2021 Website Design Trends to Incorporate Now
First impressions are powerful. Your website is often the first interaction customers and prospects have with your brand. It is a tool that can make or break your business, impacting the customer experience, lead generation and your bottom line. And by now, you know that having an easy to navigate, well-designed website with pages that load quickly is important.
Each year, there are new trends in marketing and website design. Your customers are visiting websites every day, which means they are seeing innovative, eye-catching web solutions. Whether knowingly or not, your customers care about design. But how do you know which trends make sense for your business? How many new trends should you incorporate—if any? Will it be detrimental for your business if you don’t pay attention to new digital developments?
Creating a top-notch user experience requires that you know who your customers are, what they want and where they are coming from. It is also important that you engage website visitors immediately with what they are looking for, meaning it’s important to have a plan to address your market segments or verticals aligned to their correct stage of the marketing funnel—awareness, consideration, evaluation, etc.
Because your website is your business’s or association’s “digital home,” your brand promise must be integrated both visually and with content. It adds credibility to your organization and allows you to position your company in the marketplace. It is the way customers connect with you and learn more about the products and services you offer. In fact, a well-designed website will save you time by providing answers to many questions your customers may have. Afterall, it is always accessible as a resource—24 hours, 7 days a week, your website is working hard as your marketing hub.
When it comes to website design, less is more and visual balance is key. Although a beautifully designed website enhances the user experience, people don’t visit your website to admire its design. Customers and prospects are visiting your website because they want to make a purchase, get information or contact you.
In today’s interconnected world, your website is supported by your social media presence, and your social content is the best opportunity for direct conversations with your potential customers and prospects as they interact with your brand. This is your chance to talk about all of the things that are important to your brand, developing your brand voice and ensuring that your brand promise is being upheld.
Social media and your website should work in unison to promote your online brand. Don’t divide your online presence into two categories such as using your website as your online store and using your social channels to interact with your customers. Instead, use your social media channels to point your followers to your website, where they can browse your blog, request more information or learn more about your product or services.
Create a fully immersive omnichannel experience for your target audience and ensure that your brand promise is being delivered in every single touchpoint of your marketing efforts. Afterall, a marketing strategy that integrates both your website and your social channels will boost sales and deepen relationships with your customers.
6 Must-Have Elements of Effective Website Design
Let’s start with the key elements of an effective website—navigation, content, design, functionality and search engine optimization (SEO). Your website sets the first impression for your business or association. If your website looks outdated or is difficult to navigate, you will lose leads.
Ensure the navigation and structure of your website are easy to follow, intuitive and self-explanatory. Don’t make visitors think too hard! When users can’t quickly find what they are looking for, they will likely leave your website and not return. Each page of your website should be concise and descriptive, indicating where a user is on your website. Follow industry trends for labeling links and navigation buttons—don’t get overly creative or “cutesy.” Instead, make it easy for users to quickly find the information they are seeking. Provide a logical navigational flow, include a search box, calls to action and the option to chat for customer support.
Ease of navigation is important, but content is what drives people to your website. Content is the backbone of your website. It is the reason people visit your website and stay there. They are looking for answers and information about your products and services. In fact, content is the key factor compelling prospects and customers to do business with you—or not! Engaging, quality content is the building block for traffic growth. It reinforces the notion that your business is an authority and keeps visitors on the site longer. To ensure your website is easy to scan, consider using large hero images, which are placed in the background with text overlaid to help visually tell your story, quickly. Overlapping graphics onto photography will be a popular trend in 2021. Quality is, of course, key when it comes to image selection. Experiment with different types of content such as FAQs, resources/guides, case studies, company news, video tutorials or vlogs on your website and see what resonates with your target audience. Remember, customers are 10 more times likely to interact with video than text.
A professional website design not only impacts how your target audience perceives your brand, but it also impacts how easy it is for visitors to find the information they are seeking. A good design incorporates standard elements such as color, shapes and sizes in a consistent way to create an aesthetically pleasing look and feel that creates visual balance. It creates consistency across your website, ensures leads keep coming back and supports SEO. Once you get visitors to your site, you want to guide them toward converting with well-designed call-to-action buttons. Page speed, ensuring your web pages load quickly, is also an important element of design. If you are curious about how fast your pages are loading, check out Google PageSpeed Insights.
