Published on November 1st, 2017
If you’re a regular on the IMPACT website, you’ll notice we made some big changes yesterday.
But this wasn’t a website website redesign. We recently reimagined IMPACT as a whole, and now, our website reflects this reimagining.
You see, our purpose is to help people and their organizations succeed, but when we tell people we’re an agency, it’s like tacking on a footnote that says “as long as you have $5 to $10K a month to spend with us.”
That’s not what IMPACT is or who our people are.
This redesign reflects our shift from being an inbound marketing agency with a blog to an industry resource that helps as many as it can through articles, events, a sense of community, as well as agency services for those interested.
We also made these changes out of necessity. Earlier this quarter, we set a goal of getting 1,000,000 monthly visitors on the IMPACT website.
The quality of our content is strong and can undoubtedly get us there eventually, but to speed up the process, we needed to improve our technical SEO and get our website performing like a well-oiled machine.
Let me walk you through some of the changes you’ll encounter and they were made.
The New Homepage
When you first arrive on the new IMPACT homepage, you’ll find the most real estate is taken up by our articles. Rather than store them on a blog directory hidden in our navigation, we brought them front and center.
From a positioning standpoint, this was a must if we wanted to be known for our content and thought leadership first.
First impressions are lasting impressions so, if we want to be seen as a resource, those resources should be the first thing people see.
On the technical SEO note, this move would also ensure that our homepage was constantly updated.
Google’s algorithm favors fresh content and by housing, a new batch of articles every day, our homepage would be crawled more frequently.
The New Navigation
Next, with so much content, we needed to make it easier to navigate through.
Over the years, nailing down a navigation that was easier to understand and follow has been a challenge for us, but with this redesign, we’ve finally nailed one we’re proud of.
Inspired by the simplicity of Apple’s menu, our new navigation follows the typical journey someone experiences with us, from discovering one of our articles, to engaging with our shows or in our community, to attending an event, or hiring us for services.
If you’re on our website for the first time, you’re directed to a page titled “New to IMPACT.”
About 76% of our traffic last month was new. That means the majority of people are finding us from search and they’re probably wondering who we are, what we do, and frankly if we’re legit. So, this page lays it out for them. Telling them exactly what to do, what pages to visit, and in what order:
- Podcasts & Shows
- IMPACT Elite
- IMPACT Live
- Agency Services
Our navigation itself, now in a hidden hamburger menu, is laid out in the same order, making the journey clearer than it has ever been.
The Rich New Content Categorization System
Again taking lead from another brand we admire, MarketingProfs, we’ve also introduced a new, rich content categorization system.
Before the redesign, IMPACT’s content (over 3,000 articles, mind you) was divided into just 6 categories:
- Getting Found
- Lead Generation
Today, it’s divided into over 100 keyword-specific categories as well as 10 different formats.
This dramatically improves our user experience, making it easier for readers to finding exactly what they’re looking for as well as the medium they enjoy best.
Following the “Topic Cluster” strategy, this also gave use over 100 new, regularly updated Pillar Pages to be crawled and indexed by Google.
A Truly Valuable Lead Magnet
In addition to the visual updates to the website came a new offer.
Data showed one of our most popular offers of all-time was released over four years ago and still brought in 168 contacts last year with absolutely no promotion.
It was our “Free Sample Inbound Marketing GamePlan,” which, in a nutshell, was a 20-page example of the marketing strategy we would put together for clients.
At one point its landing page was converting at 56% and people even asked us if we could translate it into different languages.
The need for something like this was clearly real and it came as no surprise. Strategy is a concern at all stages of the funnel so an offer like this is universally useful.
So, we decided to give it a face-lift.
A lot has changed since we first created this offer; both internally in how we execute and plan inbound strategies as well as the industry overall. So, for our redesign, we decided to completely update the offer and use it as our lead magnet for generating new blog subscribers.
Side note: You can get your free 2018 Inbound Marketing Strategy Sample & Template here.
As Joe Pulizzi has said, “Email is the most important channel... it’s the one we have the most control over.”
By adding such an enticing lead magnet to the action of subscribing to our blog, we would not only incentivize and encourage the action but also show readers exactly the immense value we brought to the table with the deliverable.
Since this is our front-and-center offer, our goal is to continuously update it with as much value as possible, with improvements expected month-over-month as we test and enhance our own strategy.
It’s also important to note that we’ve eliminated our exit-intent pop-up in favor of a sidebar call-to-action that follows users down the page to promote this. This is the first time IMPACT’s website will have a sidebar in three years.
User behavior is always changing and, as marketers, we have to change with it. That’s why we originally removed our sidebar, but as with everything we do, this is a test that we’ll be watching closely.
Our hope is to create a more delightful user experience with this conversion path and provide unmatched value with the offer.
Guiding Users Through Their IMPACT Journey
The next step in this whole process is what we call lead nurturing -- guiding readers through their journey with IMPACT.
Once someone subscribes to our articles via the new offer, they receive a welcome email with some of our top content and telling them a little bit more about our organization. They’re given the opportunity to adjust their email frequency, follow us on social media, or even send us feedback.
After some time has passed and they’ve viewed a few more pages on our website, readers then receive an email offering to unlock 10 of IMPACT’s top premium offers for a few more form fields.
This allows us to learn a bit more about them (in turn, enabling a more personalized experience upon their return to our site and better segmentation) and also gives the user amazing value by delivering 10 premium offers with just one form.
The goal, again, is to let people experience as much of our value and thought leadership as possible before they even enter our sales funnel. This builds trust and our position as a trusted advisor in our eyes.
If and when this person does get on the phone with a member of our sales team, half of the battle is already won. They know what we have to offer; there’s no sales pitch needed.
It’s a win-win.
Now, the pieces are in place, but our work has just begun.
With all of these changes, we’re monitoring the new homepage and feature performance closely; analyzing traffic, bounce rate, and conversion rates among other things and gauging it against our historical data.
Using this, we’ll continue to fine tune our website’s performance to both aid our traffic and conversion goals and also create the ideal experience for our visitors and readers like you.
Expanding the Team
Accomplishing this will require a lot of investment by IMPACT as a whole, but especially our marketing team.
In the coming months, we will be expanding our marketing and brand team, bringing Kathleen Booth to its helm as VP of Marketing.
Along with her, Ramona, Content Marketing Manager; Christine, Creative Lead; Kyle, Video & Emerging Media Manager; Liz, Content Strategist, and Nick, heading up sponsorships and new revenue, Kathleen will guide IMPACT towards its 1-million visitor goal.
Expanding Our Offering
As I mentioned earlier, we’ll also be extending our offering dramatically. Aside from agency services, we’ll be investing heavily in live events, primarily IMPACT Live.
We’re going from 200 attendees last year to roughly 500 in 2018. With more attendees, we’ll need more sponsors and partners to help make this event a success.
Expanding Our Community
Last, but not least, if you aren’t already a member of IMPACT Elite, join now.
Elite is our buzzing community on Facebook where over 700 of marketing’s sharpest minds are asking questions, sharing ideas, and getting inspired every day.
This is where we’re really going to connect with our audience whether they are clients, past team members, readers of our blog, attendees of IMPACT Live, fans of our podcasts, or people just discovering us.
It’s where we aspire to break down the impersonal nature of the digital world, get to know our audience personally, and truly accomplish our purpose.
Which brings me back to why we’re going through this website redesign; to help people and their organizations succeed.
Our website is just one small piece of even more amazing things to come and we can’t wait to share them all with you.
In the meantime, let us know what you think! Drop me a comment below with your thoughts on the new homepage, offer, etc. I’d love to hear from you.