain. You can use a framework, or something I like to use called the brand script canvas. This is from a consultancy called StoryBrand, they have a really nice little worksheet you can go through for laying out the story you want to tell on a page.

As a HubSpot customer with CMS pro, marketing hub pro you're going to have access to AB testing. If you're an enterprise marketing or CMS customer, you have access to dynamic or adaptive testing. This is AI-powered testing with five variations.

Run them side by side and be able to see how they perform using that brand script you wrote. You will be able to identify what behaviours changed and why which variation performed better.

 

Learn: which message did you find more

Learn from the feedback poll for both variations to see what changed in variant A versus B. Consider these, did you receive responses? What did they say? Can you understand the behaviour?

 

Transfer: Identify 3-5 other assets you can experiment with this messaging- eg emails, templates

Once you've learned about users on your pages, you can apply those learnings to building better emails, sales rep templates and sequences.

 

WOW, that was a lot! We have a free HubSpot Academy certification that has tools, templates and more videos. If you’re not sick of me chortling on, we have our last section to dive into and it will be worth it.

 

 

Back to contents

 

Chapter 6

The Technology Shift

With ever-evolving technology, the are extensive opportunities to produce magical results.

 

 

 

 

The Technology Shift: Your content management system (CMS)

 

Technology is the WHAT, Technology shift, your content management system, CMS

 

 

All right, this is where it’s about to get really interesting. With the magical shift we have been seeing in the technology world, we’re going to put it all together and close this triangle. But first, let’s start on a level and get something out of the way that many of you may be wondering.

 

 

What is a content management system?

 

 

You can think about the CMS as the tool behind the scenes, that's powering your website. It's helping you to manage and create the content and experience that a visitor has on your site. There are many CMSs out there to do this but our running theme is traditional versus modern, so let’s take a look and compare.

 

What is the most frustrating part of your CMS

 

 

Points that frustrated people the most when using their current CMS for building or making changes to their website, were:

 

  • Poor security
  • Lack of flexibility
  • Need a developer
  • User interface (UI) glitches
  • Limited or complex functionality
  • Does not integrate with everything
  • Unpicking CSS with varied or complex coding

 

These are the problems faced using traditional CMS and here is a fantastic quote from a professor at NYU, Clay Shirky.

 

 

Technology shift quote, Clay Shirky, NYU

 

 

As technology advances, it should become less and less apparent. So what does that mean and look like? You're using technology right now that you are unaware of and take for granted.

 

  • Internet
  • Banking
  • Voice recognition
  • Smart phones
  • Video conferencing

 

That’s to name but a few, the main thing is these technologies run seamlessly in the background allowing us to do our thing and we don’t notice them until they go wrong. So, if that's the case, traditional content management systems have this all wrong.

 

 

Traditional CMS graph, outdated, got it wrong

 

 

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Traditional Vs Modern: who will win?

 

As a business matures, it demands more from the website. Using traditional CMSs you have to layer in more and more plugins, more themes, more security, and all of a sudden it starts to become very, very complicated. Yet there is hope on the horizon in the form of modern CMSs.

 

 

CMS DIFFERENCES

 

Traditional CMSs

Modern CMSs

High-level maintenance

Low-level security

Gatekeepers

Poor integration

One-size-fits-none

Fuzzy reporting

SaaS infrastructure

Low maintenance

High security

Empower your team

Personalised experiences

Understand your ROI

 

 

Traditional CMSs create a world where you have a high level of maintenance and a low level of security. You have to be maintaining the system, keep things up to date, and install plugins and updates. If you don't, you leave the door wide open to security issues.

What we see with modern CMSs, is they are built in a SaaS infrastructure, so all the hassle of maintenance and security is just taken off your plate. You won't have to spend your precious time, energy, resources, and money hiring a developer to keep the thing up to date. This allows you to focus on your customers and that continuous improvement.

