Each year new trends and technologies are adopted by website owners and developers. Some of these trends have more to do with advances and changes in design and others have more to do with advances in technology. Over the past few years, the dominant website trends have been WordPress, static sites, mobile responsiveness, video content, and chatbots.
If you have a website or manage a website, you may want to think about either incorporating some of these concepts in your own site now or thinking about it now for a redesign in the future.
Responsive Design and the Rise of Mobile Users
Currently, Google looks at the desktop version of a site and then bases how it will rank the mobile site according to that information. Once this update rolls out, the opposite of that will happen. Google will begin looking at your mobile site and from that, will rank the desktop site.
This means that mobile websites are officially the most important aspect in terms of search results. This also means that you better have a responsive site. If not, your search results and ranking will be negatively affected.
Voice User Interface
Thanks to Voice User Interfaces (VUI), a movement is slowly starting to capture a similar experience on a website that we have with Alexa, Siri, or Google Home. A VUI makes spoken human interaction with computers possible. It uses speech recognition to understand spoken commands and answer questions, and typically text-to-speech to play a reply.
While voice control is becoming a bigger part of our everyday lives, the technology still can’t completely control our web experience. That’s why the big five tech companies (Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple) have all recently invested billions in developing and improving their AI assistants.
Let this sink in. Voice will power 50% of all searches by 2020. In fact, some people think that the need for keyboards will be gone in five years because of voice control. (Though I don’t share this opinion.)
The power of video as website content is not going away. Businesses should continue to put video at the forefront of their brand and engagement. However, don’t just put a video in your hero or request a demo section and call it a day. You need to think about the user experience and how video throughout will help answer the visitor’s questions and fulfill their needs.
Consider trying the following:
- Walk people through very specific questions on products or services. If you have 10 FAQs, create 10 videos to answer each.
- Don’t just talk about your company culture, create videos the show it in action
- Create a product video. Just seeing a photo of a product is no longer the norm. People want to see what it looks like in real-world situations.
- Have a video on your careers section with interviews of employees and all that your company has to offer.
- Once visitors get to thank you pages after filling out forms, have a thank you video!
People visit websites to have their questions answered and the biggest question for many customers is “What’s the price?!?”
Showing your price is a sign you are trustworthy. You’re not trying to mislead people or waste anyone’s time.
AI and Chatbots
People expect to be able to get in contact with a company 24/7. Chatbots can field questions at all times of the day that live chat can’t and guide people to specific pages to complete desired actions.
Large B2C companies already use the technology to service their customers. A bot could be integrated into progressive web apps, business websites, professional or household equipment, and any internet-connected app developed by a commercial company. The most important advantages of AI-based bots are 24/7 problem-solving potential, human-like experience, and consumer behavior analytics.