After nearly 6 months of development, our new website is finally live.
If you’re reading this, congrats - you’re on it.
During this process, truth to be told, we made a lot of mistakes.
I’m a big fan of building businesses in public, so in this article, I’ll go through 5 conclusions of mine that will hopefully help you don’t make the same.
First of all, why did we make a new website?
Different business phases require different nuances of acquisition.
Most bootstrapped startups that reach profitability in the short term…
Fail to maintain financial stability in the long run.
Because they don’t make a switch.
From outbound to inbound.
From pure acquisition to positioning on the market.
From building a project to building a company.
In verticals where crucial user decisions are made online, websites play a pretty big role in this switch.
Classical examples of this would be SaaS, Fintech, Ecommerce, and digital agencies.
I’m a kid-like excited that Omnius is finally entering this phase.
Phase A: Profitability
Back in 2019, I worked as a Content marketing director at Glorify, a newly found startup based in London.
We managed to acquire north of 19k paying users in less than 12 months.
Glorify became an Ecommerce-focused counterbalance to Canva, which got funded by Fuel Ventures in 2021.
After the exit, I founded Omnius, an agency that I would work on, as a person coming from the business side of the SaaS industry.
Businesses striving for profitability can make it work with basic - not great, not terrible websites. Our old website was just that.
Back then, we were struggling to reach profitability.
With limited resources, both financially and people-wise - every step was crucial.
At each point of the process, we couldn’t afford to miss.
Before building a market behemoth - we focused on building good old net profits.As simple as that.
At this moment, investing months in a website that would serve as a scalable acquisition asset wouldn’t make sense. Instead - we built a
- Simple informational website in WordPress
- Pitch deck that would fill the website’s gaps.
And focused on direct acquisition channels, such as outreach and paid advertising.
With deep focus on only one, value-aggregating KPI - the quality of service.
This simple logic got us the first client in less than a month.
And paved the way for our 0 - 18 employees’ growth in just 2 years.
Reach the proof of concept with an MVP-style website.
Then focus on refining the processes.
Phase B: Positioning
As founders, I believe we should always keep an eye on macro trends.
The Internet landscape has changed. Human behavior changed.
5 years ago, acquisition worked differently.
In the last 8-12 months, I had a chance to talk to a lot of founders, and most agree that the outreach is decreasing in performance. For some, it’s as much as dead.
One big change I’m seeing is the shift from outbound to inbound marketing.
People are becoming impatient and visual-first.
With a tendency to explore, and adopt something on their own.
Not be disturbed by sales emails or ads.
Consequentially, user experience plays an increasingly important role in the decision-making process.
Changing the role of websites - from the company’s presentational tool to the OS you use to position on a certain market, generate and maintain relationships with people.
If you’re after positioning in a specific niche, with a non-traditional business model, and most importantly - focused on predictable, compound growth - basic informational websites will:
- Bring fewer visitors
- Have a lower conversion rate
- Convert non-qualified leads
- Generate higher (sales & support) operational costs
- Bring a lower number of referral partners
By adding numbers to the equation, the ROI of investing resources into a scalable website becomes obvious.
Not to talk about the general inability to leverage the full potential of ranking on browsers, which are responsible for 49% of all web traffic coming to websites.
During daily interactions with clients, we got to the conclusion that website and product design areas of work - aren’t well equipped with marketing-knowledgeable people.
As these activities highly influence our SEO efforts, we decided to internalize the product team and expand our offerings to UI/UX Design & Web Development, which serve as an extended hand of our organic growth team.
Development of our new website went through 4 iterations in 6 months within this department.
“The Damned Yard”, is a book written by Ivo Andric, the only Nobel Award winning author from Serbia, and the Balkan region, overall. The first version of it got over 800 pages.
After ridigation of it, it fell down to 126.
This process very much reminds me of website development.
All of the above clustered into this final output.
Market positioning 2.0 starts with a website.
Hear the market. Understand the right timing.
Pick the Right Technology
We explored a lot of possibilities when it comes to the tech stack.
We tested Webflow, Headless WordPress, NextJS, React, Framer…
And the choice comes down to what your team is made of.
As our team is mostly made of marketers with strong technical backgrounds, we went with Webflow, as it gives the best programmatic SEO capabilities, and is aligned with our team’s workflow.
Also, this technology is our main focus when it comes to Web development & Technical SEO services, so going with Webflow made the most sense.
Here’s the technical performance of our website made on Webflow.
If your team is mostly made of designers, and/or marketers without any developers - I’d suggest going with Framer. It gives great freedom of creativity and works frictionlessly with Figma.
