As marketing decision makers, the questions that wire us awake during sleepless nights are too often related to our websites. Is our user experience optimized? Is our content optimized for search engines and ideal prospects' FAQ? How do we best utilize limited funds for website design or redesign?
One topic that may cross our minds during these late nights is growth driven design. This concept best defined as an agile, iterative approach to development that improves a website according to your "latest plans, priorities and performance measures."
However, it's no secret that web design best practices aren't simple. No two industries (or brands) are the same. While growth driven design is a powerful way to lower overall web development costs and improve your customers' experience, there are virtually no silver bullets in inbound marketing. It's important to understand the underlying components of agile website development before you begin to assign costs for your company. In this blog, you'll learn the underlying fundamental aspects of growth driven design, and how they will contribute to the final cost of your website overhaul.
Growth Driven Design Pricing Factors
Before your organization can begin to consider a growth driven design approach, you need a Launchpad website. Brand's web presences influence over $1.1 trillion in sales each year, according to Forrester Research. Some 78% of marketers report their overall inbound marketing strategies include a focus on website optimization. In an era where consumers often begin branded solution research online, your company's web presence is critical. Here's what you need to know about both launch pad websites, and getting to a place where you're even able to consider growth driven design as a real option for your company.
1. Build a Launch Pad Website
We'll be completely honest. You're probably reading about growth driven design because your website, well, it could use some serious improvement. Here at Lean Labs, we've found that's the exact case for 95% of the customers who approach us about this concept. Unless your website is already fantastic, you're probably going to need to start from the ground up.
A launchpad website is a reasonable solution for brands who need a website immediately. If a timely and significant improvement in your inbound marketing results matters more than a total overhaul of your website experience, it's probably what you need. Ultimately, you want an incredible new brand experience that will make your customers' jaws drop and your competitors drool. However, you have to prioritize.
If you're going for drool and can afford to wait for this to happen, you likely want a more traditional website redesign experience. If you're driven by metrics and immediate inbound marketing improvement, a launch pad website can be a stop gap measure. It allows you immediate access to a surge of new leads and customers, without having to wait for your entire website to be overhauled. Additionally, you can benefit from allowing your customers to dictate your web experience, which is an essential component of growth driven design.
While there are always exceptions, the vast majority of launch pad websites take between 4-8 weeks to launch, and will likely cost between $15,000-$20,000.
2. Implement Growth Driven Design
Regardless of whether you've opted for a traditional website overhaul or a launchpad website, growth driven design is still a possibility. It's related to two key truths that every marketing professional understands:
- No website is ever perfect immediately after launch
- The internet is a dynamic place that never stops changing
If your website isn't improving and changing as quickly or faster than the internet, your business is sliding backward. Without continual web presence improvements, your metrics likely aren't growing fast enough.
If you have a background in technology or project management, you're probably familiar with continuous improvement cycles. Growth driven design is just another term for the same concept. With this new, fancy name, you'll adopt a regimen of tactics to guide the review, refinements, and refreshing of your website. You won't be making changes for aesthetics or emotions' sake, you'll be investing in the right changes to improve your marketing key performance indicators (KPIs).
Continuous improvement cycles are also known as PDCA cycles (or Deming cycles or Shewhart cycles, depending on who you ask). Here are the steps that it involves:
- Plan: Identify opportunities for improvement. Determine changes that can be made to move the status quo closer to your ideal.
- Do: Implement the identified change "on a small scale."
- Check: Monitor available metrics to determine the success of the change you've made, and determine whether or not your efforts were successful.
- Act: Implement the change permanently, and continue to monitor metrics to ensure long-term success. If the change was not successful, return to the planning stage and continue until you've reached targets.
As a result, the costs of growth driven design vary significantly. The cost doesn't depend on your agency or your web design team. It depends on you and your budget. Ultimately, the main determining factor in the cost of growth driven design is how aggressively you want to build the best online experience possible.
More specifically, the recommendations Lean Labs' web experts provide clients fit neatly into the following categories:
- If you have less than 10,000 visits each month: A typical budgetary cap for growth driven design is approximately $2,500 each month. We suggest investing more in inbound marketing strategies, including content and email marketing, to increase your website visitors while engaging in design improvements.
- If your monthly website visits are more than 10,000 but less than 100,000: Your recommended budget will range between $4,000 and $6,000 each month. This will allow you to focus on streamlining your buyers' journey, enhancing the effectiveness of your inbound marketing strategy, and aggressively improving your website's overall user experience.
- If your website visits exceed 100,000 on a monthly basis: Most brands in this category are comfortable spending between $7,000 and $10,000 each month on growth driven design. At this point, companies have the room to focus on achieving best-of-class brand experience. Growth driven design is typically the most effective way to achieve that goal!
What are Some Alternatives to Growth Driven Design?
The alternative to selecting growth driven design is to create a new website from the ground up. Allow this site to exceed its expiration date, which is typically about 6-12 months in today's fast-changing web environment. As soon as you're able to afford it, you can redesign the website from the ground up on a 1-3 year cycle. This is what the majority of brands opt for, but it carries some obvious issues and challenges.
Every time you launch a new website, you're essentially proposing a hypothesis. If you studied the scientific method in college, you know exactly what we mean. Hypotheses are, by nature, unproven ideas. To be validated, scientists must perform experiments, analyze data, and draw reasonable conclusions. Marketing is a science in many ways, and the sharpest marketers today follow the scientific method. If you're guilty of following the traditional method of launching complete websites, you haven't had the chance to slow down, test what's working for you, and optimize according to your brand's marketing metrics.
Growth driven design provides marketers with the opportunity to operate skeptically, like scientists. You can discover what's engaging and converting your prospects, and focus on bringing those elements out through your web design. It's not a question of background colors or font; though fonts can have a surprisingly large impact. Iterative design touches every element of your visual design, content, and website marketing. With growth driven design, a total redesign rarely happens. Marketers are continuously refining and refreshing their site, so there's simply no need.
Instead of evolving your company's web presence behind the speed of marketing and internet best practices, you're able to remain ahead of the curve.
It's as simple as that.
Growth driven design is a scientific methodology for letting your brand's marketing metrics dictate what works best, and improving accordingly.
Your Super Convenient, Side-By-Side Comparison of Website Redesign Costs
To understand the total costs of your website design options, we've created a chart that highlights each of the financial commitments for your options we've discussed:
Depending on the number of website visitors you start with when selecting growth driven design and the costs of your launch pad website, the costs of growth driven design may exceed the price of a traditional website overhaul. However, it's critical for brands to remember that quickly-changing consumer preferences and search engine algorithms have created an internet environment where best practices are in a constant state of flux.
A "hypothesis" website may reach its expiration date six months after launch, leaving your brand in state where you're continually falling short of your marketing metrics.
Additionally, the prices indicated in the chart above may scale upwards or downwards for optimal results. There are many factors that determine the cost of growth driven design, but it's ultimately determined by your company's needs.
When your site is consistently exceeding your marketing metrics, you have the opportunity to reduce your growth driven design budget and allocate those funds towards inbound marketing. When your inbound marketing goals are restricted toward a need for optimization, your brand has the choice of temporarily allocating budget towards growth driven design.
Making Your Website Work For You
If today's Internet environment is causing you late night stress, understand that you're not alone. Your company's website is a portal for prospects and customers to connect with your company in the most convenient way possible, which is online. Growth driven design provides a unique opportunity for marketers to act on fresh data insights and enter a state of continuous improvement.
Is your brand considering growth driven design as a possible solution to your late-night fears about website design optimization? Share your thoughts in the comments!