In business, we all know how important is to keep up with the latest trends. Well, the same idea applies to web design. Knowing what web surfers prefer and deem popular in web design is a major step in enticing visitors to your website to return. Staying on top of the newest web trends for 2011 could catapult your online business into the ring of major players for your industry.
The following are the essential trends that every owner with a website should be aware of in 2011:
RSS is fading
Deep into the background is where it will lay dormant as Firefox 4.0 and Google Chrome, the most increasingly used browsers, have decided not to promote it. Chrome does not support the RSS feature at all and Firefox 4.0 has relegated it to the bookmarks menu, no longer on your tool bar.
For a feature that is already lacking in popularity, it seems its death is not too far away. If you have it on your webpage, consider finding a way to energize it. Make it more obvious and enticing, or get rid of it.
Talk about the comeback kid. Email marketing is again a huge hit. With links, media and to the point content, this long used marketing tool is back in action and turning potential customers into paying customers at a rapid rate. Aweber and MailChimp are your friends, among others.
HTML 5/CSS 3
These languages have been around, they were just waiting to be noticed. With a few, but significant changes improvements in browser support, they will be the mainstream languages for 2011 and beyond.
Social bookmarking fading
A few years ago, social bookmarking websites looked to be the next big thing on the Internet. Now that we have reached 2011, they seem to have fallen off. Web surfers’ tastes evolved, but these sites did not. There is no need to make sure your articles are being marked in Digg, BizSugar or even the flagship, Delicious. Turn all that focus to making sure those articles are available on Facebook, with a ‘like’ button.
Great content still ranks high
Lots of changes were made to Google and other search engines in the continuing war against spam and people looking to find loop holes for ranking websites. Since it is a constant war, everyone can expect these changes to be just as constant in 2011. If you plan to maintain any kind of top ranking for your chosen keywords, then you must maintain new, quality content. Stick with white hat SEO tactics and you’ll be fine.
Emerging search engine markets
Google is not the only choice. When deciding how well your website is ranking, don’t forget to analyze it on search engines such as Blekko, Yandex.com, Bing and DuckDuckGo. People have been demanding a choice and they have it again.
The biggest and arguably, most important concern for any online business: conversion. In 2011, if you are not constantly making small changes to your e-commerce website to improve conversion, then you have little chance of finding online success. Most reputable SEO services offer conversion optimization by now, so find and start working with them.
If you can search within it, there is SEO for it. It’s obvious when you think about it. Think of all the hot spots on the Internet that allow search. Mobile SEO, local SEO, video SEO, social media SEO etc. are not new; however, they will experience extreme attention in 2011.
Few agencies can offer each type of SEO service, let alone all of them at the same time. If you find one that does, stick with them. Otherwise, start finding specialists in each to work with.
Emerging markets rely on mobile devices to handle payment. Paper money and credit cards are officially outdated. Mark 2011 as the year mobile payment makes a big wave in U.S. markets.
Have a blog, but sometimes you don’t have much to say? Maybe you want to share a video, image or a few lines of wisdom. Sometimes, a blog is too long and Twitter is too short. That is where microblogging or miniblogging comes into play. Communities like Tumblr let you post and blog just about anything you come across. It is a great tool to add to your marketing arsenal.
Reviews are the new links. Both local and ecommerce businesses get ranked by the number and sentiment of user reviews in Google. So you can’t live without (positive) reviews anymore in 2011.
Link building with social media
Google and Bing have confirmed that Twitter updates, links, Facebook likes/shares will count as ranking factors. That is a big change. If you haven’t been sharing content like crazy in the social media world, you should start now.