Does Your Business Website Need a Makeover? Trends in Web Design for 2018

Is your website beginning to feel a little dated? Have you analysed its performance recently? Is it really contributing to your business as it should be? Would you like some tips to make your website more successful this year?

We asked an expert web design consultancy offering web design in Bristol, Clevedon, Portishead, and Weston-super-Mare what they believe will be the web design trends which will dominate, so without further delay, here are the most significant trends for web design in 2018.

Emphasis on usability

With respect to web design, it seems that the skeleton design will continue to be strong, allowing a website to be loaded in stages, from the simplest to the most complex. This means an improvement in the usability of the website thanks mainly to the fact that the loading speed is reduced significantly. In the first instance, visitors see the structure of the site and little by little the rest of the content is then loaded.

Modular designs (think Pinterest) will also dominate; the website works through modules that act independently, providing a greater capacity to adapt to the dimensions of each device it is viewed on.

Clever use of colour

With regard to colour, it seems that the tendency will be to create own content with respect to illustrations and infographics, with very interactive designs triumphing above all. The use of bright colours, gradients and very geometric shapes using textures of life itself will be popular. Backgrounds will continue the minimalist and clean design (not only on the site, but also in logos and brand names) and personalization of shapes and buttons.

Even bigger images and video

If we talk about images and videos, these will tend to occupy the entire page, as a presentation of the brand. As long as developers are careful with loading times, this should not be a problem.

Differentiating details

Micro-interactions (small actions that cause a change when the user interacts with them) will also be important. For example, different types of hover effects (activated when the user places the mouse on the image and it changes) or parallax (movements in different speeds of web elements that are activated when scrolling) and of course, virtual reality and 360°.

Distinctive Typography

And last but not least, one of the important trends in web design will be typography, the “hand-made” or vintage styles will still be present to achieve greater differentiation and distinction from the usual. However, circular typefaces and Sans Serif will also occupy a large place among the preferred ones. And one of the trends is to combine texts or horizontal and vertical titles to attract the attention of users.

So, if you feel your website could benefit from being updated, why not seek input from a professional web designer and see if some of these dominant website design trends could work for your site.

SEO 2017: A Beginners Guide

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a key factor in driving traffic to your website. Incorporating the newest SEO techniques will make your web page appear higher in the search results of Google or Bing. Unique, high-quality content with a reasonable number of keywords is still the foundation of SEO. The frequency of new content keeps your website fresh and appealing. Guest posting services can help establish a routine for publishing new content. Sharing the responsibility for content creation with someone else will give you more time to interact with your customers.

The technical back-end factors can heavily influence search engines. An XML sitemap tells search engines how to index your site. Faster is better. A web page that loads slowly or has broken links will push your site down in the search results. The newest Google Penguin algorithm looks for human-friendly websites. Penguin gives you points for high quality and relevant data. It takes away points for sites using keyword stuffing and link buying. Pleasing Penguin will not only improve your search ranking, but it will also give your visitors a better experience.

The goal of “off-page” SEO is to appeal to the majority of Internet users are active on social media. Sharing images, videos, and interesting graphics draw traffic to your site. More importantly, visual content is more likely to be shared with other users on Facebook and Twitter. One study found that the engagement rate for visual content is 600 times the engagement rate of text-only information. See the infographic below for more information.

Image credit: Rankz

Best POS Systems For Your Business

Photo credit: nosheep

Business is complicated. Make it easier by giving your business the gift of a point of sale system. What’s a POS system? According to Wikipedia  a ‘retail point of sale system typically includes a cash register (which in recent times comprises a computer, monitor, cash drawer, receipt printer, customer display and a barcode scanner) and the majority of retail POS systems also include a debit/credit card reader’.

A POS system is a multi-purpose tool that helps you to organize and run your business like a well-oiled machine. While it does cost to use the many services that a point of sale system for businesses can provide, the benefits profoundly outweigh the costs. Gathering information and keeping track of inventory are only a few of the benefits that a good POS system can bring to the table.

