A business website is not an office building. This seems a fairly obvious statement, yet the majority of business websites are envisioned, developed, designed and used as if they were made out of brick and mortar.
The conventional web development process is just like making an office building:
- There is lengthy and detailed planning and wireframing process, just like an architect creates blueprints according to business requirements and specs..
- The actual construction process spends months (and capital) as developers and designers work with the business to ensure that every little detail is just right.
- On the appointed day, many months after the project began, the website "opens its doors" for business by going live, and the company can only hope that people will show up.
Stop thinking of your business website as an office building. The "building" paradigm of web development is overly expensive, tedious and unnecessary, because it rests on a foundation of false restrictions. Websites are not buildings fixed in space, restricted by the laws of physics and material expense.
Start thinking about your business website as a process
Like any other process in your business, it can be assessed, measured, defined, refined and optimized. Most importantly, it is ongoing and flexible.
Does your current website perform like you want it to? Does it generate a steady flow of qualified leads? If your site is generating few or no leads you don't necessarily need to demolish it and rebuild; after all, your business website is not a building, it is a process.
1. Why Is Your Site Not Performing?
The first action is to assess why your site is not performing.
Answer the basic questions like:
- Is the content on the website providing the answers that my visitors are seeking?
- Is there a clear call to action?
- Is the site easy to read and navigate?
- Is the site attracting a sufficiently steady flow of traffic?
2. Experiment and Make Changes
The answers to these questions will enable you to build and test simple IF-THEN hypotheses. For example:
IF we move the primary call-to-action from the bottom of the page to the top right corner, THEN we think that we will generate 10 more leads per month.
Test the hypothesis for a month. If it is successful, keep it and move onto the next hypothesis, continually improving the process that is your business website.
This paradigm shift from websites-as-buildings to websites-as-processes is core to the web design movement known as Growth Driven Design, a practice central to our web design company in OKC.