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Defining An MVP Website: 3-Step MVP Approach

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Apply this 3-step MVP approach to a website design or redesign to get it up-and-running quickly and see results fast with a limited budget.

Tessa Burg, VP of UX & Technology Strategy
February 27, 2020

The purpose of building an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) website is to get it up-and-running quickly with a limited budget. If you’re unfamiliar with the importance of MVP or iterative development advantages, read more about them here.

An MVP approach enables you to collect feedback from your target audience. Sometimes even from internal stakeholders, such as sales associates and executive decision-makers. Once you have the information, you can easily incorporate it to future website optimizations.

Here are three key principles to apply when defining an MVP website to save time and see fast results.

Research & Gain Alignment Up Front

A key principle that leads to a successful MVP website is conducting customer research and persona development at the onset of the project. Even more important? Getting the internal marketing, sales and executive teams to agree on the persona, positioning, messaging and experience before the project begins. This will expedite the definition, design and launch of the MVP website.

For our client, Aquatherm, we followed this approach. It enabled us to define MVP, redesign, replatform and launch the website on schedule –in just 6 months.But if there’s a lack of alignment or uncertainty on an approach, rapid testing is a smart solution. It’s a fast, cost-efficient way to launch an MVP website, then test and validate expected performance. Here’s a great example of rapidly testing website messaging.

Case Study: A Four-Week Test To Improve Lifetime Value

Use SEO To Guide User Experience

SEO increases search engine rankings and visibility of a website. But rather than driving a large quantity of website traffic, it’s more beneficial to focus on driving high-quality traffic that’s most likely to convert.

The way to do that is by figuring out the intent behind a person’s search query through keyword research. Those learnings can then be applied to the user experience. A customer-first website built around a user’s needs will do a better job of reaching, engaging and converting –keys to business growth.

We recently used this approach to define MVP and redesign an online experience for Nestlé Professional. Combining SEO and UX resulted in a Position Zero ranking and 82% higher organic conversion rate. Check out the full case study below.

Case Study: Capturing Leads by Proving Content Value in an Oversaturated Space

Apply MPV Principles To Full Website Redesigns

By definition, an MVP website has only enough features to satisfy early adopters. However, I’ve found that it’s beneficial to apply the MVP principles I learned and used as a software product manager to full website redesigns.

While the homepage on most sites receives less than 25% of total traffic, it’s often, the most important to internal stakeholders.That’s because it shows the organization and onsite experience on a single page.

For our client, Aquatherm, we followed this MVP approach and initially developed only the homepage and three key product pages. It took three months of back-and-forth collaboration to gain stakeholder approval of the sitemap, design and experience for just those four pages.

The heavy-lifting upfront paid off. Because we were then able to quickly develop the remaining 100 pages –in just another three months.

*****

When you apply an MVP approach to a full website redesign, you can quickly launch fundamental SEO-and UX-optimized pages. You’ll start seeing results like more traffic, higher engagement and improved conversion in just months, rather than waiting for full-site completion.

Follow these fundamentals to avoid the pitfalls and enjoy the benefits that come with defining and developing an MVP website as part of your marketing plan.

Tessa combines her marketing and software product management experience with agile principles to execute Tenlo’s rapid marketing testing, which focuses on identifying and forecasting clients' most effective experiences and sales channels for scaling successful products or launching innovation.

Tessa Burg, VP of UX & Technology Strategy

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