Another benefit of a POS system is its ability to accept and process different kinds of payment methods. EMV chip cards and NFC payments are generally new technology, and equipping your business to process these payments is a good way to stay with the times. Many POS systems like the Clover POS system can handle the many new methods of payment that are available to consumers today.

Photo credit: Pexels

The best part of having a POS system for businesses is the ability to build a relationship with your customers; a relationship based on familiarity and a sense of togetherness. Using the information gathered by your POS system, your employees can be more personable with your customers by making sure to have that one item that they wanted right there ready for them when they walk into the store.

Having the versatility of accepting more than the traditional forms of payment, and the utility of tracking customer information and inventory, are two big reasons that a business should invest in a POS system. Being able to seamlessly use information about your customers to cater your service to their needs is a surefire way to get them to make your business a part of their daily lives.

Get Smarter, Not Bigger With Marketing

The online world is what allows most people to start a business at home. They have skills to sell or a product they can produce from home and the internet is what allows them to get customers without the need for a storefront or an office full of underlings. But big businesses have the advantage in the online world. They have bigger marketing budgets, which means where you can’t outspend them, you’re going to have to out-think them instead.

The website

When it comes to standing apart from competitors and others in the industry, the website is where you have the most potential. You’re in control of the visual branding, the content, the layout and much more besides. But you need to know the fundamentals of good site design to make sure that you’re making the best use out of all of them. For instance, what are the goals of the site? Is it an ecommerce page where people can click and order goods or services directly? Is it meant to drive them to get in contact with you? Those are the focuses you need to cut out the superfluous content. You don’t need as much spiel on what your business is all about if people can buy products directly, for instance. You just need content that directs them to those products and demonstrates the value of them above all else. Your goals should speak to your niche on the market. That’s how you differentiate yourself.

Search engines

There are two ways to compete on search engines with your competitors. And again, having a niche to your business is going to bolster your chances of success with either. In terms of search engine optimization, the more specific you can make your content and the keywords you use, the better. The same goes with pay-per-click advertising, but you can also use tools like those mentioned on Clicteq to make sure a little more room is made for your bids. For instance, you could make your ads more active when there’s less competition. You can also use tools that measure and modify your campaigns as you go on, cutting out the keywords and links that don’t perform as well as others. You want to make sure your money is being spent on only the most effective adverts.

Social media

As a small business, your personal connection to customers plays a much more important role than it does for big brands. Start by finding your own online persona and having a deep enough insight into your community’s wants to curate content that appeals all the better to them by peeking into who they follow and what they like. One of the methods put forward by Small Business Trends is getting some social media management tools to do the heavy lifting for you, too. You don’t want to spend all day dipping in and out of accounts to share a piece of content you’ve made. Instead, spend a good half-hour to an hour of the day scheduling the majority of your messages. You want to stay active in terms of replying and retweeting, but that takes nowhere near as much time as having to pause your work to post new content.

A good online marketing strategy takes time, there’s no doubt about that. When you get the wheels up and running in the business, you might think that you should spend more time making money, not trying to bring in more customers. When that’s the case, remember that there are plenty of services willing to help you with that.

Email Marketing Strategy Challenges of the Modern Marketer

There is no magical formula you can start using, and continue to use, when it comes to marketing. To guarantee success, modern marketers need to stay on the ball as the marketing world changes, watching emerging patterns that will turn into effective marketing techniques.

Email marketing is one of the marketing channels that are most difficult to master. A survey completed by marketers showed that their number one strategic challenge was increasing engagement rates. This infographic shows that if you are struggling in this area, then a good tip is to use segmentation and personalization to achieve higher rates of engagement.

Content creation, or more specifically, creating relevant content for the target audience, is a key driver in engagement rates and should enable you to achieve better results. Survey results also showed that acquiring new customers was also a big challenge for them.

Did you know that email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than using Facebook or Twitter? That’s a pretty astonishing statistic, so if you are struggling with customer acquisition, then you know what area to dedicate your efforts to.

Email Marketing Strategy Challenges of the Modern Marketer - Infographic by Campaign Monitor

Source: Email Marketing Strategy Challenges of the Modern Marketer by Campaign Monitor