We just launched a redesigned Leadspace.com, with the help of our friends at iiD. Our goal was to create a site that would appeal to our core audience of B2B marketing and sales professionals interested in lead and demand generation and predictive analytics. Looking back, I thought of a few tips that would be helpful for others undertaking a website redesign. (Aside from not forgetting to use long, clickbait headlines.)
Here’s what we did right:
Perform a content audit first
This was a critical step. Over the past few years we’ve built up a mix of great content as well as content that was stale, offbrand, not in line with our current positioning, written by people we’ve never even heard of or, well, just lame.
When a user reads something off-message, you’ll have to re-educate them later. Better to just remove the offending piece of content. During the audit, ask yourself how each piece of content aligns with your target audience and buyer stages. Do you have content for each stage? Is it genuinely interesting and helpful for the buyer? This also helps identify gaps you can fill with future content. Doing the audit also informs how you’ll structure the site, particularly the Resources section.
Fully-implemented marketing automation
Our previous site used a WordPress plugin to create download forms, which meant we missed out on a lot of great Marketo functionality. Our new site uses embedded Marketo forms that offer much more robust (and clean) lead tracking. This is essential groundwork for getting closer to multi-touch attribution nirvana. It also avoids the workarounds and duct tape that keep me up at night.
We can now add social form fill (the ability for people to use their Facebook or LinkedIn profile information when filling out a form), progressive profiling (tailoring the signup experience based on how much interest the reader shows), and all that good stuff.
Look at your competitors
We looked at our competitive space from both a messaging and design perspective. With regards to messaging, it’s immediately clear how noisy and confusing the predictive analytics space is for buyers. This analysis helped us understand how to put forth a clear, differentiated message.
From a design perspective, so many B2B websites are starting to look the same. Plug in an off-the-rack WordPress website template, swap out the logo, rinse and repeat. Given the need for responsive design (making sure your site is easily viewable on all devices) and the increasing popularity of simple, two-dimensional (or flat) design, it’s not surprising many companies choose a pre-made design.
But the result is the increasing homogenization we see on the Web. iiD helped us find a way to fit the functional needs of a site optimized for mobile while adding dynamic elements with video and animation so we can stand out a little bit. We want our audience to see us as bold and innovative, but not be off the mark for an enterprise audience.
And now, the one thing we did wrong.
Make sure your blog can easily support calls to action
Yep, this demand gen guy forgot to include call to action (CTA) functionality for the bottom of each blog. It’s rule #1 for turning a blog into a demand gen tool. And I missed it. Every blog post should give the reader the opportunity to get more information: sign up for your newsletter, listen to a webinar, request a demo or download an ebook. It’s the best way to capitalize on the reader’s interest and get leads from all that great blog content you’re churning out. We’re quickly remedying this. (What you see below is a bit of a kluge).
Tell us what you think of the new Leadspace.com (and anything else we missed).