What is Growth Driven Design?

Websites can become real conversion tools, reaching the right audiences and achieving business goals. But in order to do so, they have to be built in a smarter and more performant way. 

Until recently, most websites used to be considered simple, static brochures, with the unique goal of presenting the company. But a few years ago, a new concept was introduced to the world by HubSpot: Growth Driven Design (GDD) and it has been adopted since then by many marketers and agencies worldwide, ourselves included.

We have been using GDD principles in our work and have discovered that more than anything, it is a mindset. Once you have a growth driven way of thinking, every marketing activity (and not only your website) will become goal oriented, your strategies will be more focused and your resources will be better used. 

Basically, what GDD says is that a website becomes more performant when its building process is user-focused, fast, data driven and iterative.

Growth Driven Design is a process that will help you learn more about your audience, about their needs, about what strategies work and what you should give up and also about how to bring marketing and sales in the same boat. Thus, the risks of not bringing results, driven by traditional build websites is minimized as your website becomes part of a larger flow. 

Traditional way of building websitesGrowth Driven way of building websites
One-timeContinuous updates
Brochure-likeFocused on the user
RiskyReal ROI
UnilateralTrack & reply
Lengthy development processesFast & improved
Self standingIncluded in conversion flows

Here are the main steps of GDD that you should follow when building your website, as we see and understand them:

Defining your strategy

Your strategy is the bigger image, the basis you set before starting designing your website. At this point, you should:

1. Clarify your goals

First of all, your business goals should always be SMART (simple, measurable, achievable, realistic, time framed) and then your website’s goals. How will your website integrate in your flow of reaching those business objectives?

2. Define your buyer persona 

A clear definition of your buyer persona should include at least demographic details, information about their hobbies, interests and education 

3. Audit your website and formulate assumptions and a wishlist 

What works and what is broken in your flows? How will your website answer your customers’ needs? What do you want it to do?

4. Have a global and a page strategy 

Always think about your website as a whole, but keep an eye on the details. Every page is unique, as well as its role and you should image your visitors going through a journey when accessing your website

Launch Pad

At this point, you get more into details and start working on:

1. Your content 

Creating content that engages with readers and sells as well is not easy. You should balance the 2 purposes, knowing when to offer free content and when to upsale

2. Inbound tactics 

Inbound marketing is cheaper and more efficient than outbound marketing (for more about that, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing). It basically translates into creating content that is relevant for your audience and that they seek, and not just fishing for customers in an online ocean.

3. Your wireframe and user experience 

Your website has a specific architecture that gives it meaning. At this point, you will work with a designer, but always keep in mind the journey your user goes through and that it should be easy for them to understand what you do and how you can help them

4. Developing your website 

Actually putting all things together, constantly making sure you are brand aligned and you meet your customers’ needs. You can choose from various Content Management Systems, such as WordPress or HubSpot. This website, the Launch Pad, is not the final version, but it will help you collect data and feedback.

5. Tracking, data collection and automation 

You can only tell if your website is efficient if you measure your results. It is easier to do so by using tracking tools (such as HotJar, Google Analytics, Data Box, HubSpot) and automation tools. If you collect data from your users, don’t forget about privacy policies.

Continuous Improvement

One of the biggest differences between traditional and modern, growth driven websites, is continuous improvement. A website should be a living mechanism, always changing according to new business goals, to your audience’s feedback, integrating new tools and increasing the value it adds through content. At this point, it is important for any marketer to:

1. Measure & plan next steps

Constantly measure and evaluate results, performances and see what can be improved. Be open to learning and to sharing and getting insights from other departments from the company, such as the sales department. Prioritize what’s most important for you to optimize and decide what you are going to do next.

2. Adapt & build

Plan sprint cycles that allow you to make changes and build a better version of your website. By doing this regularly, you will never fall in the “brochure website” trap.

3. Nurture leads

Warm leads are easier to be turned into paying customers, but never ignore their journey. Find the best conversion flows for them and make sure to always keep an eye to their feedback

4. Discover and use new and better tools 

Project management, automation, user research, content planning become easier when you use the right tools. You can always opt for collaborators as well, as there are many freelancer platforms that can make your life easier. 

Hope this helps you better understand the Growth Driven Design!