Website design: Phase 1 of Growth Driven Design – strategy

As you know, you can’t build anything that will last on a weak foundation. When it comes to website design, developing a strong strategy will help you create a solid foundation on which to build your Growth Driven Design (GDD) process. So far we’ve introduced Growth Driven Design (GDD), explained why the traditional website design process is flawed and discussed the three foundational pillars of GDD. Now we’re going to dive into the good stuff, the phases of GDD – there’s two. In today’s blog we’re going to cover the strategy section of phase one (yes there’s a lot of information, that's why we’re breaking it up into easily digestible chunks!)


What are the performance goals that you trying to achieve with your website? If you have an existing website, review how it’s performed and where it needs improvement. You also need to think about the impact you want the website to have on your marketing department. 

Have you heard of S.M.A.R.T goals? If yes, good for you! If no, that’s OK because I’m about to explain what they are. 

Specific: Visits, leads or customers. Do you want to increase traffic, nurture visitors into leads or convert leads into customers? 

Measurable: Put a number down. Decide on an exact number that you’ll start from and aim to increase.

Attainable: Understand benchmarks. Use your analytics to make sure the goal you set is realistic.

Relevant: It needs to relate to your overall end goal.

Time-Bound: Set a date. Choose a date that you think will be realistic in reaching your goal.

Download our free ebook 'An introduction to Growth Driven Design' 

Now you need to develop your buyer persona profiles. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer.

GDD is completely centred on the user, their wants and needs and how they navigate through your website, so it is critically important that you do your research and develop your buyer persona profiles at the very beginning. Believe me it’s worth the effort.

Quantitative research
For those readers who do have an existing website, it’s time to do an analytics audit and start digging into the data! Review what’s performing well and what isn’t. See where visitors are dropping off – can you see a pattern? Is it one particular page that’s the culprit? Document it all down so that you know what needs work for later on in the process. You want to be able to see what you can improve, how you can improve it, and hypothesise how much impact your improvement can have.

Qualitative research
Now that you know where the opportunities lie, the next step is to reach out to your existing users and learn more about them. By understanding them more, you’ll be able to find more ways to improve the user experience which in turn will help you achieve the S.M.A.R.T. goals you set.

Their feedback will (hopefully) validate the assumptions you put in your original buyer persona profiles, and they’ll most likely give you more information to include and work off.

Fundamental assumptions
So by this point you’ve learnt a lot, now it’s time to start forming fundamental assumptions about your users. For example:

  • Value propositions for each product, service and offer
  • The different locations and devices users will be viewing your website on
  • What information your users are looking for on your website

These fundamental assumptions will help to explain the behaviour and motivations of your users. They will also be helpful when developing your global and page strategy.

Global and page strategy
Now you need to develop a strategy for your website as a whole and a specific page-by-page strategy for each of your major site pages. Both the global and individual page strategies should incorporate all previous steps in this article, and set out a detailed strategy for the best way to engage and influence your users in order to reach your S.M.A.R.T. goals.

As you can see there’s a lot of work that goes into developing the strategy for your website. It does take dedication, time and most of all patience – but it's ALL worth it. Your website is your shop front, it's your best marketing asset, so why would you want to skimp on the details and effort here?

If I’ve piqued an interest in you to learn more about GDD then I invite you to download our free ebook ‘An introduction to Growth Driven Design’ now. The best thing about GDD is it’s all about getting a launch pad website up as soon as possible so, don’t think it as a long drawn out process. Download the book and see for yourself.

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Topics: website design