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Editor’s note: The following article was written by Lee Webb, Managing Director at Pixel Lab, a Digital Growth Agency, HubSpot Certified Partner and member of WP Engine’s Agency Partner Program

Earlier this year, WP Engine announced it would be partnering with HubSpot, a leading developer of inbound marketing, sales, and business growth technology.

They also announced that, as a result of this partnership, the updated HubSpot plugin for WordPress would be integrated across all of WP Engine’s StudioPress themes.

While some marketers and businesses may be aware of the benefits and value provided by WP Engine, WordPress, and HubSpot as standalone platforms, the integration of all three can provide businesses of all sizes with dramatic, enterprise-level growth rates. 

Read on to discover how…

The end of the digital shop window

For most businesses, websites were initially nothing more than a “digital shop window,” a perfunctory box-ticking exercise so that those who already knew their business by name could Google its address and contact details. A place to show off their pretty brand colours summarise their service and professional ethos, and of course host those obligatory staff photos that still make everyone cringe.

For many, this perception of a website hasn’t died out, or rather, their website hasn’t ever transcended the duty of a shop window.

This essentially means that many company websites—from start-ups to global corporations—remain untapped resources of rapid business growth enablement.

With technology having both the power and usability it has in this day and age, a website should never be just a shop window.

What most people are lacking is the inside knowledge of what combination of tools and platforms can effectively and efficiently transform their website into a potent business driver.

Armed with this know-how, your website can easily be the most successful and hard-working salesperson you’ve ever had.

As more industries evolve and gradually adopt more advanced digital practices and platforms into the core fibre of their business, using one’s own website as a high-powered sales and conversion tool will become standard.

Until that moment arrives however, you good people reading this have the opportunity and privilege of being an early adopter. By getting ahead of the curve, you can leverage these best practices of the future to gain a significant competitive advantage within your market today.

Three hurdles to online business growth

So why is it that most businesses fail to use their website as anything other than a shop window? Where are they still falling down? Broadly speaking, it tends to come down to a combination of three factors:

They don’t choose the best hosting platform

Poor hosting results in temperamental website operation. Do you often get complaints of slow page loading times or other problem areas of your site which commonly lag or crash? The problem could be your hosting provider. 

Ultimately, if you’re a serious business, and are serious about getting business, you can’t afford to have a fragmented user experience. Not only will people that visit your site associate your brand with faulty machinery, but they are also much more likely to lose interest and leave—meaning all the time and energy you put into its written content and visual look and feel is wasted.

Their website is not designed or built with a customer-first mentality

The old-school (and if we’re frank, outdated) “digital shop window” website approach means that the first questions your page answers are likely to be “who are we?”, “what do we do?”, “how do we do what we do better than everyone else?

This approach of broadcasting who you are and what you do from the start is the online equivalent of knocking on someone’s door to explain to them why they urgently need your dodgy double-glazing.

In today’s world, where instant access to information is a commodity we all expect, customers are far more likely to lap up what you’re selling if it provides the answer to their question.

That means the content of your website has to be relevant and more importantly of use to the people that land on it, and it should be designed and structured in a way that clearly puts their needs first. 

Your website needs to be built on a content management system that is intuitive and easy to use, without being restrictive. 

If you’re not a web development whizz, it can be very helpful to have a system that holds your hand a bit—just be wary of systems that hold your hand so tightly they don’t give you the freedom to do what you want (quick tip: if your platform allows you to build a website using “drag and drop” tools, it’s likely to fall into this category).

Finally, your website needs to be marketing exclusively to the right people, which requires you to know your audience really, really well.

They don’t have the data and analytics they need to know their audience

Transforming your website into a customer-first experience is never an overnight job. It is a constant ongoing process of adjustment and refinement—a bit like tweaking the ingredients of a cake recipe until you eventually get it just right.

You might have an incredibly well-written, informative blog that is pulling prospective customers in from Google, but if the rest of your website doesn’t lead them to explore elsewhere and eventually click that contact button, you’ve still got work to do.

Crafting an effective end-to-end customer journey can be a long and at times tedious process, but it’s relatively straightforward if you’ve got the right tools at your disposal. The problem for most businesses is, of course, that they don’t.

In order to tailor your website experience so that it eventually becomes entirely purpose-built to attract visitors, engage them, and then move closer to the point of sale, you need detailed analytics on how people are currently reacting to (or interacting with) your site.

With the right data at your fingertips, you can make gradual improvements until your website is a high-end experience that is precision-tailored to your customers’ exact needs and motivations. 

