10 Web Design Trends That’ll Positively Impact Your Sales
It’s surprising how a few simple changes to your website design and way of managing your web services can boost the engagement across your site and increase sales.
The web development industry is constantly changing with new cutting-edge techniques becoming mainstream methods for delivering a fantastic user experience. But how do you know which of these web design trends actually have a positive impact on your sales, and which are just cool and don’t add any real value?
Web design can be an expensive activity for many companies, not only when purchasing new services, but in terms of lost revenue. In this article, we’ll showcase 10 awesome web design trends we’ve seen that will help drive more engaged traffic across corporate websites. From boosting sales to increasing enquiries, you’ll soon see that a combination of a few simple techniques can really help grow your business!
1. Fixed headers and navigation
Websites usually contain a header area that includes a logo, a search box and the site navigation. The reason these items are at the top of the page as they are considered the most important aspects on a site, and need to be globally accessible.
With a fixed header design you have the ability to fix these site elements to the top of page preventing your users from having to scroll back to the top of their page each time they navigate your site, avoiding any loss in the overall site journey, and if you have an eCommerce site, making it much easier for your customers to enquire with you or visit their check-out.
If you’re looking for some great examples of fixed header website design, these websites offer some super-simple examples which can be seen at Xero.com or Nike.com.au.
2. Subscription popups
People hate popups, right? Apparently not. Popups are one of the most effective means of growing your email database, so pay attention!
Growing your email database has a direct influence on your sales. After all, the more email addresses you have the better. By using a popup to grow your database you can generate traffic at will and present those visitors with key insights and offers.
If you’ve ever used services such as Unbounce or Lead Pages, both these services offer popup email subscription services that can be directed to custom landing pages which is another great way to reward your customers and ideally boost your income levels.
3. CTA (Call to Action) buttons
It constantly surprises me how many times web developers will place the least amount of emphasis on the most important links on a page.
For example, if your site has a “Buy Now” or “Enquire” button, make sure they’re not just a simple link placed on the right of the page or within the text of a paragraph. Place these links front and centre. Make them stand out in a bright colour and design them to be highly visible. Of course, you don’t want to make them too obtrusive and damage your overall page design, but they do need to be a focal point. After all, if people can’t find where to click to take that action on your pages, the rest of the page is not much use.
Some great examples of companies who do this well include Amazon.com and Kogan.com, both who are major online retailers that have spent a great deal of time ensuring their customers see their CTA’s and act on them each and every time you visit their site pages!
4. On-site search facilities
If you’ve ever taken the time to monitor user journeys through websites before using services such as Google Analytics or KISSmetrics, you’ll probably have noticed that customers often click or hover over the primary navigation then simply leave websites?
This is a really strange phenomenon and ultimately points to the fact that the user can’t find what they’re looking for on-site. To alleviate this, you can add an on-site search facility across your site which will allow your users to search for what they’re looking for.
If your web designers set up your search properly, your search should be configured to pull results based on title and page content (i.e. description) with some filters making it super-easy for your customers to find what they’re looking for. Although this tactic may seem outdated, it’s amazing how often just going that extra mile on your site can result in a huge financial boost and an increase in the number of enquiries you receive.
And remember, Google’s not the only search facility in the world that matters. Your on-site search is in many ways more important to you than where you show up in Google. Take sites such as Peter's of Kensington. They have a tonne of categories on their site but support their service really well with a comprehensive search facility.
5. Link your telephone number when on mobile devices
Another great web design trend is linking mobile or land-line telephone numbers. This really simple trick allows you to use your devices’ telephone capabilities to make a call without having to write down a telephone number which can be extremely cumbersome and frustrating.
The thing we really like about linked telephone numbers is that you can actually track how many people used your website to make a phone enquiry, which gives you the ability to assess the effectiveness of your site. Not only this, but you can evaluate how many phone calls translated into actual sales and the value of this marketing channel to your overall business operations and goals moving forward.
Take our site for example. We include a clickable telephone number in our header and know this performs very well when it comes to meeting and greeting new customers or those looking to enquire about our services.
