Whether you are just starting a business, or have been around since the first caveman traded two sticks for a rock, your business needs a website to survive in todays marketplace. What tools do you need to build a website designed to grow with your business?
3 Steps to getting your company online
Getting an online presence for your company is not difficult, all you need is a domain name, hosting plan, and website pages. Think of the internet as the universes largest mall or office tower. Imagine there is unlimited spaces available for lease or rent, and you want to put your business in this building. The first thing you do is name your business, in this example that is your domain name. Next you need to pick out the space you are going to rent, in the internet community that is called hosting. Last you need to hire a contractor to come renovate your space, or do it yourself, that is the website design stage.
Sounds simple, right? Anyone who has ever built or designed anything will tell you, you need the right tools for the job. Building a website designed to grow with your business, requires more than just a catchy name, robust hosting plan, and high end designer. You need to make sure you have the correct tools in place to accomplish your goals.
What is a website tool stack?
A tool stack is a group of tools or programs you will use to complete a project. In this case our project is building a website designed for growth. If you have ever tried to change a light switch with a butterknife you know the importance of using the proper tools.
Selecting the proper tools for your Growth-Driven Design tool stack will help remove bottlenecks and empower team members to take action. - Luke Summerfield, Hubspot Academy
CMS - Content Management System
A content management system is the first tool you need to build a website. Wordpress is the worlds largest CMS, but it's not the only one. Depending on what sort of website or blog you are trying to build, there may be better a CMS tool for you to consider. Being the largest doesn't automatically make it the best. You should select a CMS that you are comfortable with, because if you don't know how to update your own website, how will it grow with your business?
We use HubSpot as our CMS of choice here at Larmahil. For us it was important that our CMS do the following things:
- Easy content creation our whole team can use.
- Integrate directly with our CRM.
- Offer insights and analytics for page views, time on page, and origin source.
- Fit within our monthly budget.
- Use smart technology to change the user experience depending on lifecycle stage.
When we reviewed our list of priorities we found that HubSpot was able to deliver all of our most desired requirements, and continuing to use Wordpress would limit our ability to grow. Some of the items on our 'list of requirements' would have forced us to use several different Wordpress plugins and integrations.
Analytic tools are used to give you important information about your website. A powerful tool you can use to learn about your website traffic is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free service Google provides to help give you feedback on your website traffic. With Google Analytics you can learn things like:
- Traffic origin source
- Time on page
- Demographics: Age range, Gender, Location, Device type
- Conversion rate
These metrics are important to know if you want to continue to modify your website based on who is visiting it. Sometimes you need to go even further, if you are running multiple social media channels, and pay per click advertising campaigns, you may want to look at an advanced tool like MOZ or SEMRUSH. Advanced tools will offer you deeper insights to how effective your campaigns are at bringing in visitors and converting them to leads.
UX - User Experience
The final tool for building a growth driven website, is one which will provide you with feedback on how website visitors (users) interact with the content on your site. Do the stop to read or scroll past important pieces of content? Without integrating a UX tool like Hotjar, you could only guess.
Hotjar uses screen recording technology to provide you with visual feedback on how your visitors are using your website. Armed with this information you can adjust your pages based on real data, not just assumptions.
If you don't like the idea of subscribing to a user experience tool, you can compile similar data by surveying your visitors to find out what they think of your company website.
These are just a few of the important tools to include in your website tool stack. Other factors to consider include, lead generation tools like live chat and pop-up forms, SEO and CRM integrations. You can learn more about Growth Driven Design by checking out our knowledge centre, and don't forget to subscribe!