Despite best efforts, many companies aren’t successfully leveraging their digital platforms for growth and generating demand – and this includes their website.
Launching a new website is met with celebration and relief – it’s been a massive undertaking and everyone deserves recognition for the hard work they’ve put in. Hundreds of hours have been invested with large upfront costs. Most likely go-live is late and over budget. But the good news is that it's done, right? Not quite.
The problem with traditional web projects is that the results are unpredictable, and they are seen as exactly that – a project. Six months later, customer acquisition remains the same, job candidates are no better than before, the business isn’t growing faster – and worse, everyone has a different expectation about what should be happening, and the relative ROI.
These are the things you need to know before you start building your website, or investing further in your existing one. This is your plan to deliver results:
Your website is part of a much bigger picture
It’s always good when you’re embarking on something new to ask yourself why you are doing it, and what you expect the outcome to be. For B2B, your website is a core piece of your go-to-market strategy so it’s important to get all stakeholders involved early on. It forces everyone to sit around the table, debate competing objectives and work through any misalignment around the organization’s direction. Check for gaps in buyer research, or the go-to-market strategy itself. Watch out for opinions and internal perceptions that need to be validated with data to back them up. If you’re unsure whether you’ve ticked these boxes, ask people throughout the organization “how do we acquire customers?” If you’re not getting clear cut answers around personas, ideal customer profiles, analytics data and how the role of marketing, sales and other teams might vary based on these then you probably have some preliminary foundational work to do.
Expectations should be founded on reality
Once you’re aligned around where it is that you’re going, it’s really important to understand what part the website will play in that. Remember that your website is just one of many online (and offline) mechanisms to engage with the market - whether that be buyers, customers or potential employees. As such everyone needs to be aligned around purpose and what success looks like. In some cases, it will serve a vital role in booking meetings or acquiring new users (tech start-ups), while in other cases the value might come from validating offline interactions (professional service firms) or selling product (ecommerce). Regardless, it highlights the importance of mapping and understanding buyer journeys to make sure you understand how your buyers buy and how your various digital platforms connect into this journey. When the purpose of each is understood, any assessment of success is centred around that objective.
An agile framework is essential for managing delivery
Growth Driven Design is an agile framework that helps to ensure that your website is an investment that produces reliable month-over-month growth. Your website becomes stronger as you continue to measure, iterate and act. It starts with a Strategy phase as we have discussed above, and then moves to building a Launch Pad to get your site live before embarking on Continuous Improvement. The biggest mistake you can make is to try and build everything at once, or do so using the wrong tech stack. Start with the essentials and add to them over time. The benefit of focus is that you can do a much better job. If you need to create a careers section, put it into one of your monthly sprints and really understand what drives someone to take a job at your organisation and build a page that will make an impact, not just tick a box.
So what does this mean for you and your company?
What works for one company, can be a bitter failure for another. But when you get it right, your website is more than a competitive advantage. It’s your secret weapon. Adopting a framework like Growth Driven Design can help bring focus, increase alignment and deliver better returns on what is a significant investment.
Finally, don’t be afraid to innovate and experiment!
Need help building a new website or improving your existing website - check out our HubSpot website services.
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