Usability and functionality are key to delivering an ideal user experience. With a significant percentage of website traffic coming from mobile, you need to reach your customers where they are—on their phones. A responsive website design (RWD) is a design and development technique that enhances a user’s browsing experience by creating a flexible and responsive web page that is optimized for any device from a mobile phone, to a desktop computer or laptop. It ensures your website fits the screens of different devices automatically, displaying the content in a way that users expect. It increases reach to your target audience, delivers a seamless user experience and adds exponential value to your digital presence. A responsive website also increases the amount of time visitors spend on a site and improves search engine rankings. If your website does not easily allow customers and prospects to scroll and browse for information, you are likely missing out on business and losing customers.
#5. Search engine optimization
SEO needs to be built into the web design process. Specific design elements such as easy to read content, mobile-friendliness, page speed and sitemaps ensure that your website is SEO-friendly. You’ll also want to be sure that your on-page SEO fundamentals are in place so search engine spiders can crawl and index your website. When your website is SEO-friendly, search engines can easily explore and read your web pages by matching search terms to the details found on its indexed websites, ensuring that your website will show up in the search results when your target audience is searching for your product or service.
#6. Design for Mobile Use First
With a significant percentage of website traffic coming from mobile, be sure your website not only has a responsive design but is optimized for mobile first. Google primarily considers the mobile version of your website to rank it. Mobile search is always on and it converts prospects, driving them to action. Seventy seven percent of mobile searches occur at home or at work and on average, a mobile search triggers two follow up actions such as a visit or a call to your business. It’s more important now than ever to focus on the mobile-first index.
Once you have the basic elements in place for an effective user experience, the next step is deciding which trends to incorporate into your website design. User expectations and digital developments mean that design trends are constantly evolving.
In 2021, website design trends will include bold, eye-catching layouts and mixed media to amplify the user experience:
Web-based animation and motion graphic trends will continue to gain traction in 2021. They will be a necessary and expected way to engage users, adding appeal and interest to your website. Motion design is an ideal way to make your website more memorable in a crowded space. There are different types of animation to try, for example, use state change, to create seamless transitions as design elements change colors or size. Whereas a technique called emphasis helps you draw a user’s attention to important copy or to a call-to-action button. And reveal is a type of web animation that allows users to hide some information on the site by hovering or clicking on a specific element.
Voice User Interface
Voice search is becoming the preferred way users get information. Instead of typing a search query, people now ask questions, demanding quick answers even when they are on the go. In 2021, that will mean incorporating voice search in addition to traditional text search. Offer virtual support to customers by incorporating voice chatbots and virtual assistants on your website.
Unusual color combinations
One of 2021’s top web design trends, will be the use of glowing shades and intense color combinations. Quite the opposite, dark mode, white text on a dark background, is expected to become even more popular, as well. Dark mode looks very stylish and modern, allowing other design elements to pop. Websites can be created in dark mode or users can choose to toggle between light mode and dark mode.
Saturated colors and lifelike color transitions will become more popular and realistic than ever in 2021. Three-dimensional elements that incorporate virtual reality and augmented reality will continue to gain traction. Consider using 3D designs for text sections, photo galleries and product demonstrations. To successfully pull off 3D elements, a fast-loading, optimized platform is critical. In 2021, ultra-fast website loading time will continue to be a leading way for websites to show up in search results. If your website takes more than two seconds to load, visitors will likely not return.
The move away from blocky designs is another upcoming trend that involves shifting away from a grid, templated layout and applying asymmetric layouts to create a unique, unexpected experience. Users prefer unconventional, asymmetric layouts. Yet, visual balance should still be maintained throughout the website.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the web design industry and needs to be considered as we move forward digitally. Content and images can be altered depending upon which landing page or ad is clicked on by a user, creating highly personalized designs. In fact, AI features can simplify and speed up the design process for web designers.
A well-designed website will ensure your customers keep coming back. Afterall, your website is the center of your digital marketing universe. It provides a substantial opportunity to grow your business. In fact, websites offer a better return on investment than any other type of advertising!
Is your website driving leads to learn more about your business? If you aren’t sure, contact us today to get the conversation started.