If you plan on launching a new website or redoing an existing site in 2014 you can easily be focused purely on the aesthetics, content management system or markup of the site. Those elements are indeed important but as the web evolves I wanted to highlight 3 really important elements that shouldn’t be absent when launching a website in 2014. To ensure success and to have a truly modern site you’ll need to consider these elements:
1. Structured Data/Rich Snippets
At it’s very basic level, a rich snippet is a standardized way to represent data to users and search engines. As of now rich snippets exist for calendar events, news, media, recipes, reviews and handful of other pieces of content that can follow a set archetype across all websites. These “rich snippets” are the few lines of text that appear under a search result and are designed to give users a sense for what’s on the page and why it’s relevant to their search.
Why Rich Snippets?
- Stand out: Rich snippets are only found on about 1.5% of websites across the entire web so there is a clear opportunity here.
- Improved click through rate: Rich snippets provide added information and act as a relevancy signal to users. This added info to the search result will help make up a searchers mind and will improve click through on the Google results page.
- Establish Authority: For bloggers you can tie your posts to your G+ profile, tying content to a “real person” is an easy way to establish authority.
2. Visual Based Content
In the age of Pinterest it’s no joke that we are watching more and reading less. Visual content isn’t just for the Pinterest audience, every website should be taking a more visual approach to content no matter who your target audience might be. Larger photographs, infographics and video should all make their way into your website’s content and relaunch in 2014.
Why Visual Content?
- Researchers found that color visuals increase the willingness to read by 80%. Full Study
- Visuals have increased in literature, newspapers and on the internet. Full Study
- Videos are engaging: Compared to text sites, websites with video have a lower bounce rate (59% compared to 87%) and a higher average time on site (5 minutes compared to 42 seconds).
3. Responsive Design
It feels like the digital community has been pushing responsive design for years and by now it should really be a standard approach to website development. Mobile adoption rate is staggering and mobile internet usage is projected to overtake desktop internet usage in the very near future. We rarely launch a site that isn’t mobile friendly as responsive design is a standard technique at PadillaCRT.
- Google recommends responsive design due to its crawling efficiency
- A responsive site means you have one site for all devices and eliminates the need to have a separate “mobile only” website
- 50% of people said that even if they like a business, they will use them less often if the website isn’t mobile friendly.Full study