We’ve selected a WordPress theme that will give us a lot of exposure—today’s themes provide promo modules to highlight company features and/or events as users scroll down the page. They extend the homepage where you can use your keywords. There is a lot of SEO value in these themes. We’re writing case studies of residential and a commercial projects for which we also have good images. We’re rethinking navigation and paying attention to page speed—especially image size. We’ve removed a few old projects that are dated.
Single-page websites are designed around a central topic or theme—a keyword–so single-page websites can only target that single phrase. Multipage websites have more chances of ranking higher in search because they’re optimized for more keywords.
Here are the latest web trends for 2020 that you’ll want to be incorporating into your web design.
Split screen content. Do you have several key messages? Easy. Line these up side by side. Think about adding a call to action in the center to tie the two together.
Say hello to BERT, Google’s new algorithm change. It’s based on context, and this time, it’s something we may like. I Google everything, so I’m looking forward to this.
Are you tired of your dated website but not up to creating a new one? If your site was built in WordPress, in many cases we can apply a new design theme to achieve a complete transformation. I’m working on one of these projects now, and it’s a remarkably easy solution that dramatically extends a website’s shelf life. Rather than a new website, maybe just a makeover would be the right solution for you
The biggest change for most of us is the block-based editor. Blocks are content elements that you add to the edit screen to create content layouts. Each item you add to your post or page is a block. There are blocks for all common content elements and more can be added by WordPress plugins. There are blocks for paragraphs, images, videos, galleries, audio, lists, etc.
You may have noticed single-page websites popping up around the internet. They’re especially popular with designers because they’re a great way to host portfolios. Apps and product sites also favor this design option that doesn’t require a lot of content or drilldown.
A single-page website: One that fits on a single page
Single-page websites are fully loaded in the initial page load. There’s no drilldown, no navigation bar or clicking because there’s nowhere else to go! Single-page sites can be efficient, and they’re a natural outgrowth of the mobile movement–visitors don’t have to wait for pages to load.
Things to love about single-page sites
- Ease of use and maintenance.
- High conversion rates.
- Look great on every browsing device, falling within mobile-friendly guidelines.
- Professional-looking sites can be built in a matter of hours; updates easily achieved.
There are other scenarios when a single-page site is the perfect solution
- If you’re a freelancer, a single-page is the perfect way to host your work and give potential employers a bit of information about you. You can also include a simple contact intake form.
- Landing pages. This is the ideal solution for a campaign. A single-page site lets you create messaging and efficiently run A/B tests.
- Simple website needs.Think about a pop-up store. A simple website with a brief introduction, photos and contact information is the perfect solution for a temporary business.
The average website is likely optimized for 20-50+ keywords. Remember that one-page sites are all about images or other information. How can you optimize for 50 keywords on a site that has virtually no content? You can’t. And that’s the biggest drawback to single-page sites.
- If SEO is an important component of your website and marketing strategy, this is not the best solution for you.
- Real websites include multiple pages designed around a users’ needs and the website owner’s goals. Let visitors pick their paths based on their needs and then present them with information created just for them. We can do this with a multiple page website, but we can’t easily do this with a single-page website.
Popularity likely to continue, as it serves a need
In a traditional web environment, it’s all about grabbing users with keyword search, getting them to land on your site and then funneling them towards a contact form, page, or phone number. With single-page sites, there’s nowhere for the user to get distracted — every part of the page drives them toward a conversion point, driving more leads and business. While single-page design won’t take over the future of web design, it likely will continue to leave its mark through 2019 because it serves a real need.
Is this right for you?
The best approach: Think about what you want to include on your site. Sketch it out, identifying images and content. Give me a call, and let’s determine if a single-page site is the right solution for your business.
I’m working with a client whose website is 15 years old. Unlike us, websites don’t improve with age. The biggest problem, of course, is that a 15-year old site isn’t mobile friendly in our mobile-mad world.
My client is well aware of this, of course. But a new website is always a major initiative, and there are often bigger priorities. The fact remains that a website is where people go to learn more about you, and it’s hard to overestimate the power of a website as the cornerstone of your marketing strategy.
If a new website or a site refresh is part of your 2019 marketing plan, here are some design trends:
Users now expect a site to load in two seconds or fewer; they will abandon a site if it takes three seconds or more.
2. Flat design
Look for clean, minimalist flat design. Flat design helps a site fulfill speed requirements that search engines love. It helps hold high SEO value and gets rid of clutter. Think bright colors, clean and crisp edges, lots of open space, simple imagery and sans-serif fonts.
3. Mobile first search
In 2015, the number of mobile searches overtook those from desktop computers. The result? Mobile has had a huge influence on website design. Meeting the demands of mobile users will likely continue for the foreseeable future.
4. Broken-grid layout
Grids have been used for decades on webpages, newspapers and ads for content alignment and consistency. You may not see grid lines, but someone used a grid to develop the layout. Now asymmetry and broken grids are gaining popularity. Look for unusual placements, layering with different colors and textures, repeating irregular patterns, use of white space and creative typography.
People associate thoughts and emotions with shapes. Rectangles represent stability, circles are unity and triangles are dynamic. Creative use of particular shapes or combinations of shapes can be used to influence user emotions or feelings. Shapes help draw attention to those parts of a page that you want your visitors to notice.
