What Makes Hubspot Marketing Grader Different Than Other Website Assessment Tools
Prior to issuing a proposal to a prospective WordPress website design or Myrsol development client we use several free and paid tools to assess the current condition of the prospects website and that of its competitors.
Among the free tools are Quicksprout, SEMRush, Opensite Explorer, Pingdom, and Hubspot Marketing Grader. Of these 5 tools only Grader helps us determine what foundational elements are in place for driving traffic, capturing leads, nurturing prospects, and monitoring key website metrics and goals.
Marketing Grader Report Card Score Ranges Translated:
- 1-10 : Poor – Odds are your site is fairly new. It shows room for a lot of improvement and growth.
- 11-20 : Decent – Your website might be pretty, but, it is not fundamentally sound.
- 21-30 : Fair – Your site is starting to shows signs of good Inbound Marketing fundamentals, but there still are some basic improvements needed.
- 31-40 : Competitive – Your website is starting to driving top of the funnel traffic. Not bad. Now, you need to begin working on SEO best practices.
- 41-50 : Good – Your site has made some nice strides forward. You now want to increase your blogging consistency.
- 51-60 : Strong – Your website is above average, it is getting okay traffic, but need better conversion and social sharing.
- 61-70 : Excellent – Your is getting better. Keep blogging and work on getting your audience to share and retweet.
- 71-80 : Outstanding – Your website is getting to the top, keep doing what got you here, but with more regularity.
- 81-90 : Superior – Your site has elite inbound status. Most likely, this is the highest your site will reach.
- 91-100 : Rare – These websites are staple names — Wikipedia, Twitter, ESPN, and possibly Hubspot elite agencies like Kuno Creative, and Square 2 . Only a micro-fraction of all sites ever reach this level.
Taking Our Own Medicine
In fact, we test our own site on Hubspot Marketing Grader often to ensure we are moving in the right direction. Today, we are going to share with you how to use and understand each element reviewed and measured by Marketing Grader.
What is Marketing Grader by Hubspot?
Before we get to deep into this conversation, let me make one thing very clear. Marketing Grader is just a tool.
It is designed to help you better understand what fundamental ingredients of the digital marketing pie are associated with your website. Grader also delivers a holistic score along with suggestions to help you improve your websites ability to generate traffic, nurture leads, and analyze web-based data for your business.
In Hubspot’s exact words, “HubSpot’s Marketing Grader allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing by looking at many factors, including your website, social media activity, mobile responsiveness, blogging activity, email marketing, lead nurturing, and analytics.”
What Marketing Elements Specifically Is Grader Analyzing?
Marketing Grader is looking at five critical aspects of digital marketing, which impact your web visitor’s ability to find, engage, view, and share your content. These elements including your website:
- Social Media
- Lead Generation
Below we breakdown each section to help you understand its importance and what the Hubspot tool is assessing.
Why Blogging Is Critical To Your Website
While your digital marketing strategy is built around your buyer personas and the buyer’s journey, we are using marketing automation like Hubspot, Leadsius, and others to drive your audience through a sales funnel. Blogging is one of the most effective ways of creating, optimizing, and promoting content capable of filling the top of your sales and marketing funnel with more website traffic and higher quality leads.
In fact, a study conducted by Hubspot shows “companies that blog get 55% more web traffic and 70% more leads than those that don’t”. Blogging is not only the best way to reach your target audience with the useful, educational information, it is also very valuable in helping improve your search engine optimization (SEO) / search visibility.
What Marketing Grader is assessing in relationship to your blog:
- Can Your Website Visitor Find Your Blog?
The Marketing Grader tools is searching your website files for either an auto-discoverable RSS feed, or a link somewhere on the homepage with the word “blog” as part of the anchor text. If the tool can not find either of these, it will give you the option to manually enter in your blog URL.
*HINT – If you have a WordPress Website, you already have a blog — start using it.
- Is Your Blog RSS Feed Easy To Find?
Did you know that approximately 46% of all daily internet users read more than one blog every day? Many of those readers do so via RSS. By adding an auto-discoverable RSS feed to your blog you make it extremely simple for avid readers and RSS users to get your latest blog posts and news stories the moment you publish them.
*HINT – If your website is on WordPress your RSS is your domain.com/feed
- Is It Easy To Find Your Blog On Your Homepage?
An RSS icon like the one shown here makes it super easy for power users and readers of your blog to share your content across their preferred social platforms. “A Hubspot study showed blog post that are “shared on Twitter and Facebook get 149% more inbound links than those not shared” at all on social media.
While Hubspot Marketing Grader typically shows results for the above mentioned factor under the “blogging” section, it is also looking at things like:
- Blogging frequency
Blogging consistency is critical for two reasons. (1) your readers deserve it. (2) search engines will visit your site more often.
- Content length
Back in 2012, Neil Patel ran an A/B test on his website featuring one page with 1,292 words and another with 488 words. Each had conversion forms near the end of the page. Which do you think converted and ranked better? The one with 1,292 words ranked better. But, that is not all. This page also converted 7.6% better and delivered better quality leads. If interested, check-out the complete experiment findings here >>>
- Links to lead generating forms
While lead generating forms can live on your website directly, marketing automation companies typically recommend the use of landing pages with unique web forms for each specific offer you have to make. And, since landing page have their own URL, according to Leadsius “landing pages are often the first experience a prospect will have with your company and brand.”
