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How to set up and implement Hubspot in 12 Weeks or Less

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You've signed the paperwork and now you're an official Hubspot user...

Now what?

It’s time to set it up. If you are new to HubSpot and Inbound Marketing, however, setting up the HubSpot platform, migrating your old data and processes, and implementing your new campaign realities can be a little complex.

This blog is a useful guide to help you complete the technical aspects of the HubSpot onboarding process, allowing you to get your HubSpot platform up and running within twelve weeks. 

1. take advantage of the hubspot onboarding or work with a partner

Many brands think that the investment stops when they purchase the platform. After all, you have talented staff on your team who can launch and optimize any marketing or revenue-focused campaign you ask of them.

But likely they're not Hubspot experts yet. Coming from a different platform (or no platform at all) means that taking advantage of that insider help from Hubspot or a solutions partner like Nifty Method means you're shortening the learning curve and getting your improved marketing, sales, or customer service up and running that much faster. Like 35-50% faster. Which if time is money, then wouldn't it make sense to make money a bit faster?

For an investment of as little as $3500 to $15,000, you'll have access to a team that works inside Hubspot all the time. We liken it to when you purchase a new roof for your house: going with the slightly better materials and crew who do 10 roofs a month versus the neighbor down the road who can cut you a killer deal but has only done a roof replacement once before means you'll see slightly higher upfront investment but enormous long term value in not having to redo or replace every put into place upfront. 

Onboard Hubspot with a partner Nifty Method


The HubSpot Academy is the worldwide leader and official learning resource which aims to educate users on the Hubspot software through free online training for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service professionals. They specialize in comprehensive certifications, singular topic courses, and bite-sized lessons for professionals looking to grow your career and business.

HubSpot Academy’s mission is to transform the way people and companies grow by offering free online trainings for the digital age. From quick, practical courses to comprehensive certifications, you’ll learn everything you need to know about cutting-edge business topics.

There are a number of articles online which you can read to improve your knowledge of Inbound Marketing but none better than the HubSpot learning center, which you can access directly from your new, shiny HubSpot portal. Just look for the graduate cap icon in the top right-hand corner of your HubSpot dashboard toolbar.

The learning center has everything you need to become Inbound and HubSpot certified – so take the time to read the guides, watch the videos and study hard.

3. Review your new templates and pages 

As part of the onboarding process, HubSpot will create templates for landing pages, thank you pages, blogs, and emails. They will use your website’s current template(s) and style to create new landing pages, thank you pages, blog templates, and email templates that are as close to your original templates (and your website) as possible.

This means, for example, when a website visitor moves from your WordPress homepage onto your HubSpot-hosted landing page, the user experience is and seamless, consistent and the user feels as if they are still on the same website.

4. Install HubSpot's Tracking Code

The HubSpot tracking code is a small piece of code that you need to insert into the HTML code for each page of your website. By installing the HubSpot tracking code, the performance data for all of your web pages, not just those hosted in HubSpot (e.g. landing pages and blogs), is captured, allowing you to track your website’s activity in HubSpot analytics.

If you are using HubSpot-hosted pages or have your whole website hosted on HubSpot, however, the tracking code is automatically installed and you can skip this step.

If you want to know how to install the JavaScript tracking code to website pages not hosted in HubSpot, you will need to install the code manually on your website. First, navigate to Settings by clicking your photo or avatar in the top right-hand corner and clicking on Settings. Next, click on Install Code & Tracking on the left sidebar menu, then under the “Tracking code” tab, click Copy below the “Embed code” field. Once you have the code, you will need to paste the code immediately before the </body> tag in the HTML code for each page of your website.

For a more comprehensive overview of installing your tracking code, please see HubSpot’s documentation here.

5. Complete your content & Technical settings

HubSpot’s Content Settings allows you to manage your page templates, system pages, sitemap, and add/manage advanced menus. Within each of these options, there are additional elements that you can modify, including tracking integrations, logo, favicons, robots.txt, site header, footer, CSS & stylesheets, canonical URLs, errors, sitemap, and advanced menus.

In order to access Content Settings, click Content on your toolbar, then Content Settings.

Below are just a few things you will need to set up and check to make sure everything is in order...

#1 Page Templates

- Is your company domain correct?

Make sure your website’s address is included and correct.  

- Add or update your logo 

Under Page Templates, there is an option for your logo. You can add your logo here and any changes to it will be reflected across all of your templates. .

- Make sure you do your favicons! 

A favicon (pronounced “fav-icon”) is a graphical image (icon) that is associated with a particular web page or website – and is often found in the address bar of your web browser. When people type in your website’s URL, if you have set up a favicon, a small image will appear on the left-hand side of the URL in the address bar.

