Stratford dominates state

first_imgTigers wrestlers set a school record, earn four state championships in MadisonBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterMADISON — The Stratford wrestling team had an historic night at the 2015 WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament.Stratford won a school-record four Division 3 state championships as each of its wrestlers in the championship round won at the Kohl Center in Madison on Saturday.Two freshmen got things started for the Tigers as A.J. Schoenfuss and Jeremy Schoenherr won at 106 and 113 pounds, respectively.Schoenfuss (46-2) dominated Austin Wolfe (40-4) of Boyceville 7-2 before Schoenherr (42-2) pinned Weston Wichman (44-5) of Johnson Creek 34 seconds into the second period.Sophomore Mason Kauffman capped an undefeated season with a 9-5 victory over two-time state champ Kal Gerber (44-1) of Cameron at 126 pounds. Kauffman, who missed all of his freshman season with an injury, finishes the year with a perfect 49-0 record.Stratford sophomore Mason Kauffman takes down two-time state champ Kal Gerber en route to a title of his own. (Kelly O’Day photo)“Mason capitalized his own strengths by outscoring Gerber on his feet,” Stratford coach Joe Schwabe said. “This strategy didn’t allow Gerber to score anything but one point escapes from the bottom as Kauffman showed a command performance.”Sophomore Kamren Bornbach (41-3) finished off the quadruple with a 5-0 whipping of Henry Fielding (44-2) of Shiocton in the 182-pound final. Bornbach took fifth at state last year.“Kamren didn’t want to go out without matching his teammates, and he had Fielding on his back in the second period with a cradle and never looked back,” Schwabe said.“It is great that it worked out so well that all four finalists were able to win. Seldom does it end the way we’d like, and the nice part is two are freshman and two are sophomores.”Auburndale’s Wyatt Weiler lost his bid for a Division 3 state title, losing 7-5 to Jared Roen (42-3) of Riverdale 7-5. Weiler finishes his senior season with a 44-8 record and a state silver medal.Weiler’s teammate, senior Paul Willfahrt, ended up taking fifth place at 145 pounds. Willfahrt (44-7) lost his consolation semifinal match to Trenton Pasch (42-8) of Royall 3-2 but turned around and beat Marc Lansin (36-7) of Coleman 5-3 in the fifth-place match.Stratford’s Hunter Kauffman and Spencer’s Bryce Shaw ended up taking sixth place.Hunter Kauffman, who was forced to forfeit his semifinal match on Friday night due to an injury, was unable to wrestle Saturday in the consolation round and had to forfeit his final two matches, ending the season with a 40-4 record.Shaw, a freshman, lost both of his consolation matches Saturday to finish sixth at 113 pounds. Shaw (28-21) was pinned by Fennimore’s Riley Lull in 2:26 and lost 7-4 to Kewaunee’s Jesse Steinhorst in the fifth-place match.Both of Marshfield’s state qualifiers earned medals in Division 1.Senior Mitch Hertel won both of his consolation matches Saturday to take third at 160 pounds. Hertel (30-2) beat Jared Krattiger (42-2) of Waterford 7-3 and beat Austin Powell (46-3) of Sauk Prairie 5-2 in the third-place match. Hertel defeated Powell 2-1 in a preliminary-round match on Thursday.Hertel was making his third state meet appearance and grabbed his second medal after placing fourth in 2012.Junior Josh Lang took fourth for the Tigers. Lang (31-6) won his first consolation match by injury default over Christian Dischler of Pewaukee but lost a third-place match to Ross Agg (38-7) of Oak Creek 7-5.Spencer’s Tim Bauer and Hunter Luepke and Stratford’s Anthony Gliniecki also competed at state and were eliminated on the first day of the tournament. Stratford’s Sam Wenzel and Tyson Kauffman won their first matches but lost in the quarterfinals and were eliminated from the tournament in the consolation bracket.Paul Lecker is publisher of, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email at [email protected]last_img read more