6. Comprehensive 404 error pages
There’s nothing worse than visiting a website and getting a broken page message from the browser! All you're left with in this scenario is no reason why you’re receiving this page, and if you’re like me, blankly staring at the page URL wondering what went wrong and trying to navigate my way back to the site home page and start again.
Of course, not everybody does this, most people will simply give up and go elsewhere. However, by presenting your customers with a fun yet useful 404 error page (called a custom error page) you can keep your vistors on your site and actually assist them to find what they’re looking for.
If you’re really clever you may actually provide a form on your custom error page where your users can submit information to you on the page they were looking for and maybe even the link they followed to your site so you can remove any broken links across your own site or email the web master of an external site asking them to fix the broken link to your site.
For a simple and easy implement example, why not start with something like this 404 page from AirBNB.
7. API connectivity
You’ve probably heard programmer-type throw around the term API before. An API (Application Programming Interface) is basically a means of allowing data to be updated or extracted for use in external locations. If this description is still making your head spin, some basic examples of how API connectivity work may assist:
- Connecting your Newsletter Popup to your email marketing system to avoid double-handling
- Updating your CRM (Customer Relationship Management Tool) with new contacts
- Allowing login or sign up to your site with services such as a Google or Facebook account, and
- Displaying complex real-time information on your web-page published by external sources such as weather or stock information
There are a number of reasons why the use of API-based services is such a hot web design trend right now. For example:
- They allow you to extend the functionality of your website
- API-based services allow you to automate mundane business processes, and
- Allow you to share your data with external sites using a simple permissions-based model further increasing the awareness of your business and services
8. Scalable cloud-based solutions
Nobody wants to pay more for web or application hosting than is necessary, and if you’re not in the business of managing websites, there’s really not many reasons why you need to employ staff to manage those services in-house when you have providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) on the market.
AWS and similar providers have invested millions of dollars in data-centres all around the world which allow you to spin up servers in your local-region providing you with fast, affordable and reliable cloud-based hosting solutions that can scale with your application as needed.
Gone are the days when all you used to be able to buy from your web host was Basic Hosting, VPS Hosting or a Dedicated Server package. Now you buy managed server space for just a few dollars a month, with no lock-in contracts that you can scale up as needed by simply flicking a switch.
The world of cloud-based services has rapidly changed over the past few years with on-demand services allowing web designers and application developers to take advantage of the trend towards scaling up services instead of spending a flat fee over time wasting precious dollars in the process. As you can see from the below example, this customer would have spent $720 on a VPS server in their first year of service vs $500 on a scalable cloud service. That's a $220 saving for essentially doing nothing!
9. Website speed and security as a means of boosting SEO
If you’ve done your reading lately you’ll know that Google is cracking down on sites that load slowly and those that do not include a security certificate on their site.
Sites who have pages which load in excess of 4 seconds per page and do not include an SSL certificate are seeing significant ranking drops across the board which is affecting profitability and annoying mobile users.
These days Google is all about the quality of the service you’re offering your customers on both mobile and desktop devices and is encouraging a better-quality Internet in the process as we all strive to rank highly in their service.
The good news is Google’s provided a service called Page Speed Insights which can assist you to improve your website in the areas it considers to be fundamental to a quality website.
Now don’t be concerned if your site doesn’t perform well to begin with, we all need to work constantly in this space, especially if your consistently updating your site and content, it’s quite an easy process to begin implementing on-site changes to improve your overall score.
10. Outsourced web design
These days specialisation is a must if you’re going to excel in business. Take the IT industry, there are so many platforms you can work with, programming languages to choose from and services available to the professionals who work in the industry. So, if you’re not a specialist in IT, why would you try and build an internal IT team?
This web-design trend is becoming more and more common in the market and at OSE we often meet with clients who are either looking to outsource the full-time management of their web infrastructure or develop and support web-based projects for them long-term; and why not, it makes perfect business sense.
- You have access to a team of specialists who know how to deliver industry leading service in a fast and affordable manner
- You’re only paying for that resource when they’re actually working
- You don’t have to pay for PC’s or desk space in your office for an IT worker, and
- You can work to a wide variety of cost frameworks such as fixed price, hourly, or pre-purchased hours all with a Service Level Agreement (SLA) in place.