Website Redesign? You need GDD
Traditional website redesign is dead unless of course, you’re focused on prolonging your company’s pain.
So why would I say that?
If you look at the traditional approach to website redesign, that process in itself is set up for failure. It’s lengthy, costly and protracted because they are often over timescale and over budget. That can cause unrest between the agency and the client.
Let’s take a look at three scenarios of website design and redesign. Work out which is best for you the client and you the agency.
The Acme Company currently has an underperforming website. They built a responsive design website, but they have not developed any personas, do not practice organic SEO methods, they haven’t developed landing pages, content offers, calls to actions or any outreach programme such as social media marketing or even paid search.
Effectively, they built a website and expected the results to roll in. I’ve heard that story at least a hundred times, have you? Or do you recognise that?
Quite often you probably hear these business owners at parties or in a bar, saying “I bought a website once for my company, yeah it didn’t do much, so it was a waste of money”.
Or “the website developer was rubbish, he didn’t get me onto page one of Google or anything” or maybe “I built a website with this developer, then when I paid for that and wanted to be on page one of Google, he wanted me to pay him £XXX per month to do it, rip off merchant he was!”
Sometimes I even hear “We never get anything from our website so we don’t do no marketing stuff!”
These are not your ideal clients.
If you recognise yourself as this business owner, take this time to refocus your online plan as currently you’re destined to fail. Presently, there’s no growth, no vision and no ambition. You really need to get your head around how online marketing works, before you approach someone to do it on your behalf. Education is key.
As a website owner, you don’t need to pay for someone to do this for you, if you have the time you can definitely learn how to write content. This will be time dependent of course, but a worthwhile investment no doubt.
For an agency, this type of web investor will be nothing but a problem. They will blame you for the failings of the website performance rather than their own lack of investment into a suitable supporting marketing contract. This information will spread and you or your agency’s reputation will suffer some damage because of it.
This is my zombie web client persona, its kind of alive but dying a slow death and could sit around not doing much for a long time.
Scenario two, the Broadbean Services Company (BSC).
This company did invest in some outreach, they invested in blogging but they did it without any real strategy or personas and used their blog as a company PR page. Whilst this got them some business, they saw their competitors were doing much better and looked into this. They were also acting on social media, plugging their products in a sales way, providing no value on Twitter or Facebook for potential buyers of their services.
What they found, was that the other companies weren’t using their blog for PR purposes around their services. But as an educational zone of enrichment about their services from a third party perspective.
They had data capture points like sign up for newsletters and offers. Content offers that were also gated by registration forms and visitor information had to be traded for access to that information to download or view it. Some had live chat and all websites were responsively designed.
They had a clear social programme and were carefully spreading their own and relevant content to their followers in a timely and responsible way.
As a result of the research performed, the head of sales at BSC soon commissioned an agency by way of proposal, interview and elimination. They embarked on a 5-month journey of redesigning the company website and supporting this with a solid inbound marketing campaign and a marketing automation platform, in this case, Hubspot.
On paper, anyone reading this would agree that BSC had made a great decision and was joining the masses and becoming current with their website and marketing activities. In six months time, they will be in a great position to compete with their peers.
Wow, read that back… in six months time BSC will be in a great position to compete with their peers.
Now, this is where it gets interesting because I say that that’s the current flawed model and it doesn’t work.
Effectively you’ve been asked to pay money for six months before you get one result, which is the new website and then another six months to see the real turnaround in results from your marketing automation campaign. That’s a whole year before you see a real return and in the meantime, you carried an underperforming website for another six months!
Now don’t get me wrong, a year to turn around your fortunes in a company where turnover is on the wain can sound appealing. You get a strong plan for your marketing campaign and you get a solid plan for your website.
Now the problem with the traditional method of website redesign is that it is too hit and miss. What I mean by that, is in traditional website redesign, the agency will tell you what successes in similar websites it’s designed for your industry and what’s currently best practice by website design standards. You the client will tell the agency what you want them to showcase in amongst all of that.
Again, does that sound familiar to you? Do you recognise your own company agency relationship in that description? Is that how you prefer to work on a redesign project situation?
This is my own agency persona, the Phoenix persona. This persona needs my help. Out of the ashes of their previous vision for website redesign projects, they are educated around Growth Driven Design (GDD) and see the value in letting your customers or consumers tell you what they want and need.
The Fully Informed
Now that the fire is out, let’s look at the third and final scenario.
The Astute and Sound Company (ASC) has tried the above method on its last three website redesign projects, but its CMO is looking for something better. Something customer-centric in a truer sense, data-driven and shorter-term in its delivery.
A product that enables the previous site to come down in as soon as 35-45 days and a new site go up so that a targeted marketing campaign can also be implemented. Bringing that six-month marketing uptake forward by around 5 months.
Wow, now that’s of real value and benefit to any company and BSC were immediately interested in GDD (Growth Driven Design).
So as not to bore you with a lengthy discussion on how using a data-driven approach to redesigning your company website works, I’ll keep this short.
GDD is the process of continuous development of a website, treating it as a living thing rather than as something you readdress every 18-24 months. You take your agency and your clients ideas, your client’s product or service, find out the 20% of that which is the most important from a website perspective, then you launch a “launchpad website”, which is a fully functioning website, but built on the core requirements without the “nice-to-haves” included up front.
You undertake on-going research, both during and after the launchpad stage to continually monitor and understand your consumer’s behaviour ultimately maximising the opportunity to convert prospects.
GDD is not about not building a website in full and charging a client more to do over time, but a real way to build your website out from your customers/consumer behaviour online. By focusing on your core converting aspects of your product or service on your website, then using the data you collate monthly to make changes, you really focus on stuff that forms part of the funnel to deliver your business outcomes.
We A + B test pages continuously, make colour changes if necessary, use heat maps, user interviews, SEO and so much more to deliver a real user-centric web platform, customised and personalised for your consumer’s needs and wants.
So as you can see, GDD offers the best opportunity to maximise the return on the investment into a website redesign project, because its a completely data-driven process over the traditional build-stagnate-rebuild method we currently all embrace.
If your business has bought into data-driven marketing, then logically data-driven website design is a requirement as we all know, marketing activity drives traffic to a website as much as a website drives traffic into a marketing funnel.
If your business is currently a phoenix, then fly clear of the flames and look into Growth Driven Design. The website standard for those with conversion at the heart of their marketing campaign.
Bias Digital are certified to deliver Growth Driven Web Design Programmes. If you would like to investigate the benefits of a Growth Driven Design project for your company, call 0203 637 4426 or book an appointment