5 Google Search Stats Every Marketer Should See

first_img More than 1/3 of Google Queries (Duplicates Excluded) Have Never Been Seen Before manfrys really dive in is of the utmost importance to any business.  Here are a – Average Time it Takes Google to Answer a Query is Less than ¼ Second That translates to about 1.5 changes per day! Are you staying on top of these changes? Are you studying and understanding the space in a way to best use it for business success? Originally published Jan 11, 2010 3:15:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: Download our This proportion includes all searches. What do you suppose happens to this proportion when the searcher uses a local qualifier like including a town or region name in the search? Of note, one of the changes from last year that is becoming more pervasive in the results set is seeing a Google map in a search without even using the local qualifier. photo by So why is this important? It’s because it never ends. The reason that the online space continues to improve in its delivery of results to the SMB is that it is evolving and morphing to the needs of today’s business and consumer alike. It’s not going to end. to creating a robust search presense or are you just going to wait for the “right moment”? The right answer should be obvious. Search Engine Optimization Kit As we have seen from an earlier HubSpot post, Do you think they are all wondering about celebrities and nonsense? No. They are looking for products and services like yours. few more points search engine optimization kit organic search Is there any wonder why Google is so dominant in this “I need it now!” world? 7 out of 10 US Google users make more than one search query per day. Will 2010 be the year that you Learn moreabout how you can optimize your site to rank higher in search enginesso you get found by more qualified prospects. 1 in 13 Google Result Pages Show a Map in Search Results that come directly from the Official Google blog describing things of interest to those using the searchengine to fuel their own revenue engine. Did you know…. . Normally the year in review “stuff” from search engines has little to do with business. While these lists may seem interesting for about half a second it really doesn’t do much for the SMB who is looking to get more business from their web presence. Google likes to play the game of telling us in early December what the most searched terms were and more but they wait until the start of January to tell the business users some important stats that could influence how they look at the engine. There were 540 Search Quality Improvements Made by Google Last Year SEO Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

I’m Not Ready for Dessert, I Just Want Some Leads!

first_img Inbound Marketing Use a landing page to capture leads Originally published Nov 30, 2010 1:00:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 I hope that the Crazy Baker sees the sanity in these suggestions, and that you can take away some of these tips and adapt them for your business.   . then allows users to create separate lists dependent upon which form a visitor converted on and send them personalized emails.  Of course in order to have a landing page you must have something to offer in return for the visitors information.  In Hitzig’s case perhaps he could offer some recipes for some of the pastries he has created over the years (of course he wouldn’t want to give away all of his secrets ) I think it’s great that the Crazy Baker is utilizing social media with presences on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn, but honestly there’s only so much you can promote if you aren’t constantly creating useful content.  The easiest way to consistently add content to your website is through a blog.  A lot of people worry about not having anything interesting to blog about, and most of the time they just aren’t looking in the right places.  Hitzig, for example, could blog about his experience at Culinary School, his training at hotels and restaurants in the US and abroad, and about the many other baking questions he probably gets asked on a regular basis from friends and through email.  Instead of answering a question for someone in a one on one scenario why not turn that into a great blog post and share that knowledge with the world?   Topics: Use Simple, Action Driven, Calls-To-Action Thanksgiving is over and after the amount of pumpkin pie I ate over the weekend I thought I would never want dessert again.  That was until I , and his premium desserts which are made from 100% pure vanilla, fresh local eggs, imported chocolates, and high quality flours.  Got your taste buds watering doesn’t it?  He’s even attracted the attention of Martha Stewart and Rachael Ray which in turn has driven lots of traffic, but converting that traffic into customers is where this batty brownie baker is struggling.  The problem that Hitzig is facing is one that many online business face, which is that people are often not ready to make a purchase on their first visit to a site.  Most of the time people need a little appetizer to get their stomach growling for the full meal. the Crazy Baker Like I said before, most people are not willing to make a purchase on their first visit to a site.  Many people probably visit Hitzig’s site and think to themselves, “These pastries look delicious.  They would be great for a special occasion.  I’ll come back in a couple months.”  Unfortunately for Hitzig most of these visitors probably forget to come back and he has no way to remind them. If he had a landing page and a form to capture the name and email of these visitors he could easily create a list and email them special promotions or offers during a time they might be more inclined to purchase premium pastries…maybe the week before Christmas? HubSpot, for instance, has a The link that stood out most was the “Click here for Customer Service” link, and I don’t really think that Hitzig’s primary goal is to drive visitors to his customer service page.  I would remove many of the superfluous links contained on the page and replace them with one large call to action to “order some premium pastries today!” Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How Do You Trigger Interest in Your Content? [Marketing Cast]

first_imgYou might be already convinced in the value of content creation for marketing purposes. But how do you go about creating the type of content that will trigger the most interest in your target audience? marketing resources In this episode of the Originally published Feb 14, 2011 8:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Examine a Case Study Who Are You Trying to Reach? It is a good idea to pick a case study of a company that is doing something similar and examine their strategy. David gave as an example HubSpot and our way of providing businesses with valuable product Lauren’s Hope , David discusses ways in which you can wrap your mind around interesting content creation. . But there are a ton of other companies from different industries practicing the same religion. For instance, some of our customers totally rocking at blogging include   and ,  Do you have any best practices for creating content that will trigger great interest in your target audience? to draw people in and prompt them to learn more about our River Pools & Spas PrimePay . Content Marketing The most important thing from a best practice perspective, David Meerman Scott says, is not talking about yourself and your product. “Instead, think about the people you want to reach. Understand how you can provide value to them,” he says. Weekly Marketing Cast It is hard not to talk about our products, David admits. That is what we have been taught to do. But if you focus on the people you are trying to reach, your marketing will be much more effective. Topics: Think about the people you are trying to reach and segment them into groups or buyer personas, as David calls them. Then, you can start creating content especially targeted to them. As an example David points out the hotel business industry where marketers have very distinct personas they can focus on, e.g. independent business travelers, conference organizers, couples looking to hold a wedding reception… Each one of these requires a different type of content. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

