If you’ve recently taken over responsibility for managing your company’s HubSpot account – or it’s just been a minute since the last HubSpot portal cleanup – it’s time for an audit.
It might not sound like the most fun thing in the world, but a methodical audit of your HubSpot portal will establish a more organized contact database, easier segmentation, cleaner data for analysis and better overall performance.
Having conducted our share of HubSpot audits over the years for clients and prospects, we’ve internalized our process and could likely do much of this in our sleep. (Alright, maybe not in our sleep, although I’m pretty sure I’ve had at least one HubSpot audit dream. Don’t judge.)
While every portal is different and audits are not 100% one-size-fits-all, there are certain areas that, from a starting point, we always inspect when we’re taking a look under the hood. If you’re looking to audit your HubSpot portal, feel free to use this checklist to make sure you’re covering your bases.
(Note: the following checklist assumes a working familiarity with HubSpot and related terminology. If our HubSpot/inbound lingo is making this difficult to follow, pull this glossary up for reference.)
Step 1. Contact & Company Cleanup
Contacts and companies are the bedrock of an effective database and should be cleaned up regularly (quarterly is often a good cadence).
To get a sense of how well things are organized – and how much cleanup work you may have in front of you – start by pulling up your contacts and companies and looking for a few things:
- Are your contacts accurately tagged with their current lifecycle? (Subscriber, lead, MQL, SQL etc.?)
- Have all leads been assigned owners?
- Are hard bounces, unsubscribes and old, unengaged contacts being regularly purged?
- Are duplicate contacts and companies being managed and merged on a regular basis?
You might be wondering if doing all of this is really necessary. Short answer: yes, someone should be in charge of this. Regularly cleaning up your contacts and companies will improve reporting accuracy, minimize graymail and optimize email deliverability.
For some actionable tips on how to tackle this step, check out our post, CRM Onboarding: Where to Start.
Step 2. Buyer Persona Implementation
Buyer personas are key to effective targeting, segmentation and personalization – and HubSpot has a tool for them built right into the platform.
Make sure your personas are uploaded, and if it’s been a while since they’ve been updated, sit down with folks on the front lines of sales to make sure all of the info is current.
- Are your personas still representative of all the target audiences you’re trying to reach?
- Are there any new personas that should be added?
- Have you updated your personas with any new demographic and psychographic insights you’ve gained since you last developed them?
Once your personas have been refreshed as needed and the updates are reflected in your HubSpot personas tool, check to make sure you have a method for tagging contacts with their persona in your HubSpot database.
There are a few ways to do this that don’t involve individually updating each contact, and these can be done in combination:
- Do a bulk import of your contacts with the persona column updated. (All contacts already present in your database will be de-duplicated if their email address is the same – they’ll just have their persona field updated.)
- Create workflows that tag contacts as personas based on behaviors or contact properties. (For example, update all contacts with job title Sales VP to Sales Steve.)
- Include a self-select role or job title field in contact forms and toggle it to the persona contact property.
For more help creating and refining buyer personas, check out:
- Using LinkedIn to Enhance Buyer Personas and Speak Their Language
- Have You Interviewed Your Clients Lately?
Step 3. Email Health Check
Chances are that email plays a big role in your marketing and sales efforts. HubSpot provides a number of helpful ways to analyze your email open and click rates to ensure you’re getting the most from this channel.
As you review your email metrics, consider these in context of industry benchmarks to understand where you’re doing well and where you need to focus efforts for improvement.
For example, according to Mailchimp benchmarks, the average business email open rate is 21.56% and click rate 2.72%. You can also measure your success against rates for your specific industry. For instance, consulting averages at 20.13% and 2.49%, respectively. How do your metrics compare to your industry benchmarks?
If this requires attention or you’re just looking to get from good to better, develop some goals for improvement and plot your plan to get there. Most likely, this will incorporate some mix of
- Database cleanup (see above)
- Suppressing graymail
- Personalization, including smart rules
- Consistent iterating and A/B testing of different types of subject lines and send times
- Testing different messaging, CTA and content formats
- How to Personalize Your Marketing for Greater Returns
- Tips and Tools for Launching Your First Email Newsletter
Step 4. Workflow Audit
Workflows should be revisited and refreshed as needed based on engagement. Starting high level and with the most frequently used workflows, pull up the performance tab and review the following:
- Actual vs. goal conversion rate
- Email trends
- Delivery rate
- Spam and delivery failure rate
Make a note of where the workflows need improvement, and when the audit is complete, you can plot out your plan for updating the emails with the tactics noted in step 3.