When you look at the biggest CMSs growing in the world (not just HubSpot!), the integrations are bountiful. We have Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, and much more with all of these built on a SaaS infrastructure. For some reason in the traditional CMS world, which is the world I came from (the world of Joomla Drupal, WordPress), we're still living in the nineties of non-SaaS software.

Traditional CMSs create gatekeepers. Due to layering things on top, they start to get clunky over time, (accumulated tech debt we call it in the software world), which makes it harder and harder for marketers to get their work done for the team. This is insane because they’re the team that’s on the hook to generate results from the website and they have to work through others using traditional CMSs, to get the job done!

Modern CMSs are built in a way that empowers the marketing team to just get their work done. It streamlines the speed at which it takes to make changes, to run experiments, to personalize, to do all these things that we talked about. Then, growth-driven design speeds this up and puts the power in the marketer's hands to do that work.

 

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What about developers?

 

Using modern CMSs doesn’t render developers redundant. In fact, developers are extremely important but their role is shifting just like everything else.

With traditional CMSs you end up having to go to a developer for every little thing:        

 

  • Button change,
  • Colour change,
  • Adding an image,
  • Adding a new team member etc

 

This is not the best use of a developer’s time and a waste of your resources. No developer in the world wakes up and ‘ Yaaay, I get to update plugins and change button colours today!’ I lived in the developer world and it’s just not fulfilling.

So the use of modern CMSs, allow for them to work on more impactful solutions and things they want to be working on, such as:

 

  • Processing systems
  • New customer onboarding flows
  • Learning management systems

 

These are bigger and more impactful, better use of their time and energy to drive actual business value, versus just changing button colours.

Another shift in the developer’s role is they are in charge of setting up the marketer's editing experience. So just how we look in-depth at our customer UX, modern CMS developers are doing that for us! Whether using a pre-built theme or you're building a custom theme from scratch, there is the developer involved in building what that editing experience looks and feels like.

 

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Bring it all together

 

Traditional CMSs typically live separate from all of your other systems. So you have your CMS over here, Google analytics over here, your CRM and all your customer data over there. And the issue is these systems do not seamlessly talk to each other.

Yes, you can put application programming interfaces (APIs) together, to sync things the best you can, but those inevitably break. The underlying problem is, all the data does not pull together and lead to fractured or non-existent personalised experiences. This leads to a basic one-size-fits-non due to marketers lack of data to produce actionable tactics.

Modern CMS is not only pull everything together, they couple the CRM and CMS together and your analytics so that all the data's in one place. They then take it one step further, making it accessible and easy for a marketer to take action on it to personalize the site experience so that you don't have to rely on developers to do it every time.

 

 

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Reporting: We should know our ROI right?

 

Another symptom of those traditional disjointed systems is fuzzy reporting. When you have various systems that don’t connect the dots, it’s really tough to see where your time invested gives a measured output on revenue.

So, modern systems that are integrated, make it very easy for you to understand your ROI from your website efforts. Using the contact attribution tool, or if you have enterprise marketing hub, you can use the revenue attribution tool.

These tools can very easily to trickle down the investment. That's extremely important because you need to understand where you should invest your time and energy on a monthly basis. Building those continual development wishlists, you have to know what impact your previous efforts had. Also without facts and figures, it’s hard to report to your CMO or your CEO and get them excited about your website improvement efforts.

 

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The best of the best

 

We’ve discussed all evaluation criteria, regardless of which CMS you're looking for but of course, we are HubSpot and our CMS is the finest! April 2020, we launched our own version of a new hub called CMS hub, and what we've worked on with CMS hub is to defy gravity.

 

 

CMS Hub advantage, the best of the best graph, powerful for developers, powerful for marketers

 

 

We pulled down the power for developers, pulled down the power that you get from some of these enterprise CMSs and at the same time, pulled up the ease of use for the marketers (from the Wix is the Squarespace, the Weebly's) and pulled it together to have the best of both worlds.

 

CMS hub is built for fast-growing companies who are tired of being held back by clunky content management systems that require heavy maintenance and are difficult for marketers to get their work done.

