Web Design & SEO in 2015
When you look back at 2014, you can see some of the spectacular trends that came up regarding web design, such as the parallax effects, the code free design platforms, the single paged sites and a number of others.
We are moved to speculate what’s coming up for the rest of 2015, especially with the growing number of devices used to access the web on a daily basis, most web designers need to keep modifying their workflow in order to meet up with the vibrant changes that keep occurring in web design. To determine what trends will flourish in the year 2015, we have put together some of the most notable changes and improvements to be made this year.
Images and Videos
In the past, web masters avoided making use of large images on their webpages, they forget the fact that pictures are a wonderful tool that most web users find very appealing, and they convey a sense of cleanliness on the web page as well as quality services. They are also a lot more entertaining and captivating than just plain words on a page, thus the saying “a single picture is better than a thousand words”
Pictures are now being used by web designers to direct people to selected sections that contain more information on web pages. When web users see images that points to a particular direction, they are definitely inclined to check the information’s that such pictures where referring to, whether it is a section of important information, or a call to action. Videos has also become very important, because they are quick to provide web users with lots of information, the moving pictures and audio provides all that your business has to offer. Web users are definitely going to enjoy looking at pictures and watching videos than just reading plain texts.
With the technological explosions and a lot of devices (smart phones, phablets, tablets, monitors and large screen TVs) which are being used to access the web, since they all have varying screen sizes, web masters now have to make sure that they tailor their webpages to ensure that all web users can surf the web comfortably, regardless of the screen size or type of device.
A website lacking a responsive layout or structure demands that the user puts in extra effort to pull and drag when trying to view the contents of the site. This puts you at a serious risk of not getting potential leads since viewers wouldn’t want to hassle themselves just to see what it contains. While a responsive webpage ensures that the contents of your webpages shrinks, expands, shifts and moves to fit the screen of whatever device is being used to access the website. This allows users to easily navigate your web pages and go through the contents without any stress and from any device. Thus increasing the chances of the webmaster of getting leads and conversions.
This became common early in 2014, and was embraced by most web masters, and it is now being used in more web pages than the previous year. This unique feature gives flexibility to web pages that are not just pleasant to users; they are also convenient and very effective. Parallax Scrolling are great for handling single paged websites and storytelling sites, and we’ll definitely be seeing more of this in the year 2015.
Web designers now make use of a method in displaying information in such a way that users find very appealing. The webpage is segmented into card-like structures, with each card containing a different and attractive image or text. That describes what the card links to. And when a desired card is selected, it takes the user away from the homepage and into a page containing the desired information.
When creating such card structures, a simple layout that has large and very attractive pictures that catches the eye, and pulls the user to your page. Webmasters need to create suitable cards that provide the exact information needed to successfully provide the much needed results.
In the past, web designers made use of complex intricate designs on their webpages, but they had very poor returns in investments. This is because users find such sites to be messy and unkempt, and feel that it would take extra time and a lot more effort to find exactly what they are looking for. So they tend to look elsewhere at simpler sites that make use of one dimensional design. A flat design with attractive colors and prominent information are usually more attractive to web users and provide potential leads and conversions to web users. And as a result of its effectiveness, it is definitely going to be used a whole lot more in 2015.
Humans are always attracted to what they can see, and tend to grasp information a lot faster when it is presented in graphics. The use of info graphics has been used to portray large amounts of information that could easily be remembered. Thus the new trend called the web graphics, which is basically the same with info graphics, but has some added features that allows web users to interact with the web information. Unlike the info graphics, web graphics are far more appealing and increases the retention of users at a significantly higher level.
Webgraphics is definitely going to be part of the 2015 trends, with more web users demanding for it. This is sure to make web graphics become a lot more popular than it was in 2014.
Less Clicking, More Scrolling…
Since more and more web users access the web through smartphones, the need to create a site that can easily be navigated from such phones definitely creates a good impression. Rather than make users push buttons on small screens, web designers have found a more effective way of structuring their web pages to just scroll through the information, without having to click on any button. So instead of tapping delicately on buttons, viewers can comfortably scroll through the desired information, putting up desired information at the top of your homepage, while making the rest of the information very easy to access will definitely bring in more viewers and more conversions.