5 Google Local Stats Every Marketer Should Know [Data]

first_img 20 percent of Google searches are for local information Mayer discussed many of Google’s local applications, including Google Maps and Google Hotpot Originally published Mar 17, 2011 4:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Marissa Mayer Google Hotpot currently has 3 million ratings 5 Google Local Stats Every Marketer Should Know Local SEO Google Maps usage is 40 percent mobile 2. aburt 3. Google GPS saves drivers 2 years everyday with route around traffic directions 4. , Google’s Vice President of Consumer Products, spoke about the current state of many of Google’s location-focused applications. Five important statistics stood out as the major takeaways for marketers looking to promote their businesses at the local level.center_img 5. Topics: Google Maps has 150 million mobile users When it comes to location-based marketing, much of the conversation goes to Foursquare as well as Yelp. However, Google is still the leader in the discovery process for local information. At South By South West Interactive, Of the five stats above, it is clear that the fifth piece of data should serve as a soundbite for every marketer when discussing the relevancy of online local marketing. With 20 percent of Google searches looking for local information, that means 600 million searches per day are for local information. This is a huge opportunity for businesses.  Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack All of these statistics show that Google has a major hold on users looking for local marketing online. As a business looking to attract more customers through these tools, you should follow best practices for being included in Google’s local search results as well as optimize your business website with content focused on your key geographic markets. Take a look at 1. Photo Credit: . Hotpot is Google’s service that allows users to rate local business and has only been live for a few months now. Marketing Takeaway HubSpot’s free local marketing on-demand webinar for best practices to attract more visitors to your business. last_img read more