 

 

It’s maintenance and management without the migraines, it’s the SAS CMS. We just take care of security, reliability, performance. We have premium hosting to just take all that off your plate so you can focus on your customers. We have the ability to easily build remarkable optimized website pages, provide tools for your marketers and your developers. Some of the new tools we have are:

 

CMS Hub Flexible Themes, CMS tools, best of the best

 

 

This allows marketers to change the look, feel and colours in a theme editor, without ever having to touch CSS code. So this is excellent for all the non-technical folks, the developer can set up this panel and you’re off to the races.

 

 

CMS Hub Drag and Drop Page Editing, CMS tools, editing, best of the best

 

 

We have an easy visual drag and drop editing experience for marketers. They can add modules, columns, pictures and more, using all these pieces of the puzzle to build a world-class customer experience.

 

 

HubSpot CMS Local web development, CLI, new tools, developers dream

 

 

Developers are equally important, so separately from the marketer editing experience, we have a developer editing experience. This is a local CLI, where they can hook into all of their tools, their editors, and their workflows. Everything that they know and love today, they can basically plug HubSpot in and they're good to go. The local development tool makes it very easy for them to transition and love working on CMS hub.

 

HubSpot CMS Hub is more than just a CMS. It's about growing your business, using your website and having an all-in-one tool to help grow traffic and generate leads.

 

 

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Bigger company, bigger needs

 

If you’re a bigger company, you may have bigger needs and will need CMS hub enterprise. It comes with everything to empower marketers and developers but also gives your scaling organisations the ability to build powerful web apps and provide more governance over growing teams.

With web apps, you can think about building those learning management systems, user portals, dealer distributor login areas, and advocacy program forums. ALL of these web apps can be built directly on CMS hub.

Then there’s technical developer tooling that’s included to make such things as server-less functions and custom objects which is in our CRM. You're able to pull CRM data and render it on the front end of the site, a membership login tool, reverse proxy support and a ton of API.

So those are the tools your developers will use those tools to build things like your calculators, event registration which directly ties into the CRM and all the other HubSpot tool. This then allows for your automation to trigger, creating personalisation based on what they’ve signed up for.

 

 

CMS hub web application event registration CRM

 

 

Gain governance and control at scale. These are the tools that are going to keep your IT team and security team happy. They're going to give you the thumbs up that CMS hub is a great option to integrate into your other security and IT systems. We have content partitioning and permissions to make sure the right people have the access to the right things. You have SSO, you have site performance reporting, activity logging, again, and all the things that will keep the IT team happy.

And lastly, if you're growing brands, you probably want to extend your brand. You have the ability to add multi-sites and add on multiple brand domains, build multi-sites and then do all the reporting on all of those.

 

 

CMS microsites

 

 

Multi-sites here's an example. From our friends at calm, calm is one of the top apps in the app, in the Google play and app store. They built their B2B side of their business is all built on CMS hub. And here's an example of a micro-site that they built.

 

 

HubSpot CMS Leader of the pack, graph, above other brands

 

 

Now it's not just me that loves our CMS you can read our reviews on G2. We were ranked number one CMS for 2019 and 2020. A number of brands all around the world that you see, know and probably use are using CMS hub for parts of their business.

 

 

HubSpot CMS, trusted by the best, known brands love them

 

 

 

So there you have it, my friends, I know we went through a lot. These are the three shifts that are happening in the web world that are opening that opportunity for us to think differently about our website. To evolve our technology of all of our process of all of our culture to grow peak performing businesses.

Remember, we’re only one button away for questions, comments or queries.  So don't hesitate to contact us.

 

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Chapter 7

Q&A: What you want to know

For those burning questions you want to ask.

Is there a free trial?

Yes, there are trials.

If you go to hubspot.com on our products page, there is a trial that you can get from the products page. If you're a developer and you want to play, go to developers.hubspot.com. We have a free developer sandbox, which is basically an enterprise version of our CMS that you can play with. You can sign up for a 14 days trial.

