A question that many business owners ask when discussing a new website build with a design and development agency when they are creating a new website, or redesigning their existing one is:
"How many pages should I build?"
The thing is, every business is different. To drive the most traffic to your website, you should be adding new, high-quality pages and content on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis.
Your website should grow as your business does. It should never be ‘finished’ at a certain size or number of web pages.
However, in order to put yourself in a position where you are able to grow a website over a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis, you do need a launchpad website.
A launchpad website means that you quickly build a website that looks and performs better then what you have today, but is not a final product but in fact a foundation on which to build and optimise from.
This launchpad website consists of your current high-performing pages - or if you are starting a new build, what you believe your highest-performing pages will be.
"Why only build a launchpad?"
Well, as a general rule of thumb, 80% of your website traffic comes from 20% of your website.
Read that again - 80% of your website traffic comes from 20% of your website.
This 20% of your website refers to your highest-value and most important pages, i.e. the pages that drive the most website activity and you can't afford to lose. It's these pages that you should use to create your launchpad website - the most strategically-effective website you can launch with in the shortest period of time. Once it is live, you enter the process of building it out over those weeks, months and quarters.
This process is called Growth-Driven Design (GDD).
"But why would I not just re-create my entire 60-page website?"
When it comes to website design and redesign, many companies want to go live with a complete version of their website but in most instances do not have the time nor expertise to maintain the website on a regular basis.
Also, it's important to appreciate that traditional website builds usually take a long time - and are often out of date by the time they go live and as a result, are rebuilt 12 months later because they are not performing as expected or hoped.
But by using the Growth-Driven Design method of building a website, you remove the danger of a website taking six to eight months to build.
GDD websites act more like a car lease (yes, you own the site). By leasing your website, you avoid the large upfront costs associated with traditional design and instead pay one smaller downpayment and then a series of monthly fees to have someone manage it for you. With this approach, you spread the cost of the build, have an effective website up and running in no time at all (within 13 weeks), and benefit from the expertise of a growth consultancy managing your website.
And it doesn’t stop there. Having launched your website, you can then move into the process of continuous development and look to improve it every month. You analyse its performance, and grow it using live data. You also agree with your consultancy to add new pages on a regular basis, further growing your website and increasing your chances to rank for specific keywords related to your business' service offering.
So going back to the original question;
"How many pages should I build?"
Try to think of your website as something that grows over time and improves, not something that is complete and finished. Your website should always be growing and include new content and educational material for your audience. Growth-Driven Design gives you greater control over how your website develops and allows you to have an active role in the design process.
After all, it is your website - right?