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Are You Using HubSpot's Most Important Features? Updated April 2018

Posted by John Middlebrook on Dec 22, 2016 6:27:22 PM

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9 Tips on the Most Under Utilized Tools in HubSpot

As part of our services, we audit HubSpot portals for potential customers several times per month and in most cases, there is a distinct pattern of areas where businesses are not getting the most out of this powerful marketing automation software. In many cases they are paying anywhere from $200-$2000/month and they are spending that kind of money, but watching leads slip by.

In this blog we touch on the top 8 areas in which we see the most under-utilization of their robust tools and we tell you how to get more from them.


1. SSL

SSL, or Secure Socket Layer, is defined as the standard security technology for establishing anSecure Socket Layer in HubSpot COS encrypted link between a web server and a browser. All web sites doing financial transactions must use SSL but other sites that take data such as personal files or anything that needs to be secured, should be on SSL. With HubSpot, it is built into the system and FREE to setup. Google has claimed for over a year that they twill "boost" sites with SSL, over those that don't use the encryption. With HubSpot, this process takes 24-48 hours to complete and their support team will help you through the whole setup.


2. Campaigns Tool

We start everything we do with our clients in this tab. I call this the epicenter of HubSpot. Nothing that your marketing team does should start without a solid campaign identified in the campaigns tool. Now, you probably started your planning on a white board or in another offline system but in HubSpot, the campaigns tool should be where all data is tracked.

When setting up a campaign in the campaigns tool, HubSpot makes you think of every channel and conversion point possible, and forces you to fill in the boxes. Here are a few that each
campaign needs to address:

  • Keywords associated to the campaign
  • Landing pages used for the campaign
  • Emails sent, associated to the campaign
  • Calls to Action created
  • Blog Posts promoting campaign
  • Site Pages to assist campaign
  • Social Messages with campaign
  • Paid campaigns (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Ad Words)
  • Other tracking URL's (banner ad, other third parties)
  • Workflows to nurture leads

All of these efforts are tied to one place, your campaign. Use this tool!


3. CTA's

I know this may seem like a no brainer but I've personally audited sites with 90% of their blog posts missing a CTA. I ask you, "then why did you even write the blog?" There should be a distinct "next step" at every offer you have. Whether it's a blog post, an email, a web page, an eBook, a social post. Please make sure you add a solid CTA and tie it to a campaign. (See above)


4. Workflows

In these same audits, we see so little use of or minimal leads or engagement in the workflows tool. This tool eliminates so much unnecessary work from you and your team but so many are not working smarter and using its power. Take the time with your team and think through anything you do or send manually, then figure out how to automate it. There is so much you can do with personalization, it will look convincingly like you sent the email, and not the HubSpot workflows.


5. Social Tools

The social tab can look and feel overwhelming at first. I know, because it was for me. I will say that you need to get comfortable with it and make it part of someone's role at your organization. Something they do every morning when they sit down at their desk. HubSpot provides very helpful tools to assist your team in working in this tool daily. It only takes 15-30 minutes but the results can be far reaching.


6. A/B test Emails and CTA's

In HubSpot Pro, this is built in solution that you should use every time you send an email. It allows you to create an A/B, or split test of the following options:

  • Offers - Experiment with the medium of the offer. You might test an eBook versus a whitepaper or video.
  • Copy - Experiment with the formatting and style of the content. You could test plain paragraphs versus bullet points or a longer block of text vs a shorter block of text.
  • Email Sender - Try sending the email from an employee's email address instead of a generic department address.
  • Image - Try out different images to see how the conversion rate is influenced.
  • Subject Line - Play around with the length of the subject line or add personalization. 
  • Whole Email - The fastest way to achieve drastic results and produce a landing page that drives a lot of conversions is to test the entire email. Make iterations to the whole email that affect image placement, subject line, and its copy. Once you have a statistically significant result pointing to the variation that performed better, you can continue optimizing through smaller tweaks.

A/B testing works best with email lists of 1000 contacts or more. Give it a try with your next email. A/B testing of CTA's works with any of your offers.


7. Keywords

We find during our audits that the keyword tool, if used, is usually a "set it and forget it" feature in HubSpot. Here's a breakdown of what the 4 overview metrics show you at the top of your dashboard:

  • Keywords Ranked in Top 3the total number of keywords that you are tracking in the keywords tool that you rank in the top 3 results on search engines.
  • Keywords Ranked in Top 10the total number of keywords that you are tracking in the keywords tool that you rank in the top 10 results on search engines.
  • Contacts from Organic Last 30 Daysthe total number of new contacts in the last 30 days that had an original source of organic search.
  • Organic Traffic Last 30 Daysthe total number of visits that you've had from organic search in the last 30 days.

