Your website is your business’s number one marketing and sales asset, bar none. If it’s not optimised to drive growth, you’re severely compromising your ability to win more clients. At ClientsFirst, Growth Driven Design is our favourite way of creating websites that drive expansion.
The way we design websites has changed over the last few years. And really, it could have changed before. Since the late noughties, the best websites have been continual works in progress. Look at how constantly Facebook has evolved for a case in point.
Websites should no longer be developed to a point where they are considered ‘done’, before being completely redesigned a few years later. They should be constantly adapted to enhance user journey and iron out friction throughout.
Changing a few haphazard elements on your site isn’t enough - you need to go deeper. To get a website that really drives growth, you need to change your overall web design methodology. This change should be from a static, old school web design methodology to Growth Driven Design (GDD).
GDD is a more agile approach to web design. You continually work on your site based on data collected from your users. You experiment with different layouts and structures and use user data to evaluate whether or not your experiments have been successful.
In turn, you also use the data you get from your visitors to identify potential friction points in your entire business model, thus using your website to propel growth throughout the business as a whole.
This is a big change to how a business operates and undertaking GDD won’t be without its difficulties. Over time though, it produces much better results than the classic way of designing a website.
It’s strange that a GDD approach has taken so long to filter down into web design. Breaking a big task down into little steps is a well established way of tackling big challenges.
Stuck in a rut
It’s easy for your website to get stuck in a rut. Often, your day-to-day business activities get in the way of giving your best salesperson the attention they deserve. It’s easy to put them to the back of your mind. This is a shame because they really do deserve some love.
Research from Sweor indicates that 75% of consumers make judgements on a company’s credibility based on the company’s website design. Paying your website more attention has the power to transform your prospects’ view of your business. Your website shouldn’t be on the sidelines but at the forefront of your strategy.
GDD means improving your website is an ongoing process. In turn, you get constant feedback which you use to grow the rest of your business. The end goal should be a website that’s a constant source of information that lets you really understand your customers’ motivations.
Starting a conversation
Growth Driven Design starts with a strategy session. You need to think about what you want your website to achieve and what you think might be holding it back. Get together with your team - different members will have different viewpoints.
Write down a list of the changes you could make on a whiteboard. Try to think about your business from the viewpoint of your personas. Then, attempt to gauge a rough idea of how many work hours each change will take to implement. This means that you don’t ‘bite off more than you can chew’ and try to make massive changes in a single period of work when you simply don’t have the capacity.
After you’ve done this, use the 80/20 rule to look for the 20% of items that will produce 80% of the impact for your site. Even if your site could do with a full makeover, this approach will produce meaningful results in a fraction of the time it would take to start from the ground up.
This exercise should give you an idea about which pages you should focus on. Chances are this will be your homepage the first time you implement, but this isn’t always the case. It could be that your blogs are ineffective at converting or that it’s hard to work out what you really do.
Look at your Google Analytics data, heatmaps of your user interactions and any qualitative feedback you’ve had from clients about your website experience.
Getting stuff done
After you’ve identified what changes you could make, it’s then time for the gritty stuff. You need to go away and make these changes over a period of a couple of weeks. You should be flexible about how you do this. Assign tasks to the right people and let them manage it alongside their other work.
Don’t aim for perfect first time. Gone are the days when marketers had endless time to mull over something before aiming to get it right first time - the huge launch is a thing of the past.
Instead, you should try to create something agile - something you can learn from.
Less big launch, more gradual steps
Instead, you need to be fast to react and responsive to a fast changing landscape. Don’t put all your eggs in one huge website redesign, as the famous saying goes...
Make your website sexy
In the highly technical world of digital marketing, it’s easy to lose sight of marketing’s sexiness (you know, the Mad Men, 1960’s Volkswagen advert stuff).
Growth Driven Design lets you win back on the creative side. It enables you to create a personalised website experience for specific users, based on your personas or actions they have taken.
You don’t need to use Hubspot to deliver a GDD website but if you are using Hubspot then you can use the Smart Content feature, which enables you to deliver content based on any field in your content database. What’s more, it can also send out content based on a user’s location or device.
GDD creates a space for creative marketing that a traditional approach doesn’t. You can experiment with various user pathways and it doesn’t really matter so much if your changes fail because you can rectify them in the next cycle of progression.
GDD isn’t a trend. It’s a better way of building a website that drives your company’s growth. It lets you build up a profound picture of your customers - with a GDD website you’ll know what makes them tick, why they’re interested in your business, what colour socks they wear and so on.
‘Growth marketing for professional services’ is what ClientsFirst do best. At the time of writing, this is displayed right on our homepage in big orange letters. However, this might change in the near future if we think changing it would up our homepage’s performance. If it’s no longer there, it clearly wasn’t working well enough and we used GDD to change it!
GDD is a big part of how we grow our own business and our clients’. Thinking about GDD? Get in touch with our expert team.