Are there setup costs?

Depending on the best path for your business to build a peak performing site to get to your Launchpad website, there are 3 paths you could go down.

 

  1. Move onto CMS Hub, use one of our free existing themes or pre-built theme (some are paid)
  2. Work with an agency for a custom design or in-depth redesign, many agencies are proficient in HubSpot CMS.
  3. Use our migration team, who will copy your site and move it over. If you have recently redesigned and not wanting to make major changes, this may be a good option. 20 pages or less its free, $20 per page after that.
How easy is it to transition from WordPress and how simple is it to scale?

My last answer describing the 3 paths gives you an idea of the ease of transition. For blogging, we have new blog import tools so you can pull all of your blog content in. We have a specific WordPress blog import, CSV import and then we an API import.

So the same method applies as to the transition, if you want to do it or work with an agency, importing blog content is easy.

In terms of scaling, at HubSpot, we scale with you, with our tiers. All the tools and the power are baked into the platform, you just have to hit the button and turn it on. No need for data migration to newer versions or tiers, it all travels with you. Even if you are a current HubSpot user, you may want to combine hubs and it’s simply a one-click button to turn on and watch it work seamlessly.

What's your view on a platform CMS, for example, Squarespace versus WordPress?

The CMS world is all about trade-offs. So it depends on what kind of trade-offs are you willing to make for your company. Based on the goals of your website, is to drive revenue, drive leads, what trade-offs, when choosing a CMS, are you willing to make?

Squarespace what they do phenomenally well is make it so easy for a non-technical person to manage a website and to build website pages. Their visual editing is great and they do a really good job of that. The trade-off is, they are built for solopreneurs or very small businesses, so it’s inevitable that you will outgrow those systems as your business matures.

WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are the opposite option and problem. They're extremely flexible, but with that flexibility becomes the responsibility of dealing with maintenance, updates, and security. So, you have that additional work that you have to put in with WordPress, to make sure that it's up to date and have the right plug-ins. On average, a WordPress site has 20 to 50 plugins layered on top of each other, all having to be up to date, or you have security issues. So the trade-off with WordPress is you have to invest time and energy into maintenance management, whether you do it yourself or you pay someone to do it.

Now at HubSpot, we try to get the best of both worlds, we have something that's powerful for developers, easy for marketers to use. It’s built on a SAS CMS, so you don't have to worry about maintenance and management, but it's extremely flexible and scales with your company. We've tried to do is fit ourselves in the mid-market to be able to take advantage of all those things and not have to make those trade-offs.

Do you need to have HubSpot automation platform to leverage CMS hub?

No, you don't. You can buy the CMS, it's a standalone hub, it will come with our CRM all of our free tools are included as well. You get all the things that are free such as email, landing pages etc.

You can use it separately, but when you combine automation with your CRM and CMS that's the ideal world. That's where you're going to be able to build those really powerful user experiences and growth engine.

You can always just start with a website, then look at all the automation and tooling later.

What should businesses using CMS hub budget for, beyond the monthly cost?

It depends on the website that you're building and the type of experience that you want. It also depends on your team resourcing. If you can build a site as a marketer, using one of our themes and it’s straight forward, then there should be no additional costs.

However, if you want to build these really powerful web applications, you're going to need to get development talent to help build the experience for the marketer managing those web apps.

That event registration app that we looked at earlier that was built by a developer, managed by a marketer. Marketers can do all the management without having to go through a developer, but you need the developer to build the base of some of those web apps. So unless you have in-hose talent, you will have additional expenses but outside of that, it’s usually a flat rate.

It's a standard in the industry to have variable pricing on hosting. So you get charged as you get more visitors or bandwidth or storage goes up. One of the beauties of CMS hub, as it is today, is it's flat-rate pricing. It’s not unlimited but it is extremely high so that you don’t have to worry and makes it predictable and easier to budget.

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