I can’t remember a client ever saying that they enjoyed a website redesign. They’re time consuming, they’re expensive, they launch late and the budget inflates. Many times, an agency will promise the world, and then deliver a product that, let’s face it, is sub-par. You were promised that leads would be flooding your doors, but you haven’t seen them. In fact, you don’t really even have a way of measuring the performance of the site – Google Analytics will tell you about the bounce rate, but who even knows if that’s a metric that matters, anyway?
If this sounds like you, let me fill you in on an industry secret. They’re just as much of a pain for most agencies. Before I started Pappalardo Digital, I was a digital guru for one of the largest agencies in Little Rock. In that job role, I managed the digital strategy for several clients, and I also was the Project Manager for our development team. Here’s what I saw over and over.
There’s a ton of internal back-and-forth, way too many meetings, and a ton of opinions. By the time the project comes to the digital team, the agency has promised the moon, the designer has a mockup of the site, and the budget has already been blown.
As an afterthought, a couple of “contact us” forms are slapped on the website to “generate leads”. If they had worked, you wouldn’t be on this page.
With website development being such a pain point for both sides, surely someone would come up with a better way.
What is Growth Driven Design?
Growth Driven Design is the answer to the ever-painful web redesign circle. If you are using your website to generate leads and you believe that you should Always Test Everything, then you need a web redesign strategy that is 1) at its core, focused on generating business and 2) flexible enough to allow A/B testing and quick design changes.
Traditional web design is built on gut feelings and hunches. A designer in their office is making decisions about what imagery will resonate with your potential customers. A copywriter in their office is making decisions about the language that will resonate with your potential customers. The order of the pages, the top navigation and the Calls to Action are all created in an office by people who’s job it is to understand general website best practices.
We all know that the best decisions are made with the help of good data, and you get the best data for your website after it goes live. The Growth Driven Design methodology centers around these core pillars:
1. Growth Driven Design Sites Launch Faster
Once your website goes live, you’ll have access to all kinds of data. Don’t spend a bunch of time trying to get it right on the first go, because the only people that know how your site visitors will respond to your site are your site visitors. Don’t build out any functions that aren’t a core part of your business. If it’s a “nice to have” and not a “need to have” then add it later.
Websites are not billboards. Billboards are posted on the highway for months and you have one shot to get it right. Websites can be updated every hour and should get better and better over time.
2. Growth Driven Design Sites Require a Smaller Up-Front Investment
Websites can be very expensive. With Growth Driven Design, the goal is to launch a website that is better than what you currently have as quickly as possible. The up-front cost can be lower because the designers, developers, and copywriters are only focusing on the things that will promote business growth.
3. Growth Driven Design Sites are More Likely to Launch On-Time and On-Budget.
The goal with GDD is to launch the first version of the website (The Launchpad) in as little time as possible, usually 12 weeks, so that you can begin gathering data and improving.
4. Growth Driven Design Decisions are Data-Driven
Once the website is live, results should be predictable. While the traditional agency is built on opinions and then handed off (never to be touched again), Growth Driven Design’s Continuous Improvement Cycle uses data to make informed decisions and generate more leads.
5. Growth Driven Design Improvements are made and reported on each month
You’ll enter into a collaborative partnership with a GDD agency where you will meet once a month to agree on priorities for the coming month, review the optimizations of the previous month, and learn whether or not you are on track to hit your annual goals.
Each month, your website will get stronger because you’re testing, measuring, acting, and iterating.
This process is relatively new but it’s changing the game. The agencies that have switched over to it swear by it and the clients who have taken the jump have seen lead generation growth of up to 1000%.