We may be two months already in the new year but it's never too late to start updating your site to keep it relevant this 2018.
Updating your site becomes even more important, especially if you haven't done any major changes and improvements during the past year-or years.
Not only has web design evolved, but so has optimisation, user experience, and content creation, all of which play a big role in building a website that your target audience would want to go to and stay in.
So what does it take to transform your site and keep it all the more relevant this 2018? We've listed 5 key factors for you to work on starting today.
Mobile and Beyond
When we recommend that you improve your mobile site, we don't just mean making it mobile-friendly or responsive. At this point, your site has to be mobile optimised as well, especially in preparation for Google's Mobile-First Index that's bound to come out this year.
This time around, it's not just about adjusting how your desktop site appears on mobile devices or being content in simply having a mobile version of your site. To keep your site relevant-and ranking-this year is by optimising your site to carve out a seamless user experience for your customers.
It's making sure that the way customers navigate through your site would be so much easier and accessible, that it'd only take a few clicks for them to go from one page to another or even browse through products, hit add to cart, and then proceed to checkout. Not only that, but it's in never losing sight of what your goals are, which is to engage your site visitors and keep them locked in through the design, format, navigation, and so on.
It's been predicted that by the end of this year, more than 80% of traffic will be directed towards videos-and it's not hard to see why.
Videos are an elevated form of content that proves to be more effective in conveying a particular message in comparison to just using words. Brands that utilise video within their web content, whether it's in blog posts, landing pages, product demos, or even client testimonials, tend to garner higher click throughs, engagements, and conversion rates.
Best way to go about it is to know how to diversify your content and what type would best suit different messages that you want to deliver to your audience. Of course, don't drown them out with a barrage of videos. Choose which information would engage your target audience more if it is done through video and go for that.
Artificial intelligence is a term that gets thrown a lot these days, especially in the realm of startups and tech. It's quite daunting to even think about integrating AI into your website if you don't know anything about it. But before you panic, what AI mostly means for your website-at this point-is having chatbots and live chat for better customer experience.
It's a common practice for more modernised sites these days to have that small pop-up, usually on the lower right, that comes with a friendly message asking if you need help. Having customer service automated right on your site makes your products/services all the more accessible to those who step foot on any of your landing pages.
Just be careful in implementing a chatbot on your site. At some point, it may get too annoying for your customers, which would then make them just want to leave your site, proving your efforts to be more counterproductive than beneficial.
It's been reported by Marketing Profs that 2018 is the year where data security would be a primary concern among site visitors. This is even more relevant for sites that require visitors to provide their personal or financial information.
There were quite a lot of security breaches that were made public last year, even involving companies from the big leagues. This makes visitors wary of just how much they can trust various sites with their privacy, which then directly affects the chance that they'll turn into paying customers.
There are many ways to work on securing information on your site and you can start with using HTTPS to keep online transactions safe, as well as information forms. You'll also need to have trusted certificates and compliance put on display on your site such as the Payment Card Industry Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), basic SSL-Level security, as well as other pertinent certifications to keep your site secure and maintain your customers' trust.
Voice Search Optimisation
Another factor that experts predict to become more prevalent this year is voice search and the need for voice search optimisation. This arises from the increasing dependence of users on mobile devices or voice assistants (e.g. Amazon Echo, Google Home), as well as the call for a much more convenient user experience.
Compared to traditional SEO keywords and phrases used for text optimisation, voice optimisation requires a more coherent structure of words and phrases. This pertains to questions that their target audience might ask or certain inquiries that they may need in relation to the products and services that your business is offering.
Before you worry about having to deal with even more optimisation for your site, all you need to do is conduct a general search for common queries and assess how they would be structured when done through voice search. Do take note that voice queries tend to be more conversational in tone and have a longer format than your usual keywords and phrases.
These five factors are just the tip of the iceberg in enhancing your site to keep it relevant this 2018. The most important thing is to always stay in the know of all updates and changes happening this new year in order to not get left behind the optimisation game.