Broken Website Design Strategy
Over the past 20 years or so of website design strategy, there’s one thing that hasn’t changed all that much… and that is website design strategy! From Yahoo Sitebuilder, all the way up to modern day web development platforms like Weebly and SquareSpace, you see the following workflow /strategy implemented:
- Spend months planning your website design and obsessing over details.
- Pay huge amounts of money for someone to build it (or you build it yourself).
- Publish your website.
- Your website remains static for years.
Now, if years later you realize your website needs to be updated, you may end up back at step 1… wash and repeat.
This has been the traditional model of website design for small and large businesses, and also for website design agencies.
But this process is broke!
Enter Growth Driven Design
Growth Driven Design is “looking at a system that mitigates the risk of large investments in website design, and looks to the users / visitors of your website to drive the design.” (Luke Summerfield, HubSpot).
Basically, growth driven design is a new strategy that looks to traffic data as the driver to your website design strategy. This implies that from the beginning, you accept that your website design is never truly complete. As visitors come to your website, you gather data on action elements, and then change your website design according to your user’s actions. The more visitors and actions you gather in your data, the more empowered you are to optimize the design of your website.
This also implies taking a minimalist design strategy initially with your website. The impact of growth driven design is diluted when you spend countless hours on the minute details of your website. For example, you may spend an entire day tinkering with the color of a button (I speak from experience!). This kills the growth driven design mindset.
However, when you take a minimalist approach with your website design, and understand that your design will change over time, then you’ll be less hung up on the finer details of your website. You’ll be more flexible with design elements, and you’ll be able to moves faster with the updates that need to be made based on conversion rates. With growth driven design, you have to remain flexible with every piece of content within your website. And every key piece of content within your website should include data tracking such as “conversion tracking”, so you can properly measure the impact of those elements.
Google Adwords Technology / Beat The Best Strategy
I remember reading the Guide To Google Adwords, by Perry Marshall, where he coined the phrase “beat the best”. He was referring to an ad optimization strategy where you wrote multiple ads in your campaign, and then based on the performance of the ad, Adwords would systematically show your best performing ad more often. As the advertiser, you would then delete your least performing ads and attempt to write an ad that would “beat your best” performing ad.
Over time, as you continue implementing the “beat the best” ad writing strategy, you end up with a high quality score in your ad campaigns as a result of your high performing ads.
This same “beat the best” strategy applies to your growth driven website design.
Action elements within your website need analytics to show you the performance of those elements. And then based on that data, you add in elements (i.e. with A/B split testing) in an effort to improve the overall conversion rates and business objectives of your website.
This “growth driven design” strategy is a more optimal approach to take when you are looking to build, or rebuild, your website. Ultimately, it points to the fact that your business objectives are baked into the key elements of your website. And these business objectives are, in most cases, increasing customers for your business.