- Sort out your robots.txt

The robots.txt is a text file that webmasters create to instruct web robots (search engine robots) on how to crawl pages on your website. With the robots.txt file, you can prevent pages from being indexed by search engines and prevent any pages containing duplicate content from being crawled. From the Page Templates section, there is a robots.txt field that you can fill in and modify accordingly.

- Edit your site header and footer

As with the robots.txt field, you can customize both the header and footer of your web pages by editing the Site header HTML or Site footer HTML fields if required.

- Set up your style sheets

Select or add new style sheets. The style sheets you add from the Page Templates section will affect all your web pages - items like base fonts and base colours can be edited here.

- Manage your canonical URLs

Canonical URLs help you to prevent duplicate content issues by specifying the preferred version of a web page. If you have duplicate or similar content on your website, it can cause SEO problems – and the wrong web page might end up ranking on Google. If you have duplicate or similar web pages, make sure you identify the “original” page by using canonical tags to instruct search engines.

#2 System Pages

- 404/500 error pages and other system pages

You want to have pages in place to notify website visitors when they have visited an incorrect URL on your website and for them to manage subscription options. If you have created these pages already, you can select them from the dropdown menu – if you haven’t, you can find out how to create and customize the system pages for your website here.

#3 Sitemap

Sitemaps are used to help search engines to find your web pages and understand the organisation of your website’s content. Many web crawlers use sitemaps to more intelligently crawl websites and understand more about the web pages. To find the sitemap for your HubSpot-hosted content, add /sitemap.xml to the end of your domain name and paste the address into a website browser to display your sitemap.xml file. You can then update your sitemap from the Sitemap tab after navigating to Content Settings.

#4 Advanced Menus

The advanced menus feature in HubSpot allows you to map out the structure and organization of your entire information architecture (the structural layout of your website) and use web pages as navigation menus. For example, you would have ‘parent’ pages, at the top level of your website – such as Home, Services, About Us, Blog, Contact Us – and then these pages would then include relevant subcategories, known as ‘child’ pages.

Once you have an idea of how you want to structure your website, you can use the Advanced Menus tool to build out your website structure. To find out more about setting up your website’s site navigation menus, please click here

6. Set up your domain settings

To connect your domain to HubSpot, you need to copy your Canonical Name Record (CNAME). To do so, navigate to Content > Content Settings, click Domains & URLs on the left sidebar, click Domain Manager and then click Connect domain. After clicking Connect domain, you should get a dialog box – type your subdomain in the Domain to connect field.

If you want the selected domain to be your main domain for your content, select Make primary for the following tools button and then select what pieces of content you would like to be hosted on that domain. If you do not want to use that domain as primary for content, you can instead redirect to it by selecting the Have it redirect to this domain button.

7. Go ahead and build HubSpot Landing Pages

In order to use HubSpot’s lead intelligence – a feature that allows you to track your lead sources, see what your prospects are interested in, be alerted when they revisit your website and much more, you need to set up landing pages so that visitors can complete forms.

Using a HubSpot landing page is the easiest method to set up lead tracking – you just need to replace your current landing pages with HubSpot hosted landing pages and try and push visitors to them with the use of call-to-actions. 

8. Exclude your own traffic from your analytics 

You want to ensure you get an accurate view of your website’s traffic and activity and on that basis, you need to exclude your own traffic from analytics. Think about it – if you are visiting pages on your website for testing purposes, those visits will be recorded by your web analytics, skewing your actual traffic.

To exclude your traffic from analytics, you will need your IP address. To find out your IP address, you can:

  • Type into Google: What’s my IP? (you will get a result at the top of your screen)
  • Ask your IT department
  • Ask your internet service provider (ISP)

Once you have your IP address, navigate to your account settings by pressing on your photo/avatar in the top right-hand corner and clicking Settings. From here, click Install Code & Tracking, then click the Advanced Tracking tab. Scroll down to the exclude traffic section and enter your IP address – or range of IP addresses if you have a dynamic IP.

For more information on excluding your traffic from HubSpot, please click here.

9. Integrate or migrate your CRM system

Next up, integrating or migrating your CRM. Please note, if you are a HubSpot Starter customer, you will not be able to integrate your CRM. HubSpot supports a growing number of CRMs – including Salesforce, ZohoCRM, SugarCRM, HubSpot (of course), Microsoft Dynamics, and many others. 

Each CRM integration supported by HubSpot has its own dedicated product page, as well as installation documentation to help you get your CRM up and running with HubSpot.

Migration looks a bit different. Here's the high-level overview:

Create Migration Guidelines
Choosing to move from your current CRM to a HubSpot is not a one-person job. As they say, it takes a village --, and a village needs a blueprint, or in this case, some guidelines for construction. Get your ducks in a row and:

Gather all your stakeholders like your project manager, CRM admin, IT members, marketing, and sales.

