While new web design trends come and go every year, we shouldn’t rely on aesthetics alone to make our marketing decisions. Over the holidays, I watched a number of videos on Elon Musk as he talked about a First Principle Approach. This first principle concept (see wiki here) was initially created for math, physics and science, but there’s no reason why it can’t be applied to the web as well..
What are the first principles for a website?
- Fast Loading
- Easy to use
- Works on all devices
- Safe for people to visit
- You are found for relevant terms
- Engages your users
Make your website load fast
Make your website work on all Devices, not just Mobile
Google will be updating their algorithms once again to take into further account the mobile friendliness, responsiveness and accessibility of websites that appear in search results. Make sure your site complies and works just as well on a desktop computer as it does on a phone. The rise in the use of 4K resolutions will also have an impact, so make sure your site works great big and small.
Make sure your website is safe for people to visit
If you run a WordPess site, always, make sure it’s up-to-date, backed up and locked down with strong passwords for any site administrators.
The same goes for most open source CMS platforms - Drupal, Joomla and more.
Seriously consider using an HTTPS protocol /SSL certificate instead of the older, traditional HTTP. Especially if you’re collecting user data, like emails, phone numbers and especially credit card information.
Another benefit of using HTTPS is that as of January 2017, Google announced that any HTTPS website would be boosted higher up in search rankings, so there’s an added SEO benefit here as well.
Insecure HTTP is on its way out, and now's the time to make the move to HTTPS. Do you have any questions about HTTPS? Contact us and we’ll help guide you in the right direction.
Get found for the terms your customers are searching for
What good is your website if nobody can find you?
Researching, applying and testing relevant keyword terms, ensuring metadata is up to date and populating your page titles, content, image tags, anchor (link) titles and urls with proper keywords can greatly increase the chances of you appearing higher in search results.
But be prepared, this process requires constant attention and adjustment. As trends emerge and change, so do the search terms people use to find things online. Staying ahead of the game is imperative.
Engage with your customers via your website
Just having a website isn’t good enough these days.
If you’re not engaging your users once they are on your website, they are essentially just peeking their head in the door and leaving abruptly. In the retail world this problem would be easy to spot, but online it’s not, unless you are paying close attention to your Google Analytics which can help you learn where people are coming from, what pages they’re landing on and which pages they’re leaving from.
Regularly schedule and publish blog posts that demonstrate your expertise in your field to keep visitors coming back.
Including easily visible and relevant calls to action in the right places on your website can direct potential customers to your services and products or even encourage them to contact you directly.
Email newsletters are still a relevant method to interact with your customers. Content creation and regular distribution can keep your existing and potential customers coming back to you instead of a competitor and build up a following to promote to.
Despite everything you will read on website trends for 2018, remember the first principle approach for your web strategy. If you need help with this, get in touch with us and we can discuss your needs further. If you want to get motivated go watch what Elon Musk is doing.
Happy New Year!