In the early days of online marketing (back in the '90's, that is) you could publish your website without too much thought beyond stuffing it with keywords. People often felt that if you had a site that was attractive, and included a lot of information, then you were pretty much done.
This mindset is basic intuitive thinking and there are a lot of companies who actually still have it. Every couple of years they re-design their sites, primarily because they have grown tired of them. The re-design is often solely based on some other up to date site that they consider slick looking. They apply some SEO, spend 3-4 months designing and launching the site and do you know what usually happens after that? The commercial performance of the new site is identical to the old one with no improvement in traffic numbers, and no increase in conversion rates.
A year later, the internal grumbling is heard once more by the water cooler, and talk of a new website begins to crop up all over again. This is the problem with doing traditional website re-designs and why you should consider doing something else. We live in a quickly changing world which is why growth driven design is oriented around the philosophy of minimizing risk, constant learning and regular marketing improvement. You don't wait 1-2 years before tuning up your website, you make changes right when they are needed. In short, you are riding the leading, bleeding edge of your industry, making sure your site is as relevant as it can be - instantaneously. Still not convinced? Here are 10 reasons why we say 'yes' to the question: is growth driven design better.
- Relevancy - because your website is being constantly updated to align with trends and needs of your industry, it is always current which helps lock down your position as a thought leader.
- Marketing Strength - Since you are going to be updating the site on a regular basis, you are also able to test various marketing ideas that you have by incorporating them in your updates.
- Limited Disruption - Because you are making minor, continuous changes, the initial launch of a growth driven design focuses only on the essential 20% of items that will result in 80% of the impact and fold in the rest as you learn.
- You aren't handcuffed to a Hypothesis - Traditional design requires you to make a best guess as to what your readership will respond to. You deploy this and cross your fingers because it's going to stay up for the next couple of years. In Growth Driven Design, you initially make a best guess, but because you will be collecting data and learning from it, intelligent changes can be implemented quickly
- Persona Changes - As tastes and the demographic of the people you are selling to changes, you are able to make nimble updates to the way you try to attract them.
- Minimize Risk - Since there is no way to guarantee the performance of a traditional re-design, the substantial up-front cost may end up being a serious loss. Often these costs are in the range of $25 - $80k
- Budget Impact - Huge cash outlays are required in the beginning of a traditional re-design, rather than the easier to manage slow drip of a growth driven design project.
- Time & Energy - Traditional re-designs take from 3 - 6 months to complete, Growth Driven Designs take a small fraction of this time allowing you to be up and running within a month
- Responding to Stimuli - Feedback from sales and marketing on a blog article that went viral, for example, allows you to make quick modifications to create new conversion paths to harvest the resulting new flow of visitors to your site
- Spontaneously Improve User Experience - feedback on user flow from Google Analytics can be quickly synthesized into improvements on your site to help increase conversions and reduce bounce rate