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David Mills
By David Mills on August 17, 2021

When a Website Update is a Thing of Beauty

Marketers and sales teams have to be free to make a website update quickly and effectively

For lots of businesses and nonprofits, a website update is a painful and challenging process. They have to reach out to their developer and designer, or find one, create a scope of work, and then get the project into the development queue. Unless of course, they have a developer and a designer on standby with nothing else to do.

For people who are not developers or designers, it's easy to just avoid an update. It's too painful. That's this author. I am neither a developer nor a designer.

In my role, I am charged with helping people make better decisions about their marketing and, for some of them, offering a menu of services. There are many instances in which I need to create a web page or landing page quickly for marketing or sales purposes.

New Web Pages Right Now

I decided that I need to create a couple of fresh pages on the Story Collaborative website on a Friday morning. Yes, that's how I roll- I am an idea guy and I don't sit on my ideas very long. The pages that I thought needed to be added were about our services and our pricing. I had some communications ongoing that I felt needed a fresh presentation of these pages, and so I started building them.

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You might think it is strange that Story didn't already have pages about our services and our pricing. Those pages did exist but they were in an old style with outdated information. It's often true that the cobbler's shoes could use some polish.

Because we use a powerful SaaS software on the HubSpot CMS, I knew that as a marketer, I could in fact put those pages up myself. 

1. Start with Content

Since I already had the content for these pages, that wasn't an issue. When we are building a new high-performing website, we use a very intentional process that integrates a brand story and buyer's journey into carefully crafted content. But that wasn't necessary for these pages since they were primarily informational.

For Story Collaborative's website, our brand story and buyer journey have already been baked into the website. Of course, like every web page, I want them to lead to an action by the visitor, so I also built in the response options to each page with content I already had created.

2. Grab my layout

Using the well-developed graphic layout, color schemes, fonts, and graphics already on the website, I started building pages. To do this quickly, I opened our advanced codebase (think of it as a super-powered theme) to choose from some proven modules that I already know are effective. Many similar modules are already on the website with extremely high conversion rates. When I found the ones I wanted, I simply clicked "add" and they were placed in the HubSpot CMS website portal.

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It's great to be able to rely upon a professionally developed look and feel along with graphic assets without having to invent them every time I need to put up a new marketing page. I knew the time and focus that went into the design, so I didn't have to worry that it would be ineffective. 

With these modules added,  I had pages that already had our graphic theme installed, proven modular sections, and I could add the content and links that were needed.

The calls to action link directly to my calendar, so people who are interested in talking about our services or pricing can simply schedule. I didn't have to hunt up a graphic, size it, upload it, and link it to another page or form. 

Of course, to be fair, those CTAs and graphics were developed intentionally in advance during the website build. But rather than being constantly stuck in a slow development mode, after making the investment for the right graphics, software, and configuration upfront, I am set free as a marketer to actually get something done.  

3. Added to the menu and completed on-page SEO

With the pages complete, I used the onboard search engine optimization tools to complete the pages and publish them. With one more click, I added them to the footer menu of the website.

It's this kind of fast website update that makes the advanced code base in concert with HubSpot CMS a powerful iteration tool for marketers.

1 Hour Later: Web Update Complete

The whole website update started over coffee and was finished at the breakfast table in one hour. That's a page per half-hour. A good investment of my time that will pay dividends in the days to come. 

In days past, when we used open-sourced software with plugins and constant updates, I would have spent all of that time just updating the website when I opened it. Instead, I executed a couple of marketing essentials in just 30-minutes per page. 

Want to check the pages out?

How about a more complex page that took 1 hour?

Check out this 1-hour page that included the time to write the content.

All the things I won't have to do later

Since we use the SaaS HubSpot CMS, I won't have to worry about finding a WordPress plugin, updating code, and making sure that my call to action stays accurate. All of the upkeep is handled by full-time security and software engineers, so I can just focus on helping people make great decisions. Calls to action are managed in a dashboard that I can change globally in just a moment or two.

The ability to make iterative changes to support marketing and sales is part of what makes a website function as a growth system, instead of a boat anchor you pull up and re-adjust every once in a while. The investment in a growth system allows the marketer and sales team to do their job, make updates as needed, and stay focused on growth.

How to set marketers free?

We've found that by building the "thing right" (quote Kevin Barber at Lean Labs), so that the buyer's journey is baked into the website, the design is placed into the HubSpot CMS, our marketers are free to develop the pages that they need to support ongoing marketing. We're aren't waiting on a developer, we are stuck in a long queue somewhere, we can execute effectively as marketing develops. 

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Published by David Mills August 17, 2021
David Mills