In a recent blog we spoke a little about how web design has changed, looking at how we have evolved our design aesthetics in line with consumer development and awareness. But a website is more than just the visual on your screen.
The evolution of technology means that your online presence is rarely limited to a single website appearing on a desktop computer. Your website now needs to be mobile responsive, you should be prepare to engage with your customers on multiple platforms (Twitter, Facebook, review sites) and, in this age of Google ranking, SEO is only increasing in importance.
Mobile browser use has overtaken desktop. We are no longer waiting for our internet to dial-up (in fact, we will wait around 3 seconds for a page to load). The speed of your website is proven to have an actual impact on your revenue stream, which is particularly important if you run an eCommerce site. Responsive web design is key to ensure that your site functions across not only all devices, but all browsers.
We also no longer rely on Internet Explorer; your website should work on every browser to prevent users from being shut out. Testing your site to ensure that it is adaptable will prevent you from losing customers, because they can’t use the website in the way they want too. The expectations of the consumer have advanced along with the current standards of web development, and we are not a patient species! As Freddie Mercury once skillfully put it; we want it all, and we want it now.
Content is King, distribution is Queen, Google is God
The power of Google is not to be underestimated. Google is now the largest search engine in the world, controlling a HUGE percentage of the online traffic. That means that Google’s ‘judgement’ of your site, and its relevance to the consumer, will have a large effect on where you rank – and therefore how much traffic it sends to you. Once upon a time, just having a website was enough for you to be ahead of the game. Now, the design and development of your website is crucial.
Google ranks your website by using bots (often thought of as spiders) to crawl the pages, content and data, assessing their level of relevance for a user’s search. This is where SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) comes in. Bill Gates famously coined the phrase ‘Content is king’; content increases your visibility, allows search engines and consumers to understand what your site is about, and can encourage sharing across platforms. Google is becoming increasingly smart in the way that it ranks pages, and how it judges a site’s worth. Ensuring that your site is optimised to make crawling as easy as possible and including relevant keywords and phrasing is key to increasing traffic. Find out more about SEO over on our SEO info page.
People can be lame. Even on the internet. A large downside to the advancements in web development is that these lame people can now launch what are known as ‘cyber attacks’, mining your site for data, or even holding it ransom for cash. Take steps to ensure that your data (and your customer’s data) is protected from malicious attacks.
Whilst you may not have, need or want an app for your company, there is a growing expectation that companies will not only have a website, but also a social presence, making them quickly accessible from multiple apps and sites. Remember that consumers expect consistency across these platforms; your voice on Twitter should be in line with the tone of your website, and your brand. But it’s also important to remember that you DON’T HAVE TO DO IT ALL. If you don’t have time, select one or two channels that you feel are most relevant and do them properly.
Hey, Alexa, what’s the future of web development?
The future of web development might be voice activated. Start planning for this development. VoIP is currently predicted to be one of the biggest upcoming changes to the way we engage with the internet. Think about the way your site is designed, and how voice activated technology can access it in order to answer a user’s query.
Why not let us know what YOU think the future of web development is, and how this is affecting the way you think about putting your brand online?