How to Turn Your Liberal Arts Degree Into a Top Tech Startup Job

first_img Job Search Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Originally published Dec 16, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 So, you spent the last three and a half years studying the Civil War, cognitive psychology, Japanese poetry, and Russian literature. Now you’re about to graduate — and s#!%’s getting real.You’ve gotta finally start thinking of an answer to that question that’s been on your mind the past few semesters: What will I do with my life?Don’t worry. There are lots of exciting technology startups looking for smart, motivated, recent graduates to fill business-side jobs. If you play your cards right, you could end up with one of those positions.For those interested in getting their careers off on the right foot, here’s a step-by-step guide to getting one of those jobs:1) Decide where you want to live. If you care about geography, you should be clear about that from the start. Use it to focus your search. A focused geography is helpful because many professional and personal networks are local. That means it’s easier to make connections and get introductions.2) Determine how big of a company you want to work for.Fortune 500 monolith? Two-person startup? Medium-sized growth company? They’re very different experiences, and you need to decide which is the best fit.Choosing between a well-run big company and a high-potential startup is like deciding how you’re gonna learn to swim: You can dive into the pool on your own (the startup), or you can get coached by a world-class trainer (working at a big company).Some people prefer the independence and challenge of a startup, while others favor the opportunity to train and learn best practices that come at a large, well-run company.The good news is that medium-sized growth companies often offer the best of both worlds: You get some of the training and scale of a massive company as well as the growth potential and opportunity of a startup.3) Find companies that excite you. Are there companies that you admire? Companies that you’re obsessive about? That you stalk on Facebook? That you think could make a real impact on the world? If there are, focus your search on these companies.If you don’t know of any companies that excite you, well … get your butt of the couch and start looking! Read. Go to networking events. Talk to people. If you’re looking for a job in Boston, read Scott Kirsner’s Innovation Economy blog and BostInno. Scott writes about startups, and BostInno is a hub for the Boston startup community. If you’re not in Boston, find the blogs that cover your city.You should also look for networking opportunities in your target geography — groups or events like WebInno or Greenhorn Connect. One other place to look: venture capital portfolios. Go to the websites for firms like Google Ventures, Matrix Partners, and NextView Ventures, take a look at the businesses they’ve invested in and see what interests you.4) Figure out what kind of role fits your skill set. It’s great that you found a few companies that excite you — but they’re not going to hire you to look pretty. What are you going to actually do for them? To answer this question you need to learn about the roles available — and be honest with yourself. Take a look at the jobs pages for the companies you’re interested in, read the descriptions carefully, then pick a direction. Here are some common options for recent liberal arts graduates.Business Development RepThis is an entry-level sales role. It’s a great opportunity to learn one of the fundamentals of business: selling. You must be: persistent. You must love: talking to people.Support RepWorking on a support desk is an awesome way to get your foot in the door at a company and learn the ropes. You must be: patient. You must love: solving problems for people.MarketerA great job for writers and content creators. You’ll learn how to attract people to businesses. You must be: able to write. You must love: the company you decide to work for.Finance or Operations AnalystThese are great opportunities for recent graduates with quantitative skills. You’ll find yourself managing software systems and working with data. You must be: able to think analytically. You must love: data and systems.Rotational ProgramThese are exclusive programs that give you the opportunity to rotate through different roles at a company. Rotational programs can be highly competitive, but they can give you a great window into different parts of the business. You must be: willing and able to learn a new role every few months. You must love: the company you choose.5) Learn about companies that interest you.Any smart company will have loads of information on places like their website, blog, Facebook page, and LinkedIn page. Take the time to dive into all of these resources and get to know the company.The context you gain will help you understand if the company is actually a good fit — and it will make you a stronger candidate. And as you learn about the company, identify the hiring managers for your areas of interest.6) Find connections.Once you know something about the companies you’re targeting, figure out how to move from a resume to a relationship. How are you connected to the key hiring managers? It’s hard, but if you can engage somebody in a conversation, you get a free pass through the most difficult hiring round: resume screening. How do you engage hiring managers? LinkedIn and Twitter are the best tools. Follow them on Twitter and see if you can find an opportunity to start a constructive conversation. On LinkedIn, you should take a different approach: Use the LinkedIn network to figure out how you’re connected to people at your company of interest, reach out to your connections for informational phone calls, then see if those connections can steer you to the right hiring managers.7) Prepare for interviews.Don’t be one of the knuckleheads who shows up to the interview unable to answer basic questions. Make sure you have good answers to questions like these:Can you describe what our company does?Why does our company interest you?What the ideal role for you after you graduate?What are you really good at?What gets you really excited?What are your two most important accomplishments during your college years? 8) Experiment with your early career options.Here’s a little secret: No college senior knows the exact career path that’s right for them. So how do you deal with career questions you can’t answer? It’s simple: Run experiments. Identify the things that you know are important, use those things as guides, then run deliberate experiments to find the best path.For example, maybe you know you want to be in Boston and work at a mid-sized technology company, but you’re really not sure about the right role. Totally normal. Here’s what you should do: Find a company that interests you, look at the various roles available, find one that you think might work, and give it a shot.Think of the role as an experiment. It’s not a necessarily what you’re going to be doing forever. It’s something you’re doing to get more information to help you make your next career decision and steadily get close the career path that’s perfect for you.  Bonus Advice: Apply to attend the Inbound Business Bootcamp.All this stuff can be hard to wrap your head around — particularly if you’re coming from a liberal arts background.That’s why HubSpot is offering the 2014 Inbound Business Bootcamp.The bootcamp, to be held at HubSpot Headquarters on February 7, is a day-long series of classes for top college seniors interested in jobs at technology companies in the Boston area. You’ll hear from people at HubSpot, Nanigans, InsightSquared, and other great Boston technology companies.You can apply here, ask questions in the Facebook group for the event, and learn more in this presentation: Inbound Business Bootcamp FAQ from HubSpot All-in-one Marketing Softwarelast_img read more

