Thinking back on the year 2020, you probably realized just how important your website was to your business or the reason why you need a website if you didn’t already have one. According to Benjamin Arnold of We Are Social, “The COVID-19 pandemic has driven changes in American’s digital lives at an incredible pace and proven just how POWERFUL a tool the internet is.”

To give his quote some context, if you think back to March of 2020, the internet became a critical tool for our daily lives. Everything from work to school to grocery shopping and staying connected to family and friends revolved around it. In the first 17 days of March 2020, in-home data use increased by 18% compared to the same period in 2019. Other studies showed a 51% increase in broadband traffic in 2020.

It’s true, even before the pandemic having an online presence was important for businesses, but you can’t just stick some content on a website and call it a day. You need to understand how the internet and visitors view and interact with your site if you want your website to work for you so you can achieve the results you need.

Your Website = The Hub of Your Digital Marketing

Your Website = The Hub of Your Digital Marketing

Your website is the hub and foundation of all your digital marketing because your audience will end up there at some point as they follow your story. This is the piece that should be the foundation of both visual branding and content marketing. 

With that in mind, we’re going to look at some tools you can use to help you understand how others view your website so you can turn it into a lead-generating machine. 

The Grunt Test

People scan, they don’t read anymore. It is important to grab their attention with the overall layout and images on your site. 

With the increased amount of traffic online and people having even less time, you need to make sure that your website very quickly explains who you are and how you help. We are big fans of Donald Miller’s Grunt Test to help you determine how your website measures up. The idea behind this test is that your website should be so easy to initially understand that a caveman could figure this out with three simple questions.

The Grunt Test

The grunt test is important because the clearest communicator wins!

If you’ve attended any of our previous webinars, you’ve probably heard us say this before and we will continue to say this because it is so true. The best products and services are not the most popular. The clearest to understand are the most popular. So if you have a good product, you need to continually work at being the clearest message out there.

If you are not consistent you are making your audience work harder and they may just move on to another organization that is making it easier to get what they need. 

You Need a Clear Vision

Clear vision

Before you start adding tools to your website, you first need to have a clear vision of what your website does for your business. 

You could be one of these things or multiple, or even something we have not listed. Once you have a clearer understanding of what you need your website to do for your business, THEN you can start making updates and adding tools to help you get the results you want and need.

Before we dive into our favorite tools to help your website work for you, it’s important to take a step back and remind yourself that 65% of people are visual learners, so we need to make sure that we are communicating in a way that our audience will hear us best. This means you really have to think about not only the words you will put on your website, but designing all aspects of each page in a way that helps visitors quickly spot the key points of the message (i.e. the grunt test) with as few words as possible. Attention spans are short and people skim more than they read, so page design and the flow of information is extremely important. 

Now let’s dive into some tools to help you change your website for the better!

Page Builders

Page Builders

Page builders are wonderful additions because you don’t need a developer to build a page template. They allow you to choose from a variety of content fields and move things around to your liking. 

If you don’t have a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor, a page builder is your next investment so that your website doesn’t get outdated and is easier to edit moving forward so you are always getting your audience the information they need. 

Our team’s favorite page builder is Elementor. We love this one because it eliminates coding, has drag-and-drop capabilities, and is very visually intuitive. We’ve discovered our clients feel more comfortable handling smaller tasks like text updates or changing out photos because they can see what they are doing and it feels less breakable.

Elementor Example

With Elementor, you also have structure already in place. This structure includes:

In addition, there are tons of other plugins that work well with Elementor to give you even more options.

There are other page builder plugins, such as Gutenberg for WordPress, so if you’re thinking about adding one to your website, do your research and find what best fits your needs.

SEO audit

SEO Audit

The grunt test we mentioned earlier is a great way to test how humans are understanding your website but we all know algorithms are another huge component to people finding you so we need to also take some time to understand how search engines see your website. That’s why we recommend quarterly SEO Audits. 

There are a lot of free and cheap tools out there to do this for you, but the information on these reports can very quickly go over your head. So we recommend doing this with your website developer to help translate the results and come up with a plan. If you don’t have a developer or are not happy with who you currently have, asking a new potential partner to do this with you is a great way to see if they would be a good fit for your organization to see how they would map out how to make improvements. 

There are a lot of free and cheap tools out there to do this for you, but the information on these reports can very quickly go over your head. So we recommend doing this with your website developer to help translate the results and come up with a plan. If you don’t have a developer or are not happy with who you currently have, asking a new potential partner to do this with you is a great way to see if they would be a good fit for your organization to see how they would map out how to make improvements. 