Within the data table of the Keywords report, you can view the following metrics:

  • Rank - an approximation of where your website ranks for a particular search term in the search engines' results pages. Note: factors like personalization and localization that the search engines take into account can influence ranking on a search-by-search basis. If your keyword rank has increased in the last seven days, there will be a green upwards facing triangle next to the rank. If the rank has decreased in the last seven days, a downwards facing red triangle will appear next to the rank. Mouse over the triangle to see the exact increase or decrease number.
  • Difficulty - how hard it will be to rank well for this keyword on a scale of 0-100. Any keyword with a difficulty above 70 is considered extremely difficult to rank for. When you're first starting out, you'll want to target keywords with low difficulty (between 0-40) and then work your way into medium difficulty keywords (40-60), when your site starts getting more traction, and so on.
  • Monthly Searches - the approximate number of monthly searches for the exact match of this keyword. If a location is set, this information is localized. (If you see "Low" within this category it means that there wasn't enough data to show that anyone is searching for this specific term.)
  • CPC - the approximate cost per click if you had been running a paid search campaign targeting this keyword. If a location is set, this information is localized.
  • Visits - how many visits via organic search you had after the user searched for this keyword. This is updated every 24 hours and shows the past thirty days. Google does not share the keyword that a visitor used to find your site, so this column will only include visits from other search engines.  
  • Contacts - how many leads via organic search you had after the user searched for this keyword. This is updated every 24 hours and shows the past thirty days. Again, because Google does not share the keyword that a visitor used to find your site, this column will only include visits from other search engines. 
  • Campaigns - how many campaigns this keyword is assigned to. Click on the number to see the campaigns.
  • Created On - the exact date on which you added a keyword to the Keywords tool.

You should be looking at this tool every few days to see how your efforts are returning you results in your SEO efforts.


8. Projects

The projects tab has grown up over the last year and now it's really powerful for smaller teams of marketers. In my time at agencies I have seen so many cases where managers and their teams complete repeatable processes over and over, but do not document a solid process, and stick to it. In the projects tool, not only does HubSpot provided dozens as cheat sheets, create your own. For example if you follow the exact same process for setting up a new client on HubSpot. That "recipe", so to speak, should be the same every time. In projects, you can pull up your "HubSpot Setup" project and assign dates and people to each task in the project. This way you maintain a reusable process and keep your team organized, all within the HubSpot tool.

Here are some of my favorites:

  • Training your team with HubSpot Academy, use this to assign certification courses for new hires and the deadlines to acquire them. Great for the first 90 days of onboarding
  • Hosting a webinar or other event, did you remember to email 2 weeks before, 4 days, the morning of? Setup a follow up email series after the event, order the food, etc.
  • Developing a local SEO strategy, this must be followed the same way every time, that way you never miss a single directory and you can add or remove as the markets change
  • Conducting keyword research, walk you through doing keyword research in order to determine which topics to create content about
  • Onboarding a new client, there are so many critical items that you cannot miss during the critical beginning of a relationship. This project helps to keep you consistent with each one.

9. Content Strategy Tool

We are obviously big advocates of HubSpot and their products. The addition of the content strategy tool has been in the works for over a year and we tried making it work from day one. Well it was not ready then but now, it is literally the pillar of all campaign planning. With client Content Strategy Tool from HubSpotplanning today, nothing is written or strategized unless it is tied to one of the pillar terms of the strategy tool. Sometimes content can go astray when you are getting started, but with this tool, it "inventories" your current content and it opens your eyes to holes that you can fill with keyword rich content. 

As you can see from the image on the right, this term is surrounded by almost 14 pieces of content that are related to the key term "window treatments".

If you haven't started using this tool stop what you are doing, pick a handful of key terms and start to fill in the holes in your site.


This was a lot to take in over a single blog post. Remember, we see sites everyday, do audits like this regularly. We would love to have the opportunity to review your HubSpot portal and look for ways to improve and get your money's worth and hit your upcoming sales goals.

Click on the button below if you'd like to speak more on this topic with our team and we will be in touch right away.

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Topics: HubSpot

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The Calibrate Brands blog is a resource for marketing and branding professionals looking for place to go for news on website design, branding strategies and how to build traffic to your site.

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