Web Design Trends. 2017 is an exciting time for the web industry with technology and customer needs moving at pace. Of course, the digital landscape is continually changing so we all need to evolve with it to ensure we remain ahead of the curve. With this in mind, we take a look at the top five web design trends we think you should be looking out for in 2017.

1. Content remains significant

Focusing on content is nothing new, after all, the old adage that content is king is still true. Content is an essential part of the marketing mix and your content marketing strategy enables your company to show they are experts in their field but more importantly drive web traffic. While social sharing, sign-ups and pop-ups remain a key way to drive leads, content will continue to be significant.

2. Animation will have greater importance

Similarly, animation is being used more regularly on websites these days. It’s of particular importance when there’s a need to show meaningful content or demonstrate how to do something. Video is a great way to communicate and it’s easily shareable across platforms such as YouTube. GIFs are also becoming more sophisticated so we anticipate an increase in these over the coming months also. However, don’t overuse GIFs: they are good up to a point but we don’t want to go back to the crazy GIFs of the late 1990s!

3. Less emphasis on home pages

With content becoming more refined and ultimately more shareable, it’s likely we’ll see a rise in landing page design. Of course, all websites need a home page but there is a need to provide visitors with pages that are more targeted and best meet their search query. Content marketing is a great way to drive traffic to a website with tailored pages created to increase those conversions, feeding your social media output.

4. Simplified navigation

With so many users accessing web content via mobile and smartphones, there’s a need for navigation techniques that provide a good user experience (UX). Gone are the days of complicated navigation with the majority simplifying their content. Keeping navigation to a minimum also helps put the focus back on content, relevant to the visitor’s needs.

5. Trends in creativity

Creativity is all about showing a brand’s personality and more imaginative techniques may result in the end of flat designs. Shapes, lines and patterns certainly took off last year and it’s likely we’ll see this trend continue in 2017. Equally, basic heading styles are being replaced with more innovative options like overlapping text and images or bold typography. More experimentation is taking place and some are even going back to basics with simple, straightforward text. There’s also been an increase in illustrations and hand-drawn elements such as icons, fonts and graphics. Again this is bringing a unique look and feel to website content.

With the industry changing at such a quick pace, we cannot wait to see these (and other) web trends develop over the course of 2017. If you’d like to speak to someone about your website design, please contact Paul Mackenzie Ross at Clever Marketing on 020 3146 4341 or feel free to fill in our contact form.

With the introduction of expandable text ads and trends like audience targeting, device bidding, local search and video advertising, Clever Marketing takes a look at the top PPC trends to use in 2017.

Expandable text ads

Expandable text ads were introduced at the end of January and they’re already generated good results within PPC advertising. While standard pay per click advertising will continue to be visible alongside, it’s not possible to edit the content. Expandable text ads have two headlines in place of the standard one with 30 available characters instead of 25. There’s also an 80 character description field so you have a greater level of personalisation. These ads also use your final URL domain rather than the display URL. All expandable text ads are mobile optimised.

Audience targeting

With audience targeting, you can be even more accurate when it comes to selecting who sees your PPC advertising. Custom combinations can be created for existing audiences and new customers can be attracted based on an interest category for example. Typically a visitor will browse your website an average of six times before getting in contact or making a purchase so it’s important to get this right. Keywords might be the initial trigger but you need to ensure they return. Consider how effective your remarketing campaigns are and whether you bid for the “user intent” based search terms. Speak to your PPC agency if you require support here.

Device bidding

Mobile is the most used channel for web browsing and we’re set to see another rise in usage this year. It’s estimated there will be around 6 billion smartphone users globally by 2020. As such, Google has introduced device level bidding in AdWords (mobile and tablets) so you can adjust bids based on user searches and incorporate these into your marketing plan. This means you can set a default for one kind of device and adjust the others providing you with more flexibility. With CPC’s on the rise, a more targeted campaign will result in lower expenditure and an improvement in conversions. It will also enable you to identify any campaign weaknesses and have greater control.

Local searches

With more people searching locally from their mobile device, it’s essential to think about your competitors – especially if you’re a local business or a non-local brand targeting local traffic. If your business doesn’t come up in search results, it could be a missed opportunity. It’s not just about optimising local search results but local search on mobile. Google places such emphasis on this, it prioritises mobile friendly websites with its algorithm. Customers viewing websites from their tablet or mobile are more likely to use a service or buy a product than those that don’t. Their need is more immediate than if they were at home browsing from a desktop. With local search, your PPC ad has to feel local to encourage click throughs so you must maintain that local feel and use mobile ad extensions where feasible.

Video advertising

Video advertising is not only on the rise, it’s evolving all the time with platforms continually emerging. Social media has seen a huge increase in video content over recent years. Not only does it engage consumers and provide an emotional connection to a particular brand, it’s shareable. While Facebook (and live streaming service Facebook Live) is a dominant player, Twitter now allows creators to monetise video and Pinterest have launched promoted videos. Mobile video is also becoming increasingly popular with 2017 likely to be the year of mobile.

If you’d like to speak to someone about your PPC management, contact Paul Mackenzie Ross at PPC agency Clever Marketing on 020 3146 4341.

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