As the year ends, many clients take a well-earned break to recharge the batteries for a new year, and I seem to be playing catch-up on several projects, some work, some family orientated and some cricket after sneeking a day in at the Hagley Pavilion in Christchurch yesterday for the NZ v Sri Lanka Cricket Test.
I thought I would take a look back at what has happened over the last 12 months and mention some things you might need to consider in 2019.
Google made mobile friendly websites a priority in 2018
In the first half of 2018, Google rolled out its new Mobile First Index, placing more importance on the mobile version of your website by making it the first to be seen in the search results. This means that your website must have mobile-friendly design. Most modern websites are built for this, but some older websites that aren’t mobile friendly will be losing ranking, so consider upgrading soon rlse it may affect your bottom line.
Brighter Colors and Bold Fonts
Modern design styles allow you to use a much wider array of fonts, both Google fonts and other traditional fonts, so you’ll need to look at type font that stands out. Bold fonts help users focus on your content, while the white space makes it easier to read and skim through. Together, they’re a perfect combination. Because people typically only spend a few seconds looking at your pages, you need to catch their attention quickly. Using colors and designs that stand out helps, but don’t overdo it! The aim is to provide your visitors with an easy and enjoyable experience so that they stay on your site for as long as possible and ideally convert into paying customers whether online or enquiring about your services.
These days you see websites with more and more animation – whether words or images moving, fading and sliding in and more. When used some of the best ideas are the scroll animation triggers which ask users to keep scrolling down your website pages often with down arrows or call to action buttons.
While much more is happening today too (I have a list below) some fundamentals never change, and if you have a website with an online store, or showcasing your services, just like your brick and mortar store if it gets old and shabby looking, less people visit.
For your website to work for you, you need to understand what your potential customers really want (not what you think they might want), you need to work on content marketing, paid advertisements, sales funnels, conversion optimization, search engine optimization, and much more, via social media channels and other means to drive people to your website, and then to do business with you..
Summary of what you need to think about having on your website today.
- WordPress is a great platform for self-managed websites, but if you are testing an idea a Wix website might be a cheap option to start with.
- Responsiveness – websites need to be mobile friendly
- Better imagery – make use of the free images to enhance your blogs, news and social media offerings.
- Video – even better is using video for your posts, in design as backgrounds, dividers, or as short product/service explainers
- Storytelling – this never goes away – your story helps make you appear professional and trustworthy
- Divide between Custom and DIY
- Flat Design (long-scrolling homepages)
- Landing pages – these are now huge for websites, or to promote specialist services, products or events
- Animation – to enhance visitor experience, not as a gimick.