A Practical Guide to Planning a Successful Inbound Marketing Campaign

first_img Marketing Campaigns Topics: Originally published Jan 9, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated August 29 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack HubSpotIf you’re a HubSpot customer, you can organize, execute, and measure your campaigns directly from the Campaign app. This will show you how many visits, contacts, and customers your campaign generated against your goals and how each promotion channel contributed to those outcomes.There it is folks — your recipe for an airtight marketing campaign. Want to remember this for next time? We made a simple, one-page checklist for you to hang at your desk or save to your computer.If you’re a HubSpot customer, there’s also an entire Campaign-in-a-Box kit, including 10 different planning worksheets and a guide to using the new Campaigns app in HubSpot.Now go out there and launch something remarkable!Got some advice on how to put together a comprehensive inbound marketing plan? Be sure to share your thoughts below! Here are a couple of examples of HubSpot’s goals from a recent product launch. The product we were launching was Social Inbox, a social monitoring and publishing tool. We wanted to generate a ton of activity around the topic of social media to establish our expertise and pull in a specific type of lead.”Generate 5,000 leads who are interested in social media marketing by June 30, 2013.””Improve rank for the keyword ‘social monitoring’ from 5th to 2nd on Google by June 30, 2013.”SMART goals for a campaign should fold-up into and support the SMART goals you’ve created for your marketing strategy as a whole.Jumpstart: SMART goal-setting templateChoose keywords and optimize for search.As part of your marketing plan, you’ll want to zero in on the keywords you want to rank for as a result of the campaign. These are the words you can prioritize in your headlines and across your content. The goal here is not to stuff keywords, but rather to be consistent in the terms you use to optimize for search. Jumpstart: 4 Helpful Tools for Identifying the Right KeywordsCreate a tracking URL.At the end of your campaign, you’re going to want to measure everything together to see how each of your campaign components contributed to the end-goals you set. To do this in a unified way, you’ll need to create a tracking URL for use across your campaign efforts. You can get a step-by-step guide of how to create a tracking URL here.Note: If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can actually skip this step and instead use the new Campaigns app in HubSpot. The Campaigns app enables you to plan, run, and measure a campaign in one place without needing to code up tracking URLs.Develop offers and landing pages.Now that you have all of the fundamentals of your marketing campaign down, you’ll want to create content offers to attract potential customers and landing pages to convert those visitors.Make sure your main landing page elements, like the headline and meta description, include the keywords that you decided to optimize for. Jumpstart: A collection of templates from HubSpot to help you create your offersChoose your promotion channels and get the word out.Send an email.If you’ve got an existing list of contacts who might be interested in the content, feature the content offer in a newsletter or create a dedicated email send for it. Include social share buttons in the email, and make sure to include your tracking URL when you link to the report (again, HubSpot customers, you don’t need to do this). Jumpstart: The Anatomy of a 5-Star EmailWrite related blog posts.Blogs are a great, search-friendly way to attract people to your offer. Repurpose part of your offer as a blog post and link to the landing page for the full content or write about similar topics to generate interest in the focus area. Jumpstart: How to Turn One Idea Into a Bottomless Backlog of Blog PostsShare content on social media.Schedule continuous social content about your offer throughout the length of your campaign. Don’t just post the same thing every day. Instead, mix it up and see which converts best. Remember: If you’re not using HubSpot, use a tracking URL.  Jumpstart: Social media publishing schedule templateConsider paid search and other channels. Other channels can be a part of your inbound campaign, too — just be sure you’re tracking them all together so you know how they are each contributing to your campaign.  Jumpstart: Template for managing your AdWords campaignNurture leads generated through your offers.Your campaign doesn’t end when leads convert on your landing page. To guide your new leads to a point at which they may be ready to talk to your sales team, attach a lead nurturing campaign or series of relevant follow-up emails to your offer. In a lead nurturing series, each email should helpfully nudge the lead to the next step of their decision process. Jumpstart: An Introduction to Lead NurturingReport on your results.Take a breath — your marketing plan is complete and your campaign is up and running. After it’s launched, go back to your original goals and use analytics to see how well you’re faring against them. Google AnalyticsIf you’ve set up your tracking URLs properly, you’ll be able to see how many visits your campaign generated in the acquisition menu of Google Analytics, as shown in the image below. Sign in to Google Analytics, click ‘Acquisition’ in the left column, and then click ‘Campaigns’ to see your campaign traffic.  Welcome to January — a time of new energy, new calendars, and lots and lots of planning. Whether you’re planning your marketing strategy as a whole or developing a specific marketing campaign to achieve a particular goal, a little structure can help to reduce a daunting task to a manageable one.Learn how to run more impactful, measurable marketing campaigns.You’ll find help with this structuring below, where I’ve outlined numerous steps we take when planning our own campaigns at HubSpot. So go on — use our outline below to get your marketing going strong to start 2014!Identify your audience.Whether you’re creating a marketing strategy for your entire company or developing a campaign for a particular product launch, defining your audience is the most fundamental step. It is the difference between a generic message that falls flat and a campaign that really resonates.When you’re building your marketing plan, start by developing the audience profile, often called a persona. Your profile should include the following components:DemographicsValuesBiggest challengesHow you solve those challengesCurrent perceptions of your company/productCommon objectionsJumpstart: 9 Questions You Need to Ask When Developing Buyer PersonasSet benchmarks and goals.You need to know where you are to get where you’re going. Before launching into a campaign, take stock of the current traffic to your site and the leads and customers generated by similar campaigns in the past. Use those as benchmarks to set goals for this campaign.Your goals should me more concrete than “raising awareness” and more achievable than “tripling sales in a month.” Aim to create what marketers call SMART goals — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timebound. For example: “Generate [number] leads focused on [topic/product] by [date].”last_img read more

Before & After: 6 Beautiful Website Redesigns [SlideShare]

