Even as we speak, we are well into the Web 3.0 era, a period which has customization and personalized content at its core. The web is increasingly becoming a space where users can pick and choose the content that would like or want to see and create their own “zone”. For companies, big and small, the future implies revamping their web strategies radically.
Reviewing your Website Design
In the whole scramble and din of social media and mobile apps, your website is still the most important feature of your digital marketing plan. Your website is your home turf and the base on which you must build all your further marketing and promo campaigns. Preparing your website for the future calls for taking important measures, ranging from web design, user experience, content and marketing.
I. Web design
The basic rule of web design for the future is to not have any rules. Users are being exposed to a steady stream of highly creative and innovative web designs that provide a rich experience that users can cherish for a long time. The trend of highly interactive web designs is also set to continue. Having a two-way communication is not just restricted to social media and is also set to become an integral part of websites as well. Here are some examples of innovative web designs.
However, as we talk about breaking rules, there are some key factors that must be used with great precision to get the most desired effect. The key features include:
Proper Use of colors, graphics and typography:
While you whip up the most creative designs, make sure that the colors, graphics and typography are used such that they look attractive, complement the domain and are easy to grasp. Anything too flashy, unnecessary or chaotic can affect adversely.
Your website can have creative navigation like mega drop downs, graphical navigation, fixed navigation etc. However, whichever type you use, make sure that it is easy to browse and simple to comprehend. Also, it must be coupled with bread crumbs, links in the footer and a search box at the top. Keep the navigation structure simple and flawless which will encourage users to dig further.
It’s all about images:
The web is increasingly becoming a visual medium and images make a huge impact. Here are some quick reasons as to why you should incorporate quality images:
- Articles with images get 94% more total views
- 60% of the consumers are more likely to contact a business when an image shows up in local search results
- A survey of online shoppers revealed that shoppers think that quality of photos is more important than product information, long description and product ratings.
- Engagement of Facebook posts that include images increases by 37% over posts that have only text.
* Statistics Courtesy: @MDGadvertising
Traditionally, content has always been the core of a website and its significance in the future too is set to continue. However, what will change is the way it is built. Websites must essentially build content for in-bound marketing, add value to the target audience and give clear solutions.
Key content tips that your content writer/strategist cannot ignore:
1. Powerful Headlines:
The significance of a strong headline can never be undermined. Having catchy headlines that clearly state the value proposition to the customers is an absolute must. Smart headlines are necessary to drive users to take the desired action while enhancing brand recall. Also, people usually do not read word-by-word on the website and instead scan through the content, especially focusing on headlines and sub-headings to grasp the gist of the website and the brand.
2. Strong Calls to Action:
Without a clear call to action, your website is just a digital version of your visiting card. Calls to action are extremely critical to drive users through a channel, tell them about the next action that they need to take and convert them into customers.
Also, it is important as to how you place the calls to action on website. Here are some examples of good calls to action:
3. Crisp & Concise Copy:
People browsing online are highly impatient and are always looking for instant gratification. Thus, very lengthy and wordy copy can put off your customers. Instead ask your wordsmiths (read content writers/strategists) to keep the copy crisp, concise and addresses the core needs of the customers.
A well-written and information-rich blog can do wonders for companies. A blog is a great way to creating a strong community of followers, who may not be your direct customers but rely on you for a constant stream of industry related updates, news and information. A great example is the Hubspot blog that is a rich source of knowledge about the digital world.
Here are some mind blowing stats about companies that blog:
Here are useful resources which will help you to maintain your business blog:
- Small business blog strategy for business owners.
- How to make your business blog effective
- Benefits of blogging for business
5. In-bound Content Marketing:
In-bound marketing has been the buzzword for a long time and is set to play an equally vital role even in the future. People rely on the digital media for accessing and sharing key insights and information. The future belongs to brands that invest in creating long-term value for people, irrespective of whether they do actual business with them or not. In-bound content marketing is a concrete way with long-term effects in helping brands to stay connected with the audience always. Be it plain informative articles, whitepapers, info graphics, industry statistics and so on. This is a sure shot way to make your brand get recognized as a more rounded and credible organization.