A few good tools for SEO audits are:

 If you’re not sure how your website looks to search engines, we are happy to run a free SEO audit. All you need to do is email to let us know and a member of our team will run the report and send you a copy. 

Heat Maps

heat maps

Another great measurement tool to see how your website is performing is to use a heat mapping tool. If you had a store, you can watch how people go through your space and interact with your product, but that is not something you can do on your website. You build your website with a theory of how users will flow through the site using design best practices, but it is only a theory.  

Heat map example

Installing a heat mapping tool will show you how people are currently using your website so you can move things around to make sure people are finding what they need. 

Our favorite heat mapping tools are:

Data Dashboards

data dashboards

Being able to quickly know how your marketing is doing is essential to getting the results you want. We live in an age of distraction and an abundance of data so it is very easy to follow a bright shiny object that does not move your needle. That’s where data dashboards come in handy!

Google Analytics

First things first, you need to make sure Google Analytics is installed on your website. Google Analytics is a free tool offered by Google that helps you analyze your website traffic and gain a better understanding of your website visitors so you can evaluate the performance of your marketing, content, products, and more. 

Google analytics

We recommend this tool because it’s easy to set up and provides you with plenty of data to see what is going on with your brand and how your audience is interacting with the content you post on your website, and in turn, you can use this information to take the steps necessary to improve your visitors’ experience with your website as you learn what’s working and what’s not, where people are spending their time when they come to your site, and more. 

If you’re not familiar with Google Analytics, we have a past webinar you can watch on our YouTube channel to get caught up. 


Another tool we recommend using is Databox because it allows you to build a dashboard of your key performance indicators (KPIs) as well as scheduling a regular time (weekly or monthly) to review this data without having to spend tons of time compiling information. 


To build a tool like this there are a few things you will need to have:

  1. Know what numbers are important to your growth! Are you focused on growth? How do you know your number growth is good growth? What does a spike in traffic mean to your organization? The good news is that if you don’t have all of these answers, it does not mean you should not start building a dashboard, starting a dashboard can also help you figure out these numbers. This would be a great time to pull in a marketing strategist. This is something we do all the time. 
  2. Baselines for your KPIs. A number by itself does not tell you how you are doing. You need to know if that number is an improvement or something to make a priority. The point of a dashboard is to help you know how to focus your efforts. If all the numbers are good, you can go about your day, but if something is sliding, then you know you need to figure out why. Sometimes a number is sliding and that is ok because you have another focus at the time, but being intentional and knowing how you are doing is critical to sustainable growth. 

QR Codes

QR codes

QR codes have been around since 1994 and gained popularity in the 2010s, but they faded, until 2020! We’ll admit, we are so glad that they have come back. One of the main reasons is that cell phone cameras now read them without an app so it makes it very easy to get people to specific content on your website very quickly. We see them everywhere now when we went contactless this last year. We can also have a lot of fun with these branding them in different colors, shapes and even add your logo into them.

Our favorite QR Code Builders are:

PRO TIP: Add QR codes to printed materials to help drive traffic to your website!

Invest in Technology

You have the tools, but if they don’t talk to each other it won’t help you much. Investing in technology is extremely important to help your various tools communicate and support your audience’s online experience. 

The most recent stat we heard is that in the last 18 months, our whole population has advanced with technology in what would have taken us seven years on our pre-pandemic trajectory! Technology is not going away, it is only going to increase and get more complicated. Invest now to set yourself up for success. 

What You Need to Set Yourself Up for Success


Website: You need to think about this more than just being a brochure. This needs to be a tool you invest in that has the ability for you to integrate other technology like a CRM, internal hub for your staff or clients just to name a few.


CRM: ideally this needs to integrate with your website, email marketing, and any other workflows you have to run your organization. This can also be a part of your internal procedures so make sure you are thinking systematically about this. If you focus on single tasks, you are going to find yourself in trouble. Systems need to talk to each other. 


Automation: Days are not getting any longer, but we have more to do. Use technology to start automating as much as you can to help you focus on the work that only you as a human can do.  

So What’s Next?

We live in an age where more and more interactions can (and probably will) take place online, so if you haven’t been focusing on your website lately it’s time to give it some attention. If you’re not sure where to start, we can help you get started by running an SEO report. Contact us and a member of our team can run the report for you so you can see where things currently stand and where you can start making improvements.

Categories: Web Development