What is Growth Driven Design?

Is your website working for you? Or does it just look pretty? In this introduction to Growth Driven Design, we will review the framework that can transform your website into a living ambassador for your company. If you want to grow your site into your hardest working sales asset — efficient, continuous improvement is the key.

What is Growth Driven Design (GDD)?

GDD is a framework used within the HubSpot CRM software to prioritize continuous improvements to an existing website. These steps are laid out in order of importance to help ensure that your efforts are always rewarded with high traffic and fresh new sales leads.

The Growth Driven Design framework:

1) Audience

2) Value

3) Usability

4) Conversion Rate Optimization

5) Stickiness

6) Personalization

7) Assets

8) Promoters

This framework is used to review the buyer’s journey that you’ve built for your users.

The goal of using Growth Driven Design is to bring your website in-line with the best practices of the day. The good news is that by following these guidelines, you will be able to point to your site proudly as an example of doing everything right.

The GDD model is based upon the idea of first building a website with a minimum viable design to meet the needs of your audience. We call this a “launch pad website.” Following the initial website going live, the launch pad site is then optimized and further built-out month-over-month using the continuous improvement framework.

Continuous Improvement: Plan - Build - Learn - Transfer

Let’s begin.


The primary focus for any website (launchpad or legacy) should first be to focus on growing your audience of unique visitors month over month. This volume of traffic is necessary for optimization, the main principle of Inbound Marketing, to come into effect.

All decisions should be based on evidence-based metrics (i.e. page views, CTA click-through-rate, form conversion rate, new leads etc.). And we need to have enough traffic to draw meaningful conclusions.

Whenever possible, use A/B test variations of landing pages, CTAs, forms, and targeted content to determine what your audience is seeking most. The detailed report of traffic (by source) for the previous year can serve as your baseline when setting traffic goals for the year ahead.


The value stage of the GDD model speaks to the immediate value that your site provides a new (or returning) visitor. After we attract a visitor through SEO, email campaigns, social media, or ads we need to ensure that our site is delivering real value.

The immediate value of our site content will affect our bounce rate, and determine if the visitor clicks beyond the first page they land on. In order to audit this portion of the buyer’s journey, we will need to adopt the roles of our buyer personas and see if we can quickly locate the information that each visitor would want.

Using your homepage as an example, follow a short thought-experiment on the most likely first impression each of your buyer personas would have of your website upon arrival. Are they happy? Did your site meet their expectations? How could you make the journey better for each of them?

For example, a CEO/Owner/Partner buyer persona might expect to find:

  • Tips on how an organization can retain the revenue from its current customers
  • How a company can grow revenue from its current customers
  • Proven methods to gain revenue through new customers 
  • Easy to use sharing modules to pass the assets/offers that he/she finds along to his/her team to follow-up on and report back with their findings.


When you attract a new visitor to come to your site for the first time, the Site Navigation bar is likely going to be the first interactive element that the visitor notices. Traditional navigation bars follow a standard convention such as: Home, About Us, Services, Blog, Contact.

However, the navigation bar can be used to reverse engineer a website by organizing content around the buyer persona’s needs that your business can remedy. Always think of the visitor, remind yourself why they came to your site, and cator the website to their need for information — not yours.

Conversion Rate Optimization 

If you need to increase your conversion rate, (new visitors to leads) you may need to re-imagine how you have staged your content. Consider removing any unnecessary barriers (i.e. mandatory form fields) in order to meet your conversion goals. Or alternatively, profile the person (i.e. persona, challenges, company, budget, etc.) before you ask them for their name, email, and phone number.

Benchmark Conversion Targets:

Benchmark conversion targets



The goal of this GDD stage is to re-assure them that their request has been received and then keep the contact engaged in your site. Give them a reason to stick around and learn more about your business. Let these great leads know how happy you are that they are exploring your site. And, if applicable, point them in the direction of something else (a new offer or resource) they may be interested in based on the information that you have collected so far.


Now, this is where things get personal. At this stage in the GDD framework, it is advisable to start dripping out some of that information that you have gathered.

Personalization can be as simple as populating the contact’s first name in an automated follow-up email when they download an offer. Or it can be as granular as displaying revolving, smart content that will coincide with their professional role (i.e., CEO) or country, device type, the previous page they viewed, their preferred language, lifecycle stage, or any other custom criteria (i.e., smart lists).

HubSpot Smart CTA Options


The offers (i.e., eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, etc.), quoting tools, and trial demos are the assets that encourage a visitor to engage with your site and exchange their personal information for your helpful information. Offers are important because they are the resources that educate the prospect about your industry and the solutions that your business can provide.

It is assumed that your launch pad website will have at least one good asset to start. This purpose of this stage of the GDD process is to review your assets periodically and ask yourself if an asset can be improved upon? Adding more value to your assets will keep your contacts coming back for more.


The ultimate goal and final stage of the GDD process is to delight your customers.

The hard work of making your customers happy is never done. But, delighting your existing customers is well worth the investment. The more information you can gather about a customer’s needs, the better able you are to up-sell and cross-sell to them. Most importantly, happy customers will promote your business for you.

The GDD framework is a powerful tool for measured business growth by design. If you would like to learn more, we would be delighted to talk to you.