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Website Redesign Topics: 6 Examples of Beautiful Website Redesigns from HubSpot All-in-one Marketing Software6 Incredible Website Redesigns From HubSpot Customers1) CheckPoint ConsultingChallenge: Unify the theme of your website.Michigan-based firm CheckPoint Consulting started out with a not-so-savvy, run-of-the-mill website. Sure, it had all the information there, but the outdated design, lack of available information, and disjointed color scheme made it impossible for someone to move through the funnel.Your website is the first impression a new potential customer has with your business. They’re deciding whether or not you’re worthy of buying from. CheckPoint Consulting realized it needed a more modern, professional look to give its visitors a clearer route to conversion.Solution: Use consistent colors and themes to entice visitors to convert.My, they grow up so fast. With the help of HubSpot Certified Partner media junction, Checkpoint Consulting was able to pull together a brand new look and feel for its website. The new website established company credibility and engaged visitors with an image slider and carefully crafted color scheme.Take a page from Checkpoint’s playbook and ensure your visitors stay on your page by having a consistent look and feel throughout your website.2) CloudMGRChallenge: Stand out from the competition.CloudMGR, previously known as CloudSafe365, is a technology service provider that allows you to manage all of your cloud-based solutions. The background on its original website was a cloud to illustrate its services — not the most original idea.While the homepage served its purpose, showcasing the company as a reputable service provider, it still looked like one of many in an overpopulated industry. Thus, the company needed to add some “pop” and leave a lasting impression on its visitors.Solution: Use a clean, minimalist design approach with bold colors.Talk about pop. CloudMGR went through a full rebranding to completely change the look and feel of its website from crowded and common to minimalist and different. The business turned to media junction as well to rebrand the company’s name, logo, and website. (Sometimes, if you’re going to change your website, it may be time to revisit everything and make sure all of your branding ducks are in a row.)CloudMGR’s new site uses strategic design elements and a lot of calls-to-action (CTAs) to pull leads down the marketing funnel. Now, when customers visit this site, they’ll view CloudMGR as a serious candidate to consider in their purchasing decision.Who said technology services aren’t sexy?3) Surge AcceleratorChallenge: Refocus and clarify your messaging and content.Surge Accelerator is a startup accelerator in the Houston area. Before switching over to HubSpot, the company relied on old-school design tactics for its website. Its previous homepage had a lot of content on it. Surge wanted you to click on its primary CTA, clearly indicated by the arrows point at “Apply Now,” but there was just too much going on design- and messaging-wise.Along with the content overload, this site wasn’t optimized for mobile use. Given that more and more consumers are making purchasing decisions via their mobile devices, not having a responsive site can impact businesses’ bottom lines.Solution: Add high-quality images and clearly understandable content.Surge created a brand new website that completely blew the old one out of the water. The new website has all of the design goodies you could ever imagine, like parallax scrolling throughout the site, image slideshows, and customized menus. Now the site has a much more modern look and a better UX to help catch visitors’ attention.4) Orbital AllianceChallenge: Practice what you preach.We all know the saying “the cobbler’s children have no shoes” — and how true it can be in real life. Orbital Alliance was like a cobbler. It is a web strategy and inbound marketing agency that has designed countless gorgeous sites for other HubSpot customers … but, its initial website, before migrating over to HubSpot’s new COS, looked busy and chock-full of information.Solution: Go bold or go home.Orbital Alliance did a full 180 with its branding when it migrated over to the COS. The company used HubSpot’s easy-to-use design tools to add in custom animation, among other features. It also chose a stimulating and captivating image for the homepage background that was also way simpler than the previous background. The site is tied together nicely through parallax scrolling, and the minimalist look that Orbital Alliance provides its customers is now one it can proudly have on its own site.5) iOfficeChallenge: Reduce the abundance of text and add more appealing CTAs.iOffice is a facility management software company, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that based on its original website. The abundance of copy mixed with the lack of a clear call-to-action on its homepage makes for an overwhelming and confusing site.Before the redesign, the business ask itself, “How long does it take a prospective customer to figure out what we’re selling them?” The answer was “too long” — so iOffice adjusted its webpage accordingly.Solution: Add a clearly understood slogan, CTAs, and animation.This is more like it. iOffice’s redesigned site has more white space and images, less text, orderly navigation, and a clear call-to-action.iOffice also recognized it needed a responsive design to run a successful business, resulting in the following functional, yet beautiful design.6) bluleadz Inbound MarketingChallenge: Eliminate the “busyness” and offer a clearer next step.bluleadz, a HubSpot certified partner that sells inbound marketing services, needed to pull out the key points of its homepage. What was the company trying to tell visitors with the site above?Fortunately, bluleadz also recognized this and realized it had to tighten up the content on its site, use its color scheme more effectively, and reorganize its homepage to tell a more cohesive story.Solution: Implement bold imagery and colors to grab visitors’ attention.The method is a tried-and-true for a reason. Bold animation, clear calls-to-action, and relevant offers all add up to a successful marketing website. Now, with a single glance on the page, people know what they’re looking at and what products and services are offered.Believe me: Your site can look just as incredible as these ones … especially when you’ve got a redesign kit like this one to help you out. So what are you waiting for?Can’t get enough of these amazing website redesign examples? Go ahead and get inspired at It’s already the end of January. I know — I can’t believe it either. Though you may’ve decided to give up on a New Year’s resolution or two, there’s one I think you oughta have your list: redesigning your website.With other projects in the pipeline in 2014, I can understand if a redesign wasn’t your top priority entering the year. But, when you take a look at these redesigned beauties below, you’ll want to find the time to give your site a revamp, too.Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignWe’ve compiled some of the best website transformations we’ve witnessed from HubSpot customers and detailed exactly why they’re so awesome. Who knows? Maybe one or more of these sites will inspire you to get a redesign project underway. (And if you do decide to go that route, this planning kit can help you get going.)Flip through the SlideShare below first to get a quick overview of the newly redesigned sites, and then be sure to head on down to read more about these companies’ website makeovers. Originally published Jan 29, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

