Due to Covid-19 the implementation of proper web design is more crucial than ever. With the current and established shift to mobile device domination, the webspace, and new technology offerings are greater options for content and accessibility. Going forward, none of this will change, but rather, the digital marketplace will only continue to expand.
Your website represents so much of your brand, and there is a very high likelihood that someone’s first or second interaction with your brand will come from interacting with your site. This is a hub for everything you offer and acts as a portal to your entire brand. Your site provides a way to deliver your brand image, information about what you offer, can be a host for valued content, and contain methods of connection and interaction with your target audience.
In 2020, the technological landscape is ever-evolving, and you need to be able to stay current and relevant as you move into the next decade. Whether you are getting ready to launch your web presence, or are redesigning to stay fresh, how can you make the most of what a website can offer you, and what are some mistakes to try to avoid going forward?
1. Not Being Optimized for Mobile
Responsive mobile design is incredibly important, and its value will only continue to rise in 2020. Mobile usage has officially surpassed desktop usage, and there are now over 3.9 billion mobile users worldwide. Making sure that your website can function effectively and efficiently on mobile devices is now a vital consideration of any web presence. If you are launching your web presence and still do not have a mobile-friendly website experience, this needs to be a priority for the coming decade. When choosing a website design company, make sure to choose one that can accommodate all your needs.
Users are drawn to optimal experiences, and they will be looking for the best one they can find. If you lag behind the mobile curve, you will fall behind your competitors. So much of your web success now relies on referrals, reviews, and recommendations. Don’t let mobile incompatibility be a reason to keep you from user endorsement.
Responsive design allows your website to adapt it’s display and presentation to varying devices and displays. Visually fitting on different screens and maintaining accessibility and ease of use will be necessary for the current mobile-driven market.
Mobile-friendly design is good. It’s about offering a presentation that does not significantly change based on the device that is used to view it. The functions of a mobile-friendly page will remain the same across devices. The difference between mobile friendly and mobile optimized is that mobile optimization is built around dynamic content that adapts according to the device used, by accommodating spacing issues and presenting images depending on display limitations. One really important consideration is that Google’s latest algorithms rank mobile sites higher than desktop sites in how they calculate SEO rankings. Google now indexes websites on their mobile version rather than their desktop counterparts.
2. Outdated Plugins
In your design phase, there are many free or purchased plugins and themes available to use in presenting your content. As apps and functions change and develop along with technology, so will plugins that allow for them to function properly. These plugins require continuous updates and maintenance to operate correctly and to mitigate security risks. As time goes on, many developers will have to move on from supporting and updating many of these plugins and tools. If you are using these past them being supported and updated, you will be at a risk of new hacking developments and be exposing your site to key vulnerabilities,
Make sure you have updated to a CMS protocol format to ensure that you can keep your site updated and to mitigate potential vulnerabilities in 2020.
3. Slow Loading Times
If your website runs slowly or your content won’t load in a timely manner you will see your bounce rates skyrocket. As new developments in technology emerge, and new apps and presentation features become available, the technical requirements and strain of your website will increase. If you fail to make sure that all of your content is readily consumable, you will lose the interest of your viewers, and they will move on to another option. People aren’t patient with what they consume online, and frankly, with all of the options available to them now, they don’t have to be.
Be mindful of file sizes and formatting options. When you upload an image, you need to format it correctly to limit file sizes as larger files will negatively affect your site’s loading speed.
Anything slower than 3 seconds will significantly damage your site views and conversions overall. Google says that 53% of mobile site traffic will bounce from a page that pushes past this 3-second loading mark. Slow loading times are also a significant factor in SEO ranking calculations.
Slow loading times are a problem that is very likely based on the technical side of your website. This could be a hosting problem where your server is slow and out of date or just severely bogged down and oversaturated. You could also need to address things with your developer to find ways to improve loading times and maintain optimal efficiency in your website structure.
If you are designing and developing a new website for 2020, make sure that quick load times are a top priority when dealing with your web design company.
4. Falling Behind On SEO
Successful website design is so much more than just your visual presentation. Your content presentation and implementation is what will set you apart and allow for organic search engine results.
This is a very complicated process, though, and basically, everything involved in your web design process will have a significant impact on your SEO results. High performance in SEO is not a quick process. Many of these rankings take considerable time and effort to produce and maintain. Also, the world of SEO is ever-evolving, and you need to adjust to the changing landscape to make sure your foothold stays strong.
Ranking algorithms have grown much smarter than just mashes of keywords and backlinks. In the coming decade, there are new considerations that need a greater focus than the old school SEO tricks of the past.
Keywords and metadata will always be valuable, but the approach to this area is growing in some very critical ways. Long-tail keywords are the direction that SEO priorities are heading. Search results have become saturated, and base level keywords just don’t hold the results anymore that longer phrase searching does. People want specifics, and if you can find ways to match more focused and detailed searches, you will see a clear result in both search performance and conversion rates. Head terms are the more common base keyword searches that long-tail searches are built around. Look into what your target audience is searching for, specifically around these head terms, and tailor your content to fill their needs. Long-tail searches are more likely to get higher click throughs to your website, and this will have a direct impact on your SEO rankings.
Don’t neglect older methods when they are still performing well. You may think that blogs have run their course because they’ve always been a staple in content production, but active blogs still perform very well in bringing in search results and drawing site traffic.
5. Not Taking Advantage of Video Content Or Advanced Graphics
Again, a key element of web design in the near future is based on changing and developing technology and reduced limitations. As speed and power increases, so does the capacity for hosting more engaging content and presentation techniques. Recent studies show that including video on a website’s landing page can increase conversion rates by 80%. The ability to provide fast and optimized video content across all devices is growing, and it is proving very effective in online marketing strategy.
Advanced graphics, animation, and interactive presentation elements are also a huge growing trend that should be considered for the future of your website. These can provide a very engaging method of design presentation that really draws in viewer attention.
Trends like these need to be a consideration for the coming decade, as more and more of your competition is sure to be expanding their presentation abilities to keep up with what can now be provided smoothly and effectively. In the coming decade, things that may have once been too costly to your loading times may now be very possible and ad a flashy and engaging edge over those who choose to ignore new possibilities.
Don’t be left behind as the world moves forward. Keep an eye on growing technology and shifting trends to avoid new pitfalls that could arise from staying stagnant. If you can stay on top of how things are changing and maintain a grasp on the latest methods and techniques in website creation, you will find that now is a great year for building or maintaining a thriving web presence.