A website is your company’s global storefront — a location where any customer, anywhere, can gain access to your brand story, your mission, and even shop for your products if you provide eCommerce options. And, as you’d expect in the digital age, it’s increasingly important for you to have a user-friendly access point online: Americans generate 3,138,420 GB of internet traffic every minute, and 96% shop with online stores at least once a year. If someone can’t find you on the internet, you’re likely losing their business.
In 2022, a successful website will go beyond a basic landing page; in fact, the “trend” in web development goes far beyond a passing fad. Customer expectations coupled with the right to accessible websites mean that if you’re building or maintaining a space online and don’t consider these important aspects, you’ll lose customers, receive backlash, and be ill-prepared for future web enhancements.
Need for Speed
More than half of internet users expect websites to load no more than two seconds after clicking a link. So, if your web health is poor, you may never see those visitors on your site again. The good news is, there are plenty of techniques you can use to increase your loading speed. Lazy loading, pagination, and reduced images on your pages can all help keep infinite loading circles at bay. Not only will site speed help ensure that your customers stick around, but you’ll also get a better Google ranking, too.
AI for Accessibility
Accessibility is about considering all possible audiences for your website as you’re developing it. Making design and UX choices for visitors who might be blind, deaf, seizure-prone, or only able to navigate sites with their voice will keep your website and business compliant, but it’s also simply the right thing to do. If you need a hand with making your website accessible, why not automate it? Artificial intelligence/AI can make a world of difference and ease your transition to an accessible website. Platforms like accessiBe and UserWay can audit your existing website for accessibility and provide solutions like automatic screen-readers, dyslexia fonts, video remediation, and so much more.
AI can also assist your customers in using your website. Features like image recognition for those with visual impairments, lip-reading recognition for those with hearing impairments, and text summarization for mental impairments are just a few of the ways AI is positively impacting internet users. By incorporating accessibility widgets and software into your site development, you can make design decisions with everyone in mind.
The last piece of the website puzzle for businesses is having a site developed that is easy to update. Whether you have an in-house site developer or you’re contracting a business to build a website for you, you’ll occasionally need to make quick updates, like posting new blogs or resource content, or updating your products page so your customers can access your latest offerings. If your website is built on a platform that you need a dev degree to navigate, you’ll end up wasting lots of time waiting on others to make these updates for you.
There are numerous options available when it comes to website-building platforms, so it’s a good idea to outline your needs with a knowledgeable developer who can guide you to the best fit for your business. They can also advise you on upcoming changes to platform back-ends that can help future-proof your website so you don’t have to do a giant overhaul every six months.
As marketers, we know design is crucial to customer success. Just remember that for websites, design includes the back-end design, too.