If you work in marketing, chances are you read about mobile-first web design last year. Due to the continuing dominance of mobile internet usage worldwide, websites need to function and operate on smaller screens, restricted networks and render seamlessly across multiple browser/device combinations.
This shift in focus towards mobile-first websites arguably neglected other corners of the digital marketing ring; useful digital content, a relevant user journey, and search engine performance.
When planning your website build or redesign project, there are a number of important considerations for a development team and your own decision makers. Understanding your audience, marketing channels and data are just a few crucial factors that will determine the overall purpose of your website’s existence.
2014 was a telling year for the digital industry as a whole, widely dubbed as “the year of building better websites”. Never had user experience become more relevant in the turbulent and dynamic world of digital marketing, leaving web design as a frequent – sometimes annual – digital marketing tactic.
Many websites witnessed disrupted search engine performance, particularly those businesses who rely – or in some cases depend – upon Google’s ranking algorithm. Whilst these changes were designed to oust low-quality websites, a number of old and forgotten sites suffered as a consequence, leaving many marketers scratching their heads.
Earlier this year we discussed the current state of search, and revealed some honest marketing activities to bolster your search engine presence. We know that Google rewards business for making an effort online, and that rankings are a by-product of good digital marketing. This includes everything you already know you should be doing:
Looking ahead to 2015, we expect to see a shift towards lengthier website planning processes, advanced content strategies, and thorough market research.
At Rooster we perform an audience & outcomes exercise, which has proven an invaluable source of information for many of our web design projects. This exercise typically reveals overlooked stakeholder behaviour, and often identifies new opportunities online. Of course, planning has always been a fundamental component of any digital project, but it’s relevance in today’s online environment is paramount.
As the search, content and social triad inevitably splits the best and the worst websites apart, content creation and creative planning has become a significant role for the modern-day digital marketer.
Organisations are becoming increasingly dependant upon individuals who are able to manage website(s) via a CMS, create and amend marketing material across a range of software, and manage digital content and social channels 5 days a week.
Looking ahead, this will inevitably increase demand for tech-savvy marketers who perhaps won’t require a marketing background; after all, creativity isn’t taught at school.
What we do know is that Proprietors, MD’s, Marketing Managers and Heads’ of Digital are still very much concerned with search engine performance. SEO, it would seem, continues to form the cornerstone for a new web design project or website redesign brief.
If you’re thinking about a website design project or redesign project for the new year, why not get in touch with our consultancy team?