Your website is your biggest marketing tool and is the fulcrum of all your online and digital marketing efforts.
When people look for information about your products or services, the first place they go to is your website. Therefore, your website is the most important marketing asset.
It's said that before a prospect approaches your sales team, they have undergone 70% of the sales process, thanks to the website.
Unfortunately, the way we approach website redesign is no longer working effectively. The traditional approach to web design is broken.
Do you remember the last time you went through a web redesign project? How was the experience? Would you want to go through the process again?
A web redesign process is complex, time-consuming and expensive. Nonetheless, you have to keep your site fresh and up-to-date. If you let your website languish, it'll age and fall behind with current web design trends.
Here are the reasons why traditional web design projects are becoming unpopular among clever marketers…
1. You need a strategy to do it well
Making a well-functioning website is more than just creating a pretty website and adding fancy parallax scrolling. You need to create a website with the end user in mind.
For instance, you need to create clear call-to-action buttons that encourage better conversion rates. In short, the kind of strategic planning and analysis required isn’t something that you're going to do overnight, and even if you spend hours upon hours designing your website, there are no guarantees that it'll work.
If you mark your website as 'done' and launch it, there'll be no opportunity to include post-launch design and make corrections.
2. Websites are now more functional than ever
Nowadays, websites go beyond displaying your products and services. They're the #1 salesperson because they do most of the work: such as answering your customer's questions, solving their problems, connecting them to the right people and closing sales.
You need a functional website that can compete. To achieve this you need time and money. According to Impact, you could spend up to $100,000 in upfront costs to build a traditional website.
3. You have to wait until you've launched your website to know what you want
This is one serious shortcoming with traditional web design. Traditional changes often read out of shape, making it difficult for clients to know what they're getting from a website.
4. Web design projects run over budget and are usually late
If for example, you wanted the website launch to coincide with a product launch or a particular date, this could be frustrating. And if the budget exceeds their limits, it could affect other projects or business operations.
5. Most companies underestimate the time and effort required to redesign a website
Most companies assume that just because they hired a web design agency or freelancer, they don't have to do anything.
On the contrary, you have to be involved at every stage. Agencies have to rely on people to provide information for the website.
6. After launching, your website is likely to go many years without significant changes
Most people think that because they've created a great website today, they won’t need to change anything tomorrow. A website is like a house. Even if you build a perfect home, you'll still need to take care of it.
So here's the thing: a company can't afford to take six months off and drain its bank account on redesigning a website instead of focusing on its core business.
The question, therefore, is: How should one accomplish both objectives with better results? Growth-Driven Design (GDD) is the answer!
What's Growth Driven Design?
Growth-Driven Design is a new approach to web design that aims to create peak performance websites at a fraction of the price, within the shortest time possible.
Rather than trying to consolidate the work required to create a new website, growth-driven design focuses on continuous improvement.
Growth-Driven Design (or GDD) is meant to mitigate the risks associated with the traditional web design approach — reduce costs and deliver projects on time.
Shortcomings of Traditional Design
One of the major shortcomings of traditional web design is that everything has to be dictated by the development team; and in most cases, all their strategies are always based on what's worked in the past or what's currently working.
This means there's a risk of using obsolete methods to solve new problems. GDD, on the other hand, is a continuous learning and improvement exercise where new methods are trialled; it's an iterative process.
Growth-Driven Design allows us to research, test and learn about what's most likely to appeal to your customers and what will make your site perform.
You're probably asking yourself: Does GDD ever have an end in sight? The answer is NO. In GDD, the design process doesn’t end. In other words, one is required to continuously make improvements based on responses from customers.
How Do You Measure Outcomes To Improve Your GDD?
Because GDD is all about improving your web design continuously, the next logical question is: how does one measure results to make your GDD better?
One thing that we must highlight is the fact that GDD uses actual feedback from customers as well as marketing data to assist companies when making design decisions.
For example, you could monitor how people are interacting with your website by tracking parts of the website they click most. If most of your visitors are clicking a certain image, it means it's of interest.
If you notice that they spend most of their time on a particular page, you need to include your most crucial call-to-action button on the sidebar or header of that page.
But how do you know where people are clicking on your website?
Luckily, there's plenty of heat mapping software, such as Hotjar. Marketers use this software to track user activity on their websites. You can analyse where activities are taking place, and use the information in your content strategy.
Track your website usage stats such as demographics, geo-location, bounce rates, conversion rates and use the data to make the necessary improvements on your website.
Steps That Make Up Growth-Driven Design
Here are the two major steps that you're going to follow using GDD:
Phase 1: Strategy and Testing
You need to know two things:
- Your buyer personas.
- What you want your buyer personas to do.
Putting yourself in your customer's shoes is essential. If you were a customer coming to your website, what would you appreciate most about the site? What would frustrate you the most? What questions are you seeking answers to? Brainstorming on some of these topics while designing your website will put you on the right track.
Once you've done that, the next thing is to look at the data and see what people are doing on your website. What actions are they completing and where on your website are they spending the most time. The objective is to ensure your website fits your customers' needs.
What Do You Want to Improve?
Now that you've understood your customers, you need to improve the shortcomings of your website. Think of the things that you'd like to improve.
Concentrate on improving the things that have the most impact. Follow the 80:20 rule (of the Pareto principle) which states that only 20% of your action could result in 80% improvement. Don't be anxious about implementing a lot of things at once or too quickly. Take one thing at a time so you'll know what works and what doesn't.
Create A Launch Pad Website
Once you've identified your customers' needs and the priority treatment areas, the next step is to create a launch pad website. A launch pad website allows companies to launch and test along the way.
This gives you a chance to observe what your visitors want and make better decisions based on feedback, helping you avoid a scenario where you have to make assumptions.
Next is testing. This is the most critical part of GDD because it helps you to recognise what's working and what's not. The following are checklist items you need to bear in mind while testing your website:
- How useful is the content of the website? Sometimes, not everything on the website is useful. Identify the most helpful content and take advantage of it. Likewise, purge out what's not useful.
- Ease of use. Customers will always prefer sites that are easy to use. Remember, when the customer is unhappy because your website is not user-friendly, chances are you won't see that customer again.
- Conversion optimisation. Your conversion rate optimisation goals shouldn't come at the expense of the user experience. Eliminate all possible points of friction between users and conversions.
- Personalisation. Ensure that each visitor feels they're in the right place at the right time.
As you try to grow your audience, please don't ignore the values mentioned above. These values should be at the centre of any GDD project.
Phase 2: Iterative Improvement
As we have mentioned several times, continuous improvement and development is the pillar of GDD. It's vital you look at your raw data and identify areas you would like to improve.
To do this, you need to do collaborate with all people involved in the process and make a decision on what metric you would like to improve. Maintaining communication with your associates is critical.
Once you have identified the specific areas of improvement, go ahead and make the changes.
Is GDD The Future?
Growth-Driven Design beats traditional design in every aspect because it mitigates most risks associated with traditional design. Conventional design is more expensive, takes longer and your website might go several years without being updated.
That's precisely what GDD seeks to correct. By embracing GDD, you're ensured that your website never becomes obsolete and that your user experience is always great. This is done by continuous monitoring and evaluation of the site’s performance.
You will learn how to:
Increase opportunity to improve your site's performance in search
Create a launch strategy for your website redesign project
Secure your place in the search engines and not to lose rankings
Pro tip: Developing a launch strategy for a website re-design will help you keep and increase your rankings