In the present global marketplace, it isn’t enough to merely have a digital presence. In order to capitalize on opportunity, as well as captivate human, live, real readers, an interactive, functional, optimized website should be a must. The Internet, unfortunately, swarms with poor site designs which miss both the content and technical mark. Even worse, clients continually contribute to the present outbreak of design delinquency.
It is time to end poor websites, for once and for all. Let us look into how clients perpetrate this low-quality website trend and pinpoint new development and design standards for 2018 which will assist in ending this vicious pattern of “all-surface-no-substance” websites.
The client’s unrealistic expectations may doom a site to fail before the process of design even starts.
Unfortunately, most clients have restricted know-how of what a site should be, and most importantly, what an intentional, functional website may deliver. Clients underestimate the value of going above and beyond esthetics with their websites, assuming that build success solely relies on an attractive interface. Clients think that, so long as their website “appears good,” it’ll float in cyberspace, efficiently extending brand reach, all while magically appealing to millions of intrigued users and then converting them into paying customers.
The fact is, that isn’t how website magic operates.
To generate digital results, a site has to provide a dynamic, engaging user experience. Graphics are crucial to the process of design. But, to optimize success, a website has to offer more than compelling graphics. A developer should be working hard behind the scenes for you, crafting a sophisticated infrastructure of SEO and site functionality which has to be tested and developed before they go live. That’s where the magic really starts.
A client’s expectations for the budget also can play a big part in launching an inferior site. As it’ll come to promoting a brand, it is vital that you keep in mind that you eventually receive what you pay for. Intuitive, effective design is complicated. However, the return is worth your investment. Trust your developer’s experience, talent, and insight as you navigate through the design process to an end design which does not just look fantastic, yet also accomplishes all your crucial goals for online marketing.
Website Feature Checklist for 2018
Are you ready to put an actionable strategy into place so you redefine the new normal for 2018 websites? Below are 22 non-negotiable standards you should implement on your website, according to research studies:
- Logo should be placed in the upper left
According to research 100 percent of the sites had a clickable logo within the top left corner of each page on the website.
- Contact in upper right
44 percent have a contact link or button in the upper right-hand corner of each page. Even though this placement is common, as well as considered best practices, it can’t be considered standard.
- Main navigation that goes across the top
88 percent of the sites had their main navigation situated inside the header at the upper part of each page, which makes horizontal top-level navigation a design standard.
- Slideshow on the home page
32 percent of the sites feature a home page slideshow (or carousel) that has a rotating series of messages and images.
It’s one that Reticence Marketing designers are carefully watching, as more websites tend to be favoring static featured images, instead of a rotating image series.
Studies have been mixed on each option’s effectiveness. Select the best solution for your website, your visitors and your message.
- Value proposition is high up on a website’s home page
80 percent of marketing websites feature an explicit value proposition situated high on their home page. Any website designer will let you know that there isn’t any standard pixel height for browsers. Thereby, there isn’t any fold. However of course, some elements of design appear high on web pages and generally are visible to most visitors without having to scroll.
- Call to Action is high up on a website’s home page
78 percent of the sites featured visually prominent CTAs. That percentage fell below our standard threshold, it certainly is a convention.
- Search feature within the header
54 percent of sites possess a search feature within the header. Around 50% of all marketing websites don’t have a search feature which appears “globally” on each page either as a search box, icon, or link. That is not a surprise to us. Search tools are not necessary unless a site has a massive amount of content. Search tools often are “crutches” for poorly organized websites.
- Signup box inside the footer
24 percent of sites permit visitors to sign up and then subscribe to email updates within the footer. Therefore, it’s commonplace to collect email addresses, yet not a standard or convention. The most typical footer content is privacy, copyright, sitemap, contact links, and legal. Users expect to see contact information within the bottom center or bottom right of sites.
- Social media icons within the footer
72 percent of the sites feature icons for social media sites within the footer. That almost makes them a standard element of design. 26 percent of the sites prominently included social media icons inside the header.
Like in the footer, clicking on any of those icons will take the user to the social media website. For that reason, it’s an element of design which may cost you traffic, and increase bounce rates, as well as hurt results.
We suggest that you add social media icons within the footer. In order to further decrease visual prominence, their full-color version might only appear after the user moves his or her mouse cursor over the social icon.
- Responsive design
68 percent of sites are mobile-friendly and use responsive web design. That provides visitors an excellent experience irrespective of the device – desktop, tablet, or phone.
It is a combination of programming and design that’s challenging to add after a website is built. Oftentimes, it is part of a redesign, which might explain why it is a convention, and not a standard.
- Fast Loading
Visitors don’t want to wait for your website to load. Design websites that prompt loading times for all visitors on all devices. It’s possible to use Pagespeed Insights by Google or Pingdom to check the speed of your website and check how it can be improved.
- Tracking Enabled
Analytics will matter – it is the best method of determining that your site is really doing its duty. The end design ought to include functionality that gauges key indicators like conversions, goals, and traffic.
- Search Engine Optimization Savvy
Do not underestimate the power of website optimization for both humans and browsers. Create readable, compelling content for your followers. For search engines, always feature on-page search engine optimization tags and elements, which include schema, as well as XML sitemaps
- Enabled Content Management System
We are not quite finished with the power of the written word yet. Steadily publishing original, fresh content not just captivates an audience, it may produce long-term, invaluable digital marketing momentum. Have a back-end CMS in the design in order for clients to edit and post content as necessary.
- Conversion Optimized
If you have a conversion-centric client, you can implement tools for crafting campaign landing pages within your design. Those designated pages may keep your audience moving through your website and direct them to book an appointment, ask for a product demonstration, and perhaps buy a service or product.
- Email Marketing
Email marketing is still relevant. A website’s email capture forms must sync with a client’s email marketing system for smooth connection and access.
- Social Media
You should never miss a chance to leverage social media’s power. Integrate every relevant social media platform in your web design. Permitting users to rapidly have access to social media pages from your site immediately broadens a company’s reach and assists in increasing traffic and visibility.
- Strong Security
You should never compromise on-site security. All designs must include fundamental privacy security protocols, like basic security checks that protect user and client data.
- Progressive Web Applications
Savvy website designers who are intrigued by the impact applications have on mobile media platforms, successfully have combined the best app and web features into a hybrid referred to as Progressive Web Apps. You can expect that you’ll see Progressive Web Apps all through 2018.
- Machine Learning & AI
Artificial intelligence, or AI, is no longer a high-tech, futuristic term and successfully has worked its way into our daily online experience and vernacular. Adobe’s Sensei is delivering artificial intelligence tools to a variety of website design platforms around the world, which makes it a more available, accessible resource.
Typically, it links to a page that explains what details the site collects, how it is stored and how it may be used. For the majority of websites, it is about tracking, email signups, and form submissions.
Is Your Company’s Site Up To 2018 Standards?
If it isn’t, it is time for an instant renovation. Keep in mind that it isn’t about overhauls and grand gestures. Instead, 2018 will concentrate on a shift towards futuristic, functional, and simple designs. Implementing these standards as a non-negotiable web design baseline may have a substantial impact on the way we conduct business and connect with prospective customers on the internet for optimal return on investment with each user engagement.