SEO in 2015
If 2014 is any indication, then web design and SEO techniques are going to only become more important in 2015, as more people look to the virtual world for their various needs and wants.
Same old, same old The core concepts of website design and SEO strategy are unlikely to change much in the coming year; as with most products and services, quality is a standard that never goes out of style. For the website owner, this means:
Top-notch, frequently updated, and relevant content remains one of the best ways to keep old visitors coming back and attract new ones. Obviously, running a website can be quite a chore, so if you find that content creation is too much for you, consider hiring a writer or teams of writers to do so for you. There are plenty of freelancers who specialize in doing just that and for very reasonable prices.
- User-centric website design is a necessity. A site that makes the user experience (or UX, for short) its number one priority will ultimately see much more success than a similar site with a less user-friendly design. Creating such a site encompasses a wide varieties of factors, including, but definitely not limited to, choosing a colour scheme that is visually appealing and easy-to-read and that does not assault the eye (like a retina-scarring neon orange background with lemon-yellow lettering), setting up multiple pages for specific subjects, all easily accessible with clear navigational controls, using the F-pattern for your design (for more on this, check out the information in this tutorial), and laying out your content in such a way that is easy on the eyes (such as breaking up large blocks of content and using contrasting colours, like black and white, for text). For more information on how to make your website design user-friendly, there are a number of tutorials available, all of which can be found using Google.
- The quality of your link profile remains an important factor in determining your search engine results ranking. Kick off the new year by evaluating its present state and then design a plan to improve it through link-earning (as opposed to link-buying and other “unnatural” link-building practices that will only eventually land you in trouble.)
- White hat SEO practices remain supreme. Yes, they may take a little longer to show results than their black hat counterparts, the latter will get you penalized by that Almighty Overlord of Search Engines, Google, while the former will help your website succeed.
- Site speed is still important. Always remember that most internet users have the attention span of a hyperactive 5-year old and the “give it to me now” mentality of a 2-year old. Sites that take more than a few seconds to load will have most users hitting the “back” button
Factors of Growing Importance
SEO and website design in 2015 will still see some important changes, though much of the fundamentals will remain the same.
Mobile-friendly pages are more important than ever. If you do not have a website that is optimized for use on mobile devices, creating one that is geared for mobile users should probably be your first priority. The amount of mobile traffic is only growing and the best way to lose out on the business of mobile users is to have a site that is inconvenient or even impossible to use on their devices. In fact, Google has recently added a “mobile-friendly” label to their search engine results list so that mobile users can skip right to the sites that are easily viewed on their devices, rather than slogging through sites that are poorly-designed for mobile technology. Are you wondering what makes a site a mobile-friendly? Google uses the following as criteria:
- Text can be easily read without zooming in and out.
- Links and interactive objects are large enough and spaced far enough apart so that they can be tapped accurately. This is in contrast to those sites that, on mobile, make their tap-able content so small and scrunched together that anyone with fingers larger than that of a toddler will find themselves repeatedly hitting the wrong link on accident.
- Content automatically sizes itself to the dimensions of the screen on which it is viewed, eliminating the need for horizontal scrolling
- The site does not use software that cannot be used on most mobile devices—Flash is an example of an incompatible piece of software.
- There is likely to be a decrease in the importance of keywords. In the past, SEO tactics have emphasized the use of keywords to increase one’s visibility on search results. In 2015, SEO techniques will have to adapt to semantic search-based algorithms, which means that no longer will Google be looking for individual keywords within a query, but taking into account each word and the overall meaning of the phrase searched. Additionally, Google will take into account plurals and synonyms of words when looking for pages relevant to the search query. Conversational keywords, longtail keywords, and LSI keywords should all be explored as means of increasing your online visibility.
- Because social media sites, such as Facebook, are high-authority sites, your business’s Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ page may actually rank higher than your business’s actual site. The continued, even growing, popularity of these sites means that creating an impressive social media profile is more important than ever.
Brand visibility across a multitude of platforms and on a variety of different outlets will become increasingly important to SEO strategy as the virtual world is accessed through a myriad of ways and information is gathered from a plethora of sources. It is important to have a representation of your company in every corner of digital space if you truly wish to grow your customer base.