- This increase in digital traffic is set to stay with us into 2021 and beyond, so businesses and brands across the globe need to ensure their websites are primed to showcase your company to the world.
- Page speed is key. The ideal page speed for websites across desktop and mobile devices is 1-2 seconds.
- Videos, images, animations and content all need to be optimised to fit your target audience, sit nicely on your web page and bring value to the overall user experience.
- As artificial intelligence and machine learning continue to learn and become more sophisticated, we can expect to see Chatbots become more human-like in their responses.
- Interactive website elements are an excellent way to provide value to your page visitors and get them to engage with your website in a fun or informative way.
- Understand the ‘Thumb Zone’ and how to optimise your website for mobile use.
The new year brings fresh opportunities, a renewed sense of optimism and a year full of growth potential for businesses large and small. 2020 taught us that digital is the future. As the world went into lockdown and adopted remote working as well as online shopping and entertainment, the need for digital was truly emphasised. This increase in digital traffic is set to stay with us into 2021 and beyond, so businesses and brands across the globe need to ensure their websites are primed to showcase your company to the world.
If you’re ready to approach 2021 with a renewed sense of digital optimism, then this is the perfect place to start. This blog runs through some of the top web design trends and standards for 2021, core web vitals and for new website owners, some tips on how to get a new website noticed.
Top 5 Web Design Trends and Standards For 2021
1. Sprinter Worthy Website Load Times
Speed is of the essence when it comes to website load times to ensure you’re not losing viewers and traffic. The ideal page speed for websites across desktop and mobile devices is 1-2 seconds. Studies have shown that even going over into the 3 second load time bracket can result is visitors leaving your page, meaning the additional second has caused a loss of traffic, potential sales and a potential new valued customer.
Focusing on page speed isn’t a ground breaking trend for 2021, SEOs and UX designers have been focusing on this metric for years, but with audience attention spans at an all-time low website owners need to ensure they’re captivating their audiences and making the most of those clicks. The importance of page speed is also becoming more prevalent as it is a valued metric in Google’s new Core Web Vitals update which is coming into play in mid 2021, whereby websites will be ranked by a set of user-focused metrics to rank your website’s page experience. We’ll go into further detail about this shortly.
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2. Clever Content For An Enhanced User Experience
2021 is set to see websites move towards sleeker, more polished content moving away from resource-heavy websites overloaded with graphical elements and integrations. Optimising your website content will help website owners’ priorities what content needs to be displayed and assess the value this content piece is adding to your page; remember, your customer needs to be at the heart of all website design decisions.
Videos, images, animations and content all need to be optimised to fit your target audience, sit nicely on your web page and bring value to the overall user experience. Ensuring you have smart content aspects on your page will also go a long way to improving your website’s page loading speed, as any unnecessary graphics or elements can be removed to boost your overall page loading speed time.
You can also make your content loading smarter by using Lazy Load. This tool ensures web browsers only download the content users see on the screen, meaning valuable loading time is not wasted loading off screen content which might never be seen.
3. Human-Like Chatbots
As artificial intelligence and machine learning continue to learn and become more sophisticated, we can expect to see Chatbots become more human-like in their responses. This will lead to Chatbots becoming the norm for simple customer service requests and quires, potentially saving businesses a lot of time and resources.
Website developers should look at implementing Chatbot services to their websites, especially if they’re in the retail and eCommerce sectors as these areas often see high-volume, repeated customer questions.
As Chatbot technology progresses, this tool will be able to guide customers to service updates, desired products, terms and service and much more. You can tailor your Chatbot to reflect your business model and style.
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4. Interactive Elements
Interactive website elements are an excellent way to provide value to your page visitors and get them to engage with your website in a fun or informative way. Consider adding a dedicated interactivity section to your website, or incorporate a page tool to attract website users and give them another reason to visit your site.
For example, if you work in the finance sector, money calculators linked to tax, loans or mortgages are highly sought after tools and give users valuable information. Interactive calculator elements allow search users to get personalised, high-value information and give them a reason to return to your site multiple times.