Without any data to look at, you’ll be firing blindly at an awful lot of moving targets, and without any way to gauge the success of your refinements, you’re much more likely to give up before you’ve got the formula right.

So, to quickly summarise the above, the key ingredients needed for your website to become a proactive driver of business growth are:-

  1. Leading-edge hosting capabilities – Your website must be operationally sound; you need to provide an optimal user experience, and to do that, it needs to be hosted on a platform that offers superior stability, security, and speed.
  2. Customer-first design and build – The structure, content, and design of your website should all work together to address the needs, motivations, and desires of your customers and prospects. It needs to demonstrate an understanding of the challenges they face, and present your service as the solution. Doing that successfully often requires your site to be built on a content management system that is intuitive and easy to use, without being restrictive. 
  3. Detailed analytics and insights on user behaviours – You need to be able to retain information of who is interacting with your website and how, so that you can understand what drives your users, and continually tailor your website experience until it is perfectly suited to their wants and needs.

So, bringing us neatly back to the platforms mentioned in the title of this piece, WP Engine, WordPress, and Hubspot make for a winning combination here.

For those not already in the know, let’s run through the benefits of each tool, and how, together, they serve to fulfil the requirements of a website that proactively serves to grow your business:

WP Engine

By providing enterprise-level hosting capabilities to businesses of all sizes, WP Engine’s Digital Experience Platform for WordPress is what will give your website exceptional speed and security. 

The combination of advanced proprietary caching, free content delivery from a worldwide set of servers, and real-time backup and testing of all website changes are all part of what to make websites hosted on WP Engine simply work faster than those on other platforms.

The overall result is dramatically better website performance and page load times, highly competitive uptime, round-the-clock technical support and airtight security (on average, WP Engine blocks 3.36 billion security attacks each month). 

WordPress

Over a third of the internet is powered by WordPress, and for good reason, it is one of the most intuitive content management systems available.

As an open source platform, it is also regularly updated and improved by a large worldwide community of contributors.

Hosting your WordPress website on WP Engine gives you access to a powerful suite of native plugins and tools, and this is what sets it apart from the competition.

HubSpot

So now you have a fast, fully-functioning website that you can intuitively manage, it’s time to put it to work.

HubSpot is the final component of this equation, and the one that will supercharge your capacity for business growth.

Let’s cast our minds back to some of the earlier points in this article, the importance of knowing your audience, putting them first, and continuously tinkering with your website until it proves to be an engaging digital experience from end to end.

HubSpot is what gives you access to the analytics and insights you need to know your audience. It also helps you to build workflows so that you can quickly transfer the interest someone shows in your website or service offering into a one-to-one conversation about how your service can help to address their needs.

Using customers as fuel

One of the biggest benefits of optimising your online customer experience and ensuring that it is as pleasant, seamless, and ultimately valuable to your targets as possible, is that a very satisfied customer is often also a vocal customer.

This is the crux of using HubSpot to grow your business. 

You can read up on this in greater detail by looking at this piece on what HubSpot call ‘the flywheel’, but essentially, by focusing on delighting your customers, you’re also underhandedly investing in word of mouth promotion for your business. 

The more the people hear about your business this way, the more you can delight them too, and then they can shout about your business—and so on. 

In layman’s terms, you’re using customers as fuel to accelerate further business growth. The more you scale up, the more fuel you have to scale up further.

The power of integration

This virtuous circle of business growth is a beautiful thing once you’ve got it up and running. Now that WP Engine, WordPress, and HubSpot are linked via a native integration, you can achieve all of the above from one dashboard. And with recently-launched offerings like WP Engine Site Templates, you can accelerate the time it takes to launch a preconfigured WordPress site featuring HubSpot. Check out this article to find out more.  

Nurturing and delighting customers is what lies at the root of business growth, and thanks to the HubSpot native integration with WP Engine and WordPress, you can now do all of this more efficiently, effectively and accurately by doing it through the same interface—that means fewer tools to manage, a more streamlined process, and a centralised source of data on all of your customers and prospects.

Everything from the live chat function on your website, to the introductory video explaining who you are, to the consultation CTA at the bottom of the page can be plugged into your website through the WordPress CMS, and integrated and measured through HubSpot.

Visit Pixel Lab to find out more about how the agency helps clients use WordPress to optimize their digital presence and click here to find out more about leveraging WP Engine to build WordPress sites with HubSpot functionality built-in.