Most people think of a new website or website redesign project in the same way. You ask a company for an estimate, it’s provided and they start and complete the website for your organization.
I don’t blame anyone for thinking this way. We’ve almost been conditioned to this by the fact that most agencies have treated websites like just another marketing communications project. However, just because it has been done that way, doesn’t always make it right. In this case, it actually almost always makes it wrong.
Traditional Approach to Website Redesign
I guess I should start with the notion that in 2020, and before, your website is the mothership of all your company’s marketing efforts. Almost every purchase or sale you make starts with a visit to your website.
This is due to the shift in buying behavior with the advent and uptick in usage of the internet, specifically mobile. Buyers spend more and more time in the consideration stage of the buyer's journey gathering information about their potential partners, whether it be where to buy a car or simply where to order a pizza.
Traditionally, we view a website project as something we start and stop. It has an end, and we can wash our hands of it and get that nasty time consuming project behind us. But this is where our agency strongly disagrees. A website is never finished. The old way of doing this works but isn’t the best approach.
The graph below shows how most organizations view these projects. They complete a website redesign or project over 3-5 months only to put it on the shelf for 2-5 years, or sometimes longer.
This approach has quite a few holes that I will poke into it.
The Issue With This Approach
If you follow this methodology for your website, it is going to sit for quite a while. How much has your business changed within 2-5 years? Probably quite a bit. The need for fresh and relevant content on your website helps keep your communication with your client up-to-date. You wouldn’t buy a billboard and keep the same creative on it for three years, would you?
This point is even more important with your website. The second argument against this method is for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). According to Moz, fresh and relevant content triggers positive signals to Google for SERP rankings.
Plainly put, if you want the best digital marketing results and best chance of attracting new leads on a consistent basis, approaching a website as a one-and-done project won’t get you where you want to go.
So how should you approach a website project?
We follow an approach coined by HubSpot as Growth-Driven Design (GDD). GDD is a month-to-month perpetual improvement plan for developing a new website or redesigning an old website.
As you can see below, with this approach, your website will receive attention on a consistent basis. This includes technical updates such as site speed improvements, SSL renewals and a variety of other back-end SEO requirements. In addition to that, our team works to improve and add new and relevant content month after month.
So how does this process work? Our team typically starts an engagement with a new client by conducting a Digital Alignment Strategy session that uncovers your business goals, plans, challenges and timelines for upcoming initiatives.
With this information in tow, our agency gets to work developing a minimally viable product or launch pad website. This typically has everything you will need to conduct business, minus some of the more shiny objects that you would like to see on the website but don’t necessarily need at the moment.
Once that portion of the website is complete, we move into a cadence with your organization where we conduct bi-weekly calls with you to discuss a wishlist of what you would like to change or add to the website. Things we cover at this stage include developing blog content, premium content offers, customized landing pages, video and other additions to your website.
The Growth-Driven Design approach to managing your website, or website redesign project, is the best way to ensure that your content remains relevant and your organic Google search rankings continue to improve. If you are interested in this approach and would like more information, please contact us. We would be happy to talk with you to see if it is the right fit for your project!