Other interactive tools include assessments, quizzes, polls and contests; these additional elements can help shine a light on what your users are looking for within your website and provide an opportunity to collect customer data.
5. Mobile Navigation Built For Thumbs
As we head into 2021, half of all search engine queries come from a mobile device, cementing what the industry has been predicting – users are going mobile over desktop. As smartphones become more sophisticated, users are turning to their portable devices for an easy search option meaning that the websites their landing on need to be designed with scrollers in mind!
Think about how you use your phone, you most likely hold it in the palm of your hand, fingers wrapped around the back with your thumb doing the majority of the navigation work – am I right? Web designers need to keep this in mind when creating mobile-focused websites and design elements.
Think about where your navigation bar, page buttons and interactive design elements are going to be on the mobile page and consider how the user’s thumb will reach these elements. This is called the ‘Thumb Zone’ and looks like this:
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The 2021 Google Core Web Vitals Update
Google are introducing a Core Web Vitals update in mid 2021 which will shake up how website pages are positioned in the SERPs. Google’s Core Web Vital Update is a huge update and covers a vast area of SEO, for a more in depth look at how Core Web Vitals will affect your website take a look at our guide here.
To summaries the basics, the Core Web Vital update is an update to help website owners better understand their users and deliver a ‘human friendly’ website by tracking core page experience metrics.
The new page experience signal tracks and ranks your page based on the following:
- Largest contentful paint
- Cumulative layout shit
- First input delay
- Intrusive interstitial guidelines
By combining Core Web Vitals with user experience measurements, Google is aiming to push websites to provide users with a high-value, user-focused, useful content. The update aims to give site owners a deeper overview of what users want to see online and build overall page experience.
Moving into 2021, this is perhaps the biggest element which needs to be considered when reviewing your website. Start by ensuring all content is fully optimised, loading-speeds are on point and your website pages are stable. For a full breakdown of how to get your website ready for the Core Web Vitals update, read our guide now.
How To Get A New Website Noticed?
If ‘New Year New Website’ is a very literal statement for you and your business, then optimising your website before launch day is critical. To give you website it’s best possible start, you need to implement some core SEO principles to get your site off the ground.
Launching a new website is a massive task, and will take a lot of strategic planning and expertise to ensure you reach the best possible ranking position. To get you started, here are some top tips for getting your website noticed.
1. Keyword Targeting
Google understands what terms are relevant to each user’s search as well as keyword specific search queries. Using tools such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush or AHrefs, conduct in-depth keyword research to find high-volume, relevant keywords to target on your page.
2. Create A Crawl Friendly Page
Google use bots to crawl the internet to index web pages and determine their ranking position. Make page crawling as simple as possible for Google by running a technical SEO audit to check for indexing gaps and issues. You can also boost your page authority with keywords and internal linking.
3. Get Noticed Off Google: Add Your Page To Directories and Social
Google is incredibly important, but its not the only source on the internet. Take some time to add your new website to online directories and social media platforms to build add volume to your website and attract new audiences. Some top directories and platforms to consider include:
4. Get Google Verification
Back to our good friends Google! Google verification is super important if you want users to discover your website and visit it as a trusted source. To verify your business’ website, create a Google My Business account, find your business on Google Maps and claim your business on Google Maps. This simple process will allow Google to optimise your website as a business listing and will also help drive location based traffic.
5. Run a Link Building Campaign
To build page authority and captivate new audience views, consider running an outreach campaign focused on acquiring valuable links to your website. Reach out to relevant blogs, web pages or directories to get your new website out there through guest posting and backlinks. The more links linking to your website page, the more authority you’ll gain, meaning that your page will be showed to more users as Google believes it’s a trusted and useful source.
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Shofiur is one of the longest standing members of Absolute Digital Media and has been with the agency almost from the beginning. Shofiur is our lead developer, with 13 years read more.