6. Use Multiple Content Forms:
It is always good to have a diverse mix of text, images, videos and audio formats while creating content. This ensures that you can truly enjoy a rich content experience.
7. Don’t write for Search Engines:
In the bid to rank high on the search engines, companies end up writing content that is only for the search engines and completely useless for the users. With Google unleashing a slew of algorithmic updates, the focus is clearly on creating content for the user. The content must be as per the user’s interest, highly engaging and share-able.
This is the ultimate fruit of digital labor. Getting people to convert with you online is the hardest thing to do and will keep getting difficult with every passing day.
Effective Landing Pages:
Tailoring the most effective landing pages is the foremost thing to do for ensuring high conversion rates. A few key features that they must incorporate include:
- Don’t make the audience think too much. Keep the message clear and simple. Let the users know what they need to do next.
- Don’t have very lengthy forms. Collect only that information which is absolutely necessary.
Example of a good landing page:
Key Points to Note:
- The headline and services have been mentioned in a clear and concise manner
- The call to action (Download button) has been prominently and strategically placed
- Content talks about value proposition and focuses on value
- Clear and concise content
Here are few more resources on landing pages, that will give you a deep-insight on conversions and optimization tips.
- The importance of landing pages
- How to increase E-Commerce site landing page conversions
- 5 Simple tactics I use on my landing page for Sky-Rocket conversions
- How to track landing page Hotspot and conversions
Effective Calls to Action (CTA)
While we discussed the significance of having the right calls to action, here are some key tips which will ensure that you do it right:
Designing Calls to Action
- Calls to action must be big, bold and clear.
- Ensure that the calls to action buttons have an attractive design, colour scheme and hover- effect so that people feel like clicking on them.
- Do not rely on only one generic call to action like “Contact Us”. Instead, use different calls to action like “Get a Quote”, “Download Whitepaper”, “Download a Guide” etc. This will ensure that you have different points of conversion for the website visitors.
- Test different calls to action, colors and placements from time to time so that you can compare and have the most effective calls to action on the website.
Positioning Calls to Action
- It is important to categorize the calls to action as top level and secondary level CTAs and place them accordingly. Top level CTAs include “Download” or “Subscribe” while secondary CTAs include “Get a Quote”, “Request a Demo” etc.
- You need to ensure that CTAs are placed across the entire length of a web page.
- Most industry experts believe that adding the CTAs on the right side of the page works better. However, you can test this for your own website as CTAs need to be strategically placed to ensure maximum returns. You may need to tweak the positions based on your particular layout structure and design.
- Once a user completes one download or quote, you can push him to download other things from the thank you page. The best way is to connect it in such a way that user need not have to fill up the forms for every download.
Finally, when people want to contact you, make sure that you don’t frustrate them with lengthy and tedious forms. A large number of people often drop out of the funnel, just because they feel that the company is asking for too much of information which is not necessary.
Here are some important tips that you must keep in mind while designing forms on your website:
- Include only those fields which are truly necessary. People hate sharing information online fearing its misuse. Thus, keep your form simple and concise.
- Add a privacy clause that states that the information shared will not be misused or that you will not spam, which the biggest worry for users while sharing their personal information.
- Do not use the word “Submit” in forms. Instead, use more welcoming messages like “Get your FREE eBook” or “Subscribe to our Newsletter” etc.
These are just a few key guidelines which will ensure that you prepare your website for the present as well as future. These are finer points of designing and structuring a business website which will ensure highest engagement and returns. It’s only such websites that can keep you in good stead in future. There are many other elements like responsive web-design, faster loading are important elements for futuristic web-design.
Would you like an honest review of your website and help you to know about your website for best practices of design & search engine optimization, so your business can stand out from crowed and you remain far ahead from your competitors?
This is a guest post by Akhilesh from CBIL360. Akhilesh is the senior web analyst and optimization expert of CBIL360. If you would like to submit a guest post at ShoutMeLoud, check ShoutMeLoud guest submission guidelines.
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