If you’d like to learn more about this platform, I advise following a friend of mine Omar Farook, who’s actively exploring Framer & sharing his learnings in public.
If your team is developer-heavy, the best solution might very likely be NextJS in combination with Vercel.
Websites of companies like Notion, Loom, Twitch, Nike, and The Washington Post are run on this technology.
The choice is yours.
With whatever technology you should certainly head towards:
The quality of content is the most important factor of Google’s algorithm.
Make people want to spend time on your website, and scroll through it.
Page loading speed
Keep your website fast, this factor highly impacts your rankings, as well.
Besides it, with every new second of loading, you decrease the conversion rate…
Fully trackable user journey
Installing GSC, GA4… and setting up events goes without saying.
It’s what gets you in a position to make data-led decisions.
Pick the technology based on your team’s background.
Both experience and technical performance matter.
Start with simple truths
I keep seeing websites that are overly complex.
Often, sounding like they’re designed for designers.
And wrote for marketers.
I believe that the truth lies in data.
Not subjective hunches. But what the market has shown.
Big companies already spent millions testing website designs, so why don’t simply leverage their learning?
Creating a board in Figma with such examples was the first step.
We categorized examples into 3 groups:
- Design guidelines
- Website components
- Copy inspiration
In the intersection of examples that resonated with our vision & already prepared list of pages we require, we got our initial website structure.
Now was the time to blend.
Elon Musk once said “I do think there is a good framework for thinking. Boil things down to their fundamental truths and reason up from there as opposed to reasoning by analogy.”
Found it very logical to distance myself from the founder’s perspective.
Become objective. Get into the shoes of others.
Here are a few simple questions you can ask yourself, and the people you find credible, in order to come up with suitable communication, and optimized user decision points on your website.
- How do I find the companies I need?
- What would I like to see on a website from this niche?
- How do I make business-related decisions online?
- What crucial factors would I convert based on?
- Which company’s conversion process did I find frictionless?
- Do I understand the stuff written on the website?
- Is going from one section to another easy and amusing?
Simple, often neglected questions can make your website truly better, not only different.
Implement a methodical approach to website building.
Research, plan, write. Then design & develop.
Website as an investment asset
My background is in Economics.
I guess this one couldn’t go without it.
Holding different value components centralized, the website is one of the most important pillars of digital businesses.
Webflow raised $120M last year.
Figma was sold for $20B this year.
It didn’t happen without a reason.
On several occasions, I’ve heard founders deprioritize website optimizations, or redesigns because:
A) The business is already doing good without them,
B) It requires capital and time.
On the other hand, most people have no doubt about whether or not to invest in an S&P 500 Index Fund that gets a 10.7% yearly return on investment.
Now imagine the ROI would generate for website improvement of just 10%.
With the added compound effect that goes beyond just on-website lead generation.
Think about the perception of people in your target markets, increased brand value per every new $ in ads, potential partners, time saved on meetings with non-qualified prospects, credibility, and the impact on conversion rate, and the LTV it carries on with.
Whether or not to invest?
In the short term, this is the choice.
You can burn money on ads, or scale on SDRs.
While it may be efficient in the short run, it won’t bring the compound effect, and through time cost of it increases, with the performance stagnating or even falling. The value ratio is negative, either way.
A strong example of this trend would be Facebook Ads, which’s CPC grew 47% in just 2 years at one moment.
Investing in it as the primary acquisition strategy is a rock-solid investment into liabilities.
Short horror story: to bring 50.000 visitors to your website costs $49K on Facebook, at this moment.
Whether or not to invest?
Financially, if you’re focused on predictable long-term growth…
It’s not even a question. It’s an inevitability.
A well-optimized website increases both the quantity, and quality of leads, and impacts positively the conversion rate, while decreasing the cost of acquisition (CAC) at a stable MoM growth rate.
Lower costs + Higher profits = Efficient economics.
To put the numbers in perspective, we helped one early-stage AI startup get to above mentioned 60.000 organic monthly visitors (and growing) in just 8 months.
Here’s a case study, if you’re interested.
Companies such as AirBnb, Ahrefs, Grammarly, BigCommerce were led by the philosophy we’re taking.
They prioritized organic marketing growth, over short-term profit maximization.
By analyzing their approach, you’ll find the patterns I’m talking about.
“Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things.”
I believe treating the website as an asset that should bring X per every Y spent is pretty damn effective. So, that’s exactly what we do.
Turn your website into an asset, not a liability.
It will compound value through time.
Update: 3 weeks from launching our new website, we're seeing significant increase of leads generated - both clients & referral partners.
Based on average monthly KPIs, we're outgrowing the so-far benchmarks by over 300%.