The world of technology moves quickly and so should your approach to web design and content development. Staying fresh and relevant is crucial to continue to corner the market. The strategies you used last year might not be as effective in 2014. Consider a few ways to revamp your website and content to attract more attention in the coming year.
More is Not Necessarily Better
In the past, we saw website using a variety of bells and whistles. Many web designers encouraged businesses to develop fancy website with flashing images and pop-up videos. Often these elements were distracting and increased load time. Now a minimal approach is being used with stellar results. Consider the site stats and user data to develop an appealing website design that appeals to your visitors. Visual appeal with few distractions is better than adding too many fancy elements. Websites should also have mobile responsiveness as more people access the Internet from mobile devices. In 2014, we will see more unique advertising and larger font sizes to attract attention rather than flashy additions.
Scroll it Out
In 2013, many websites experimented with scrolling. For example, the background would scroll more slowly than the foreground. This is not necessarily good for SEO. It can become distracting to visitors who just want to get basic information. While scrolling seemed like an innovative idea, many website owners were disappointed with the results. A flat, basic website design with more compelling content will trump over scrolling in 2014.
The Simple Life
Flowery text, bold images and endless links became overwhelming in 2013. These complicated website designs started to confuse visitors. They would up flocking to websites that offered a simpler approach. The world moves fast and people want to find what they need right away. If they have to wade through a myriad of website design tactics, they tend to surf away. This year websites will become simpler and more focused on delivering quality information rather than using show-off strategies to attempt to impress visitors.
Content Marketing is King
The phrase “content is king” has been amended to refer to content marketing. Savvy online marketers honed inbound marketing strategies in 2013 and are ready to reveal what they discovered in 2014. Quality content with a definitive call to action is a crucial part of any successful website. Improved analytics tools make it easier to discover which content is effective and what campaigns should be dropped. From educational summaries to inspirational stories, the face of content marketing continues to change and improve.
Reaching Out to Influential People
Influence marketing continues to grow in popularity as companies see measurable results. Customers with a social media following can be valuable allies. Sending samples and offering an inside track on new products can produce incredible word-of-mouth advertising for your business. More websites will be offering influencer opportunities through their content and social media postings. These top customers can become an incredible asset to your company. Their feedback can be used to develop updated offerings and targeted website content.
Customers Are Important
Loyalty marketing goes a long when when it comes to delivering customer satisfaction. As more businesses engage with their customers through surveys and social media, people expect to be appreciated and acknowledged. A business with a personal touch is sure to stand out from a company with an old-fashioned, generic approach. Customer loyalty programs and specialized content are ways to show valued customers how much they mean to your business. It also helps to keep them coming back for more.
Tell Your Special Story
There was a time when authority content was the only way to gain credibility. As a result, the marketplace is saturated with authority content. People want more than a summary of facts. They are looking for stories they can relate to. Now websites are using storytelling to create a unique voice and become more real to customers. People take action when they relate to a story being told on a business website. The stories should be genuine and address the types of concerns your customers have. If your website is authoritative, these types of stories can be shared in an attached blog. A personal touch further helps to brand your business.
Each year businesses update their approach to reflect the current changes in the marketplace. People continue to grow and change, much like technology. In 2014, the mantra can be, “Keep it simple, stupid,” better known as “KISS.” Simple website designs, compelling content and real stories will take over as outdated approaches are tossed to the wayside.
[box type=”shadow”]Main Takeaway:The web design and content approaches that worked in 2013 are unlikely to be effective in 2014. Simple website designs, customer loyalty programs and personalized content will trump over generic or overstated approached.[/box]