Digital Marketing

Eight Ways to Stand Out on the Web

We come across web trend articles multiple times a day and much like fashion trends, some are modern and savvy and others don’t always make the “best dressed” list. We’ve taken our favorite 8 web trends and have outlined them to help you understand why we think you should consider giving them a try:

Use authentic imagery.
Authenticity in the imagery used on your site puts visuals to your story and real faces behind your business. Stock imagery can be great, but that photo of some random girl eating pizza at that outdated table in some random restaurant doesn’t give a user a look into what an experience at your restaurant is really like.

Use interaction to tell a better story.
A website tells a story; it tells your story. Through your content and interaction, engage the user and guide them through your story. It will result in a better experience for the user. Mapquest mobile (Image of: http://mobile.mapquest.com/)

Increased web font library and font size. 
Web Fonts are becoming widely used and accepted by users (and modern browsers). Using big text with style, not only makes a statement visually, but also establishes a visual hierarchy of content. So consider using a stylized webfont. It is better than using an image of a stylized font. Google Hangouts

(Image of: http://www.google.com/hangouts/)

Video is better content.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what about a video? Research is showing that by 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer web traffic (according to Cisco). “With online video quickly becoming a key means for people to satisfy their information and entertainment needs, small businesses that fail to include it in their internet marketing strategies will do so at their peril.” (Source: http://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2014/jan/14/video-content-marketing-media-online) Learn more about why your company needs a video here: https://www.usdigitalpartners.com/10-ways-that-video-can-help-your-business/ RotoRooter Valentine's Day video (Video for Roto-Rooter, by US Digital Partners)

Less really is more when it comes to the web.
A user typically wants to find information quickly and easily. So eliminating the clutter and getting right to the point will help. We might do this with written content in general, photo usage, or changes to the navigation. Minimizing the menu to feature the main pages and tucking away some of the not-as-important ones helps users find what you want quickly. Squarespace screenshot (Image of: http://www.squarespace.com/)

Ongoing, meaningful conversations with your users.
Nothing beats an actual conversation with your users. This isn’t a new trend nor is it anything earth-shattering. It is important for our clients to be reminded that their website (and the content on it) is not meant for them but for their customers, their users. Engage in a conversation with your users and actually respond! Make improvements your users suggest. They are the reason you are in business, right?

Delivering better customer experiences through increased user testing.
Focus groups are out, user testing is in. What is user testing? It’s a way of having people evaluate the usability and clarity of your website. It virtually eliminates the need for expensive formal studies while still providing helpful feedback, allowing you to make big changes quickly. By hearing directly from consumers, businesses gain actionable insights to increase conversion rate, increase retention, and increase advertising ROI. Testing services like http://www.usertesting.com/ find real people with screen recorders to record a video of what’s happening on their screen and then report any points of confusion to you.

Forget the Fold
You’ve heard the saying “above the fold” and we are telling you it no longer exists, or at least doesn’t matter in 2015. We, as users, have become so accustom to using our fingers to scroll for content on our devices (phone, tablets, phablets) that it is an inherent behavior now on our desktop computers. That stated, it is important to remember that the user be focused on compelling content upon reaching the home page. Your most important message should be the first thing a user sees, followed by clues (often an icon, or text stating to scroll, or even the top edge of a new content block) that other information is located below off screen. Your content should follow a hierarchy of most-to-least important, top-to-bottom on the home page. By giving the user digestible “chunks” of content as he/she scrolls down the page, you are creating an easier and more engaging experience for your customers. Rodeo Drive

(Images from http://www.rodeodrive-bh.com/)

Want to implement these trends with your website? Drop us a line and let’s talk.