how to inbound | observations from the new guy

I’m the new guy at 4WALLS and being the new hire is never easy. It didn’t get any easier when I was tasked to take a fresh look at the company website (which I should mention was launched in April of 2014) and make suggestions with inbound marketing strategies in mind.   As you might guess this gets interesting for two reasons.

The first reason is that the 4WALLS website is their baby- their pride and joy. Our team designed and built a kick@$$ website from the scratch… So how do I tell my team that we can do a better job at building for our audience? Luckily for me, our site analytics tell the story. The second reason is time. We are a small team of rock stars (or nerds if we’re being honest) so finding the time to work on our own website and content seems impossible.  But after doing a lot of reading on sites like Inbound.org it’s easy to see that this is not unique to our small group. The solution is to treat your own website as if it were one of your clients. For us, it will mean actually setting time aside to focus on 4WMG.com rather than waiting for free time to magically appear (if you’ve figured out how please email us at nerds@4wmg.com).

So what changes are we making to the 4WALLS site?  I should first point out that at this step in the process it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of analytics data. Rather than making a bunch of changes, our first step is to pick a handful of problem areas to work on. For example, we took a fresh look at our site and analytics data and decided it would be best to focus on two areas: inbound marketing and user experience.

Blogging more frequently, posting regularly on social media and producing more content are the inbound strategies that we are focused on improving. Inbound marketing has been the shiny new toy for a few years now and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.  These strategies simply help attract visits to a website.  Once we get users to visit the site, the next step is to make sure the site is easy to use.  One added benefit being that more visits generated from active blogging = more data that can help us provide a better experience.

The steps we are taking to improve our user experience are renaming pages on our navigation menu, adding call-to-actions and improving our contact forms.  This is another crucial piece to the puzzle because Google’s algorithms reward sites that are easy to navigate and users demand and expect good design. In fact “94% of site visitors state that bad design is the main reason they mistrust a website” according to IronPaper.

I will follow up on another blog post with more detail once we’ve launched the changes and given some time to collect analytics data. In the meantime I’ll be keeping our team honest by periodically running analytics audits and digging into how we can drive more inbound traffic and improve our clients’ web presence.

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