A common question during the on-boarding process of any new HubSpot client is, “what happens to my current site?” or “do I have to migrate to the HubSpot COS?” The answer can be as simple or as complex as you like your advice to come, but for today’s reading I’m going to try and cover the pros of what I consider your three main options. Each client case is a little different, and ultimately you have to make the decision that is best for both your business and your team. When getting started, just about everyone has the option to go all in, half in, or not in at all and we’ll outline what each option looks like.
Option 1: All In
Migrating to the Hubspot COS With this option there is very little downside. Afterall that's what makes HubSpots platform so great right?!
- The COS is easy to use
- Fully integrated HubSpot reporting and analytics
- HubSpot personalization and smart content
- Responsive mobile optimized design
- Hubspot technical support
As you can see, there are a lot of pros here and I could go on forever about how easy the COS is to use once your site is migrated over, but I think the biggest benefit comes down to the integrated analytics. Just about anyone can set up a conversion path within their CMS, but the analytics work differently if you do not migrate over your entire site in addition to your call to action buttons, emails, social and workflows - as we'll get into later. When it comes to page creation and design, once the site is migrated to HubSpot it’s a very paint-by-number approach which is great for teams with many different skill levels. Meaning you nor your team needs to be particularly proficient in html, or design elements. If you decide to migrate your entire site, there is a whole other discussion on whether you should migrate with HubSpots migration team, or hire another agency to design your site on the COS. This one depends largely on the existing sites design and structure. Some sites are easy to carbon copy into HubSpot COS and others need a lot more work in which you might want to hire a web designer familiar with the COS to do a complete overhaul.
Option 2: Half & Half
Website and Blog Stays Put but You Build the Conversion Path In HubSpot This means two things. That you continue using your current content management system (CMS) for site pages and your blog, but begin building your landing and thank you pages within HubSpot. This is a great option if you have a website that you are happy with and CMS that you’re comfortable using but want all of the integrated analytics. So how does it work?
The first step is easy, your website stays put, so there is nothing you need to do with your existing set up except add the tracking code. Meanwhile, HubSpot will create templates for your landing pages and thank you pages while staying as true to your site’s original design as possible. This is included with your subscription. While they are designing your templates you can get started on setting up a subdomain for these pages to live on. Now, it’s not often that an SEO would recommend the use of a subdomain. But in my SEO & inbound marketing experience, landing pages do not rank well in Google. This fact frees us up to build the conversion path for every offer on a subdomain within your HubSpot account without affecting any organic campaigns you are running congruently. Once your subdomain is set up and your templates are built and approved you’re ready to get started creating the conversion path (landing page, thank you page, call to action, thank you email) for your first offer. While still providing you with all of the landing page analytics and campaign sorting that you'll need to make informed decisions on the success of individual offers
Option 3: None
Keeping Your Existing Site Adding the HubSpot code to an existing site is very easy and will pull in data to the dashboard analytics and reporting tools, as well as analytic's within certain individual tools:
- Call to Action
So when I say “analytics within certain individual tools” I mean you will be able to view and compare a form's submission rate, or call to action's click rate as they compare to other forms and call to actions. What you lose are data filtering features within the Landing Page, Site Page and Blog tools because these pages are not built and published within the COS. All is not lost though, the data is there we just need to go find it in other places such as the Page Performance report and Campaigns tool. For example, the Call to Action (CTA) tool will report on the performance of each cta in total. Meaning we won’t be able to tell if those 1,414 views and 4 submissions are attributed to one or two over performing blogs, or spread out equally across all 15 blogs the cta is embedded on. With the Page Performance report, it doesn’t matter where your pages are hosted. This is where you can go to see click rate data broken down by each page for you to view. Not migrating your site or at the very least setting up your landing pages will limit the ways in which you slice and dice your data within HubSpot's reporting tools, but has very little effect on the success of your actual campaign. All of the data is there in some form but you definitely need to be better with your reporting and Google Analytic skills for sure! The bottom line, or tl;dr - a phrase I just learned last month thanks to my youthful co-workers - is that you have options. Hopefully this breakdown helps shed some light on what might be best for your company. If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below!