By Steven Titchener
I believe it was Elon Musk that said ‘Current web design and development processes are broken’ but don’t quote me on that… They have been built for a time when simply existing on the internet would net you loads of website traffic and sales, where simply listing what you do as a business was enough.
The problem is. This doesn’t work anymore, and hasn’t for a long time.
Created in 1906 by Henry Ford… Wait, that’s the traditional industrial process, not web design.
But you get the idea. The current web design processes that most businesses use are outdated, created in a time where simply existing on the internet was enough to net loads of website traffic and get you more sales than ever before.
In a nutshell, this process is:
And it worked because the competition was small, the entry requirements were high, needing highly skilled developers at great expense to actually build you a website and maintain it. But with the latest wave of self-build website engines it is easier than ever to build your own website, which means these days, competition is out of this world with everyone with an idea and a few hours has a website now… with varying degrees of quality.
Because of this competition, launching a website that explains what you do isn’t enough anymore because there are 1000 other companies out there doing exactly the same thing as you and launching a new website can actually cause your traffic to drop!
It doesn’t mean that a new website is a bad thing entirely though. Although your website traffic might drop to start with, it will recover in time and traffic isn’t always the signal that you’ve got a good website.
There is a different post to be written here, but there are multiple signals for a good website vs. bad website. Things like conversion rates, time spent on page even, new vs. returning visitors can all be signs of how good or bad your website is.
That is where a new website will have more benefits, because you’ve thought more about it and how it fits with the current state of your business and current web trends, the user experience should be better than your old website. So the benefits of a new website in this process are around creating a better experience for the people that do visit your website.
But that can only last so long, as users change, technology advances and business move on, your website will start to perform worse and worse. Until you decide, it’s time for a new website, shell out a load of cash at once and get something shiny and new… for another few years at least.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Created for the ever changing landscape of this world, Growth Driven Design takes a dynamic and strategic approach to web design and development.
Instead of simply launching a new website every few years, using this process you analyse and build upon your website EVERY MONTH. Creating a site that keeps performing, keeps getting better and gets you more sales.
After all, your website is the only salesperson that works for you 24/365.
I’ve built this up to be the next big thing, and with that you almost expect it to be super complicated, but in reality it’s a very simple and smooth process.
It contains 4 simple and engaging steps to get the best website you’ll ever have… forever!
This sounds like a large, overwhelming and somewhat ambiguous step but it is essential in ANY website project, not just super powered ones.
The strategy step is all about deciding the why and what of your website. You need to think first about why you need a website.
Next you need to think about the what of the website.
You can of course go into a lot more detail on the strategy side of this, but we don’t want this site to take years, we want it now!
Now you have your strategy, you know what the site needs to achieve, what goals you’re trying to hit and why you are even doing this, we can make a wishlist.
To get into the flow for a wishlist, imagine you’re a child again looking through the Argos catalogue at Christmas and writing a list of everything you want from there.
Now apply that to your website.
Look through other websites, your current site and just let your imagination run wild. If there weren’t any budget limits or time constraints, what would you have your website?
And with this list you can add anything and everything. From small parts like a contact button, to larger elements like a booking calendar that showers the screen with confetti when a booking is made.
Wishlist in place, now if only we had a shooting star to make it all happen. Unfortunately we don’t, so we need to conduct two reviews of our website.
First review will be of your actual website and all of the data you have on it and your users. You need to be looking for ways in which your website is doing well, where it isn’t and where there might be an opportunity.
For instance you might have a few different service pages in your website. Maybe one has a tonne of visitors, but no-one clicks to get in touch, then another has a few visitors but 80% of them get in touch after visiting that page. Now you have a few opportunities for improvement and focus, to get the high traffic page to convert better and to get the high converting page to get more traffic.
That is what the first review is about.
The second review is all about marrying up the data you’ve collected to your wishlist and goals. So take a look at the data from your website and the wishlist you’ve created and make a priority from the wishlist items to implement.
I find the best way to prioritise your list is to have 2 columns, one with desirability and one with doability, then put a number between 1-15 in each column. Total the numbers up and there you have it, a nice organised list. Just remember the priorities are supposed to align with the goals of your business and website, there is no point spending the month working on a non-performing page if you plan to not offer that service in the future anyway.
I say launch but I really mean build, as with growth driven design you don’t really have a launch as such, it’s a continual evolutionary process.
But you get the idea. In this step we are taking everything we’ve learnt and actually making those changes to our site and launching that version of it. So grab your favourite web developer, buy them some coffee and get to work!
I never said it was going to be the quickest method to get an amazing website, but it doesn’t take as much time as you think. Once you have a process and flow going for this, it takes roughly 15 – 25 hours a week to maintain.
That is the secret though, to keep this going, keep it consistent and you will see the effectiveness of your website skyrocket. It won’t just be an expensive brochure anymore.
If you are interested in learning more about web design processes and how you can apply them to your business and website, get in touch!
Part of The Digital Maze Group