Search Engine Friendly Website Design Trends for 2018

By | December 23, 2017

Web Design 2018With 2018 looming ahead, it’s time to take a look at six web design trends that you should consider incorporating into your search engine optimization strategy next year. It’s tricky to get the balancing act right between aesthetics and functionality, but if you can master it, you are in line to see higher conversion rates and improved user engagement. Make 2018 the year to resolve your business goals and increase your ranking on search engines.

Mobile must be a priority

Statista stated in 2016, over 40% of all website traffic worldwide came through mobile phones. This increased from 35.1% in 2015. Brands need to make mobile-friendly web design a priority. The first several months of the 2018 year will see Google rolling out a new Mobile First Index which will give more importance to the mobile version of your website. It’ll be the first page seen on search engine results. Hence, it’s imperative that your website has mobile-friendly design.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) are another element that’s increasing in importance. An AMP is an open-source standard that lets publishers quickly load sites on their mobile. While a traditional mobile website can seem rather clunky and unresponsive for mobile, AMP strips down the code with the use of external resources and running scripts at the same time. This means the page loads straight away. Let’s not forget that page speed is still a factor that affects search engine optimization. It’s another layer to consider when going mobile responsive.

Irregular grid layouts

To bring all web page elements together, many website designers will give each page a general theme and make it easier to navigate with grid layouts. While this theory is nothing new, the way it is being used has certainly seen a revamp.

WordPress, as well as many other content management systems, base their templates on a grid design. CSS grid was introduced in March 2017 and let designers have more options. In the year 2018, designers are going to be able to use more neutral space and irregular grid layout, which will make their design style very modern. Styles that are simple and include the use of white space (negative space) make content easier to read as it clearly stands out. Since these styles are also easier on the eye of the user, they will feel more comfortable spending more time on your site.

The use of bright colours and bold fonts

To make these modern design styles come to life, you’ll need a specific type of font that knows how to stand out. Bold font styles mean that the user will focus on your content and the whitespace will mean they can easily read or skim over it. These two factors work harmoniously together. Since people only tend to spend a few seconds or minutes looking at your pages, you need to use a design and colors that will stand out. Your end goal should be creating a user experience that’s easy and enjoyable, but also keeps your users engaged enough to stay on your website. An example is, not only they have a nice and responsive website, but also have awesome collections of onesies available in all sizes. The longer they’re on the website, the more likely they will become paying customers.

We may also see these colors and fonts replacing images in 2018. This is especially sensible for mobiles. Whereas images can slow pages down, scaling your typing size won’t make any difference. It also gives your page clearer lines, which will be of use when your calls-to-action appear. Clickable images, large icons and hero images are going out of fashion, which leaves space for typographic expressions.

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Responsive designs

Actually, responsive design is more like a principle than a trend and has been in existence for several years. That being said, it’s easy to overlook how important it is. Responsive design refers to a website which has been designed to resize to the most appealing over various screen sizes; tablets, mobiles, TVs, desktops and wearables.

Even though the responsive design revolution has already reached a decade, implementation on a wider scale has only started taking place as of late. We are expecting this design element to expand in 2018 to also include virtual reality, augmented reality and other technology.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

While these expressions may still make you think of sci-fi movies, machine learning and artificial intelligence are now part of the mainstream. The year 2016 saw, for the first time, Google’s AlphaGo AI have victory over a skilled human Go player. This victory was long-awaited and AI assistants are now available on countless devices. That means we are not surprised by the promise made by Adobe’s Sensei to provide AI tools for web developers around the world, at the same time, since 2014 TheGrid has offered AI-based designs. As we see AI and machine learning evolve more and more, we can expect to see them become part of web design in more advanced ways.

Progressive web apps

With mobile media time being taken up to a large extent by apps, web designers are beginning to blend the best parts of app behaviors with web behaviors. We call this hybrid Progressive Web App. We can expect to see a trend in 2018 of websites being upgraded so that they have elements like animated page transitions and splash screens. Medium and other websites have already done this and provide apps accessible with a click. These apps will keep developing so that they meet the personal taste of the user.

Since no installation is needed, these are useful from the first visit. As the user starts to develop a relationship with the app it will gain more and more power. Even on poorer networks, it loads easily, has a home screen icon and provides loading which leads to a full-screen experience for the user.

Websites that are much simpler, yet powerful, are optimized for mobile devices and have a strong focus on user experience will be the main focus for 2018. New technologies, styles and formats will be part of these sites. Are you and your website ready for what’s coming in 2018?

Author Bio: Lori is a digital marketing specialist and content writer for a Toronto web development company and specializing in marketing, SEO and social engagement.

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