- Social media popularity of blog posts
The relevance of your content is most easily assessed by the number and frequency which your blog posts are viewed, shared, and sourced by others across social media. At the end of the day, if nobody finds your content useful ranking #1 for keywords is fairly pointless.
- Use of images
People love images. Images help make things clearer and easier to understand. Plus, images are searchable and can contain keyword ‘Alt Tags’. While people love to read, images help separate chunks of texts and make this user experience feel elegant and “to the point”.
Now, let us take a look at Social Media, the next element reviewed by Marketing Grader.
Why Social Media Is Important To Your Website and Digital Marketing Strategy?
As far as Hubspot Marketing Grader is concerned Social media marketing is about more than the number of fans, friends and followers your website has, and focuses instead on how you are using your website to leverage the exponential power of social media to get more traffic, generate better leads and engage customers.
What Social Media related activities Marketing Grader is looking for:
- Are there follow buttons links to your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Google+ on your homepage.
- Are there share buttons linking your blog posts to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+ on your homepage.
Think about how much time you spend per day reading and reply to messages in your inbox. Seriously, STOP READING! Think about it….
Okay, welcome back.
Did you know, researchers have found, “US Internet users are on blogs and social networks 3X longer than on email.”
Incredible! Why not make it simple for your audience to follow and to share your content by letting them know where you can be found right up front and making their preferred method of distributing information across the web easily accessible.
*HINT – If you are using a plugin like Add This on WordPress, Marketing Grader might not recognize thay you are offering social sharing buttons on your site. As I stated in the beginning Hubspot Marketing Grader is just a tools.
- Need a plugin? Blogging Wizard has put together a list of 12 useful social share plugins for WordPress.
- There are 2 more important Social Media marketing elements grader considers, but, gives limited insight into. They are:
- how frequently you create social media content
- how much engagement your social media posts receive
Now on to the next element, SEO.
The Role Search Engine Optimization Plays In Driving Web Traffic
In addition, an article titled “24 Eye-Popping Statistics About SEO”, published in Search Engine Journal stated, “70% of the links search users click on are organic” [ Not paid search].
Grader want to know if you are using keyword-rich alt text to help you rank higher so that you can capture some of that low-hanging fruit available via organic traffic for yourself.
What SEO factors is Hubspot Marketing Grader assessing:
- Do you have Alt Tags in your images
Marketing Grader reviews the HTML of your homepage looking for each image. When it finds an image, it checks to see if the image has an alternative text using a relevant keyword phrase.
- Is your company name is the title
Marketing Grader looks at a sample of pages from your website and checks how many of them start with your company name. The tool assumes that your company name is what’s between the www. and the .com of your url.
*HINT: Ideally no pages sure be using the company name in the title.
- Unique page descripiton
75% of users never go further than the first page of search results. You’ve got to do what you can to stand out from the pack of results, and compelling page descriptions is a good place to start.
Marketing Grader looks at a sample of pages from your website and checks how many of the page descriptions are unique.
- Your social media reach
As discussed above in the section about social media, the ability for your original content to reach larger numbers of people all depends on how easy you make it for your existing readers to share your blog and informational web-content.
The more your prospects and customers share the more likely your articles, eBooks, videos, landing pages, and other digital marketing materials are to be index and / or used as a resource. Look at how many articles have I provided for your reference in this post already? And, I am not done yet?
Now, let’s look it Lead Generation.
Making it easy for customers to give you their information through forms on your website and understanding the tools you are using to nurture those leads are the beginning of an optimized middle of the sales funnel.
What is Marketing Grader looking for in relation to Lead Generation?
- Your use of forms to capture lead information
Businesses with more than 40 landing pages get 12X more leads than those with only a few landing pages.
Marketing Grader looks at a sample of pages from your website and determines if any of them include a conversion form.
- Do you have analytics to measure marketing
- How you use marketing automation and analytic tools
Automation can be an effective tool when used to engage potential customers on their terms. Marketing Grader reviews your homepage looking for marketing automation tools.
Hang in there we are almost done. On to mobile responsiveness.
Making sure that your website and blog are optimized for mobile devices is becoming more and more important as the popularity of smartphones continues to rise.
What elements of mobile marketing is Grader analyzing on my website?
- How well your website appears on mobile devices via @mobile query or mobile stylesheet
You need a mobile CSS if you want people to access your site on their smartphones. And since 43% of all phones are smartphones, and 87% of them use it to access the internet, it probably makes sense to get this in place sooner rather than later.
Marketing Grader reviews your homepage looking for the presence of mobile css or a redirect to a mobile website.
- Whether your website is optimized for use on a smart phone or tablet
The meta viewport tag tells a mobile device how to orient a page when it’s loaded. It also determines if a page can be scaled larger or smaller and if it should rotate as the user rotates their mobile device. Marketing Grader looks for the presence of
on your homepage.
Did you know that 43% of all phones are smartphones, and 87% of them use it to access the internet?
Well, you made it.
That is everything you need to know about the Hubspot Marketing Grader. Now, there is just one more thing to do.
Visit MarketingGrader.com, get your score. Share it on here. Then, together we will improve all the areas Marketing Grader is suggesting you update.