In the old world of digital marketing, many companies would create their websites and then forget about them. This leads to stale, abandoned-looking websites – which is NOT the impression you want to leave your customers with.

Hubspot recently revealed that 90% of consumers may feel “uneasy” about a brand based solely on an outdated website. Customers expect everything to be completely current, including page load times and optimization for mobile. A poor impression on your website can leave a customer with a negative feeling toward your brand, which can sometimes never be repaired.

Growth driven website design is, quite simply, continual real-time website updates driven by data. Growth driven website design allows a company to address problems as they’re happening, rather than waiting for massive annual updates when it might already by too late.

We talked to Nick Simard, vice president and co-founder of the outdoor advertising and inbound marketing firm Inspiria, to learn about growth driven website design.

Can you talk a bit about what growth driven website design is and how it is different from traditional web design?

Growth driven design is really the right form of design for anybody who is serious about generating leads online. This typically doesn’t apply to very small businesses with revenue under $2 million a year (with some exceptions).

The website is a living entity, part of an organization that is often the largest marketing asset available to drive leads to the business. Growth driven design is a long-term approach that focuses on continuous improvement and always evaluates user experience to find ways to increase conversions on a website.

Traditional website design is simply building and publishing the new website that serves as a vanity presence for the business. There are many businesses who do not need anything more than traditional website design. A local retail operation that does not conduct e-commerce through their website is an example of a firm that might only need traditional website design. Traditional website design is still important; and for many businesses it is often sufficient.

The main distinction between the two approaches is simply whether or not the firm intends to drive significant lead flow to their business via their website. If they do, the traditional web approach, which is static in nature, will not result in growth.

What are some of the benefits of constantly monitoring a website’s performance and adjusting accordingly, as opposed to letting a site get stale?

We’ve seen an evolution/maturing of the general business owner population in the past three years. We work with clients all the time who say things like “I used to spend $100,000 per year in the Yellow Pages and the phone rang off the hook.” It stopped working like that years ago, yet took some time for business owners to come around and realize that the environment has shifted on a seemingly permanent basis. We work with hooks all the time who are going through this transition or intend to go through this transition. Often, it will seem like they’re a bit regretful that the times have changed and they’re out of their comfort element. That must be a daunting feeling, so they’re wise to evolve.

What are some metrics a growth driven design company would monitor after the initial website is rolled out? What are some ways a developer can measure what’s working and what isn’t?

There are so many incredible tools available to monitor user experience on a website. For example, various tools allow for heat mapping, which shows where users tend to move their cursors and where they click the most.

Think about when you’re browsing the website; often you won’t click on something but you will move your cursor around as your eye moves around the webpage. There can be incredible value in understanding where the eye tends to go on your website. Focusing efforts on increasing the value of content in specific areas can dramatically improve conversions.

There are other wonderful techniques such as A/B testing. This is the systematic testing of multiple messages with different users and requires a piece of technology that will allow for such variation. A/B testing will prove which messages are more desirable to your target audience.

I run a marketing firm, so we debate whether our clients, who are often in conservative professions, want to see a serious message or whether they want to see a fun, lighthearted message about cool marketing techniques. We can speculate whether they expect to see humor and wit, or we can test for it!

What are some ways that growth driven website design can improve a company’s reputation and customer loyalty?

The focus of a growth driven design project is to improve user experience. Obviously, a pleasant web experience improves the relationship with your prospects and clients, and has spillover benefit in reputation and customer enjoyment in working with your brand. The real improvement in customer loyalty comes with using inbound marketing techniques in the “delight” phase of the process to make sure that your customers become promoters of your brand once they are delighted customers.

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