Is Your Site Ready for 2022?

If you are a business owner at the start of the year 2022, one of the things you have to ensure is whether your website is keeping up with the latest trends in the industry. Websites have been important for running a successful business for a long time now, however, it has become even more important since the pandemic hit. Nowadays, people are spending most of their time on the internet, and in the year 2022, your website should be ready to give them the smoothest experience ever. There are millions of sites on the internet, and hundreds more are joining every day. With such stiff levels of competition, if you want your business website to shine, then you have to make it future-ready by ensuring your business is consistently updated with the latest web development and user experience trends. But what are the necessary changes that you need to incorporate into your website to make sure traffic comes, stays and converts? We are going to discuss that in detail in this blog. 

1. Mobile-first Design 

As you already know, more and more people are starting to use smartphones every day. Over 55% of internet users use mobiles rather than PCs and laptops. It is a cheap and convenient option for people all over the world. So when you are sitting down to design your website, remember to use a mobile-first design approach. This means designing a website for smartphones and then moving on to bigger screens. If your website is ready for smartphones, then it will not have a problem with any other screens, and all your customers will be happy. If your website was not mobile-friendly in 2021, make sure to make it so for 2022. Google is also now a mobile-first index, meaning that if your website isn’t ready, it will face the consequences. Make sure that your design is intuitive and easy to use, as well as ensuring that pages load quickly.

Putting it into Action

  • Create your design for mobile first while having a separate yet similar design for larger screens such as tablets and PCs.
  • Development for your website should also follow the mobile-first approach, that way all the extra code (CSS, JS, etc.) will not be making the mobile page heavy and will help your web pages load faster.
  • Prioritize Content: When it comes to mobile-first design, bear in mind the fact that content is the key. As there are space restrictions on smaller screens, you must ensure that the most critical elements are prominently displayed since those are the ones users will actively look for.  Minimize content layout shift, especially in mobiles as it confuses users and results in an overall bad experience.
  • Provide Intuitive Navigation: Intuitive navigation is of utmost importance when it comes to delivering a neat and clean user experience on mobile devices. You can leverage features like navigation drawers (using Hamburger menus) to display secondary elements of the website. This will help users to find the necessary information easily.
  • Avoid Disruptive Pop-ups: As mentioned frequently, mobile devices have space constraints and no user likes to be accosted with sudden pop-ups or advertisements taking over the screen. Website owners or designers must only focus on what’s important for users and provide them with things they are looking for in the first place.
  • Test on Real Devices: The most effective way of ensuring that a website delivers optimal user experiences across devices is by testing them on real devices. This helps you verify whether the website renders as expected across mobiles, tablets, and desktops. 

2. Page Speed

In the 21st century, speed is of the utmost importance. People who are browsing the web on the go do not want to wait around and will look elsewhere if a page takes longer than 2-3 seconds to load. Make sure you take a look at optimizing your design, optimizing your code/imagery and taking those servers up a gear. 

Putting it into Action

To improve the speed of your website across all devices, you will first need to know how it is performing currently. Google’s PageSpeed Insights will give you a score out of 100 and also some recommendations on what to do to improve your page speed. 

Firstly, you will have to make sure to follow all of Google’s guidelines for faster web pages. This might include reducing the image sizes and adding content to your HTML through JavaScript and CSS instead of PHP or Python which are server-side languages. 

Secondly, you have to use a Content Delivery Network. This will help you by serving your website content from the closest server to the user’s location. 

Lastly, start using caching for static resources such as CSS files and images. This will make sure that they are only downloaded once. This way, you save both your and your user’s bandwidth. Also, make sure that all the scripts on your website are GZIP compressed. This can make up to a 70% difference in page speed.

3. Voice-Activated Interface

A voice-activated interface allows the user to interact with a system through voice or speech commands. Virtual assistants, such as Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa, are examples of this. The primary advantage is that it allows for a hands-free, eyes-free way in which users can interact with a product while focusing their attention elsewhere. A voice-activated interface is one of the best ways to future-proof your website. There was a study by Uberall in which one out of five people said that they use voice search on a weekly basis. With the growing use of voice assistants, this has become a growing trend in our lives. And you can get ahead of it by implementing it right alongside your traditional site search. 

