Digital marketing has changed, but one thing will probably always remain the same: your website is the most important marketing property your brand has.
Everything should flow through your website, because your website is where you inform, educate, and engage your potential customers. Even with the advent of apps and social media platforms, people still make most of their decisions after visiting a brand’s website. And that’s not likely to change.
For that reason, you need top-notch website design – and how you get that will change in 2018. This year, there will be several trends you’ll have to incorporate into your web design if you want to maximize your ROI.
Here is what website design will look like in 2018.
Mobile-Friendly Design Will Be More Important than Ever
Having a website that is mobile-friendly has been very important over the past decade, but it’s arguably more important now than ever.
Almost 44% of all online traffic is generated from mobile devices (this is a global figure; in the United States a majority of online traffic comes from mobile). And according to socPub, 57% of users surveyed said they won’t recommend a company to someone if their website isn’t mobile-friendly.
For those reasons, your website has to be adaptable for mobile use. If it looks terrible on a phone, it’ll turn people away – it’s that simple.
Does this mean you need to create a mobile website? No – you just need a responsive website that looks as good on a mobile device as it does on a desktop or laptop.
If you needed another reason to go mobile-friendly, just ask Google. According to several industry sources, Google could roll out a mobile-first index this year. A mobile-first index looks at mobile content first, and displays that content in search – even if the user is viewing from a non-mobile device.
The practical consideration of this is that mobile-friendly websites will eventually outrank non-mobile-friendly websites. So, not having a responsive website could make your organic search rankings drop by the end of 2018 – if not sooner.
Landing Page Formats Are Changing
Landing pages – pages that are designed solely to convert traffic into action – are essential. They’re crucial for turning website traffic into meaningful action, whether you want people to give you their email address, download something, fill out a contact form, call you, or buy something from your store.
Every advertising campaign should have a dedicated landing page for it. A good landing page can drive conversions – in fact, a landing page is better at driving conversions than anything else. But what’s the best format for a landing page in 2018?
Landing pages will become more streamlined and simplistic. We also think people will start using more long-form landing pages in which there is more content on the page, not less. Instead of lots of white space, expect bold, vibrant colors and a clever use of gradients to make them visually appealing.
Also, big images and even animations or background video can also add to the experience, and you’ll see more of that in 2018.
Animation Is Back
If you’re old enough, you may remember how people went a bit overboard with animations back when the Internet was still young. But those animations were not only overdone, they were also clunky, and they slowed down a website’s loading speed – which was terrible for a 56k connection.
Now, though, animations are back. They’re being designed in such a way that they aren’t distracting or overdone, and they’re not clunky and slow, either. Rather, animating parts of your website – whether it’s a full-scale background video, a background particle board animation, or just buttons that wiggle a bit when you hover over them and click – can make your website more immersive and appealing.
Just make sure the animation or video adds something to the design. It can’t be distracting or “too much.” If you find yourself looking away, chances are it’s a bad addition and should be changed.
Interactivity Will Be Huge in 2018
Finally, websites are becoming more interactive, and that’s always a good thing.
There are different levels of interactivity. You can, for example, add a tutorial, or a quiz, or a clickable video to your site. That’s interactive.
Or, you can go to the other end of the spectrum and make your website into more of a guide than a traditional website. For example, if you’re looking for a digital marketing agency, instead of having a traditional home page, you go to a screen that asks you questions to determine what information you need. You are then taken immediately to that page, where there may be another prompt to ask even more questions and give you information you really need.
No matter how you do it, making a website interactive will give your brand an edge in 2018 because most websites are non-interactive by default. People just aren’t really designing most business websites that way, and it’s a shame.
The more interactive your website is, the more engagement you’ll generate – and the more conversions you’ll receive.
Designing the Ideal Website
There are proven principles to website design that never change. And then there are trends that emerge that transform how people build sites and how these sites interact with other parts of a company’s digital marketing ecosystem.
A professional website design team can help you translate your brand message into a visual medium like a website and build you a true nerve center for your digital marketing strategy. From the look and feel to the structure and function, guidance from professionals is needed if you want professional results.
Contact our team if you want a free website design consultation. We’ve built more websites than we can remember and we have learned something valuable from each project, so that the next project is that much better. We’re ready to help you in 2018 and beyond.
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