Three Digital Trends That Matter for Small Business Websites
Keeping up on the latest digital trends is an important part of any successful small business website. The modern site visitor is web savvy and quickly identifies outdated design or improper technical implementation, making it much less likely that an even slightly behind the curve website will attract and drive positive engagement for your business. Here are three digital trends that matter for your small business website.
1. Responsive Design
As mobile web use continues to grow, responsive design has become the preferred trend for building small business websites that look great on phones, tablets, and desktop. Responsive design is a framework that ensures your website responds to the devices used by your visitors.
To display a single set of content in a fluid way, regardless of device, responsive design implementation focuses on a mixture of HTML markup and CSS to identify viewports, define content sizes, and apply flexible grids so the best layout is displayed for each device. Not only does this provide a better user experience, but it’s also important for SEO, especially with Google’s mobile algorithm including “mobile-friendly” as a major ranking factor.
To get started with responsive design, run your business website through Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool to identify any mobile issues along with guidance for fixing them. If you use a website builder for your business website make sure to adopt responsive themes, so you won’t have to worry about updating or maintaining any code to make the most of this trend.
Minimalism allows your visitors to consume content at their own pace and on their own terms. The trend means abandoning a small business website crowded with unnecessary columns, buttons, and other content in favor of a stripped-down and polished presentation.
With a focus on limiting distraction, minimalism relies on large, striking images and simple, easy to follow page layouts. Not only does this provide an elegant level of immersion for the reader, but it also allows you to control how the visitor interacts with your content. You can see the power of minimalism in this New York Times essay, featuring bold banner-style images with a single column, accentuated with informative videos and detailed illustrations that add to the story without crowding the page. The minimalist design guides readers on a path through the content in a logical, engaging way.
Apply minimalism to your small business website simply by giving visitors more space. Use subtle visual cues like separate font colors for headlines, a fair amount of negative space, and hero images. Minimalism lets your visitors find and focus on the most impactful parts of your business website.
Storytelling allows your small business website to build trust and convey value on a personal level that cuts through the noise and separates you from the competition. The trend originates from a desire to emphasize the personality behind a brand, and align a business website with more organic, editorial ways of thinking.
Take a look at the about page for Luisana Cooks for some sharp small business storytelling. This isn’t just another health food and recipe blog, it’s the author’s unique story and perspective on living through health issues and overcoming adversity through healthy eating. Hack the Hood takes a different approach by telling its story with simple, yet powerful slideshows, while The Box Bros uses a homepage video to drive home the inspiration behind its unique products.
To make the most of storytelling techniques, start with your backstory and personal inspiration. Start by telling the personal side of your story on an about page. Then, transition over some of this more aspirational branding to your homepage. Make it personal. Everyone loves a good story.
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