If your company has been around for any length of time, then you are most likely on your second, third, or even fourth version of your website. So, you may feel that your website is up to date.
But a lot has changed over the last few years that is most likely affecting your site. This is especially true if you haven’t updated your website in the last three years.
Website Visitor Expectations
Your website visitors come to your site with collective online experiences that they have from brands delivering personalized experiences regardless of the device being used to access the site.
From shopping on Amazon and Netflix sending you personalized movie recommendations, to the search results you get on Google, personalization is becoming key to user experiences.
According to the Salesforce State of Connected Customer research:
- 72% of business buyers expect their vendors to personalize their engagement to their needs
- 69% of business buyers expect Amazon-like buying experiences
- 64% of consumers and 80% of business buyers expect companies to respond to and interact with them in real-time through online chat or bots
Increasingly, their preferred method to view your website is a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet.
- 68% of all emails are opened on a mobile device
- 52% of all website traffic is generated on a mobile smartphone
- Google’s mobile-first index gives more weight to mobile-friendly responsive sites than non-responsive websites
Your website may not be responsive (or optimized) for mobile devices, which means you are ignoring the 52% (and rising) of people who view websites on a mobile device. In addition, many websites do not include the ability to personalize user experiences, which is a competitive disadvantage.
The bottom line is that even if your product or service has not changed in the last few years, your customers’ expectations have changed. They want and expect a personalized experience with the companies with which they do business.
The Curse of Technology Silos
Many businesses need to improve their overall management of technology, their processes, and the intelligence they receive on what is working and not working in their marketing efforts. The biggest problem usually lies within the number of different technologies they use to help run their business.
- Marketing and sales departments purchase and control technology as much as the IT department.
- The average number of marketing technologies in a company is 16 and ranged as high as 98 in larger organizations.
The number of technology silos used in business is insane and becomes a management nightmare.
While these silo technologies reveal some level of data, they do not reveal actionable intelligence to help understand what is working and not working across all your digital channels for your website. This includes search, social media, email, and referring websites.
Most of all, it limits your personal interactions with your target prospects, leads, and customers.
This is not to say that you haven’t tried improving your marketing processes by investing in new technologies. Your marketing, sales, and services processes have likely had to change to match or beat your competition.
But each time a new technology is added to the list, it usually creates a new silo and many times complicates, instead of helps, overall processes.
Optimizing your processes is key to achieving your goals and operating more efficiently and cost-effectively.
Successful Companies are More Tech-Savvy
According to The Wall Street Journal, it appears that the companies whose executive team and board of directors are tech-savvy are becoming key to growing, leading, and soon-to-be dominating their markets.
However, just adding additional technologies to your company is not necessarily helpful. The key is adding integrated technologies that work together and sync with each other, sharing data and helping to personalize marketing and sales efforts.
One important area that should be integrated is your website Content Management System (CMS) with your CRM and a Marketing Automation platform. By integrating these systems, you can eliminate disconnected tools while also greatly increasing your personalization.
It’s important to educate your target buyers through online publishing efforts to attract, engage, and acquire more customers. To do this, you need content creation and management tools in your website CMS and CRM that make it easy to create a professional-looking blog, landing pages, emails, and website content.
According to our survey of over 600 marketing managers and business executives, content creation and marketing is still the #1 marketing challenge. Sometimes that’s due to a lack of internal resources to produce content. But it’s also the result of not having easy-to-manage tools such as a CMS that help with the publishing effort.
According to Clutch.co, 2018, 80% of small businesses do not invest in content marketing, and experts warn that they are missing a key marketing opportunity for their business or organization.
How Important is Content Marketing & Management?
Google’s ZMOT study says that the average buyer will consume anywhere between 5 to 15 different pieces of content before they decide which vendor to contact, and 85% of consumers conduct their research and education online.
So, it’s clear that content marketing is important, but what’s needed to help manage it besides the content itself?
Content tools with drag and drop modules and the ability to personalized content help deliver a great user experience. Some systems even include SEO recommendations to help you optimize your site, and built-in analytics reports that give you actionable intelligence to help measure and optimize performance.
It’s important to remember too that everything you create from a content perspective needs to be responsive and optimized for every device, including desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone.
Privacy is Also a Huge Issue Today
There are International and U.S. domestic privacy regulations that you must comply with that carry substantial financial penalties for non-compliance. Organizations that collect and store personal information through their website such as a name and email address must abide by the new rules.
