The Inbound and Content Marketing blog

Why user testing should be part of your website redesign

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  26, July, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you’ve used an inbound strategy to guide your website redesign, you’ll have focused on making it look fresh and modern, and telling a story through your content. You will have used appropriate keywords to drive traffic to your site, used your buyer personas to create engaging blog content, and added relevant CTA’s to convert visitors to leads.

But do you know what the end user experience is like? Is your website easy to use? Does it encourage visitors to engage with your brand and products?  

Whether you are giving your website a complete overhaul, or are making regular changes through growth-driven design - your core focus should be on the user experience. 

Getting real users to test your website means you can ensure it delivers a positive experience. But too often, this is overlooked. 

We explore why user testing can be a valuable part of the website redesign process, and outline ways you can go about it.

Read more...

Why you need an inbound website redesign

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  27, April, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Anyone who has been through a website redesign in the past decade or so will know it can be stressful and time-consuming, often running over time and budget. The website finally launches but is left for a year or two to gather dust. Unsurprisingly, it fails to deliver leads, so two years later you bite the bullet and do it all over again.

Read more...

5 ways to make your B2B website stand out from the crowd

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  10, November, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In an ever-crowded online space, it's vital to seek ways to get noticed by your target audience. First, you need to get people to your website in the first place. But, setting aside SEO and keywords for a minute, how can you keep people on your site once they arrive?

Research into what B2B buyers want from vendor websites (2015 B2B Web Usability Report) showed that credibility and trust are what make B2B buyers keep coming back to your site.

Charlotte Fitzgerald suggests “mak[ing] your homepage delve-worthy". Does your homepage encourage people to want to learn more? "Just as the cover of a good book draws you in, the homepage should be bright, clearly sectioned and enticing," she says.

Here are five ways in which to make your B2B website stand out, so that people keep coming back to you.


Read more...

When is visual communication right for B2B inbound marketers?

Written by Keith Errington  |  28, June, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Visual communication is generally considered to involve graphics, images, video – conveying messages and information via a visual stimulus. If your business makes products that are not particularly photogenic, or are complex in nature, or you offer a service that has no physical manifestation - such as a box or packaging - you may feel that visual communication is not for you. You could be forgiven for thinking that your product or service can’t be communicated successfully in a visual medium. You might even feel it’s just too boring. But are you right? If not, what CAN you do? And just when is visual communication right for B2B inbound marketers?

The simple answer to this last question is: always. It is always right. In fact, it is essential!

You have to catch their attention instantly

Today’s media landscape is cluttered with a multitude of channels, all clamouring for attention –all fighting for a moment of the viewer’s time. And that is all they have – a moment. In order to survive in today’s jungle of messages, your message has to stand out – instantly. The key way to do that is with a visual – whether moving, still or graphic. Catchy headlines are all well and good, but they will always lose out to a striking image.

Read more...

How to make sure visitors don't hate your B2B website design

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  11, May, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Your website is often the first point of contact between you and your future customers. Therefore, it’s vital that it makes a good impression. Otherwise, you’re fighting a losing battle from the start.

A study by Microsoft found that humans now have an average attention span of just eight seconds, down from 12 seconds in 2000. By comparison, a goldfish has an average attention span of nine seconds.

With multiple screens and multiple distractions at their fingertips, people have less time for information and websites that don’t immediately spark their interest. It’s likely that you made the decision to read this post in a matter of seconds.

As a business, you need to ensure that your website captures the attention of the people you most want to reach, amid the huge interruption that is the Internet. That means ensuring that it offers up an enjoyable - or at least useful - user experience from the outset. And the key to that lies in your website design.

Writing for HubSpot, Lindsay Kolowich says: "Poor user experience can cause high page abandonment rates, low visitor-to-lead conversion rates, poor organic search listing positions, and a plain ol' bad reputation."

So if your B2B website design is failing, it’s time to take action.

Read more...

