As 2017 begins, a host of new web design trends appeared. As with any year, website look and feel trends come and go. There are, however, several functional trends that are necessary for a website design to be at ultimate effectiveness in the new year. Here are four points to consider when planning a re-design of your website.
Design for Mobile Devices
The number one web design trend is designing for Mobile devices. We live in a world in which mobile devices are commonplace. Both smartphones and tablets are so ingrained in modern culture that they have become indispensable tools for accessing the internet. Because of this, having a mobile-friendly website is no longer an option; it is important if you want to survive in business. To understand how important a mobile-responsive website is, consider these statistics:
- 80% of internet users own a smartphone. (Smart Insights)
- 48% of consumers start mobile research with a search engine. (Smart Insights)
- 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead. (MicKinsey & Company)
- 57% of users say they will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. (CMS Report)
The mobile web design also impacts the site’s rankings in the Search engines. In late 2016, Google implemented their “mobile first index” in which Google ranks mobile sites higher in the results than non-mobile sites. Most importantly, Google now crawls your website as a mobile user. If your website is not mobile-friendly Google will downgrade the site’s pages, and therefore the site’s rankings in its search results.
Design for Search
Next, it is important to design the website so that the Search Engines will rank its pages highly. As we pointed out earlier, almost half of all mobile users start their research for products on a search engine. Because of that, you want to make sure your website ranks among the top sites listed.
Page rank cannot be achieved just by stuffing the page with keywords in the copy. Now Google and other search engines analyze a wide range of components to determine page rank. In addition to keywords, Google measures how long people stay on your site and which of your other pages they visit. If the visitors stay on your site for a significant amount of time, Google ranks the pages more highly.
Also, a site must be optimized for voice search. According to a Global Web Index Study, one-in-five mobile users rely on voice search to find information. When optimizing, realize that voice searches are different than typed searches. When people conduct voice searches, they tend to have longer queries that use more complex phrases as opposed to entering single keywords in a search engine.
Design for Customer Interaction
According to Forbes, the days of just sending out ads are over. Consumers now want to be engaged with the companies and the products they love; they are demanding authenticity and transparency when evaluating products and services.
Authenticity and transparency show up in several ways including communicating directly with visitors, being open about your business and processes and showing that you care about the community and the people rather than just making a buck. Two methods that work well to achieve this are niche content and live-streaming video.
Niche content is the act of creating content that speaks to a particular niche market. Niche content can be created to appeal to a particular industry, a subset of companies, a department, or even a specific job description. Creating content this way can result in more qualified leads, higher SEO rankings and stronger word of mouth marketing.
Live video is an up-and-coming web design trend that deeply engages potential customers. Consumers are demanding more intimate connections with companies, and one of the best methods for making that connection is to let them see inside the company through live-streaming video. In 2016 several apps were introduced that allowed users to produce live video using a smartphone. Everything from product introductions to Q&A sessions can now be broadcast live and can include questions from the viewers. These close connections with the audience through live video can build preference for your brand through open transparency and connection.
Design for Data Gathering
The final web design trend is an emphasis on data-gathering. Data-driven marketing is essential for businesses to ensure that they can identify the strategies and campaigns that have been the most successful to determine the potential ROI of impending campaigns.
The main challenge with data-driven marketing today is that there are a lot of data available. Choosing the most important data to analyze and not wasting time on the unimportant metrics is critical in order to bring the most benefits. For this reason, businesses need to ensure that a strategic approach to data is adopted. Marketers need to create a single, complete, actionable and flexible view of their customers and prospects and then deliver this view to the web designers to set up data-gathering opportunities on the website. Everything can be measured, from the visitor’s click-path through the website to the campaigns that drew them to the website in the first place. By recording and then analyzing the data good marketing campaigns can be developed and launched in the future.
To summarize, the web design trends for 2017 have changed significantly from previous years. A good design covers designing for mobile devices, search engines, customer interaction, and data-gathering. With this total holistic view of web design in place, the site can draw in and convert qualified prospects into clients.
If you would like to learn more about the importance of website design, download KEO Marketing’s free Marketer’s Guide titled “Four Keys to Website Design in 2017”. If you would like to discuss your web design needs immediately, talk with one of KEO Marketing’s experts. Contact KEO Marketing or call us at 888-702-0679.