What Is HubSpot COS and Why Are Companies Using It?

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Anyone who spends a fair bit of time in the marketing world is probably familiar with acronyms for ‘complex’ marketing jargon like search engine optimization (SEO), content management system (CMS), or customer relationship management (CRM). 

But what about a content optimization system (COS)? More specifically, what about HubSpot’s COS? While other acronyms have been popularized through technology like WordPress and Salesforce, HubSpot seeks to distinguish itself from the norm by creating its own terminology to define its utility. 

Throughout this piece, you’ll learn exactly what a COS is, how HubSpot employs the term, and why more and more companies are adopting the technology. Keep reading!

What Is a COS?

A content optimization system (COS) is an exclusive facet of HubSpot. In one sense, it is an extension of a traditional CMS. In another sense, it is another thing entirely. 

HubSpot calls itself an all-in-one inbound marketing tool. This is because, in contrast to regular CMS software, HubSpot offers every element needed to market your blog and/or website.

Features such as automation, email marketing, social media management, and a free CRM tool are included off the bat. Other CMS software relies on the user to add this as additional software, often in the form of plug-ins. 

HubSpot assumes – and rightly so – that its users need more than just a publishing platform but a fully-fledged COS platform to take your business where it needs to go. 

In other words, a COS is a CMS with a particular interest in driving leads and boosting your marketing efforts

What Is HubSpot COS?

With that cussaid, HubSpot COS and HubSpot CMS are more or less synonymous. But what can HubSpot CMS do? HubSpot CMS, officially called CMS Hub, has the capacity to power and grow your website. 

HubSpot developers can build custom themes to entice website visitors. They can also use the HubSpot App Marketplace to add functionality to your website and create their own apps with HubSpot APIs. This allows websites to flourish without the need for a ton of plugins. 

Business marketers have the freedom to rely on developers as much or as little as they want. And professional developers can empower them with a fully-fledged website wherein your business can take the reins and create and manage content as you like. 

Notable features of HubSpot CMS include its drag-and-drop editor, SEO recommendations, contact attribution reporting, multi-language content curation, and adaptive testing. These features and a dozen more are equipped at set up so you can worry about optimization rather than configuration. 

4 Advantages of HubSpot COS

Now that you know a bit more about HubSpot COS, you can get a more detailed look at what it can offer. Here are some features of HubSpot COS.

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1. SEO Tools

Search engine optimization (SEO) is pretty much always a hot topic for content writers, copywriters, businesses, marketers, and really just any individual or entity who wants to get organic attention on the web. 

As more than 90% of web traffic goes to the first page of results, it’s important to do what it takes to get your website noticed by web crawlers so it can get situated near the top. 

HubSpot’s SEO tools are integrated into every bit of your content. The software can point you to the domain and page that needs updating. You’ll get actionable recommendations on how to improve SEO ranked in order from priority showing which actions have the most and least impact. 

An intentional content strategy also builds search authority. Luckily HubSpot has a content strategy tool that will give you topic suggestions based on relevance, popularity, and competition. You will get access to monthly search data as well. 

From there, you can create clusters of web pages around these core topics. Using canonical URLs will help focus your strategy and lead to more organic traffic. 

2. Personalization Tokens

In HubSpot, personalization tokens allow you to show personalized content based on the user. The idea is to add a sense of individualism by inserting names, job titles, and even custom objects into traditionally automated content. Personalization tokens are correlated with the property values in your CRM. 

A token can be a company, contact, office location, or subscription type. The properties associated with these tokens differ based on the specific token. For example, a company has properties like industry and company owner. An office location has properties like city and state. And a contact has properties like first and last name. 

You can add personalized content to your emails, landing pages, and website pages. Ultimately, this will increase engagement with your marketing campaigns. 

3. Memberships

Memberships are a unique feature of HubSpot that can target specific segments of your consumer base in order for you to grant them access to specialized content. Using HubSpot lists, you can decide who is able to see certain sections of your website and cater content to these users. 

A creative way to utilize this feature is by creating personalized membership pages and use dynamic content to your advantage. Some examples might be a dashboard of sorts featuring recent purchases, past attended events or upcoming workshops.

You can choose to be inclusive to your whole consumer base or have exclusive content and leave website visitors wanting more. Both are excellent ways to expand your business. 

4. Smart Forms & CTAs

Smart content is yet another way to personalize your website pages, landing pages, emails, CTAs, and forms. Based on a set of characteristics, you can choose what call-to-action (CTA) a website viewer sees or how an interested party fills out a form. 

Smart rules control what it is that the viewer sees and the following criteria can determine the customized CTA  button that appears: country, device type, referral source, preferred language, contact list membership, and lifecycle stage. 

For forms, there are a variety of methods you can use to increase leads. You can give the user a shorter form if they’re on a mobile device, change the language of the form depending on their location, or make more advanced questions depending on the lifecycle stage of the visitor. 

What Is the Difference Between HubSpot COS and a Traditional CMS?

The incentive of HubSpot COS is to diversify itself from the pack both in its intent and outcome. Though HubSpot has several competitors, ones that may call themselves a CMS and occasionally a CRM, fundamentally HubSpot COS is a different tool entirely. 