If lead nurturing basics are already in place, consider creating new workflows for customer retention, sales notifications, cart abandonment and free trial signups.
Step 5. Lead Scoring Update
If working properly, your lead scoring system should accurately rank prospects according to their sales readiness.
Start by reviewing the triggers to see if anything jumps out as missing or weighted incorrectly. If someone else set up the lead scoring years ago and you’re looking at a rat’s nest, consider starting over from scratch. If the scoring system looks overly basic, think about adding or updating your scoring attributes based on engagement recency, and if you haven’t already, consider weighing certain web pages differently based on what intent they signal (e.g. pricing vs. careers).
Need some pointers? Get our tips on Lead Scoring Best Practices, Common Mistakes and Lessons Learned.
Step 6. Design Consistency
If you’re using HubSpot to host landing pages and/or a blog, pull up all active templates to ensure that usage of creative assets such as fonts, colors and imagery is consistent across your properties.
Identify and address any navigation inconsistencies across pages and domains/subdomains and take this opportunity to assess your templates for layout and design. Take note any templates that could stand to be updated or refreshed for a better user experience.
Dig in deeper to optimize UX:
- How Often Should You Update Your Website?
- Your Website is a Road. Design Its Layout With the Driver in Mind.
Step 7. Google Search Console
HubSpot users should take advance of the integration with Google Search Console so that data from Google searches is being funneled into your SEO tool. (If you’re not familiar with Google Search Console, this free tool lets you see search metrics such as average position in search and the number of clicks and views your site receives for given search terms.)
Confirm that Google Search Console is connected to HubSpot to integrate search data so that you have a complete line of sight to SEO and content performance.
Get the how-to from HubSpot: Enable the Google Search Console integration in HubSpot
Step 8. SEO Strategy
If you haven’t used it yet, consider utilizing HubSpot’s pillar page/topic cluster tool (Marketing -> Planning and Strategy -> SEO -> Topics) to build authority for topics of relevance. Using this tool is an effective way to make sure you’re linking back and forth between pillar pages and related blogs, and it provides data into your performance for targeted topics.
If this tool isn’t being used or the topics are outdated, give yourself a task to do some keyword research for new pillar pages.
HubSpot also analyzes your blog and provides optimization recommendations (Marketing -> Planning and Strategy -> SEO -> Recommendations), including word count, meta descriptions and more.
Document any recommendations that look applicable – especially those tagged high impact.
See an example of a pillar page: The Comprehensive Guide to B2B Video Marketing
Step 9. Review Forms and CTAs
Reviewing the performance of your forms and CTAs provides a good view into how well your lead capture assets are optimized for conversions.
Use your HubSpot analytics tools to analyze performance of both your forms and CTAs and make note of where performance needs the most improvement. For example, organic search conversion rate is usually 1-2%.
- If you’re under that, consider adding CTAs and/or gated content to high-traffic blogs and pages to convert more visitors
- For underperforming forms, consider removing unneeded fields to remove friction
- For underperforming CTAs, create a plan to test and measure different iterations of the CTA by tweaking the color, copy and placement (one variable at a time)
Get more website conversion optimization tips:
- Improving Your Business Website with Analytics, SEO and User Experience
- How to Get Started with Growth-Driven Design
- How to (Efficiently) Analyze Hotjar Recordings
Step 10. Archive Unused Assets and Organize Active Assets
Review and archive any old and unused forms, lists and workflows. If you have a high number of these assets that are active, make a note to create folders and use a systematized naming convention as this will allow for more organized and efficient usage for your team. This may feel like busy-work while you’re doing it, but you’ll be saving time and preventing confusion in the long run.
Get organized: How to Organize Marketing Assets and Login Credentials
Taking the Next Step
Once you’ve gone through the steps above and noted the gaps and areas of lagging performance, there’s likely a lot of work to be done.
Acknowledge that you’ll probably need to chip away at this over time. Prioritize the updates by front-loading the work that will have the biggest impact, such as content that generates a lot of traffic but converts poorly.
Or, better yet, hire a team of HubSpot experts to do the heavy lifting for you.