Many website owners take the start of a new year as an opportunity to address their sites to make sure they stay current. As search engine algorithms, updates and best practices change so quickly, it is easy to fall behind your competitors if you don’t stay up-to-date and on top of the latest trends.

It is also important to be able to tell the difference between a growing trend and a passing phase – in 2019, this will be a top priority in web design. Averma is here to start you off with four of our top tips for the hottest trends we’ve already highlighted for our clients.

1. Think about mobile-first web design

If you’re thinking about setting up your first website, consider the increasing trend among web designers and developers this year – Mobile-first.

Traditionally, web design begins with the desktop-ready version, from which a mobile-friendly version is created. Mobile-first, as the name suggests, works in exactly the opposite way and focusses on making sure that the mobile-friendly website is the top priority.

This follows a steadily-growing trend for mobile search that has overtaken desktop for the past four years. The resulting reaction from Google has led to changes that make mobile-friendly sites rank higher than their non-mobile-friendly competitors. Although we know this is not breaking news, it will certainly drive this years’ trend for mobile-first web design.

2. Don’t forget about site speed

Site speed is one of those technical, behind-the-scenes processes that experienced web developers take heed of on a regular basis, so again, this is not a brand-new announcement. However, professional opinion is varied about the length of time one has to make an impression to their site visitors. For a few years, the consensus has been typically four seconds. A recent report conducted by Akamai and Gomez, hinted that half of all visitors will abandon your site if it takes more than two or three seconds to load.

The Google Speed Update was released at the end of July 2018 and this promised to rank fast-loading sites higher. This has been a key driver of the trend for site speed optimisation, which we think will be a focus for web developers in the early months of this year. It will also encourage a closer working relationship between web designers and developers to ensure elements of the design perform at maximum capacity.

3. Video isn’t going away this year, it’s going to be bigger and better

Despite the growing trend and requirement for optimised site speed, video is an interesting SEO trend that simply cannot be ignored in 2019 web design.

The use of video backgrounds, banners and virtual tours will increase in popularity, driving a trend for video this year that we think will be unprecedented. SEO benefits can be realised with this visitor-friendly medium in several ways:

  • Information conveyance – fast.
  • Appealing, short video encourages visitors to stay longer – longer on-site time increases rankings.
  • Increased conversions likely with video-oriented content.
  • Provides a boost in a brand’s social presence.
  • Video provides increased link-building opportunities.

We expect to see an increase in the use of GIFs and other animated content too this year, in addition to Augmented and Virtual Reality.

4. Simple, clean web design with good typography

The key phrase to bear in mind this year for web design is ‘Keep it Simple’. We have been seeing a lot of minimalist design features in some of the largest business sites over the past six months and this is beginning to seep into the online real estate of SMEs, who are realising that subtle, classy imagery and design is appealing to today’s modern consumer.

Balancing subtle backgrounds, bold typography and flat design with careful use of shapes and simple icons, white space, asymmetry and geometry will give a nod to site speed too. This is particularly important when working on the popular, yet tricky-to-optimise one-page website designs. Cluttered, busy sites with complex navigation will gradually peter out this year, as clean and fresh takes over.

The best way to address your website in 2019

Take a fresh look at your website this year if you haven’t already and think about the trends we have mentioned here to give you a head start. If you’ve noticed changes in your site traffic and conversions, then you probably need to examine how up-to-date you are.

You may have higher personal priorities within your business operations at the start of the year, and it does make sense to engage a professional agency to address the technicalities of your website. Averma work closely with our clients from the very start, to establish your needs and requirements for your business. We create a tailored, actionable plan to help you stay ahead of your competitors and drive traffic and ultimately, sales.

Talk to Averma this year about giving your website a web design refresh that appeals to your unique target audience, hails perfectly to your branding and meets your bottom-line budgeting needs. (info@avermaconsulting.com)