Why building your Website with Inbound in-Mind, is a smart move
So you’re looking at a new website for your business, or possibly a revamp of an existing one. You are either researching what the “best practises” are or there are likely a few things you already know;
- You need a responsive website for mobile access – your SEO guy has likely told you this already, so has Google.
- You need to be able to update your website easily – regular content means better SEO ranking, your SEO guy again.
- You need to be able to manage your website and social/digital presence easily. – If you manage the Website content yourself you will know this is a must-have, to cut down the time it takes to update and add content.
All these are great points and will definitely help in the planning of your new website. However, we believe there are a few more factors to be considered. The functionality of the design, this is in our opinion the most crucial in the planning stages and it might have more parts to it than you first thought.
Functional Design matters more than you know
Functional design in the past covered on page navigation, searching, layout consistency and load speed as well many more areas we will not get into. This is now termed UI Design or User Interface and is still relevant and very important, as non-functional UI designs can lead to confused users, which leads to more users leaving you website.
UI + User Experience = UX
However, there is another functional Design element we need to consider and that is UX design or User Experience. This is becoming the most important consideration in planning and design for any new website, as it gears the design towards the user, not the designer of the business. It maximises usability, interaction and the ease of navigation.
Just like Inbound Marketing, UX design will move designers and business away from thinking about themselves and their needs to thinking more about the user’s engagement when they’re on the website, and attempting to satisfy their needs.
So how does good UX relate to Inbound Marketing?
To quote HubSpot, one of the innovators in the inbound movement on the subject of UX and inbound;
“Inbound marketing and user experience (UX) have a lot in common and more than meets the eye. Both disciplines engage in a form of Discovery, both are focused on the needs and wants of your users, and both play a crucial role in laying the groundwork for your website.”
UX and Inbound are often looked at independently, which is redundant. Both, in essence, have the same aim. Working independently can work well some of the time but when you have them working together it can give you something very special.
Some web developers will still opt to work independently from an inbound marketing strategy. Creating “Landing Pages” and “CTA’s” that are more an afterthought rather than a concise sales tool built into the very website itself.
It’s great to have a beautiful website design to sell your product or service, but if the functionality of that website design is not allowing the user to easily go through the “buyers Journey” and allowing the potential customer to easily get to what they want when they want it, then it’s not functional, it’s not working for the user, and in the end its not working for the business.
How do we go about adding Inbound and UX to our planning?
First step is to build yourself a Buyer Persona. Both inbound marketing and UX designs very first step is to create Buyer Personas, why is this?
Let’s take a quick look, the function of a well thought out inbound content strategy plan will deliver at the correct time helpful, educational, content to the end-user to move them through the “Buyers Journey”.
While a well-executed UX design will allow users to achieve their goals, by delivering a seamless user experience through advanced website functionality.
These two elements working hand in hand, allow you to target your buyer persona’s and really focus in on what works. Inbound and UX will always allow for refining as you refine your buyer’s Persona.
Making your Website Inbound proof
Here we will take a very basic look at the elements that will help you design your website UX and inbound experience.
- Who is the user that has arrived on your site?
- How did the user get to this page?
By identifying the user and how they arrived on your page, you can be more focused on what you should be presented to them. You want to give the warmest welcome possible as well as present them with the correct content.
We can do this by segmenting the users based on Persona’s, and also look at how they arrive. Via pay per click, blog, organic etc. as this makes a big difference on what they will be expecting to see and how we should engage with them.
- What is the purpose of this page?
- Why is the visitor here?
- What stage of the Sales Funnel is this page?
This is pretty simple – every page on your site should justify its own existence if it can’t it’s wrong or broken.
Understanding why the user is here as well as understanding what the user needs maybe will help in the planning section.
Also knowing where the user is in the sales funnel is always critical when presenting the content. The top and bottom levels of the sales funnel will need an entirely different content strategy’s.
- Where do you need the user to navigate to next?
- What is the best form of content for this page?
- What content will help the user the most on the page?
The ultimate goal here is to get your user to the purchase page and converted, this is the Bottom of the Funnel of BoFu. However not all users, in fact most of your users will not be in this part of the funnel when they arrive. We need to cater to content and design around where they fit into this when they arrive on said page. How can we direct the right user, to the right location, at the right time? This will require testing and a lot forethought in both design elements as well as the content.
- Measure and Refine
- What did the user do? How can we measure it? How can we refine it?
The only way to see if your strategy and design are working is constant testing and tracking. You can also look at a platform like Hubspot as they are excellent at tracking and measuring this kind of information.
- Evangelists & Believers
- Is this page good enough to make your user share it? To promote it? Love it?
Would you share this page? A simple question that you should ask yourself. If you landed on here seeking said service or product, is it good enough to be share-worthy? If not then ask why then look at how you can make it more shareable. If you can turn your users into believers and evangelists of your offerings, then you have succeeded on all levels, as this is true conversion.
Wire framing your UX
So you have your Buyer Persona’s built and now you need to think how to reach out to them, most common way to achieve this is to mock up some wireframes of what your site will potential look like. You can use one of many free wire framing apps to achieve this, here I used wireframeCC for this purpose.
As you can see here in this image I have geared my design elements to:
- Advertise my main conversion offering, both in the hero image smack bang in the centre and in the top right-hand corner. This lets me segment the users from those the middle and final stage of the buyer’s journey, or sales funnel.
- I have my navigation also easily found in the top right corner.
- I have 3 content offerings for either 3 different personas, or even the same persona but different offerings based upon their place in the buyer’s journey.
- Finally, I have a webinar offering down the bottom to again segment those users further along the buyer’s journey.
So as you see here, we are offering the user several easy ways to engage with our content, and by implementing inbound methodology to our UX design we also will engage better as we will be not only offering them relevant content to make a more informed decision, but also this will allow us to segment them into their right stage of the buyer’s journey, allowing us to further target them with the right content and material.
In the End – we all are winners
In the end, the main objective in having a website that is primarily geared around selling your product or services is to sell your products or services!
Implementing Inbound Marketing methodology coupled and good UX design in your new website build will allow you to not only generate many more leads, but also qualify them and then close them. It’s a no brainer, make your whole website the landing page, the sales tool, the seamless user experience, and those users will turn into customers.
How are we all winners? Well your user is happy as they could easily find what they needed, not only that but the experience was personalised to give them the correct content at the correct time. This makes you a winner because your conversions will go up.
Read more in our inbound essentials series of blogs:
- Creating your Buyer Persona
- Buyer Persona: What They Are and Why You Need Them
- Inbound Marketing and why it works!
- What is Inbound Marketing Methodology
- Is Inbound a good fit for my business?