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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistFri, Jul 17, 2015 10 min read

Inbound Marketing Changed Our Thinking From Websites To Web Pages

Inbound Marketing Website Design StrategyGoogle and the other search engines don’t rank websites. They rank web pages.

This isn’t a new concept for a progressive inbound marketing agency like Square 2 Marketing, but it might be a new thought for CEOs, business owners and VPs of marketing.

Stop thinking about your website as a single unit. Start looking at it page by page if you want to increase the amount of new visitors stopping by.

This change in thinking triggers a major shift in website design strategy, and a monumental one in how people think about and manage their business websites. Here are the adjustments you need to make today in order to ensure that your business continues to rank highly and that your site generates leads for your business.

Keep Your Prospects' Questions And Pains In Mind

If you want web pages that rank highly and that do an amazing job of turning visitors into leads, you need to stop thinking about your website like a brochure about your company. Start thinking about it as an educational course to help your prospects. After all, your prospects don’t care about you. They only care about themselves, and they are only on your site to get information. Give it to them.

Teach them. Introduce them to new concepts. Make them look smart within their own organizations. If you’re B2C, give them information so they feel 100% safe and comfortable buying from your website. This doesn’t always mean flooding them with product info or detailed specs. Sometimes, it means helping them understand the difference between your new space-age polymers and the material that’s been used traditionally. Maybe it means showing them why a longer, more thought-out implementation process ensures a successful software deployment instead of just winging it.

Understand their pains and questions. Use each page deliberately to answer those questions and assuage those pains.

Your Website Should Be Worked On Monthly

I know, your website is three years old. You haven’t touched it since it went live back in 2012. You should strongly consider graduating from that old-school website launch mentality and moving into a more fluid, agile and dynamic approach. Instead of working for six months to launch a new site, you should be upgrading pages every month.

Start with the highly visited pages and work your way through the site. Rework those popular pages so they turn more visitors into leads. They should be optimized for mobile, tell a compelling and emotional story and, most important, have a variety of conversion points to move visitors down the sales funnel as leads or sales opportunities.

This change in approach is going to impact the performance of your inbound marketing program much more dramatically and in a much shorter time frame than waiting six months for a whole new site to launch.

You Need A Page-By-Page Website Strategy

This is a major shift in the way an inbound marketing agency builds a site and the way you should be thinking about it. When it comes to deploying a page-by-page website strategy, you need a methodology. If you’re hiring a website design shop, marketing agency or graphic designer to help you build a new site, make sure they take this approach to your project.

We used to create a home page and then a template for the secondary pages. We used to write all the website copy for every page at once and then overlay the SEO strategy into the copy and architectural plans. Today, we do it much differently. Today, you want your strategic marketing partner to go page by page on design, copy, search and conversion.

Here’s an example of the thinking that goes into every single page on a client’s website.

  • What question does the person visiting this page have that we can answer?
  • What do we want them to feel (what emotion do we want them to have) when they visit this page?
  • What stories do they need to hear in order to feel good about doing business with us?
  • What pains do visitors to this page have that we can solve?
  • What stage in the buyer journey are people on this page typically in?
  • What action do we want them to take when they’re on this page?
  • What images or imagery do they need to see on this page in order to feel good about our company?
  • What additional content or offers fit into the buyer journey for people on this page of our site?
  • What search terms, keywords or keyword phrases do we want this page to rank for?
  • What other pages on the site might help them get information so they feel safe working with us?

All of this work, and it's for just a single page on your website. Imagine going through this exercise for a site with 100 pages. This is why an inbound marketing website takes more than two weeks and costs more than $2,000. The work involved in making a site that's search ready, that converts visitors into leads and that tells a compelling, emotional story is extensive, and you want it done right. Don’t take a short cut with your website project.

Consider Growth-Driven Design Or Conversion Optimization As Mandatory

As I mentioned earlier, website upgrades are never complete. There is no “final” version of your website. A website that’s generating a large amount of leads for clients has to be optimized on a monthly basis. This ongoing optimization is also referred to as growth-driven design, the process of tweaking and adjusting the design of the pages so that the site grows in its ability to convert visitors into leads.

This effort takes a very specific skill set. You must be able to look at the site pages, prioritize them based on their ability to drive results and then test different optimization experiments to see which ones impact the highest level of improvement. Over time, this optimization effort might contribute up to a 50% increase in leads on a site that gets very little attention. So, if you’re getting 8-10 leads a month, and you implement growth-driven design or conversion rate optimization, now you’re getting 12-15 leads a month. That’s between 48 and 60 extra leads a year.

Publish, Publish And Publish More

Your prospects are also behaving differently once they get to your site. Ten years ago, people when to a site once and never went back again, even if they liked it. Now, people visit your site two, three, even four times in a given month – especially if your site is full of educational material. Why?

They’re looking for more material. So, if someone stops by and doesn’t see anything they want to download, they leave without converting. If your site did a nice job, though, they’re coming back, which means you better be adding more content on a monthly basis. Then, the next time they come back, they'll find something worth downloading and become a new lead in your database.

The more educational content you publish, the more leads your inbound Marketing Machine generates for your business.

Start Today Tip – You can start looking at growth-driven design or conversion optimization on your current website immediately. In fact, I highly recommend getting close enough to the data to know which pages are most trafficked and which ones convert the best. This gives you a priority listing of pages that need immediate attention. Start working on fixing these pages so that you drive more leads from your current visitors. Then, you can go back through your site and find all those that do a poor job of answering the questions we shared in this article. This will be a secondary list of work for which you might want to consider hiring an inbound marketing agency to help you.

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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.