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Inbound Marketing Blog

The Website Performance Hierarchy of Needs

the-website-performance-hierarchy-of-needs.jpg?noresizeAre your sales people sending you hate mail and tampering with your food in the lunchroom refrigerator because you’re not generating any leads? 

Have you been trying to avoid your boss out of fear that she’s going to have “the talk” with you regarding the horrible performance of the website?

Is your digital presence such a mess that you’re having anxiety attacks over where the hell you should start?

Take some deep cleansing breaths, light a candle, or do whatever else works for you to relax.  I’m going to lay out a framework that you can use to get a handle on your situation before you have to resort to using camouflaged face paint to blend in with the office plants so your boss doesn’t find your location.

MINDSCAPE is one of the first companies in the world to become certified in the Growth Driven Design approach to website development.  This approach helps maximize your investment, mitigate a majority of the risk associated with a website redevelopment project, and breaks you free from the traditional website development processes that are broken and cost you time and money.  There are 8 major areas you should analyze as you think through your website redesign.

Audience

The first element you’ll want to look at is your audience.  Are you attracting enough new visitors to your website, or is the majority of your web traffic existing customers and internal staff?  This is a critical element, especially when it comes to generating statistically relevant data to measure the effectiveness of the adjustments you’re making to your site.  It’s not the only element and needs to be looked at in context of the other areas because if you “turn on the faucet” for your traffic, and you’re driving those visitors to a bad experience, they may never return again.

Value

Once you’ve tackled the first obstacle and have a fresh flow of new visitors to your website, it’s time to look at the value you’re providing to those visitors.  This can certainly be the classic, “chicken or the egg” scenario, since you can’t truly expect to generate visitor demand to your site without the expectation of value once they arrive.  However, this is where you’ll want to evaluate how you can create valuable content that solves some challenge or pain point for your personas.. It’s important to note that creating a bunch of content talking about your company is not necessarily valuable, nor is simply the “promise” to alleviate the pain.

Usability

The combination of solid traffic and an intentional focus on creating value for your personas can be like a 1 + 1 = 4 equation as you begin to see your traffic growing at a rapid rate.  Now that you’ve got that under control, it’s important to review your website data and determine areas where visitors are having a difficult time finding what they need.  You’ll want to clear up any confusing navigation on your site, and make sure visitors can easily and efficiently complete the mission they arrived on your site to accomplish.

Conversion Rate Optimization

Now that you’re effectively meeting and walking alongside your personas on their buyer journey, it’s time to look at your data and determine if you have any points of friction in your funnel.  You should make small tweaks during this phase and run A/B tests to continuously improve the user experience.  By making these small changes you should begin to be rewarded with a higher conversion rate.

Stickiness

Your website provides an excellent opportunity to stay connected with your clients and continue to engage them long after the sale.  To do this effectively, you’ll need to make sure you give them a reason to return time and time again once the sale has been made and the products or services have been delivered.  What can you add to the website that compels your visitors to return time and time again? Is it a blog where you consistently create content that helps solve their problems, or is it a mobile app?  Be creative and make something your personas can’t live without!

Personalization

One of the most exciting things about evolving website technology is that it allows you to move beyond the classic “brochure style” website and deliver different content to visitors based on the behavior they’ve exhibited on your site.  Have they previously downloaded a piece of content meant to alleviate a specific pain point?  Why not address the visitor by name when they return to your site, acknowledge that they downloaded your content and offer them more content that digs a bit deeper into other pain they are dealing with?  Some may think this is creepy and a bit “big brother-ish.”  Although this may be true, I believe the most people will appreciate your willingness to serve them and the time you’ve taken to anticipate their needs.

Assets

The next step in the hierarchy is to actively identify tools, content, assessments and anything else that can assist your personas and provide it to them for free.  At this stage it’s important to create assets that are viewed as so valuable that your users would pay for them. 

Promoters

When you arrive at this step in the process, you’ll probably start to notice an increase in “referral” traffic within your analytics data.  This is the stage where you’ll want to make sure that the value you’re delivering can be shared far and wide by the personas you’re serving.  Including “share this,” “tweet this,” or even “email to a friend” calls to action around the content and assets you’re making available can help increase the number of active promotors of your company.  People feel compelled to help others who have helped them, and also love it when other people express gratitude for shedding light on a topic they’ve struggled with.  Make it easy for them to promote your organization!

I’d encourage you to print out this blog post as you begin to assess your digital presence and work through each step thoroughly before you move on to the next step.  I’ll be writing additional blog posts on each of these individual steps that will include things you should think about as you work through each step of the process.

But in the mean time, if you want to learn more about the Growth Driven approach to website design download our eBook!

Learn why traditional web design is broken! Click here for the FREE eBook

Topics: Strategy

Pete Brand

Written by Pete Brand

Pete is the CEO and Co-Founder of MINDSCAPE. His passion lies in Internet Marketing, building teams, and helping companies grow. When he's not working you can typically find him hanging out with his wife and five kids, hiking or backpacking through the beautiful outdoors or fanatically watching his favorite sports teams.

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