Putting it into Action 

To put this into action, you have to adjust your target keywords so that they cater specifically to conversation-based searches. You should also spin long-tail keywords into queries. Then you will be able to shape the content of your website around answering those questions. It could be in the form of a blog article or even FAQs. It is important to include the search query as H1, H2, or H3 just like you normally would. 

4. Chat Bots 

Chatbots certainly are not new to websites, but they are becoming increasingly significant. A chatbot or chatterbot is a software application used to conduct an on-line chat conversation via text or text-to-speech, in lieu of providing direct contact with a live human agent. People want their questions answered fast. Chatbots help you to answer their frequently asked questions, and they will still have a personalized feel. The more personalized a chatbot feels, the more people are going to be attracted to it. You also have to evolve according to the results that they provide. Meaning, if you see something is not working, you have to fix it. This way, it will be more optimized and attract more users. 

Putting it into Action 

  • Leverage NLU (Natural Language Understanding) which will help the AI understand human language better. 
  • Identify the common pain points of users. 
  • Give your chatbot a personality that is on-brand. 
  • Deploy deep reinforcement learning, which will help the AI learn and evolve through interactions. 
  • Launch on channels where more of your customers are.

5. Advanced Tracking

In 2022, we are taking tracking to another level. You cannot only stick to tracking the numbers of people that visited your website, bounce rate, or pages per session. Through advanced tracking, you can track button clicks, how far a user scrolled, form fills, and other interactions. This way you will have more data and use them to optimize your next steps. 

Putting it into Action 

Advanced analytics consists of learning about user shopping behavior, checkout behavior, what elements lead to cart abandonment, and much more. This can also aid you in determining product recommendations and what the user’s next purchase will be. One great way to utilize advanced analytics is through Google Analytics. It is a free service and provides a lot of data, which makes it one of the most value-added web analytics tools. It is pretty easy to use and even small business owners can confidently learn the system to get all the analytics data they need from this service. 

6. Augmented Reality 

AR or Augmented Reality, once only viewed as nothing more than a futuristic gimmick, is now slowly becoming much more commonplace. Augmented reality is a highly visual, interactive method of presenting relevant digital information in the context of the physical environment. We can especially see the increased usage of AR in gaming and marketing. And in the year 2022, you can use this in your website to provide the people with a better user experience. 

Putting it into Action 

  • Virtual try-on solutions: AR helps online shoppers understand what they’re buying and how the items will work for them. There are applications like this for clothing, makeup, accessories and even eyeglasses.
  • Preview placement: Preview placement gives customers a real-time glimpse of what a product will look like when placed in their own environment. For e.g.: A certain piece of furniture, if this will go in the user’s bedroom or not.
  • Interactive user manuals: An interactive user manual responds to user actions, providing on-page contextual support when using a piece of software, website, or application. Many AR user manual apps scan the product and indicate the buttons in the real-life environment using graphical arrows and animations with text.
  • Social media filters: If you’ve used Instagram Stories or Snapchat lately, you may have used an AR filter. These filters were once used just for fun, but over the years there’s been a rise in the number of brands jumping on the AR bandwagon through social media filters.
 

7. Personalization or Dynamic Content 

Dynamic content refers to web content that changes based on the behavior, preferences, and interests of the user. You need content that will get the users hooked. There are thousands of websites they could choose from. Then why shall they stick to yours? You need to make your content relevant and easy to consume. This way, your audience will keep coming back for more. Make the information feel more personalized by providing visuals and other similar elements customized for your target audience. 

Putting it into Action 

There are a few ways through which you can make your content feel more personalized and dynamic. 

  • Personalized product recommendations
  • Personalized search results
  • Personalized offers
  • Personalized selection of shipping and payment methods based on your user’s history
  • Personalized ads

Conclusion 

In 2022, we will be two years deep into a new decade of the 21st century. Things are changing rapidly in the online world. And to keep up with it, you have to amp your marketing strategies to the max. One of the ways to do it is to create a dynamic website that your users are going to love. Use immersive, cutting-edge techniques to make your website as user-friendly and easy to maneuver as possible. Websites are probably the most important thing for any business owners right now. Your possible customers’ first impression of your product will be through your website. So they have to be eye-catching and yet not confusing. They should also be able to answer the most commonly asked questions very easily. This way, your users will have a customized experience, and they will come back for more

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