6. Single-page design
These websites are one page rather than multiple landing pages arranged in a navigational hierarchy. The downside: In terms of SEO, it’s harder to rank for particular keywords and other advanced SEO techniques. The benefits: Pageless design scores big when it comes to load time. They also look great on every browsing device, are scalable, easily managed and have high conversion rates. They’re great for pop-up businesses and those with limited budgets.
Micro-animations direct us through tasks as we interact with digital products. Examples? We fill out a form and we’ll be presented with a little animated checkmark to reward us for successfully completing it. We see and use these every day on both desktop and mobile. In many situations, they’re replacing those annoying captcha screens.
Is a new website in your 2019 marketing plan?
As websites have moved toward responsive design, many of my clients are confronting the harsh realities of creating new websites. In many cases, these sites have content that is no longer representative of their businesses. Their images are irrelevant, often small thumbnails, the navigation clumsy. But starting from scratch and building a new website is always a major initiative; it can be expensive and time-consuming.
Happily, there may be a relatively simple solution
If your site was built in WordPress, in many cases we can simply apply a new design template to the existing site that can achieve a complete transformation. I just finished a project that included this kind of facelift, giving a website a new lease on life and dramatically extending its shelf life.
The client is a husband-and-wife team of smart, savvy business brokers with 50+ years of collective industry experience and a high customer-service ethic. They had a canned website—the vendor provides content and infrastructure, but gives them a lot of latitude for customization. The content feed is very good, but my clients have never taken advantage of it (the last post was in 2013) or done much customization.
Their old site was becoming a liability
My clients are not marketing people, and they launched their site without really giving much thought to SEO, their marketing presence or how the site would look to a prospective client. They were relieved to get the site launched and be able to put their business broker hats back on.
But now they recognized that their site was becoming a liability; they were missing opportunities to generate new leads, and they asked me to help them update it. This was a simple project, and happily, some easy changes have made a dramatic difference. It showcases my clients as industry experts, has good navigation and increased SEO value.
We made changes that help showcase their industry expertise
- Identified lively new images that are representative of their potential clients and updated the homepage slider, adding visual appeal and energy to their site.
- Rewrote their bios to showcase their wide range of experience, using their keywords throughout.
- Developed case studies that showcase my clients’ high level of customer service and expertise negotiating leases, dealing with government agencies, performing market analyses and business valuations.
- Updated testimonial page so endorsements are fully fleshed out and attractively displayed on the page.
- Turned name of company into a logo/tagline with use of a more stylish font, creating a more distinctive marketing presence.
- Fleshed out Yoast plugin on backend to increase SEO value.
- Added calls to action on all of their personal pages, making it easy for a user to contact them for more information.
None of these efforts by itself was complex, difficult or time-consuming, but collectively, they helped update a website that was uncompetitive. If your site is not generating leads, rather than a whole new site, this kind of makeover might be a solution for you. Contact us at Top of Mind Marketing. We’re SEO and content marketing experts.
I remember the first-generation websites that we all had a lifetime ago. They were clunky and slow and had way too much poorly written content, bad navigation bit-mapped images. They also invariably had FAQs because we really didn’t know what else to include. I’ve hated FAQs ever since—I’ve always associated them with those crappy websites.
But I’m seeing a lot of FAQs these days and I like them because they’re complete workhorses. They can be repurposed, they can improve organic search rankings, and they can even be used in your AdWords campaigns. I just used these very effectively on a recent project, and they were the perfect solution—consolidating potential questions about key company services on a single page.
Key benefits of FAQs
1.FAQs can be repurposed for e-newsletters, blogs and social media
What I love most: FAQs are easy to create. They’re cost-effective content for small businesses—the crisp format means they can easily be created by in-house teams without extensive review and approval cycles. Best of all, FAQs fill a need. I love the way they can ask a question and answer it. At their best, FAQs are problem solvers, crisp, quick and succinct.
What I like even more, since I want to get as much mileage as possible out of everything I write, is that FAQs can be repurposed.
- E-newsletters.Extract a few of the FAQs and feature them in your monthly newsletter. Ask the question, provide a brief answer, then link to your website with a Read more methodology where your audience can find out more information.
- Social media.This is really a no-brainer. Repurpose a single question/answer on your social media sites. Be wary of lengthy posts—people are much more likely to read short and accessible posts. Edit the text or think about Asking the question and providing a link to your site with the answer.
- Print collateral/data sheets.If you share pdf files about your services, a nicely formatted, branded pdf file of FAQs is a great addition. Selected items from your FAQs are great additions to brochures or other print collateral.
2. FAQ pages can help with organic search rankings
FAQs are workhorses when it comes to Google organic search. By using keywords in each Q&A, then linking to their corresponding product pages where you more fully develop the description, the FAQ model nearly automatically optimize themselves for search. And because they offer useful information, they can help build links over time.
A page of thoughtful FAQs becomes a hardworking asset
FAQ pages are the unsung workhorses of content and search marketing. While any company can create and benefit from FAQ pages, they’re particularly beneficial for small manufacturers or other small companies looking for a way to quickly and easily explain what they do and answer potential questions about their operations. Easy to create and repurpose, they provide a lot of bang for your marketing buck.