Are you a small and medium business owner looking for a way to improve your online marketing branding and ROI in 2016? If yes, then read on…
Did you know that you have less than 10 seconds to make a first great impression with your company website today? The fact is that start-ups, entrepreneurs and small and medium businesses are struggling hard to keep their heads above the water, let alone thrive in this neck to neck competitive online landscape!
Having said that, it’s imperative for your online business to have a website that provides a quick interpretation of the benefits, easy navigation through pages, develop credibility and prompt site visitors to take a desired action. Hence it is important to keep track of the latest website trends that are likely to emerge in 2016.
So, in my usual acronym style, I’m going to explain how adopting the latest trends can benefit your company WEBSITE in 2016. Here are my website enhancement tips every SME owner must consider for their company’s Online Presence as part of their New Year resolution entering into 2016!
Win more Customers with Visually Appealing and Realistic Website Designs
Large background images, typographic designs, split screens and animations are some of the things small and medium business are going to compete on to hold the attention of their site visitors a bit longer, in 2016. Google’s newly launched Material Design is likely to be the hottest thing in the designer toolbox.
Material Design offers strong visuals/graphics, bold colours, and concept of movement and depth that will provide users a more realistic look of the website and communicate a distinctive brand identity to help your brand stand out in the crowded web!
Engage With Small Data
We have heard enough about big data but looks like it’s the small data that’s going to drive LEADS in 2016. Come next year, engagement will no longer be a discipline of social media platforms to manage.
Websites can also provide a certain level of engagement to their customers through insights gathered by means of small data. These include signups, downloads and prompting site visitors to fill 3 or 4 field long online surveys or asking them to check “Yes” or “No” boxes on a certain opinion. For example, if you are an insolvency firm you can ask your visitors: “Do you think the recent amendment in Bankruptcy Act will help SMEs”?
These are simple ways to make your visitors feel valued while providing you with the necessary insights with respect to your target audience!
Boost Google Ranking with Secure Websites
With more and more businesses offering their customers the convenience of online shopping or asking for their personal information to distribute targeted content, the need for having a secure SSL certificate cannot be over-emphasized.
Making it a win-win situation for the website users and the businesses alike, Google now wants more websites to adopt the secure HTTPS protocol, and is using search engine ranking as a reward for those who are listening!
Having a secure website means better ranking in search engine results.
Simplify User Experience with the Responsive Web Design
With more people leaving conventional browsing and shifting to handy devices, how web design evolves to meet user expectations, is a question that will continue to surprise us every couple of months.
With is Google putting more emphasis on enhancing user-experience through responsive web design better suited to fit screens of all sizes. Hence, mobile-friendly update will push the trend towards better loading speed, bigger buttons and longer scrolling sites in 2016.
Here’s an example of longer scrolling website offering a great user experience and simple navigation.
Inspire Location Based and Contextual Searches Website
In 2014, 30% of all searches came from mobile devices. In 2015, the number doubled to 60% and the percentage is only going to climb further. 2016 will witness more and more location based content distribution through mobile websites.
In addition to that, there will be a trend towards contextually aware mobile apps that can pick up the exact location of a user are able to gather more data on providing information you are looking for!
Websites that are able to pin point what exactly led the user to a page and what they intend to do after landing on your website, can provide some useful insights into customer behaviours and help you deliver an exceptional user experience.
Transfer Website Visitors to Social Media Pages and Vice Versa
The ultimate goal of a business website is to generate meaningful leads. 2016 will see a greater flux towards a combination of conventional business websites with modern ways of social selling. This trend would go beyond the traditional integration of social media buttons as a way to increase visibility and help start-ups reach out to a great pool of audience.
This can be done in the form of sidebars showcasing your company’s latest social statuses and feeds, by-passing creating a new account on website and signing in using a social login and building your own community by investing in the right commenting tools for your site.
Connecting social fan base with the website is expected to amplify results for SME owners and boost engagement.
Embrace Full Screen Navigation and Cleaner Website Pages
Yet another relatively unexplored treasure for SMEs entering into 2016 is the ability of their responsive websites to automatically adjust to full screen when being viewed on multiple devices.
Additionally, with an emphasis on sleeker, simpler and mobile friendly websites, pop-up designs that prompt signups or registration for free trials or give-aways is expected to reduce.
From where I see it, 2016 is going to be a march forward into Social Interactivity, Localisation and Mobility, hence (SoLoMo). With a renewed focus on Intelligent Targeting, more and more businesses will be abandoning the cookie cutter approach in favour of a business and customer-centric approach.
Needless to say, following yet another trend just because it’s hip at a given point in time, is a sure-shot recipe for failure. Instead, businesses must make sure that a particular website change they are pursuing provides value to their users and is best suited for their customers’ needs.
Don’t forget to check out my next article in which I’ve discussed 8 ways to OPTIMISE your small business for Google search in 2016.
Grab my Presentation on SlideShare:
With still one month to go before the year ends, this is the perfect time for forward looking SME owners to take a leap and get ahead of their online competitors in providing an exceptional user experience to their site visitors.
If you are an SME owner looking to outsource website design and development that is up to the mark and in line with the latest technology trends, then we can help you.
At SolomoIT, we are a team of digital marketing and website design and development professionals, actively integrating latest technology trends serving a diverse client base comprising of small and medium business in Australia for more than a decade.
With an Australian based sales & marketing staff focus and with our own team of experts based in Sri Lanka, we are well positioned to support with your local needs and market place capitalising on our cost-effective off-shore business model.
Contact us to book your free one hour consultation on how your SME business website can increase your company’s bottom line in 2016 and beyond.