Would you believe that most people judge a business based on the design of its website? It’s true. Stanford University ran a web credibility study that states that 75% of people judge a company’s worth and abilities based on the design of its website alone. Several factors enter into the judgment—engaging images, authentic tone and mobile optimization for a starters—but whatever the criteria, it’s a digital given that a website is a very powerful representative for a company.
It’s evident that the days of getting a website in place and essentially forgetting about it are over—at least for businesses wanting the ability to respond to market conditions and customer demands. This traditional website design approach has made way for growth-driven design, a new—and some say smarter—way to build a website. Our world is moving faster than ever and website visitors don’t linger if they’re not engaged immediately, so your business should seriously evaluate whether it should stick with what it has or make a move to growth-driven design.
But, first, let’s take a look at the two styles.
Traditional Web Design
Traditional is comfortable. We’re all familiar with it. We know what to expect in a traditional website design—the navigation, the copy blocks, the “above the fold” rule for user experience. There’s also typically a strong brand strategy visible in traditional website design. That could account for the reason that some companies don’t alter their sites—they have what they consider to be a strong brand presence in place and feel that it’s doing the work they need.
Plus, web designers know what to do with traditional design. Again, it’s comfortable. There’s a pretty standard formula for project expectation including a site map, content development, timelines, deliverables, etc. It’s how web design all started and everyone has a fundamental recognition of it.
Ironically, it’s these very familiarities of traditional website design that also creates its greatest drawbacks. Traditional website design typically means a commitment to a major overhaul involving significant budget and time investments. Plus, creating a traditional website, either new or a revision, is probably based on outdated assumptions and buyer journeys which will result in an ineffective strategy and design.
But, possibly most significant in the list of drawbacks is that traditional web design is not rooted in marketing analytics and data and will not work as effectively as the business hopes and will quickly begin the downward spiral to becoming obsolete.
Businesses requiring more agility to adapt to customer journeys quickly and efficiently will benefit more from a growth-driven website design. As opposed to large, established brands with traditional websites, some companies require more flexibility in anticipating the customer journey and responding appropriately. A good rule of thumb to follow is 10,000 visitors—more or less—each month. If you’re pulling in over 10,000 visitors a month, your design is clearly working. However, if you haven’t reached that 10,000 visitor a month threshold, a growth-driven design is the better way to maximize your budget while anticipating visitor needs.
Growth-driven design takes into account the natural obsolescence of typical website design and pairs it with marketing and sales goals to be more effective. It’s also backed up with data which makes it almost foolproof in terms of engaging more prospects, converting them to customers and improving revenue. And what’s great about growth-driven design is that the investment generates growth all the while becoming stronger as you keep an eye on analytics and take action to continually improve.
Working within the parameters of a growth-driven design can be unnerving for some who are used to relatively fixed costs scenario of traditional sites. Having to meet ongoing needs of a growth-driven design can mean altering planning and budgeting exercises as well as employee needs to create or manage the process. Thinking of a website as a dynamic investment and not a standalone initiative urges businesses to consider their website as just one of their marketing assets in their communication channels.
So, which method of website design is best for your business? Ask yourself some questions. What kind of performance are you looking for from your website? Do you need to generate more qualified leads? Are you just looking for more traffic? Do you need to ramp up conversions? Get your goal firmly in mind before proceeding to design because it will help you develop a smarter plan and better site. And always pay attention to the analytics. If you do that, chances are very good that you’ll be anxious to develop an agile, responsive site that engages quickly and communicates appropriately with your prospective visitors.
If you're thinking about a new website project or a redesign, schedule a free consultation to discuss your goals and get insights well worth your time.