It’s true, not all web design companies are created equal. Sure you will probably end up with a great looking site that is responsive with any number of agencies. However, there is much value to be gained from working with a Growth Driven Design Company.
For those of you who are not familiar with Growth Driven Design, the elevator pitch is that it’s a new way to approach web design where you form a strategy, based on data, to get a launch pad website up and running in a fraction of the time. Then over time, continuously improve upon it by using data to form hypotheses and test them for effectiveness. To find out more about GDD check out one of my other posts A New Approach to Web Design.
So what really differentiates a traditional web design company from a Growth Driven web design company? Well the first (and most important) factor is Strategy.
A website might look great, but how EFFECTIVE is it? Is it a nice brochure, or does it generate business for you beyond simply showing people your phone number? An important part of a Growth Driven approach is to filter all of your efforts through the lens of conversion rate optimization (CRO).
First you have to identify what is the main goal of the site? This is your focus metric. Whether it be to drive more foot traffic to your physical location, or maybe it is to increase the number of free trial requests. Regardless of what the goal is, every effort throughout your website design project should be focused on moving the needle to this specific metric. Your strategy should include conversion points that are able to be tracked for effectiveness. Which brings us to the next practice that separates traditional and growth driven agencies.
Backed up by data
It’s very easy to take a personal subjective approach to web design. After all, it’s your website isn’t it? Shouldn’t it reflect your vision? Well, yes, but it’s always good to reevaluate oneself to ensure we’re still on the right track. This is why it’s important to evaluate the data behind your site and the potential changes you’re thinking about making.
You may not like the big red REQUEST DEMO button in the banner of your homepage. So you remove it and think the homepage looks much better. But it wasn’t until you looked into the data that you realized traffic to your Demo Request page had dropped significantly since making the change. You decide to investigate further and using tools like Lucky Orange, you see that the only other option for users to get to your demo page is way down toward the bottom of the homepage. Looking at a scroll map, you see that less than 10% of your total traffic even scrolls down that far. This would indicate that although you thought the big ugly button was an eyesore, it was actually doing more for your business than the rest of your homepage. This is just an example of double checking our assumptions against the data instead of making knee-jerk reactions based on personal preference.
Seeing the big picture (continuous improvement)
Hopefully the majority of people now realize that a website isn’t done once it goes live. If there is no plan post launch to continuously expand and improve upon your website, you will surely miss the true value and potential of your new site. Continuous improvement is everything that happens after you celebrate the victory of taking your new site live.
This stage can include additional hypothesis development and implementation, phase II development like building out additional pages or functionalities, or focus on increasing traffic to the site to get a large enough sample to start identifying some trends in UI/UX. Without a large enough sample size, the integrity of your data is compromised. On average we recommend a minimum sample size of 3k-5k unique visits recorded before making any assumptions about making changes to your site. This can also vary based on industry, company size, audience demographic and more.
Isn’t afraid to fail
This is a mindset for both client and agency alike. A large part of a GDD approach is based on implementing hypotheses. In an ever changing world, we are trying to keep up with the pace of the consumer. With ever changing habits and preferences, achieving that may not always be that easy. So we make calculated assumptions and put those to the test. Sometimes they don’t always work out. When that happens, you go back to the second trait of backing up your efforts by data. What worked, what didn’t?
Once you gain some insight into what went wrong, implement A/B testing moving forward to see how you may affect user behavior to increase conversions. Rinse and repeat. Through ongoing testing and improvement, you will progressively make your website more effective over time.
Knows the role of marketing and sales in the success of the site
There is only so much a website can do on its own. It doesn’t matter how many leads you generate from the site if your sales team can’t handle them. Likewise, your website can’t generate leads unless your marketing team is doing their job. A GDD Agency takes into account the roles of other sides of the business and considers how the website can serve them also. Having a well-oiled process can produce top results even in tough economies.
Basically a Growth Driven Web Design Company offers more than graphic design and development. They take a wholistic approach toward your business and use your website as the center of your marketing efforts. By analyzing the data, planning the strategy, implementing hypotheses and evaluating their effectiveness your website is a living, breathing, adapatable arm of your business that can bring value by being more than just an online brochure.