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Why You Don't Need a Perfect Website

by Mary Ann Hegvold on September 16, 2015

The title of this post will make most brand managers or Type A marketers like myself cringe. How could you NOT launch a website that was the best possible representation of your brand, your products, your services and who you are?  I'm here to tell you that while it might take a little bit to bend your mind around the concept, a website redesign that doesn't include every feature you've dreamed of at launch can actually be a good way to go, at least for a little while. By doing it this way you can get to your end goal faster: Increase the number of sales that result from your website. Sound a little crazy? Consider the alternative: the traditional website redesign process.

Traditional Website Design Pitfalls

A typical website redesign requires a long and intense process of writing content, reviewing designs and testing the beta site. This can take a few months of your time at the peril of the additional sales you could have made if you'd gotten the website live sooner.

With a traditional website redesign, the marketing team is typically trying to please as many people as possible by adding sections that their internal departments have deemed necessary in addition to getting information out there for their customers. And at the end of it all, you're simply making an educated guess as to what is going to draw in the most leads.

How do you know if your ideas are working? What process do you have in place to monitor your best sales "person's" rate of success?  

A better way to design A website

There is an option for website development that allows you to get a version of the website up and running within 30 days of starting the website redesign process that can:

  • Represent your brand
  • Clearly communicate the primary message
  • Offer an easy-to-understand call to action

Don't get me wrong. Eventually you should get a more feature-rich website that does more for your customers than the day you launched it. 

This process of starting small and building features is called Growth-Driven Design. The basic elements of this process include:

Launch pad website - Live within 30 - 45 days, the entire focus of the launch pad website is "what do we need to do to communicate the primary message and get the desired action to take place?" This has the essentials included with more things planned in the near future.

Feature wish list - As you decide what to include on the launch pad site you can brainstorm a lot of ideas and features that you'd like included. Then narrow that down to the most important things and order them in priority so that you know what you're going to implement next.

Testing and analyzing - As you start to add the wish list items to the website that your customers you'll want to be sure to test and analyze the results of the feature addition to be sure it's working, and if not change something up.  No more leaving websites mostly untouched for weeks, months or (we've even seen) years.

Learning and adjusting - The sales team should be notified when either good things are happening on the website or you have an offer that seems to be a dud. Keep communication open with them so they know what people are most interested in. Then make plans for what to change up next on the website and how you're going to assess it.

Your website can be your number one lead generator, but it's got to be focused and you've got to be sure it's working.  Remember to start small and dare I say, imperfectly, so that you can reach your goals quicker.  If you're ready to learn more about Growth-Driven Design, download or free eBook.

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Topics: Website Design, Growth-Driven Design

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