What happens when your website becomes your digital front door?
When I joined the Innovatemap team in late 2019, our primary marketing channels were in-person events and networking. We began to elevate our digital marketing through owned channels and our online community. We started connecting with past and current clients through email. We even kicked off planning for a 300+ in-person conference.
Then COVID happened. We lost the ability to meet face-to-face with the comfort we had in the past.
I was not prepared for just how much our website needed to grow and change.
Our website pre-2020
It’s not that our website wasn’t performing. If you had already heard of us, it worked quite well at converting the existing pipeline as a sales enablement tool. But it wasn’t prepared to supplement or even replace the in-person connection that always worked for us.
- Examples of our work were shared with prospects only after engaging with us when they are in the consideration phase
- We spoke in outcomes, but we didn’t list our client portfolio on our site
- Some prospects viewed our site and walked away without a clear understanding of what we did
Ultimately, our website was built to enable the in-person selling process, and that had to change.
Our path to a new website experience
Any marketer in 2020 likely faced a similar challenge: maintain existing and/or drive new revenue through the website… or else.
Once we aligned on what we needed to improve, we formed an internal team and gave ourselves a deadline of two months to redesign and launch the next generation of our website. These foundational decisions defined what needed to change:
- Lean into a digital marketing strategy — We made the decision that our website wasn’t just a digital brochure, but a method to convert interested web visitors (especially mobile ones) from prospects to clients.
- Pull back the curtain on client work — We turned our humbleness into pride and began working with clients to approve examples of their work to share. For our agency, this required a bit of a culture shift that proved worth the effort.
- Bridge the gap between custom solutions and packaged services — Our web visitors didn’t always want to wait for a phone call to learn more about how we can serve them. We wanted to highlight our custom work without commoditizing it.
These were fundamentally new strategies for Innovatemap’s business development and growth. We want to be around to build award-winning digital products for a long time. So we needed to adjust our sales process to this new digital normal.
The end result? A website that…
- Mimicks the storytelling and examples of client work that a prospect would have heard and seen in-person
- Lists our clients by name
- Shares the work we’ve delivered to clients
- Explains our custom solutions to your custom needs with a menu to order from
By July 31, 2020, the new Innovatemap.com was live.
After nearly three months with our new site, we’ve seen:
- Users, page views and pages viewed per session increased. Visitors are viewing more pages and staying on the site longer than they did pre-launch.
- Content marketing is a large part of our marketing strategy, meaning bounce rates are often higher. But to my surprise, bounce rates diminished slightly, which explains that visitors landing on our site for an article aren’t immediately leaving when they’re done reading.
- Increased traffic to relevant pages. People still come to our site and view our individual team pages, but our Work page is now always within the top three most viewed pages (where prior to July, it didn’t exist at all).
- Prospects converting from outreach to meeting faster and more often with the content that used to only be unveiled in-person
This website refresh was well worth the investment in time and resources.
So, ask yourself this – is your website your new digital front door? How successful will your digital marketing campaigns be if your website can’t convert prospects to customers? What part of your in-person sales process is suffering in a digital-first world? Build a proper foundation through product marketing and design first. Then drive traffic to it through your marketing campaigns. I guarantee you’ll see a difference in results.