Web Trends for 2015/2016
Over the last year we have seen some major changes in web design. A lot of it had to do with mobile friendly and responsive design. According to Smart Insights 48% of all web traffic starts at a search engine and over 51% of time online is done with a mobile device Vs. 47% on a desktop/laptop. In 2015 Google changed it algorithm to list mobile friendly sites higher than non-responsive or mobile friendly sites.
Full width Design
With the majority of web surfing coming from mobile devices like the tablets and smart phones a full width design will lend itself to a better viewing experience. Not only does it eliminate the need to scroll in and out to ready a side column but makes it easier to make sure the content you want the viewer to see first is front and center.
Almost Flat Design
If you look at sites like apple.com and facebook.com they have moved to the almost flat design. This is a clean design that manifests itself in a couple of ways. The almost flat design eliminated gradients, 3D effects, and rounded corners. Some will say it allows for faster page loads but I feel it is more about the simplistic design allowing the images and text stand out.
The Minimalist design is the next step from the full width design and almost flat designs. The key to the minimalist design is to make sure it is clear what the user is supposed to do. Do you want them to call you, sign up online? The design should walk the user through the experience if that is from getting information to buying or signing up.
With the cleaner look and feel of a website the Font and use of H1 tags is much more important. A good font can set the mood but needs to be balance with easy to read on all of the mobile devices. With the more extensive google algorithms it is important to use header tags. This with tell search engines which words are the titles and topics but will also be weighted higher as keywords.
- High Quality Images
With the Cleaner design the images tell the story. High quality images and backgrounds can have a relaxing therapeutic feel to a high energy fun feel or anything in between. With the average user spending 2.5 sec. before returning to the search page it is important to get their attention fast and let them know they are in the right place.
- Landing pages
With all of these trends it is very important to make sure you have specific landing pages for different purposes. These are going to be web pages that are not in your regular navigation but pages you will land on if they click the Facebook ad, find you from social media etc. they are specific based on a promotion, social media post or advertisement. For example if you have a social media post for people interested in learning to scuba dive if they click the link you want them to go to a page that will allow you to get their contact information in exchange for the info that they want.
Social Media Integration
The website needs to be the hub of all of your platforms. Your social media post should be posted from links to your website or blog. By posting in social media links to your site you will increase your traffic and your search rankings. Also, by posting new blogs shows the search engines your site is active and relevant, not to mention your blog posts will be full of key words people will be searching for. Don’t forget to make it easy for people to connect to your social media platforms.
Not a lot of people in the scuba world are using remarketing but it is a powerful tool and the rest of the world is using it. It is really very simple by putting a simple snippet of code on your site you can place targeting ads On Face Book or any sites using Google Absence for ad placement. For example if someone found your site but did not register for a class or book a charter they will see an add to come back and finish signing up maybe even offer them a discount to come back?
Make it Easy to Contact you
Long gone is the “contact us” page. Do not make it hard to find your contact info. Make sure there is a contact us form on every page along with your phone number. If you do a newsletter make sure it is easy to sign up.