Blog post

How to Create a Genius Website

By Nicole Greene | December 03, 2019 | 3 Comments

MarketingContent Marketing and ManagementCustomer Acquisition and RetentionCustomer ExperienceDigital Marketing Strategy and ExecutionMarketing Leadership and Strategy

Do you remember life before websites?

If you’re under 30 years old, probably not. The first web page went live on August 6, 1991. It was dedicated to information on the World Wide Web project and was made by Tim Berners-Lee. The role of websites continues to evolve, now influenced by search, voice, AI and a myriad of other emerging technology. Today, websites need to meet the needs of consumers, wherever they are on their journey, before they may even understand what those explicit needs are.

How can your site keep pace?

From customer experience and content to data and technology, there are several factors brands must stay on top of to ensure their website is performing and meets the needs of their customers and the business. Focus your website design and maintenance efforts in a way that enables you to both align to customer needs and achieve your business objectives. This includes having insights on:

  • How to understand the extent of your website redesign project and the resources you need
  • How to prioritize your website efforts around the needs of the customer
  • How to optimize your website content to be seen and relevant
  • How to ensure that you have the data and technology in place to measure results and scale


Websites comprise 11.7% of 2019 marketing budgets, according to Gartner’s 2019-2020 CMO Spend Survey. Additionally, 70% of consumers feel a brand’s website is the most influential channel when it comes to making purchasing decisions.

However, budget spend isn’t enough to produce optimal results. The Gartner L2 Digital IQ Index provides sector-specific research against which brands can benchmark their digital performance relative to industry competitors. When you apply these data point across industries, patterns emerge that differentiate Genius websites from their competitors.

How do you get to Genius?

Gartner has identified four levels of website progression to help move your website forward.

Here are the common pitfalls brands face when tackling the challenge of designing (or redesigning) a website, and how Genius brands avoid them:

  • The website fails to meet business objectives due to insufficient resources or poor planning. In fact, approximately 80% of website redesign projects are started by newly hired marketers who replaced predecessors responsible for failed website redesign projects, according to an Intechnic survey.
    • To avoid this: Gain executive and key stakeholder buy-in before you begin.
  • The website is designed to be product-centric or company-centric, rather than customer-centric.
    • To avoid this: Focus on how the site can help prospects and customers accomplish their goals.
  • Web content is treated like a one-time project.
    • To avoid this: Continually optimize website content to support every stage of the customer journey.
  • Marketing leaders fail to sync their website with the right analytics and martech features for their business objectives.
    • To avoid this: Understand the capabilities necessary to support your team and your multichannel marketing approach.

How is your site performing today? What steps do you need to take to get to Genius? Gartner clients can access the full research here: Website Success Guide: How to Plan, Launch and Maintain a Customer-Centric Website That Drives Business

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

Leave a Comment


  • Coding P says:

    Great Article Nicole,

    I still remember those 90’s websites when flash was the thing! Website design has definitely come a long way! Now Genius creates Genius websites.

  • Dibakar Bala says:

    I’ve been working in the digital marketing industry for the past 3 years. Yet, I’ve never worked read an article which has actually integrated real life marketing data with website development. Only Gartner can do such things. Mind Blowing Content Piece.

  • Nice article. All valid points. Yes, I have seen many times while working on the redesign website projects stakeholder doesn’t know where to start & doesn’t have a clear vision. The website must be customer centric; study your buyer persona & arrange the information in such a way that you are holding their hand to guide them in buying journey.
    Excellent approach for someone who is planning for the website design or redesign.