The web development world has been buzzing about GDD, or Growth-Driven Design, which is a methodology that embraces small, methodical, and frequent design changes to a website as compared to a total, one-time, comprehensive redesign. The explosion of GDD has enlightened marketing professionals on flaws regarding traditional marketing tactics, inviting our mindset to evolve and forcing Type-A marketers, like myself, to take a step back, and embrace the process.The traditional mindset of marketing is a carbon copy to traditional web development: make sweeping changes to a website and hope that the changes resonate and serve website visitors, leads, prospects, and customers. Truly, it has been a pure guessing game of what will work and produce dividends. But what if the changes that you make resonate with you, but not your users?
So, What’s Marketing-Based GDD?
Instead of making hasty changes to your website that may or may not be enticing, successful, and useful to website visitors, make small, intentional changes to your website that are beneficial and practical. I know, Type-A personalities, I know – it’s not an easy fate to face.
Take, for example, a landing page that you’ve been actively promoting. You’ve been getting a lot of click-throughs, but your conversion rate leaves a lot to be desired; when you look into it, several landing pages that are being promoted equally are experiencing the same fate. You have two options: 1) invest a considerable amount of time making content and functionality changes to all the landing pages without a true understanding of the problem. Or 2) take the time to analyze the reasoning for the sluggish conversion rate and make intentional tweaks that gross a fraction of the time invested by traditional, non-GDD marketing.
Want to talk to us about GDD? Let’s chat and we’ll share more insight with you.
Why Intentional Tweaks are Key
In traditional web development, thousands of dollars are invested in a website for a complete re-design and build that often leaves customers over budget and over time. No matter what work is produced, and no matter the functionality, there are always tweaks that need to be made. Case in point – have you ever had to update an app on your smartphone? Exactly. Bugs, changes, and fixes are always being made.
As hard as it is to accept, there is no silver bullet to creating marketing success stories, especially in regards to inbound marketing. Yes, there is a basic methodology to follow and best practices to embrace, but no two clients are alike, and neither are the challenges and questions that prospects face.
So when it’s time to do a deep dive of your marketing’s effectiveness, how do you analyze what’s working and what’s not? Are you making informed, rational decisions or are you disrupting your strategies based on an unfounded hunch?
The key to GDD success is to make intentional changes that will positively affect a user’s experience, and, by engaging with tools that help to define weaknesses as well as opportunities, you’ll have a clear-cut understanding of how you can optimize your presence and best serve your target market.
The Power of Hot Jar
Hot Jar is my 2016 Marketing Tool MVP, and, fair warning – Hot Jar is addictive. (At least, to my nerdy, analytical brain.) By embedding simple code into your website, Hot Jar will offer several value points that will turn how you think about your website on its head. Instead of covering each point of Hot Jar (this is not a sponsored post), allow me to cover two of the most valuable pieces of Hot Jar.
Exploring Website Heat Maps
“Heatmaps” are an ideal way to see where website visitors are clicking (or where they’re not), and how far down website pages visitors are actually scrolling. Heatmaps are especially valuable to see how pages are being navigated and utilized. More importantly, you can see where your time is best invested for marketing-based GDD.
Using a clicked-based Heatmap, you may see that from the homepage, the “About Us” section of your website is a hot button (literally!) for your visitors. Without Hot Jar, you most likely wouldn’t have known that to be the case – maybe you’d assume it to be the “Products” page. If the About Us section is where the bulk of your visitors are navigating, it’s logical to explore the conversion opportunity on this page and how you can improve the conversion rate.
Exploring the scroll-based Heatmap, you can see how far down your website pages that visitors scroll. With the explosion of devices that aren’t desktop computers or laptops, don’t assume that content placed below the fold is useless. Vested website visitors will carefully examine your entire website to explore and soak up as much content as you offer – especially if they’re in a position to progress through the Buyer’s Journey.
By using Heatmaps, you’ll discover the hot and cold points of your website, exposing opportunities to refine your website experience based on traffic and user patterns.
Understanding Website Experience through Website Recordings
My favorite feature on Hot Jar, bar none, is Recordings. With this option, you can watch full recordings of people who’ve navigated your website. (This is very similar to how you would watch people who share their screen.) You can see how and where people scroll, where they click, and their browsing patterns. You’ll be surprised by what you see and undoubtedly find many opportunities to tweak your website experience.
It should be noted: don’t make expansive changes without careful analysis from multiple visitors. If you notice a 404 error or a glaring error, of course that should quickly be fixed, but don’t make a big leap without identifying clearly defined patterns.
How to Embrace Marketing GDD
You don’t have to engage with Hot Jar to buy in to marketing-based GDD – you simply need to be aware. You know your website in and out, because you live in it, but does a brand new website visitor or potential lead, who’s just started exploring their question, problem, or need, know how to find the information your website provides? Are they enlightened and engaged with your website, or immediately turned off by their experience?
Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. If you don’t pace yourself from the beginning – if you sprint toward the finish line – you’ll be gassed out and recovering while everyone else passes you by. Marketing-based GDD is the same. Understand that marketing never stops – what worked last year may not have any sustainable impact today. To stay at the top of your industry, to be an industry leader, and to give your visitors the information and experience they deserve, marketing-based GDD is the way to excel.