Hiring Experts Tell All: What They REALLY Want to See on Your Resume

first_imgWhen I set out to find expertise for this post on resumes, I was surprised to find that real humans were behind it all.Humans! With real feelings, pet peeves, hobbies, relationships, experiences, and backgrounds — they’re the ones reading our resumes and cover letters. They’re also the ones who get annoyed when we don’t put our employment record in chronological order; who just don’t feel like reading paragraph-long job descriptions; and who get excited when you went to the same college as them.I asked some hiring experts what they actually care about when they scan resumes, and here’s the inside scoop on the tips they shared with me. (And don’t miss out on what they said about cover letters at the end.)What Hiring Managers Definitely Care AboutLengthLimit your resumes to one page if possible. It takes hiring managers six seconds to decide whether they like your resume or not. If they do, they’ll keep reading. If they don’t … well, it’s on to the next. So, chances are, they won’t even get to page 2. But if you have to bleed onto another page, definitely don’t exceed two.FormattingFormatting speaks to the way candidates collect their thoughts and organize their ideas. As HubSpot Director of Training and Development Andrew Quinn explains it, “A candidate’s resume is their ad to me. How are they structuring this ad so I get a clear picture of what they’re capable of?”There’s a fine line, though, warns HubSpot Recruiter Emily Kueffner. “If you stray too far from normal formatting, it’s hard to read and understand your resume. Don’t get so creative that your resume becomes difficult to digest.” Specifically, we spoke about the infographic resumes some candidates have sent in. Every hiring manager I spoke with advised sticking to the classic resume form instead of infographics or other formats. “Infographic resumes are terrible,” says HubSpot Recruiting Manager Leslie Mitchell. “We appreciate creativity, except when it’s overkill and hard to follow. Keep it simple — everyone appreciates a simple resume. If you’re a designer, showcase your creativity with a cool portfolio website in addition to your simple resume.”Writing QualityHiring managers throw away resumes with spelling errors – but writing quality goes beyond spelling mistakes. Writing and presenting data in meaningful ways is a critical skill for any position, from blogging to engineering.Are the details you want hiring managers to know about you easy to consume? Do you use concise sentences to convey your performance and accomplishments? Are your verb tenses consistent (except for current positions)? Is your language overflowing with buzzwords, or does it sound natural?“Formatting, spelling, syntax, and structure are all evidence of attention to detail,” Andrew told me. “This is important for any job, but especially if you’re applying to a job where attention to detail matters.” If you’re applying for a writing position, this is even more important. Same with sales – salespeople have to write emails all day long, so have you mastered the crisp, business style of writing?LocationHiring managers want to know if you’ll need to relocate. If you already live near the company’s office, great! If you would need to relocate, then it gets a little more complicated. Technically, hiring managers can’t legally ask you directly where you live – but omitting location will raise eyebrows. Even PO boxes are a little iffy.If you do need to relocate, you should still include your current, out-of-town address on your resume, but be prepared to answer relocation status questions in an interview. If the company doesn’t offer relocation packages, will you be able to afford taking the job and moving anyway? If not, you may be wasting time.College/Graduate School and Major/ConcentrationWhich is more important: Where you went to school, or what you studied?It depends on the job you’re applying for. In most cases, your degree should make sense for the role. “Hiring managers are looking for the tie-in,” says Leslie. “They’re looking for what’s relevant about what a candidate’s done in school.” That doesn’t mean only marketing majors can apply to marketing jobs – marketing teams might hire someone who came out of creative studies like liberal arts, graphic design, or writing. An engineering team, on the other hand, probably won’t hire someone without a computer science degree. It also depends on how successful you were at the school you attended. While there are some hiring managers who only give interviews to graduates of top-tier schools, most say it helps to go to a top-tier school, but it’s certainly not a deal-breaker if you went to a lower-tier school or community college. A community college graduate with a 4.0 GPA could be more attractive than an Ivy League graduate with a 2.0. Speaking of GPA – when to take it off your resume is subjective. “The benchmark is five to seven years after graduation, which is when candidates tend have a solid track record of employment,” says Andrew. “But if you did well in school but had lackluster job prospects following graduation because of, say, a bad economy, you could definitely leave it on longer.” It goes both ways, he explained: If you had great jobs and accomplishments following graduation but didn’t have a good GPA, consider removing your GPA earlier.Three to five years after college or graduate school graduation, you can move your “Education” section to the bottom of your resume — unless you connected with someone through an alumni network or if you know an executive there also went to your school.Companies and TitlesHiring managers will look at where you’ve worked before (do they recognize the company names or know anyone who works there?) and your titles at those companies. “If you’re applying for