In past years, we’ve loved talking about business websites. Why? It was (and still is) one of the core ways local business owners are found online. It’s also one of the first things small business owners know they need to implement when they launch their businesses.
Moving into 2018, it’ll remain an important part of marketing your business. And though it’s no longer the main (and definitely not the only) channel you should focus your attention on, it’ll still demand a little love going into the new year.
Let’s get up to date on the business website trends for 2018. Here’s what’s changing.
1. What They Say and How They Say It
They’ll use big, bold headlines.
This is both a design trend and a critical move to enhance your search engine optimization (SEO). Web crawlers and search engines love headers as indicators of your site’s hierarchy and organization. And heck, they look pretty cool too.
So if you have a tagline for your brand, consider putting that tagline front and center on your home page, and bump up the size of the text a couple points. Pro tip: Hopefully your tagline includes a clue or hint at what you do. If not, include a sub-header underneath your big bold statement that clarifies your core product or service offering(s).
They’ll say more with less.
One of the biggest pitfalls online marketers fall victim to is trying to cram a ton of information into a small space. It can be tempting to say everything you want to say about your business right on the home page (word-vomiting, so to speak). After all, if someone’s reached your site, it could be your first and only chance to sell them on your business.
Moving into 2018, we’ll see the smartest local businesses move to cleaner home page designs with less and less content crammed into that prime real estate.
- It looks cleaner and more modern, so it’s easier on the eyes.
- You’ll be able to choose what you want consumers to focus on by carefully choosing what you say.
- It’s more mobile-friendly and easier to digest on the go.
- It’s what the big brands are doing, so you’ll be able to stand up to the competition.
They’ll use blogs to build a following.
You may not think of yourself as a writer, but like it or not, blogs will continue to gain traction going into 2018. They’re a great way to establish your authority in your industry, and they also do a lot for your SEO. Put simply, more valuable content = more love from search engines like Google.
Unsure of what to write about? We’ve got some ideas.
- Answer common questions you hear repeatedly.
- Share success stories and client testimonials from recent jobs.
- Talk about trends in your industry, and share your unique take on them.
- Pull content from other sources, putting a twist on the topic at hand.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to offer a way for consumers to subscribe to your blog. It’s a tried and true method for building your contact list and staying in touch with folks who may not be ready to buy today, but who (with enough nurturing) could become customers in the future.
2. How They’re Organized
They’ll cater their navigation to the user.
In an online world where the consumer is king, it’s all about organizing your site to cater to the user. Instead of complex navigation bars and panes, the top websites in 2018 will be those that focus on user experience and user-driven navigation options.
Exactly how are business websites giving users what they want?
- They’re placing search bars more prominently and optimizing content for searches.
- They’re simplifying and reducing the number of links from the home page.
- They’re making contact information more visible and clickable from a mobile device.
3. How They’re Designed
They’ll employ vertical layouts, not horizontal.
This is all thanks to the continued trend of increasing mobile views. Mobile users love swiping up and down, and they hate pinching and scrolling from left to right. That means instead of designing pages that span across an entire wide screen, content and images will be largely kept to the middle of the page.
They’ll go big.
When it comes to web design in 2018, size matters. Images, copy, buttons, menus and links should all be big enough to stand out on smaller devices and tiny screens.
Unsure if you need to make any adjustments? Here’s a quick test. View your website on your mobile phone. If your page requires zooming, consider moving things around or increasing the size of any page elements that seem a little tough to interact with.
They’ll deliver slick animation and videos.
Sound expensive? You’d be surprised how accessible these design trends are to the everyday local business. Do-it-yourself website vendors are incorporating these options into their out-of-the-box website offerings, and web designers are doing this type of work more and more.
What does that mean for you? As animation and videos become a more mainstream expectation from business owners with websites, the cost of incorporating these elements into your site will continue to steadily decline.