Your website is like the front area of a shop; it is what people think about first when they hear about your visibility, and needs to impress. It also needs to be functional and so effective that people can get what they need within minutes of stopping by. Today, most businesses sell their brands online, so professional websites have become even more important.
Building a website is a good start, but you should not sit on your laurels and hope that the platform will drive things forward without further input from you-it will require constant updating, designing and tinkering to fall in line with what’s trending in terms of plugins, algorithmic requirements and content.
Here is a look at how you can update your site to make it suited for the demands of 2017:
1. Throw in some color for good measure
Customers and prospects on internet platforms are attracted by how colors are laid out on a website. Long gone are the times when all you could do was set up black text against white space. Now you can fool around with backgrounds, frames and sections in order to loop it all with a color scheme that appeals to the eye and communicates a powerful brand message. When it comes to color, you always have to exercise caution because there is such a thing as overkill. You will need a neat balance between appearance and functionality, so choose at most three shades and go with them. Few hues also work toward ensuring that you have a consistent pattern in layout.
2. Make it mobile-responsive
As of early 2017, over half of total web traffic comes from mobile phones. Traditional designs have always been built for PC browsers, which means that they have multiple navigation links and short pages. In 2017, mobile phones have become even more important than ever. They are portable, easy to use and highly efficient. Since smartphones generally have smaller screens than PC’s, there is a need to compensate for that by introducing long scrolling. Such way, people can always just keep swiping have and down rather than clicking links and waiting on them to load.
Even Google currently uses mobile responsiveness as a ranking metric for websites. In fact, 55% of users say that they will most likely buy from brands that have made it easier to browse and pay for products on mobile. The proliferation of the use of mobile phones in online shopping is not about to drop or fizzle out, so you will need to think of the various ways in which you can enhance the mobile experience of your users.
3. Embrace header background videos
People love visuals way more than text or audio. You are looking to make them stay, so why not create a little video which you can use to communicate something in a few seconds? When you visit most modern websites, you will find videos playing at the homepage background. These visuals are becoming highly relevant in terms of attracting visitors and retaining their interest. If you are looking to do that, then there are a few guidelines you will need to follow.
First, make sure that your video is short and to the point. Second, it should not be too heavy, because that will have a negative ripple on your loading times, and visitors hate pages that load slowly. Finally, see to it that you mute the audio, because site visitors probably don’t want to hear you breathing down their necks as soon as they get to the homepage. Allow them to make the choice whether they want audio or not.
4. Have a definite value proposition
It’s all nice and good to present yourself to the visitor as the best brand there is out there, but you will need to be measured about it. You are looking to communicate without cluttering your pages and going on overkill. The best idea would be to have a short and focused value proposition that communicates your message to the user in a very direct way. If you can tell who you are, why you exist and why you are the best in maximum of two paragraphs, then go for it-and power to you for that. Your value proposition needs to be directly in front of the reader, so you might want to place it ether at the front or center of your homepage.
Always make sure that your proposition is not laid out in black print with no visuals-people get tired of reading walls of text. You are looking for a captivating cameo that will have users glued and linger on in their minds for a long time, because brand recognition is gold. If you can, throw in a captivating image within the message and make sure that text is not overused.
5. Improve your site speed
79% of respondents in a study by Kissmetrics indicated that site speed is their number one consideration when browsing. If your site takes 10 seconds to load, then you are in the red zone because visitors will simply bounce back to the Google start page and look for an alternative.
To achieve a fast loading speed, you will need to declutter your pages first. If you even doubt whether something should be on the site, then get rid of it. Use graphics and multimedia sparingly because those weigh heavily toward how slow or fast your page is. You can scale graphics by optimizing your images and enabling compression.
Other ways of improving site speed include browser caching (so that requests don’t have to be fetched from the depths of servers all the time) and minimizing HTTP requests.
In 2017, your website has become even more relevant in the grand scheme of things. You will need to stay alert to external changes that could affect how your site responds to requests or how engines respond to sites. A good idea would be to invest in a free site builder as that would give you some wiggle room in terms of the features you want to go into the composition of your platform.