  • Determine your long-term and short-term goals so you can build processes to match them. Or, if you have them with your current CRM, figure out how it translates to HubSpot.
  • Assign specific roles based on your goals, such as who will be responsible for working together to determine what sales information needs to sync so you can get up and running quickly.
  • Figure out how your team handles data so that you can get things in place. Your CRM admin, marketing, and sales all may approach deal data differently.
  • Again, based on these guidelines, identify the actual objects you want to migrate to HubSpot and how your current system differs. Not every record will make the cut – nor should it have to.

Write out a basic timeline but remember, things can always change.

Clean Your Data
Clean data is happy data – and the kind you’ll need for a successful migration. Prepping your data involves:

Merging or deleting duplicate records

  • Establishing duplicate detection rules to prevent duplicates in the first place
    HubSpot will de-duplicate and move data in certain ways, based on your CRM.
  • Look for any knowledge-based articles that refer to your current platform.
  • Updating or eliminating invalid email addresses
  • Removing any obsolete, null, or void data

Select a Tool or Partner

When it’s almost time to migrate your data, you’ll want to be sure you have the right tool to get the job done. If you prefer, you can always reach out to a third party to help with this step (and frankly, with all of them!) If not, here are some tools to consider:

  • CSV imports.
  • API endpoints.
  • Self-service solutions like Trujay.
  • HubSpot native tools (if you have Salesforce).

Map Your Data
Every system structures data differently. Salesforce has its method. Dynamics has another. And then there’s HubSpot. To successfully import data without error, you’ll need to figure out how to map your objects properly. Follow these tips:

  • Confirm how standard objects sync from your system to HubSpot. For example, HubSpot’s “Contacts” may be Dynamics “Leads” or “Contacts.” Salesforce “Activities” can translate to HubSpot “Tasks” or “Calls.”
  • Define and create any custom objects or properties.
  • Identify anything that’s missing and how to create it in HubSpot.
  • Test a small sample of data before you do a full migration or launch to ensure it is mapped correctly.

Migrate Data and Other Functionality
When you’re ready, migrate! Recreate any data points you outlined in the previous steps, and test as you go along. If you need to, you can rebuild any CRM or sales templates, sales campaigns, workflows, or anything else you need to have a fully functioning CRM. Then, celebrate!

Press “Go”
Think you’re prepared to migrate your system now? If so, then hit the start button. But, if you’re a little hesitant, it’s understandable. Moving all your data and processes to HubSpot is scary and easier said than done. If you’re looking for further guidance on the migration process, feel free to reach out.

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10. Import your existing contacts and leads

To import contacts and leads into HubSpot, you can either manually create an individual contact or import them either as a list of contacts via CSV file, or lastly import records from Salesforce or another integration.

Adding contacts and leads is easy – just navigate to the ‘Contacts’ section of the dashboard, create a new contact and then add in their details. Alternatively, if you want to upload a list or record of contacts, navigate to contacts, then press Import in the right-hand corner – you will then be asked to choose an import type: a CSV file, Salesforce record or an opt-out list.

Once you have chosen your type, you will be asked what kind of import it is – press Contacts. After this, you then choose your CSV file and import it. Make sure you set up your CSV file to include columns for each of the properties you would like to import – you then need to map those columns to existing properties in the CRM or create new ones.

To find out more on how to add new contacts or import them into HubSpot, click here.

11. Connect your social media accounts

If you have any social media accounts, connect them to your HubSpot portal. This step can be done at any time and by adding your social media accounts to HubSpot you can:

  • Monitor social media activity
  • Automatically share blog posts on Facebook and Twitter
  • Analyze your performance on social media

For more information on setting up your social media tool and linking your accounts, please click here.

12. Set up your blog

Your blog is a key component in driving qualified traffic to your website. Every blog post you create is an opportunity to rank for a specific keyword term and appear for Google searches.

Before you set up your blog, however, you will want to sort out your blog settings. You can access your blog settings by navigating to Content > Content Settings, from your HubSpot Marketing account. From here, you can choose the blog you want to update or modify, add or delete a blog, and access your blog’s general options.

HubSpot has compiled a simple guide to ensure you set up your blog in HubSpot correctly which you can find here.

13. Add users to your HubSpot account

Once you have familiarized yourself with Inbound (and HubSpot) the next thing to do is to add users to your HubSpot account. HubSpot Marketing allows you to have multiple users per account – so if you have colleagues that need access, you can easily add more. There are three different user roles:

1. HubSpot User: user has access to all HubSpot tools
2. Blog Author: user has access to the Blog tool only and can save articles as drafts, but cannot publish them
3. Blog Publisher: user has access to the Blog tool only and can save and publish articles

Get started!

Having followed each step in this guide and read the relevant instructional material to set up your HubSpot platform, you should now be ready to run your Inbound Marketing campaigns in HubSpot. If you need any help or want to chat with a specialist about setting up your HubSpot implementation, let's connect and chat more.

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