Free: Assessment Does your website build trust with buyers and bring in revenue?

Score My Website

Free: Assessment

Does your website build trust with buyers and bring in revenue?
Take this free 6 question assessment and learn how your website can start living up to its potential.
Score My Website

Free: Assessment

Website Throwdown Recap: Honest Critiques with HubSpot’s Austin Knight

By Ramona Sukhraj

Website Throwdown Recap: Honest Critiques with HubSpot’s Austin Knight

website-throwdown-with-hubspots-austin-knight-recapLast week, we welcomed HubSpot UX Designer, speaker, and author, Austin Knight to Website Throwdown to tear apart a new batch of user-submitted websites.

Overseeing the user experience of,, the HubSpot blog, and a number of other platforms, Austin had a wealth of marketing, UX, and design knowledge to share with audiences -- so much that our broadcast ran for an unprecedented 1 hour and 45 minutes. (No joke.)

In case you missed the record-breaking episode (watch it below), here’s a recap of some of its biggest lessons.

1. Humanize Your Brand

In an online market, it’s easy to lose the human element that comes with  traditional transactions. Major shopping and purchases are made without ever hearing the voice or seeing the face of another human being, making it so much harder to build the trust needed to close a deal.

People are wary to do business with individuals they’ve never seen before. That’s why you need to humanize your brand. Share photos of your actual team members. This will help increase your credibility and make prospects feel more comfortable knowing there is someone on the other end of the line. Our friends at SoolNua nailed this on their homepage, prompting the tweet above.

2. Proof Before You Publish

Everyone makes mistakes, but when in the business world, they can be much harder to recover from. In fact, according to a study of 1,000 consumers in the UK, the thing people hate most about brands on social media is poor spelling or grammar.

So, make sure to proofread before you publish! Consistently poor grammar or large prominent mistakes can make you look unprofessional and careless, and with your website often being the first interaction someone has with your brand, you want to leave a good impression.

If you’re prone to spelling errors or typos, or would just like an extra safety net, give a try. It’s free on the Chrome browser and works in most publishing platforms (including HubSpot.)

3. Incorporate Social Proof

One the best and worst things about the internet is that you say and claim to be whatever you want to be, but that doesn’t mean consumers will believe it.

To build credibility and increase trust, use social proof to support your claims. Social proof can include:

  • Testimonials/Reviews

  • Social Followings

  • Awards

  • Industry Affiliates

  • Certifications

4. Align Your Imagery & Copy

A picture is worth a thousand words, but only if it’s saying what you want it to.

When supplementing your value proposition or another marketing message with a visual, make sure that it is delivering the same sentiment as your words. For example, if you’re environmental company, opt for images of nature over urban skylines. This will help sure that both your images and copy to elicit the same emotions and encourage the same action.  

5. Optimize for Mobile

With so many people browsing websites on-the-go, your brand cannot overlook the importance of optimizing for mobile. Not only is mobile optimization integral to providing a consistent and pleasant user experience, but it is also a major contributing factor in Google’s search ranks.

While HubSpot makes this easy for users of it’s platform there are several other tools available for non-users. Below are a few examples Austin shared with audiences to help them offer the best mobile experiences possible.

It’s important to test your website on a variety of screen sizes, even the extremes, such as a widescreen monitor or a small smartphone. gives you the opportunity to optimize your website for these and other devices you may not see frequently.

The largest screen size the site allows you to test is a laptop so if you are looking to view your website in something larger, or, on a specific type of device, you may want to visit the next website suggested by Austin.


Like, Screenfly allows you to test your website at different screen resolutions, but offers a wider selection of options and even lets you test on specific virtual devices (i.e. iPhone 5, Kindle, Samsung Galaxy s5).

Don’t see a resolution that works for you? You can choose a custom one by entering the dimensions and rotating the screen to view it in any way you desire.

If you happen to find an issue and you want to show it to someone, Screenfly will also generate a share link for you (including the exact conditions you viewed the site in).

Quirktools also has a few other interesting tools that may come in handy, such as a wireframing and sitemap creator. Try checking them out if you are just beginning to redesign your website and want some tools that may help speed up your process.