Some company websites and supporting systems are still not entirely compliant with privacy laws such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the 18 states in the U.S. that have introduced state privacy laws, and in some cases like California and Maine, passed these laws.
This can be a real problem since the penalties for non-compliance are quite steep. Therefore, it’s important to have a website and CRM that complies with these laws and regulations to protect your company from violations and penalties.
Lastly, but very importantly, you need your website and supporting tools to be secure and stable. Open-source websites such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Magento are especially susceptible to attacks.
According to Sucuri, 90% of all websites infected or hacked in 2018 were WordPress websites, a popular CMS used by many web designers. It’s free to use for designers and agencies, which is one reason it’s so popular.
There is a hack attack every 39 seconds affecting on in three Americans. Cyber attacks vary in sort and severity, but they can be absolutely devastating, especially for small business owners. You may not think you are vulnerable, but 43% of cyber attacks are targeted at small businesses.
Hackers have easy access to the WordPress website code through the multitude of plugins that people embed into WordPress. These plugins serve as backdoors into your website and hosting server.
Even brand name companies like Yahoo, Marriott, eBay, Equifax, Target, US Office of Personnel Management, Home Depot, and recently Capital One have been hacked, potentially exposing millions of people’s personal data to the dark side of the web.
So, keeping your website secure is vitally important today. In fact, every website needs to be secured using SSL (https://) to ensure safe usage for your website visitors. Website visitors look for that and Google takes SSL into consideration when ranking and listing website results.
What CMS / CRM / Automation Should You Use?
Fortunately, there is a great website CMS and CRM that will help you overcome all these issues. In fact, it offers you not only a secure CMS, but also an integrated CRM, Marketing Automation Hub, and an Automated Service Hub.
I’m referencing HubSpot, considered the top marketing automation platform on the market. Let me state now for full disclosure that we are a HubSpot Partner, mainly because after researching all the systems on the market, we are convinced that this is the best one for our clients.
The HubSpot system offers you the following:
HubSpot gives you the ability to personalize all your content, which means better user experiences and better performing websites. Personalization also dynamically tailors your content to individual visitors based in the CRM system, from demographic information to past interactions with your brand.
- All-in-One Marketing, Sales, and Service Platform
The HubSpot system eliminates the need for disconnected tools by hosting your content on one integrated platform. Leads sync directly with the CRM; no exporting and importing required. Chatbots connect visitors with a human. And social, digital ads, and email feel like a natural extension of your website experience.
- Content Creation
It’s easy to create a professional-looking blog, landing pages, social media posts, and website content with drag and drop modules. SEO recommendations help you optimize your site, and built-in analytics reports help measure performance. Website pages and emails also include a responsive design that makes all your content automatically optimized for every device, whether it’s a desktop, laptop, or mobile.
- Security and Stability
Your site will be backed by a world-class content delivery network (CDN) to serve your content across the globe in the fastest way possible. Secure SSL is included, ensuring a safe browsing experience for your visitors. You will also have the most reliable hosting with uptime at 99.999%.
The CRM helps you organize information about all your contacts, track quota attainment, emails, calls made, meetings booked, and deals closed. It eliminates spreadsheets for sales forecasting and managing your team’s pipeline. Segment your contacts by properties such as location, deal size, close date, type of business, or position. It helps scale your sales process, helping you identify effective and ineffective patterns in sales behaviors to grow your business more effectively.
- Protection Through Compliance with GDPR and State Privacy Regulations
Your website CMS and CRM give you the ability to comply with international and national privacy regulations protecting your user’s data, as well as your own organization from severe financial penalties.
- Training and Support
As an award-winning digital agency, training company, and consultancy, Xcellimark provides world-class training and support to our HubSpot CMS and CRM users, whether it’s a company executive, marketer, sales professional, or service representative. As leaders of a HubSpot User Group and Certified HubSpot Trainers, we work to ensure that all of our HubSpot users know how to use the system effectively to achieve their business goals and objectives. For HubSpot users who do not have internal resources to manage HubSpot, we provide agency services as an extension of your marketing and sales team.
Keep Your Website Alive and Fresh
The average lifespan of a website is less than three (3) years. While you may not need a complete website redesign every 2-3 years, your content and user experience need to be consistently updated and improved upon throughout each year.
Failure to do so leads to a drop in exposure, loss of credibility, and a lower reputation among your current and potential customers.