The business owners and marketers I speak with would define, “perfect,” as a website that both captures leads and thus becomes their best marketing investment. This is the world of growth driven design.
A website is the sum of its parts no matter how you view it—whether its structure of header, content, sidebars, and footer—or its marketing components of user experience (UX), search engine optimization (SEO), and conversion rate optimization (CRO). Growth-driven design encompasses all of these elements and yields a website that will do one thing very well: grow your business.
1) Wish List
Gathering your team and brainstorming a wish list for your website redesign should occur early in your strategy session. Try to focus first on marketing goals. And try to focus on your whole strategy: What do you want to accomplish from your whole suite of digital marketing, including social networking and email marketing?
Then, write down what everyone on your team adds to the discussion. Next, sort your wish list by marketing priority. What things are going to help grow your business? What items are most essential and need to be incorporated into your website at launch? What items can be added in time? Those key items should go at the top of your list.
With your wish list in hand you now have two options:
- Traditional website: Roll out everything on your list at once. This choice results in a massive, time-consuming, and expense project, only to repeat itself a few years down the road.
- Growth-driven design website: Roll out the high-value items on your list—the high priority items are included at launch and the rest of your list is then scheduled according to date, usually by monthly or quarterly goals.
Advantages of Growth-driven design:
- No huge, upfront cost.
- Your website never grows stale.
- On-going marketing is incorporated into your website.
What can be rolled out on a GDD schedule?
- Lower prioritized items on your wish list.
- SEO work on lower performing pages.
- Updates or redos of pages.
- Changes in messaging.
- New content, videos, etc.
- Landing pages.
- Geo-targeted landing pages.
- Marketing offers.
- Updates to automated email marketing associated with your website conversions.
I consider UX—user experience high on the list of first things to nail down in the early strategy session. Why? UX is both fun and important. And it’s usually a great pain point. Are your team members saying, “Our website looks horrible?” If it doesn't, then maybe you don't need a redo!
UX encompasses the design from an artistic perspective and ease of use from a user perspective. UX has grown from its early beginnings from publications such as Smashing Magazine into a realm all its own. You’ve already heard some of the buzz—like you need to have logical navigation because if people can’t find what they want in five seconds, they’re gone.
But UX is more that that. UX blends art into functionality and as such is becoming more and more important. Consider Amazon.com. For many years Amazon probably could have won the award for the worst looking but most successful e-commerce website on the Internet. That is, until they totally did a redo incorporating some UX features such as a full-width container, a clean white background, and nice use of primary colors.
UX also means less glop. Since the 90’s I’ve admired Ebay’s logo with its fundamental colors, nice use of transparency, and clean look. Then they simplified it.
Ebay killed their logo's semi-transparent overlays and put the elements neatly in one row. Less glop, less fancy stuff. UX means clean, easy on the eyes, and inviting. You’ll pay good money to accomplish this but your investment in UX could make or break the success of your website redo!