website design and development

Why It’s Time To Rethink Your Website Design Strategy

In a recent blog, we introduced you to Growth-Driven Design (GDD).

While we hope we did a pretty good job at educating you on what this means for website design, we feel it’s necessary to do a deeper dive into what a GDD retainer agreement should look like. This way, before you jump into conversations with agencies about redesigning your website, you have a strong understanding about this new design approach.



In the past, if you were to go to a marketing or design agency with a website design need, you could expect a careful analysis of your existing website that would include a pretty remarkable strategy with an estimate of roughly $30,000 (or more). Now, if you are a small business carefully evaluating your marketing budget (because every penny counts even if/when your budget is bold), not only is this a hefty sum, but you’re essentially locked into the new design for a few years. On average, most companies won’t readdress site design for at least two years after the launch of a website. And unless your website firm provides you with a plan for ongoing analysis, consulting, and enhancement, that design can hold a business prisoner. And based on the majority of websites we see in our daily online travels coupled with the horror stories our clients have told us about prior website agency experiences, we’re pretty darn sure most website designers aren’t offering an ongoing improvement plan after launch (it’s just our hunch and we’re feeling pretty confident about it).

Now let’s consider a Growth-Driven Design website retainer.

A typical GDD retainer averages between $2k and $5k per month and depending on your needs and contract length (usually around 12 months). I can feel you doing the math in your head - yep, it’s true - GDD doesn’t necessarily cost less than a traditional website design. (Alright hesitation, I see you creeping in - just keep reading.) So why does it make so much sense to use the GDD approach? Because the risk you take on with a traditional redesign is certain and significant and the outcome produces only a fraction of the ROI a GDD website delivers. In the long run, you’re avoiding the risks that a traditional website imposes:

  • Up-front cost/cash investment
  • Time lost (and the opportunity cost associated with that lost time)
  • Incorrectly scoped project going over budget unexpectedly
  • No guarantees on website ROI or performance because it’s not based on data
  • Low likelihood of updating the site for at least two years (and we all know two years might as well be 20 in the world of marketing and technology). You’re just an audience of one, and you’re assumptions about what your prospects want could likely be wrong.


Now you’re asking yourself some super valid questions: What does a GDD engagement look like? What are the benefits? Is it the right decision for my project?  Let’s break down GDD down:

1. Focus Is On The User

Growth-Driven Design is all about fully focusing on the user, as opposed to traditional design which often launches a hypothesis based solely on historical & limited qualitative data from previous customers. GDD is also data driven, which means you are able to look at heat mapping analyses, CTA conversion rates, Google Analytics, data analyses, etc. to justify the decision making process for a better design to focus on. With this data knowledge, you can incrementally implement design changes over time, and learn exactly what your users are receptive to or what simply doesn’t work. Using this analysis you can enhance the website purposefully and productively.

Growth-Driven Design follows a strategic path that revolves solely around the prospect (what they want from your website but also how their activity is making your business/sales/marketing stronger). When you give prospects a website that solves their needs in a manner that is easy for them to navigate, you WILL land more clients - thus justifying the investment made in the website. For each monthly payment, you’ll begin to see corresponding results like better lead conversions, and better cash flow management with a lower upfront cost. With a traditional redesign project, what happens more often than not is you pay the full price of a website in one or two payments only to find out once the site launches that your website isn’t performing/converting any better than before, or even worse, you see declining performing. Ouch.

2. Website Retainers - Growth-Driven Design Saves You Time

The average website project is 3 months, about a quarter of your year working on a web design project that may or may not benefit you in the long run. This is precious time people!! Three months could be spent in other valuable areas of business. Why take time away from your current customers and high-value prospects when you could implement growth driven design and devote a website that focus on them (and converting them!)? Your goal is to offer the best user experience that will drive sales, not create websites that look pretty. A website can and should be a powerful sales tool and a redesign that doesn’t leverage that opportunity isn’t worth pursuing.

3. Seize Every Opportunity

Some clients believe that a retainer agreement is the equivalent to giving full power to an agency and relinquishing their say in the process.

Think again! The opportunities are endless with Growth-Driven Design and a collaboration between teams is encouraged.New ideas from the design team or from the client can be instantly implemented after of course, quick impact/ROI analysis is conducted. With traditional redesign, a new idea can often mean shaving to start from square one,pitching and quoting the concept (or adjusting the timeline to accommodate). Companies constantly have new ideas, offers, services, messaging and design needs so it only makes sense to redesign the site in a way that allows for all these ongoing ideas!  

4. Avoid Surprises

There’s one main rule for people in horror movies: don’t split up the group. Anyone who's seen a classic horror movie can unarguably agree with me on that one. So why do we always act surprised when something terribly wrong happens the minute the group goes off in their own directions?

With growth driven design, you never have to worry about any surprises and you’ll never have to split from the group who is helping you build your masterpiece. You always know exactly what your web design budget looks like ahead of time, and you can rest assured that there will be no extra costs that will be weaseled in. Going over-budget is just not an option.

Growth-Driven Design is a new idea invented to address the growing antiquation of modern website design philosophy. The world of marketing and consumers has changed drastically, and website design needs to adapt to help businesses keep pace with this era of momentous marketing change and opportunity. GDD is refreshing and just plain logical (like why didn’t we all think of this five years ago???). But with any new concept, there’s lots to digest and you’ll probably have more questions. Now that GDD is on everyone’s radar, it’s only a matter of time before it takes over- get one step ahead of your competitors and start thinking about how GDD could work for your redesign. Schedule a 30 minute discussion about Growth Driven Design with us today and we’ll help you figure out the best next steps you can take towards a website that actually produces ROI.

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Topics:   website design and development