a sales position at a software company like HubSpot, we’re looking for experience selling software,” Leslie told me. “If you’re applying for a services position, we’re looking for customer-facing experience.”Yes, people tweak their titles at previous companies to more closely match the positions they’re applying for. If you do this, your “new” title should be close enough to what you really did that if someone were to call and check a reference, they wouldn’t be dumbfounded. Maybe “Clerk to the Surgical Waiting Room” becomes “Customer Service Clerk.” Also, make sure to change your titles on LinkedIn, too — hiring managers will check for consistency on LinkedIn, Leslie said.Top Few Bullet Points in Each SectionEach position you’ve had should be accompanied by no more than five to six bullet points. Remember, these hiring managers are scanning your resumes really quickly, so you want to make it easy for them to find and digest the relevant information by consolidating the most important points and putting them first. Paragraphs are a big no-no.Focus on accomplishments first before responsibilities and duties. If you had a senior management role, include the number of people you managed. Include goals and metrics that hiring managers can use to compare you against other candidates, and make sure those metrics make sense so you don’t confuse the hiring manager. Run the metrics by your mom. I’m serious. If they make sense to her, then they’re all set. If not, then you weren’t clear enough and you need to tweak the language.Dates of EmploymentHiring managers look for job hopping and large gaps in employment, which are both red flags. Job hopping is a sign of failure to commit, a quality no one wants at their company. A word of advice: You should try to stay at every job for at least a year, preferably two or more years; otherwise, it’s a red flag.And if you took longer than six months off of work, Leslie suggests you explain the gap on your resume, perhaps in italics or parenthesis. “Travelled abroad.” “Took time off for family.” “Took time off for personal reasons.” They just want to see a rational explanation — that you were doing something productive with your time, not just hanging out watching football, ya know?What Hiring Managers Might Care AboutInterests/HobbiesWhether you include interests and hobbies on your resume depends on the company and the job. If you’re applying for a creative role, hobbies like photography and painting could be interesting to an employer. If you’re hiring for an accounting role, then a hobby like skydiving wouldn’t be good to include — hiring managers might categorize you as a risk-taker, and do they really want a risk-taker managing their money?“Think about the conclusions someone could draw from your hobbies relative to the role you’re hiring for,” Andrew advises. “Do they enhance or detract from the image you’re trying to convey? If you know the culture embraces unique individuals that have a broad background and set of interests, then it could be useful information. But conservative organizations probably don’t care what you do in your free time — in fact, they could interpret outside hobbies as distractions.”Companies with cultures like HubSpot’s want their employees to have some personality and invest in outside interests. So if you’re applying to join that kind of culture, an “Interests” or “Hobbies” section could benefit you. “They’re great conversation starters,” says Leslie. “‘You’re a skier? Me too! Which mountain do you go to?’ It creates common ground for conversation and helps us assess culture fit.”Before including or omitting this section on your resume, gain some intelligence about the company’s environment and culture. (And check out HubSpot’s culture code if you haven’t already.)What Hiring Managers Don’t Want to SeePersonal Statements/ObjectivesFrankly, they’re irrelevant. And they’re too easy to screw up. Leslie recounted numerous times where candidates put the name of another local company on there — huge mistake.Instead, Leslie suggests replacing it with a “Key Skills” section at the top of your resume, in column format, that highlights the top six to nine skills applicable to the role you’re applying for. Be sure to change these skills for each job!Although you should leave this section off your resume, you should have something in the Summary section of your LinkedIn profile. Focus this section on specific skills and achievements. It’s a good place to put a link to your portfolio, blog, SlideShare presentations, or examples of work you’ve created like open-source code. Use that space to talk about specific achievements you’ve had in previous roles, awards you’ve won, or projects you’ve worked on. The information and skills on here should be applicable to where you’re headed in your career, not irrelevant past skills. (Right after Leslie told me this, I took “emergency medicine” off of mine!)As for cover letters?“I’ve never met a recruiter who reads cover letters,” Leslie told me. “We just don’t have time.” That’s right. With this in mind, include important details on your resume, like gaps in employment, rather than relying on your cover letter (which may never get read) to explain it. And reallocate those hours you plan to spend writing and perfecting your cover letter to writing and rewriting your resume. Your resume is the most important tool in the first stage of the application process, so spend a lot of time on it and ask multiple people to critique it. I hope you found this information helpful! If you’re looking for jobs in the inbound marketing space, check out HubSpot’s job page and the job page. And don’t forget to download our free marketing resume templates, too!  Resume and Cover Letters Topics: Originally published Jul 22, 2014 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more