We cannot stress to you the importance of your web design for your website. It is crucial when designing the layout of your website to think of functionality, simplicity, user engagement and a strong call to action.

The outcome of this post is to educate our current and future clients to gain a better understanding of how to optimise your website and most importantly, how your business will benefit. Our insights are not only exciting, but they outline the future trends of website design for 2016 and how they will affect your SEO campaign.

The Hamburger Menu

The Hamburger Menu may look aesthetically pleasing as the name suggests, however, there are a lot of advantages and disadvantages regarding the popular layout. As you can see the ‘Hamburger Menu’ is a three lined button on the side of the website, which hides site navigation. This menu creates a website that looks clean, consistent and provides a simple way to find out further information.

The impact that hamburger menu has on your SEO campaign is significant. When you are deciding to match your SEO campaign strategies with your website layout, you want to think of the engagement of the user and how easy it is to navigate to the contact page. This layout may seem confusing at first to a new user on a desktop device, however on mobile and tablets it is user-friendly because you are able to scroll down to find the information you need.  As mobile friendly websites are one of the most popular new trends this year it is important that your website is 100% mobile friendly. The Hamburger Menu styled layout will achieve this goal.

Card Layouts

Card layouts were originally adapted from Pinterest. From news to real estate websites, cards are all over the web because they give users information in bite-size chunks perfect for scanning. These little blocks of images and text act as content containers as their shape makes it easier for web designers to re-arrange information for different devices, so each user can interact with the website on a smart phone, tablet and Desktop similarly.

There’s a reason why cards are so popular. The structure creates a layout to include the most important components for ROI as they present a clear call to action. The layout allows availability for content, and it’s very easy for a user to navigate and interact with the website.

Tables of Content

Using tables of content to structure your page content, provides structured data for readers and crawlers. The more structured data you can provide your user and the crawlers, the better the consumption of the information.

The table of content is quite easy to setup but the formatting of your page within the table can be time-consuming. You can add style to your table and get creative with the design elements to make your web page pop.

Accordion Menus

One of the popular website features that is making a come back is the accordion. This involves using a clickable banner that opens up to show more information about a topic. This style of content container can be used for mobile website design and for improving user experience.

The ability to open and close these tabs creates something that engages a website visitor. Using creative content to attract and engage users is a ranking factor with Google, plus you can attract return visits if you have engaging content.

One Page Websites

As straight forward as it sounds, a one-page website is simply a website with one landing page. Even though it sounds basic, a lot of work goes into creating these singular pages. Single page websites are great for new sites and unique projects. They’re not a long term solution so if you already have a multi-paged website, do not swap over to a one-page site.

The one-page website is not the best design for SEO strategies. It’s difficult for link building, Google Bot crawlability and can lead to Google penalties. Although it is harder to increase rankings with a one page website it is not impossible. , having this limited site architecture can be used to ………achieve top Google ranks via SEO strategies, there are ways around it to ensure your website can still be on page one.

Websites with one page are limited by site architecture, this does not allow for categorising products and services. While it is not the best way to market your business online there are ways to make it work for you.

To optimise a single page website, follow these steps:

1. Define content sections
2. Separate content sections
3. Provide anchor links.

Material Design: A Richer Alternative to Flat Design

Last year, Google launched its new style language, Material Design. It uses shadow effects and the concepts of movement and depth in order to create designs that appear more realistic to the user. Material design didn’t happen overnight; the concept has existed for a while and has been used by leading website designers.

When producing a website with material design it’s important to follow these goal principles:

1. Tactile surface – material design that adds real world elements and fluidity. For example: neat shadows and floating action buttons.

2. Print Design – Clear design, colours, typography and font.

3. Intelligent animations – Animations are crucial to Google’s Material Design vision. They need to focus on authentic motion, action response to create meaning to the user.

4. Adaptive design – Google promotes websites that offer an enhanced experience to a user.

These elements all enhance your SEO performance. The material designs’ interactive websites improve bounce rate by over 60% – this means the user is engaging with your website and is more likely to take action. Link building is all in one URL; the responsive website design allows other sites to link to you using the same URL. Lastly, all content is kept under the same URL which makes it really simple for Google Bots to crawl your site.

Which website design will you choose?

Website design is the main factor that decides whether the user is going to stay, take action or leave. Think of your website like your online brochure. Most importantly if you want to use online marketing strategies to direct traffic to your website you need to make sure your website is up to date. Online marketing only brings ROI when your website matches your online strategies.

A pretty website doesn’t always convert visitors into sales, choose a mixture of design and functional elements and have a lead capture form on your web pages that make you money. Taking these into consideration will help you choose a website design that will benefit your business.

Need advice on website design? Want to start SEO on your website but not sure if it will work?

Be Media is happy to help! Visit our web design section or call us on (08) 9226 4478 and we will be happy to answer your questions!

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