Viewport Resizer

Last, but not least, Viewport Resizer is a Chrome extension that will display the viewport size of your browser window as it’s resized and also gives you options to view your site on specific virtual devices like Screenfly. This tool is easy-to-use and convenient for people who would rather not jump from site to site testing.

6. Ditch the Carousel!

If you’ve watched a Website Throwdown before, you’ve heard us say it dozens of times: Ditch the carousel! Website carousels or “sliders” were extremely popular just a few short years ago, but as pointed out by Austin a quick visit to will explain why their time has passed. Here are just a few of the points made on the site:

“Almost all of the testing I’ve managed has proven content delivered via carousels to be missed by users. Few interact with them.” - Adam Fellowes

“Carousels pose accessibility issues for keyboard and screen reader users that simply cannot be adequately addressed by markup or hacks. Carousels are this decade's <blink> tag.” - Jared Smith

Join Us Ringside! 

IMPACT jumps in the ring every month and next month, we’re honored to have HubSpot’s Chief Marketing Officer, Kipp Bodnar, joining us as our featured guest!

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016
2:00PM EST

Submit your site here or click the button below for the chance to critiqued live on the air by Kipp and the rest of our marketing experts!

While not all submissions can make the broadcast, all viewers gain valuable marketing, UX, and design insight they can adapt to their website strategy right away. So, join us!

Also, make sure to join the conversation on Twitter using #WebsiteThrowdown.

I’ll see you ringside!

Free: Assessment

Does your website build trust with buyers and bring in revenue?
Take this free 6 question assessment and learn how your website can start living up to its potential.


Lead Generation
Web Design
Website Copy
Published on March 30, 2016

Recent Articles

Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation: What’s the Difference?
April 10, 2023 • 5 min read
35 Landing Page Examples to Inspire Yours in 2023
January 26, 2023 • 11 min read
Should You Still Gate Your Content in 2023?
January 23, 2023 • 5 min read
Here's Why You Keep Getting Garbage Inbound Marketing Leads
December 19, 2022 • 6 min read
How To Grow Your Email List: 13 Savvy Tips To Try in 2023
November 22, 2022 • 9 min read
Increase Landing Page Conversion Rates With These 3 Simple, Powerful Hacks
June 2, 2022 • 10 min read
20 Tips for Optimizing Your Business Blog Articles for Conversions
April 21, 2022 • 14 min read
How To Make Each Lead Capture Form a Conversion Powerhouse
April 8, 2022 • 7 min read
The Selling 7: 5 Best Landing Page Video Examples
December 23, 2021 • 7 min read
Rethinking Your Approach to B2B Lead Gen, ft. Chris Walker (Inbound Success, Ep. 200)
June 21, 2021 • 36 min read
What is the Content Marketing Funnel and How Does It Work?
June 2, 2021 • 10 min read
What is Lead Nurturing?
May 28, 2021 • 9 min read
88 compelling words and phrases to prompt website visitors into action [Infographic]
April 24, 2021 • 3 min read
What is Conversion Rate Optimization? (Definition, Examples, and Tips)
March 31, 2021 • 12 min read
What is a good average landing page conversion rate?
March 12, 2021 • 10 min read
Call-To-Action Examples: 31 Designed to Earn Clicks and Generate Leads
March 11, 2021 • 10 min read
6 Reasons You're Not Generating Leads With Your Blog Content
November 9, 2020 • 7 min read
9 keys to building an effective landing page [Infographic]
October 3, 2020 • 3 min read
5 effective strategies for decreasing bounce rates on a blog article
August 25, 2020 • 8 min read
7 savvy tips to boost conversions in your retail e-commerce store
July 17, 2020 • 6 min read
6 most common lead generation website problems (and how to fix them)
January 28, 2020 • 8 min read
Facebook ads help: Why are my ads not converting?
January 20, 2020 • 5 min read
11 Best Examples of Lead Generation Website Designs
January 20, 2020 • 9 min read
Top 9 proven lead generation ideas you need to try in 2020
December 3, 2019 • 3 min read
New study reveals which Google My Business features boost conversions
November 4, 2019 • 4 min read