Websites evolve on a yearly basis. With new features popping up every month it’s not surprising that you can find yourself with an outdated website only a couple of years after having it re-done. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends and features.
In 2013 (and arguably 2012) the main focus was on “responsive” websites. This movement was part of the natural evolution from mobile websites, and it accounted for the huge growth in tablets. Last March I noted this in a blog article I wrote about the 5 keys to a successful website in 2013. While all of the keys I pointed out in that article are still important today, there are additional trends to be aware of in 2014.
1) Wider websites: This is perhaps the biggest trend in website development over the past year. In the past, websites utilized well-defined borders on either side of the text. This boxy look helped account of varying screen sizes, as the margins would shrink with the screen size of the user. Now, with responsive websites, it makes sense to better utilize real estate by contracting the margins (since a responsive site will re-size anyway). This eliminates the boxy look many websites have and it lessens the need for visitors to scroll vertically to read more.
2) Sticky nav bar: This term simply refers to websites that allow you to scroll down a page to read more, but the navigation stays at the top of the page no matter how far down you’ve scrolled. This is convenient for users and prevents them from having to scroll all the way back up to see the top navigation bar.
3) Relevant ‘calls to action’: As I noted in my 2013 analysis, the call to action is crucial for any cosmetic website that’s looking to generate leads. You can take that a step further in 2014 with unique calls to action for different sections of the website. For example, instead of a general “Ask the Doctor a Question” above the form on every page, consider customizing the offer to the specific page (or category of pages) that a patient is on. This takes more time to set up, but you’re more likely to generate leads if your calls to action are more relevant.
4) Less clutter: Too many websites have cluttered up their home page with a box for every single service they offer, as well as banners for financing, gift cards and more. All these little boxes mixed in with the text can make a website look cluttered. Consider one large image vs. many smaller images or one column (or sidebar) instead of multiple columns.
If you’re looking to re-do your practice’s website this year remember that less is more. Keep it clean and simple with big, relevant photos and unique calls to action. If you’d like to learn more about updating your website or creating a new site drop TRBO a line here, or you can call us directly at 877-673-7096 x2.