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The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Website for Startups

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The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Website for Startups

In this digital age, opportunities are endless. The internet is a dimension of infinite possibilities for people to grow, promote, and market their businesses. Most startups take advantage of this prospect and ensure that their company has a running internet presence. And one way they do this is by building a website.

However, with all the competition online, building a website is not sufficient. You need to create a concise but eye-catching enough that you’ll attract visitors into customers. And this process is not simple. You need to write, design and develop a user-friendly website that stands out from your competitors.

Luckily, we can help you with that! This article will share 10 tips for developing a website as a startup!

Why do you need a website as a startup?

It’s a common misconception that startups should not spend money on a website, mainly because they are expressive to make and maintain. Most think that the website is useless in generating sales or getting customers.

On the contrary, a website is one of the most essential needs for a startup. A website is the most crucial asset for any startup. It’s the first thing people see, and it actually makes a great impression on people. It creates the essence of legitimacy. And as a startup, reputation and legitimacy are what you need to attract customers. So, if you want to attract investors and customers, you need a professional website.

In addition, developing a startup website can help you market your products or services,

10 Tips on How to Get the Most of Your Website as a Startup

As mentioned earlier, startup websites are the key to success. It drives a lot of traffic, converts customers, and acts as a storefront for your internet business.

Thus, you must do it right. So whether you are hiring a website development team or will develop the startup website yourself, you must do everything right. You need to make sure that it is a performing website and not just a crappy or scammy website.

Likewise, here are 10 tips on developing your startup website and getting the most out of it!

1. Keep It Simple and Minimalistic with Your Design

A website design can make or break a startup company. A wrong website design can lead to a lot of problems. And if it’s too complicated, visitors may not be able to find the information they are looking for, such as product data or contact information. And this is the last thing you want as a startup – losing a potential customer over a web design.

Likewise, we should always keep in mind that simplicity is the key to a startup website. We should never overwhelm our visitors with too many features. Moreover, you should start with the idea of not trying to sell anything on the site but just trying to get people interested in what we have to offer.

2. Make sure it’s optimized for SEO

One primary reason startups should focus on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is visibility. SEO can help them get their name out there. A strong SEO strategy will help them rank higher in SERPs, generate more traffic, and attract more potential clients – which they can convert into revenue.

However, SEO optimization for a startup website is not just about ranking well on Google. It’s about ranking well in search results relevant to your business. As such, here are some ways to adopt SEO in your startup website:

  • Using keywords in your content;
  • Create a power page content along with infographic or presentation videos;
  • Posting SEO optimized and rich articles;
  • Optimizing the URL structure;
  • Publishing content regularly and consistently;
  • Fast loading speed;
  • Existence of high-quality backlinks;
  • Linking from social media to your website.

3. Place clear CTAs

CTAs are an essential factor for any website as they can make or break the site’s conversion rates. Per se, a startup website should have clear CTAs so that visitors know what they are supposed to do on the site.

The best way to put a CTA on a website is to make it prominent and eye-catching. You should also make sure that it’s easy to find and doesn’t require any effort on the visitor’s part to click on it.

4. Maintain a cohesive brand identity

Branding is essential for every business, especially for startups. It gives your startup an identity, personality, beliefs, values, and story. It is a way for customers to easily remember your company. Good branding can make you iconic to your customers.

And since your website is the storefront of your startup on the internet, you should make sure that it has your branding. Your startup websites should maintain cohesive brand identity and design. It can help you establish a personal connection with your visitors and communicate your product to them. This will give the website an edge over its competitors.

Likewise, a well-thought-out brand identity in your website can create a lasting impression on the customer, making them want to come back to your site repeatedly. It also helps build trust with customers, which becomes crucial when dealing with sensitive information like banking details or personal information.

5. Post engaging and niche content

Niche content is a must for startups. It helps them connect with their target audience and provides them with an opportunity to get discovered by potential investors. As such, your website should have content that will be able to engage with your visitors and make them want to discover more about your offerings.

Here are some tips that will help you create better niche content for your startup:

  • Target a specific niche close to your business industry. You must understand the needs of your target audience and come up with solutions to those needs.
  • Ensure that your niche content is engaging and has the potential to be shared on social media.
  • Make sure that you post at least one piece of niche content per week.
  • You can also try guest posting on a related website to invite others to visit your blogs and articles.

6. Make sure that it’s easy to navigate

When people use a website, they usually go to the homepage and then explore. So, your navigation needs to be easily maneuverable.

A well-designed and easy-to-navigate website is an essential factor in attracting potential customers. Customers will want to explore your site, so it needs to be easy to find what they are looking for without having too much trouble. A good navigation design will help make your site more user-friendly and encourage visitors to stay on the page longer.

7.  Leads to Your Social Media Accounts

Social media platforms are powerful tools for marketing and promoting your business. They are also a great way to stay in touch with customers and other people who may be interested in your company.

Likewise, adding social media accounts to your startup website is a great way to increase the spread of your content. When you include a share button on social media button on your website, users will likely do it if they enjoyed your content enough. It can help you grow your business by increasing awareness of what you offer.

8. Show Testimonial

Testimonial is a startup website need. It is crucial for your startup website because they give a sense of legitimacy to the product. And since you are only starting, this lets the user feel more confident about the product, which leads to them trusting it more.

Moreover, adding testimonials to your website is an excellent alternative to the standard sales pitch. Most consumers are more likely to buy your products after seeing other customer reviews.

9. Adaptive Design and Mobile Friendly

According to the latest data from GSMA Intelligence, there are about 5.32 billion unique mobile phone users in the world. And as a startup, you should not ignore the opportunity to make your website accessible to these people.

As such, mobile-friendliness is crucial to the success of any startup website. A website that is not optimized for mobile devices will not be able to provide the best experience for them. Potential customers using mobile to browse your website will likely leave when they see your website is not mobile optimized.

10.  Be ready for changes and adapt!

Startups have a lot of unique challenges to face. They have to think about their customers, their branding, and the market they are in. It can be challenging for startups to keep up with website trends in this fast-paced world.

But if they don’t adapt to the trends, they will not be able to make themselves stand out from the competition. Websites are built for the people who visit them. It is essential to know what your audience wants and needs to provide them with that experience. Monitor their behavior and experience on your website, collect results and share your ideas with digital reports with your team, so you will discuss it together and make it better. The website should be able to provide what they need and make sure that they have a good time while they are there.

Final Thoughts

There is no instant recipe for building the perfect startup website. You are most likely to stumble or face challenges when developing one. Still, it would be better to follow these tips and minimize errors. After all, you are just starting with your business and have limited resources.

So make sure to get it right and see your website help you increase sales and revenue!

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

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Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

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So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

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  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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