Website Grader: Looking Beyond the Grade

May 25, 2011
Looking beyond your website grade

HubSpot’s Website Grader is a powerful weapon in Digett’s marketing arsenal; we use it to get a quick and detailed look at what a website is doing right, and where there might be room for improvement. It’s also a great benchmarking tool, and we frequently use it when creating reports for our clients — nothing promotes a sense of accomplishment like going from a 65 to an 80!

Getting an “A” is not often easy, and we’ve worked hard to earn the Digett website its grade of 99. And now that we’ve gotten our “A,” it might be tempting to slack off a bit, to let blogging deadlines pass, to not continue to nurture and grow our website.

But we look at things a little bit differently around here. We’re excited for our grade, of course, but we’re not going to let that be an excuse for coasting — instead, we’re going to use what we’ve learned, to learn more.

Learning from what we’ve learned

We know the value of consistently creating fresh content, but when it gets busy around here, scheduled blogging is the first thing to slip. So we knew we had to establish an editorial calendar and appoint one staff member the task of keeping everyone else on schedule. The ongoing creation of new content has not only helped us raise our Website Grade, but has also kept us on our toes, on the lookout for new topics and more ways to generate leads.

Our Twitter account has experienced growth in the past several months as well. The number of our followers has not increased dramatically, but we know that we are providing more and better content to those who are already listening. We tweet out links to our fresh daily content, we monitor more closely who is talking to and about us, and every Friday we join in the conversation that happens during HubSpot’s Content Camp webinar series.

While our increased publishing and more active Twitter engagement has definitely contributed to our high Website Grade, we know it’s just the beginning for us.

Keep moving forward

One area in which we feel our website is weak is inbound links: there just aren’t enough people sharing and linking to our content (although really, is there ever?). This is one of the more difficult aspects of inbound marketing, because it’s not something over which we have exact control — we write excellent content, but short of employing dubious tactics, we can’t force people to link back to it.

Instead of bemoaning our lack of links, however, we’re starting to share our content in more ways, and in different places:

  1. Guest blogging — Art, our Business Development Director, has been invited to guest blog at KW Commercial SA, a website where San Antonians can go to get information on everything from local real estate to health and wellness advice. This is a site frequented by San Antonio business owners, which means we’ll be putting our content directly in front of one of our target markets.
  2. Utilizing LinkedIn — LinkedIn is quickly becoming the place to network and find answers to your questions. By joining conversations in the groups of which we are a part (and promoting our content or services when appropriate), we’re not only increasing brand awareness, we’re also increasing the likelihood that our content will be seen and linked to more often.
  3. Facebook Page — The Digett Facebook Page is the newest addition to our strategy, and we’re experimenting with what kind of content is going to appeal most to our followers. We’ve put images from our portfolio up, but the main purpose of the Page is to give our fans a peek at the people behind those fabulous websites. We want to develop relationships with our fans, and provide them with the content they want most, so that they’re more likely to share it.

As exciting as our Website Grade is, we know it’s not our final one. To quote animation mogul Walt Disney, our plan is to “keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”


Image: NASA (cropped and rotated)

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