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HomeNewsBtoBJames Hipkin, of Inn8ly, on website optimization and digital marketing strategies

James Hipkin, of Inn8ly, on website optimization and digital marketing strategies

James Hipkin runs Inn8ly (pronounced “Innately,”) a Nevada City, California-based digital agency whose stated mission is to “help business owners take advantage of a modern website without being bogged down with the complexities of a modern website.”

James is a frequent guest on digital marketing podcasts and it was a real pleasure to sit down with him to tap into his deep knowledge of strategies and tactics that can improve business website performance.

As James notes, the most common website issue he sees when doing site audits is a lack of strategy, not deficiencies related to design or copy. His preferred strategy is known as the “hub and spoke” model — a proven method of organizing one’s online assets for maximum effectiveness. “If you think about your website as the hub, and you think about all these different channels you use to talk to consumers as spokes, email marketing is a spoke, LinkedIn is a spoke social media is a spoke, advertising is a spoke, PR is a spoke, these are all ways to get your message out to people and for people to come back into the hub, which is your website.”

“These spokes are rented land,” he explains. “You don’t have control over them, they can change the rules on you. And they’re not going to call you up and ask if it’s okay. Your website is something you own. And your email list is something you own. So when you’re thinking about the various landing pages for these spokes that you’ve created, you want to be thinking about: how does each one of these provide value to the people who arrive there? And then how can I convert those people into members on my list, which is the other thing that I own?”

James highlights the importance of creating valuable content and building a permission relationship with customers — the latter being something that many platform-dependent influencers may be ignoring at their own peril. He emphasizes the importance of having a strong “rim” (content and messaging strategy) in a hub and spoke model, as it ties in with the audience’s journey and provides clarity and focus on messaging.

Our conversation shifts to a discussion of consumer loyalty, with James observing that 90% of loyalty problems can be traced back to a flawed sales process, whereas a 1-2% increase in loyalty can lead to a 60-80% increase in net present value. He emphasizes the need for marketers to prioritize user experience and conversion rate optimization across the entire funnel.

Our talk wraps with a chat about website optimization and user engagement, with James highlighting the role that technical site performance — particularly page load speed — plays in creating an important first level of trust with prospects.

I greatly enjoyed my conversation with James and recommend our talk to anyone involved in building websites for businesses or consulting on site strategy.

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