HubSpot COS vs. WordPress

HubSpot’s biggest competitor is WordPress. The competition is rooted in WordPress’s popularity as the CMS platform has supported many individuals and businesses before CMS Hub ever existed. 

As a result, their market shares are vastly different with WordPress dominating at about 39.1% and HubSpot lagging along at 0.1%. However, when HubSpot is observed as a marketing tool alone it dominates the industry with a 29.23% market share

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If these stats come across as confusing you, you’re not alone. This is why HubSpot and WordPress need to be compared using factors other than popularity and rather on the merit each can offer. 

The most important distinction is that while both platforms serve as a space to create and publish content, WordPress does just that leaving users with the basics that they can build on top of using plugins. 

HubSpot COS is designed for optimization so the notion of getting conversions is built into the platform as well as gaining insights on market performance. 

It’s worth breaking things down to understand some of these differences.

  • Blog

Blogging seems to be the greatest common factor between WordPress and HubSpot COS. WordPress was originally built for blogging but quickly evolved into a CMS. CMS Hub can do the same essential things as WordPress but you don’t need additional plugins or software to optimize your content, hence HubSpot’s title as a COS. 

  • Landing Pages

Creating a custom layout in WordPress may require the help of a developer although the platform has many pre-made themes. The same goes for HubSpot. Although they boast many mobile-optimized templates on their marketplace, most businesses should hire a developer to keep things original. 

  • Website

WordPress is an easy way to build a website and as you saw, many people utilize it for that reason. HubSpot COS does the same but elements like testing or live chat are included from the start, unlike WordPress. 

  • SEO

Again, WordPress has no native functionality with SEO although Yoast is a popular plugin with SEO recommendations. HubSpot COS doesn’t need a plugin. SEO recommendations are an integral part of the software. 

  • Analytics

Some editions of WordPress do include limited reporting like page views but most marketers will pay to use a separate tool and have a deeper analysis. HubSpot COS is tied with a CRM, making marketing analytics an anatomical piece of the puzzle. 

How To Create a Website on HubSpot COS

HubSpot COS takes out many of the technicalities usually involved in building a website on HubSpot from scratch. The process is intuitive and simple, and you have a variety of tools at your helm to make it even easier.

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1. Make a Home Page

The very first page you should create is a landing page. This will be your home page where users can navigate to other parts of your website. In the HubSpot portal, you can click ‘Content’, then ‘Landing Pages’.

2. Use a Template

After setting up a landing page, you need to choose a template. This is very important as it will determine the overall style and layout for your website and therein your brand. 

You can check out the Marketplace and browse for templates you like. Alternatively, you can hire a developer to make a customized template so you can aim for a more original website. 

Businesses hire developers at Trio to customize templates according to each business’s distinctive aesthetic. Building Hubspot templates is “great for enabling your marketing team to manage your site and improve conversions in a low-code manner,” maintains a lead developer at Trio. 

3. Edit Modules

Modules are objects on your landing page that you can edit like text boxes, for instance. You’ll want to edit modules to convey your brand message or to help users navigate through the website. 

4. Create Website Pages

Now that your landing page is done, click ‘Content’ again and then ‘Website Pages’. There will be a dropdown menu where you can click ‘Create website page’. Name the page, edit it, and add as many additional pages as you need. 

From there you can integrate social media, look at your analytics, and write blog posts as needed. Naturally, things get a lot more detailed than this brief overview. You might want to do a bit more research if you’re seriously considering using HubSpot COS or talk to Trio for a consultation. 

How To Hire a Developer for HubSpot COS

Once you’ve decided what to do with HubSpot COS and have the budget to do it successfully, hiring developers is the way to go if you want a smooth launch for your website. Developers can come in one of three forms:

  • in-house
  • freelance
  • agency

In-house developers are employed by you and receive a salary. But if you only need developers for one project, full-time employees may be too much of a commitment. 

Freelancers are by definition, not committed, but they will work on your project if hired and paid reasonably. The thing is, you can’t tell them how or when to do it. 

Outsourcing agencies can be a convenient mix of both these forms. Developers from outsourcing agencies will be fully committed to your project until its completion. 

Trio is one example of an outsourcing agency that operates on the basis of effective communication and collaboration. Trio developers are hired because they show unequivocal skills in their technical fields. But Trio also makes sure they demonstrate the skills necessary to work on teams and within your business seamlessly. 

To add, Trio HubSpot developers go through extensive training even after hiring, to ensure that they know the technologies they’re working with inside and out. 


HubSpot COS is not just your run of the mill CMS. It’s an ecosystem that works within itself to provide you the tools you need to amplify your online presence. With it, you can design a user-tailored experience to attract and convert leads and measure your performance as this happens in real-time. 

That said, a truly customized experience cannot be garnered with HubSpot COS alone.

To make your website stand out from the rest, you need highly experienced software engineers. Trio HubSpot developers are trained precisely towards that objective. Contact Trio now to get started!

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With over 10 years of experience in software outsourcing, Alex has assisted in building high-performance teams before co-founding Trio with his partner Daniel. Today he enjoys helping people hire the best software developers from Latin America and writing great content on how to do that!
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