Originally published on February 21, 2017. Updated on May 11, 2020.
Websites are the digital version of a storefront. Often, they’re the first impression you make on a prospective customer, so it’s important to make the right one. We recommend re-designing your website every 2-3 years to ensure you’re up-to-date with the latest styles and trends to maximize your chances of attracting attention.
Think of it this way: back in the 70s, home decor featured a lot of bright orange kitchens, bright green bathrooms, geometric patterns and shag carpet. Fast-forward to 2020, and technicolor highlights have been replaced with natural wood grain, minimalist design and neutral color palettes. Don’t commit a digital fashion faux pas.
Here are some of the top five web design trends for this year:
Want to skip ahead and talk about a new website? Schedule a free consultation.
1. Oversized fonts
One way to attract attention and immediately convey essential information is to incorporate large fonts and oversized elements. This is a great way to use creativity to express your brand’s personality. For example, do you want to be known as creative and fun? Calm and relaxing? Professional and trustworthy? It’s amazing how much of an impact typography has in conveying this, even before prospective customers actually read the words.
This is also a powerful way to ensure you’re connecting with the right audience. If you run a holistic health business, audiences might expect to see a more organic and free-flowing script. If you run a professional services business, customers will expect to see something clear-cut and businesslike. If you run an HVAC business, you could choose a bold typeface that conveys strength and capability. A font actually says quite a lot.
Beautiful, big type is also a really practical design tool, because it formats nicely on every device. That goes a long way when it comes to creating a seamless transition for customers across phone, tablet and computer.
Read more: 9 telltale signs it’s time to re-design your website
2. Vivid colors
Minimalist design has been popular since at least 2017, featuring eye-catching color blocks as well as plenty of white space that make images and text jump off the page. Simple and clean-cut designs are here to stay, but vivid colors will return, slowly easing out the neutral and pastel palettes that have been popular in recent years.
Bold colors are great for a few reasons. The biggest and most important one is the fact that they help you stand out from your competitors – hey, there’s a reason we at Beacon Media + Marketing use bright orange, balanced with gray. Even if your branding hasn’t featured bright colors in the past, it’s worth experimenting with a more vibrant version of your current branding and waiting to see what impact it has on your website traffic.
Color is also a great way to ensure the details you want to capture attention pop on the page. For example, even if you use a neutral palette throughout your website, you could add color to your headings or calls to action.
Read more: How do I choose the right logo colors?
3. Grids and windows
Humans are visual creatures, and we love organizing things. Design aids like grids and windows help your audience categorize content and get a sense of what your website is about really quickly, which means they’ll find the answers they’re looking for and have a positive first interaction with your business.
In the past, structural elements like grids and tables have been hidden, but they’re becoming increasingly common. Modern websites share a lot of information in a short amount of time, so anything you can do to structure it, help it flow and make it easy to read at a glance will increase your changes of generating leads. They’re a great way to break up elements like text, images and videos.
Read more: Is your website generating leads?
Oversized text is a great way to capture attention, but what about video? The human eye simply can’t resist movement, so capitalize on this by including an auto-playing video element at the top of your homepage. It could be scenic shots of your tourism business, shots of your team members at work, or a portfolio.
The only thing to keep in mind with any kind of motion is that less is more. You don’t want to overwhelm your customers, so use it strategically to capture interest – one element per page is plenty. Where possible, try to make sure the colors used in your video reflect the colors used on your page to create a cohesive reader experience.
Read more: Here’s why video marketing is so important
5. Custom illustrations
One way to make your website stand out from your competitors is to incorporate custom illustrations into your website design. Because these images are unique, they’re a great way to capture the essence of your business in visual form – especially if your business has a playful or inspirational element. They make strong use of colour and shape, which is an exciting change from corporate photography (although we always recommend that too!), and will provide you with fun and friendly elements to share on social media as well.
Read more: How much does a website cost?
Website Design Essentials
When you’re designing a website, there are a few essential things to keep in mind to ensure you create a great first impression and maximize the chances of converting new customers.
The first one is quality content. People typically click through to websites from search engines and social media because they’re looking to answer a question, solve a problem or find inspiration. The faster you can connect them with the information they want, they better the impression you’ll make. The better the impression you make, the more likely they’ll enter the sales funnel. Happy days! You’ve just generated a lead.
The second one is structure. It sounds obvious, but people like things to be organized. That’s why our cities are built around neighborhoods and our homes are lined up neatly along our streets. We operate best in a structured environment, so it’s important to make sure your website is as organized and uncluttered as your storefront. This will ensure the path to purchase is smooth, to maximize your chances of converting a lead.
The third one us follow-through. Once a new person enters your digital ecosystem, you need to do everything you can to support them on their journey. It doesn’t matter what they need: a new HVAC system? A vacation to Lake Tahoe? A dental check-up? You’re here to help them, so make sure you direct traffic to landing pages that specifically address their problem and utilize strong calls to action that explain how you can solve it.
A great website forms the foundation of every successful digital marketing agency. As long as you keep these three things front-and-center, your website will be a powerful asset in generating and converting new leads.
Want to get started on a website re-design? Schedule a free consultation today.