The internet is almost 30 years old, but website design today is a far cry from what users expected back then, last decade, and even a few years ago. With trends changing rapidly, your website design needs to stay up to date to compete in the busy World Wide Web.
Even a few errors in how your website looks and works may cause customers to search elsewhere. Take a look at these modern website elements and see how your site compares.
Today, everyone is used to a quick click or touch to navigate a website, and while buttons have been on the internet since its debut, clean and attractive buttons are ideal for usability.
Even not having links to other pages or articles is bad practice. Today, it’s common to have links in nearly every paragraph – some bloggers use hundreds in each post.
The right way to guide customers through your site is with both buttons and links, as long as they’re well placed and relevant. It’s best to think about where your users may need to go next. During our strategy prep, for example, our team creates maps of possible paths your users may take while navigating your site.
Many early websites defaulted their typefaces (style of text) to a serif-heavy Times New Roman-like style. While this typeface is good for reading printed text, reading it from behind a screen can cause it to look blurry.
Most websites today use a sans-serif typeface (the ones without the small lines at the end of each letter). Common web typefaces are Arial, Georgia and Verdana.
There are over 1 billion websites on the internet. In such a crowded space, your content needs to stay fresh and catchy, and not filled with sales lines from the early days of advertising. Make sure you’re avoiding words and phrases like:
Also be sure to update your copyright year at the bottom of your website. A site with a 2003 copyright may have useful products, but customers may wonder if a website from when Pluto was still a planet is even still running.
Using a website should be as easy as possible for your customers, so adding more features just to add more features is a recipe for failure.
Each image, graphic, shape and line should serve a purpose for making your web pages easier to use and to convey your message. If they don’t, find that delete key. Photos should be clear and supplementary to the message, never in the way.
Readability is also important. Some early webpages had lines of text that stretched from one end of the screen to the other, making reading a literal pain in the neck. Average line length of text is now down to about 15-20 words per line and usually no more than four lines in each paragraph.
SEO has been a factor in web development since Google was first created in 1998, and today is one of the most important parts of your website. SEO is the practice of tweaking your images and content in order to show up when customers search for you on Google, Bing and other search engines.
Using keywords in your content is important, but don’t overdo it. In the early days, web developers would overload websites with keywords – the words that customer type into a Google search bar. Google now punishes sites that do this by giving them lower rankings.
Your site should also have things like alt tags (hidden image descriptions) and appropriate header tags (how your titles are formatted) if you want better rankings on Google.
Today, more people access the internet with a smartphone than with a desktop computer. This means your website should be able to adjust image and text for someone who is reading on their phone.
Smartphones are already a decade old, but many websites still aren’t mobile-friendly, and with that back button being just so easy to push, any unimpressed customer may never get a glimpse of your product.
This is one of the newest “must haves.” While most websites have HTTP (a website communication method) at the beginning of their website URL, many sites are moving toward HTTPS, which is a much more secure way to communicate across the internet.
This is especially important now because, in January 2017, Google announced it would label sites without HTTPS as unsecured in its Chrome browser. This can cause customers to shy away from your site and onto a competitor’s site if they have HTTPS.
These are all important elements in staying up-to-date in a world full of competitors. Lucky for you, we can help you revamp your website so your current customers stay and new customers follow. Contact us to learn more.