For those in the business of inbound marketing, HubSpot’s recently released State of Inbound 2016 has been the source of water cooler (or coffee robot) chatter for a couple of weeks. And with good reason. In what’s essentially a blink of an eye, inbound marketing has become a global phenomenon. More than 4,500 respondents from all corners of the planet weighed in on this year’s report, with a vast majority of them reporting that inbound marketing is their organization’s primary strategic approach to marketing their goods and or services.

Apologies the Sterling Cooper agency, but traditional outbound marketing — also known as paid advertising — is the most overrated marketing strategy. So let’s leave Madison Avenue to the history books and Don Draper to late night syndication.

Today, HubSpot’s research gurus predict that, “The world is becoming more inbound. It’s growing more authentic, less interruptive…It’s safe to say, that over the next ten years we’re going to see an even more inbound world.” That’s a pretty bold prediction and one that begs the question:

How can website designers build websites for an inbound world?

If your website hasn’t been refreshed in a few years, well, a lot has happened. And there’s no time like the present to create a bold website that attracts visitors, transforms them into highly qualified leads, converts, and delights.

Even in this day of social media obsession and preoccupation, every company needs a website developed with inbound in mind.  From the Fortune 500 stalwarts to the youngest and smallest of startups, organizations need a professionally designed website to lend credibility, serve as a home base, educate consumers, drive traffic, and forge lasting connections and loyalty among clients and diverse stakeholders.

That said, a poorly conceived and designed website can actually hurt your business. Ask yourself this: if you stumble across a website featuring garish colors, extinct Flash animations, maze-like navigation, or pages that stubbornly refuse to conform to your mobile phone, do you stick around for long?

Didn’t think so.

The good folks at recently identified several hot trends that startups need to consider when developing a website and Business 2 Community brings it all back to inbound:

Stationary Navigation

Keep your menus clear and simple with a “sticky” navigation bar that stays put, no matter where your visitors scroll.

Speaking of navigation, it pays to have a plan. When you have a clear content strategy laid out, your designers can build a website that fits your business and your buyers. Take the time to draw a road map for your customers, leading them from blog to educational eBook download, to requesting a proposal. Each and every page should consider your visitors and offer an opportunity for conversion at every turn.


If your clients are on the move, then your website needs to be thumb-intuitive. Awwwards gave their stamp of scrolling approval to Susa Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm.

Responsive websites take “mobile-friendly” to the next level. They not only look great on a cell phone, but they look great on your desktop, netbook, tablet, or eReader.


Icons are a great way to convey large amounts of information in a single, stunning illustration.

Innovating UI Patterns

In inbound, creating a website that guides visitors along the buyer’s journey is what it’s all about. And nothing does this more successfully than a User Interface that speaks to your clients needs and adapts to how they use the internet and your website. Think user-friendly, and then some.

Animation & Demonstration Videos

Nothing educates your visitors like a professionally produced short animation or video. Not only that, but according to Marketing TechBlog, “Videos or pages with videos have a far better chance of being ranked on the first page of search results over text-based pages. Simply put, they’re easier to digest and share – making them the perfect content for improving your overall ranking.”

Check out Dollar Shave Club for Inspiration.

We’d go so far as to say that these are trends that all organizations should at least consider when giving their website that much-needed overhaul or designing a website with inbound in mind. Horton Group helps businesses keep inbound in mind. We’re a HubSpot Certified Partner, and we’ve been designing great websites since 1996.