Growth-driven design (GDD) is a method of website development similar to agile development. It is a method of redesigning the website using the website's own metrics indicating what is and isn't working on the site.
GDD takes an incremental approach to website design. Instead of spending months developing a perfect product, it approaches design in sprints toward improvements and optimization.
It comes with minimal risk and investment, and the advantages of GDD are numerous.
The results are a dynamic site that is continually changing and improving, never becoming stagnant. It brings your new website design to market much faster and, with good inbound marketing practices, you derive even more traffic from which to test and improve your site.
It's a continual loop of website optimization. But you can't go willy-nilly with it. There are right and wrong ways to approach and deploy GDD.
Here are some of the common misconceptions that can damage your website results and branding efforts.
Misconception #1: Growth-Driven Design is Just for B2C Websites
Growth driven design is often deployed in a B2C environment, but it is just as useful to B2B websites.
For example, if your product lifecycle is one year, your customers return a year after their first purchase. If they find the exact same information, offers, and content as they did the previous year, they may think you are behind the times or that business is not going well.
Whether your customers are businesses or consumers, a dynamic website proves that you are keeping up with market trends and have new, exciting, and interesting things to promote all the time. What's the point of all that inbound marketing if all you do is drive traffic to the same, tired website?
Misconception #2: Websites Have to Be Perfect Upon Launch
Anxiety over having the website perfected can delay launch for weeks, potentially months.
In the meantime, competitors can outshine you with their leaner and meaner websites, and your search engine rankings drop because Google and Yahoo! promote more lively competitor websites.
It's much better to roll out a good web design and improve it over time, based on visitor patterns and customer feedback, than to let an old, outdated, or poorly-designed website linger on your domain any longer than necessary.
Misconception #3: We Can Test as Many Things as We Want
Testing design elements, content performance, and site navigation strategy is what GDD is all about. But, you have to draw the line somewhere.
Test no more than two or three elements at a time. Otherwise, your dynamic website becomes a virtual circus of fonts, colors, images, and content. Determine the most important things, then focus only on those until you are satisfied with them.
For example, spend a couple of weeks evaluating visitor response to your color scheme. Then settle on the best one and begin testing various CTAs. Once those are established, you can work on your site navigation or begin testing new types of content.
One thing you can't do during GDD testing is ease up on your inbound marketing efforts. How else can you get visitors to your site for the testing? Therefore, make sure to continue all your usual inbound campaigns, but adjust them as necessary based on the results you discover during this phase.
For more information about the differences between growth-driven design and traditional design, get your free copy of our Growth-Driven Design Playbook.
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