7 do's & don'ts when using stock photography

Written by Keith Errington  |  28, September, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

We know that blog posts without images are not nearly as attractive as those with images and will suffer a lack of readership as a result. Very few bloggers have the time, resources and skills to go out and either shoot or commission original photography for every blog post they write. So stock photography is a necessary evil that almost every blogger will resort to at some point in time.Why do I say necessary evil? Well, as bloggers, we’ve all seen stock images in blogs, and most of us will have used them at some point or another, some of us maybe every day. But we have all seen images that look uncomfortable next to the associated content or are just too obvious. Poorly chosen, or poorly used stock photography, just seems cheesy or glib. At its worst, it can stop the reader in their tracks or fight the central message of the post.

Some stock images are just downright weird or inappropriate for almost any purpose - there's even a blog dedicated to those. And earlier this year, to promote the movie Unfinished Business, a set of deliberately cheesy images were created, which photoshopped the lead actors into existing stock images. 

So given that most bloggers have to use stock photography at some point, here are a few quick pointers to ensure that you get the best out of using stock images.

Read more...

Bringing your blog to life with images

Written by Keith Errington  |  14, September, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Pictures are a must in any blog post these days as they attract the reader, get shared on social media and help with SEO. But too many blogs feature posts in the headline/picture/text format, with no great variation in any of these elements. Lots of posts have been written on the text in a blog, and maybe even more on the importance of the headline, but what can we do with the pictures?

It has always struck me as strange that the one thing that can be varied - can be changed; can be played with - is the image in a post, and yet so many content creators settle for a standard layout and a standard rectangular shape.

So here are some other ideas for bringing your blog to life with images.

Read more...

6 reasons to crop an image

Written by Keith Errington  |  7, September, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Many bloggers and content creators will just take or find an image and use it "as is" - but this is rarely the best approach. Ideally, they should be resizing it, adjusting the contrast and brightness, sharpening where necessary and cropping.

The first three are fairly obvious: uploading a huge image and letting the blogging software resize it slows down response times and is unnecessary; adjusting contrast and brightness will get the best out of the image and show all the detail; whereas sharpening will also help the detail and remove any fuzziness.

But why crop? Of course, if you have a rigid layout with a specific area for an image, then you would have to resize and crop to fit that space. But otherwise? Well, cropping is a very powerful tool in the content creator’s toolbox - which is mostly overlooked - but once you understand its power, you will never look at images in quite the same way again.

Read more...

The content manager's guide to GIFs

Written by Keith Errington  |  29, July, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The GIF image format is making a comeback. While you may not have heard of the format until now, it is, in fact, one of the oldest image formats on the web. If you had noticed it, it was probably when some annoying small, brief animated cartoon popped up on the page you were browsing. But now that Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook have all introduced support for the format it's time to work out what it is and how best to use it.

GIF stands for Graphic Interchange Format – an image format introduced by CompuServe in 1987 for use on their bulletin board system – so it’s nearly 30 years old. There is actually some controversy around how the name GIF is actually pronounced. The creators of the format intended it to be pronounced with a soft g – so "jif" – whereas using a hard g – "gif" – is in widespread use. The GIF format has several features that were fairly unique at the time, and even today they are not found together in any other format:
Read more...

10 B2B infographics that we think rock - be inspired!

Written by Kirstine Storey  |  9, November, 2013  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

You may have seen our previous blog post all about B2B infographics, which outlined what infographics are, why you should use them in your content marketing and how to go about creating one of your own, using free tools.  

To give you some further inspiration and guidance on how your information, expertise and knowledge can become a beautifully represented visual, just look at the 10 B2B infographics we’ve chosen below to see how it should be done.  Whether you want to create a “how to” infographic, which offers guidance to your industry, a “history of…” type visual to highlight your experience in the field, or are merely showcasing your latest research, these fabulous marketing infographics demonstrate how to achieve that successful mix of clarity, appeal, authority and shareability:

Read more...

Easy on the eye - picturing B2B content marketing's next big thing

Written by Kirstine Storey  |  26, July, 2013  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Predicting the future is fraught with pratfalls and shouldn't be undertaken lightly. Never forget that someone once predicted that the Beatles would never catch on, and another said Connery wouldn't be right for Bond!

So, back in January, when we cast around for helpful predictions in the content writing and marketing field in 2013; we looked to the industry's experts and thought leaders, such as Jonathon Colman, Marcus Sheridan, putting our trust in them to the test.

So did we back the trillionaire rockers or have we got yolk dripping down our shirts?

Read more...