10 Ways to Keep Your Website Successful

Wondering how to make your website stand out and keep perform. We've searched out the best of the tools and trends and gathered them together for you. 

​From design to security, from performance to content, if you do these things to your site people will find you, they'll stick around, and they'll come back.

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​1. Using GIFS

GIFs have recently made a comeback for websites​. When they started on websites they were horrible, lttle, pixeled flashing things, and definitely a sign of an amateur site.

Social media has given GIFs a new lease on life and now you'll see more sophisticated GIFs that tell part of your story.have become sophisticated.

Use them to attract attention, but make sure the are good, relevant to your message and a little bit of fun. 

Giphy.com is a source of GIFs if you don't want to create your own. (They also have an online creator)​

Here is how to make one  in Photoshop.​

2. Typography (Fonts) for Impact

Have you noticed how sophisticated fonts have become? Oversized and bold. Customised and variable. Thinking carefully about your font choices can give you a great edge. It is often subtle and influences people at a visual or subconscious level, but sometimes the impact can be much more obvious.

Typography

Choosing the right font for your site can be tricky, particularly if you don't want  ordinary. Don't try to be too clever without the input of an expert designer. Getting it wrong is easy for amateurs.

​This article is a good background on typography.

3. Long Scrolling

Below the fold was once a place hidden from view. No longer. You websites often have all their information on one page. Jumplinks, and in page links help navigate through these pages. 

Long scrolling pages are mobile friendly. No more getting stuck on tiny menus that don't work with your fingers. To find your way through a website you just scroll through with your thumb, on the bus, or on the sofa, and you have all the information passing before your eyes. 

This long scrolling page has a good analysis of some long scrolling examples.

Website Landing Page

4. Cards

Cards became popular in 2016 and remain popular in 2017. With cards you have a flexible layout that is very mobile friendly, and not too fussy. Information is well delineated, its easy to spot where your content moves to a new idea.

Calls to action are associated with cards. This means that adding multiple calls to action on the same page doesn't feel like pushy selling. 

Representation of website cards

Cards are also app-like. People like using apps and a website with cards has the natural feel of an app.

Creating a great cards-base page takes time to think about all the aspects. This article gives you some great background.

5. Cinemagraphs

Cinemagraphs are photographic images with subtle movement. Whereas a GIF is often a cartoon, or action that tells a little story, a cinemagraph puts just a little bit of movement into an image. This is a subtle pattern interrupt and gently grabs attention. 

Cinemagraph de fleur de pommier - 640px

Here are some excellent examples

Here is how to make one in Photoshop.

6. Motion Graphics​ and Animations

Animations are short videos, often involving titles, or images, or your logo. They are incredibly useful for making your video's look professional. Add an animated logo to the beginning and end of your video and you've take it up a notch.

The website success Lab logo is animated in this video. 

www.rocketanimations.com has a growing selection of video animations for your logo and titling. Use these on your website, in social media and when you are creating videos for customer education, engagement or marketing.

7. Two-Factor Authentication

If you use Google G-suite, or online banking you will have been asked to setup two-factor authentication. This means that when you ​login with your password you are then challenged with another form of authentication, often a one-time-password sent as a text to your phone.

Several WordPress Plugins have been released to ​help you protect your WordPress website. It is standard in Drupal.

Lock and  cloud

Here is how to set it up on all your other accounts.​

​8. Video

We've talked about video animations, but video is going to be the big thing in 2017. Video for sharing and educating and marketing will continue to grow at an incredible pace, but you will see a lot more live video.

The growth in video has been driven by access to technology to capture, create and share video clips. An you no need a big production team, or expensive equipment. 

As video ​content becomes more ubiquitous there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • It will need to be a bit more professional. Grungy and amateur will no longer cut it. Video animations can really help (see above).
  • Live video, such as Facebook Live or Periscope, will become more common, more effective and easier to create.

Here are some examples of brands using live video to engage their audiences.

The video below is from Pe​xels free videos. It's not relevant to this content, but it does show how video is compelling content. 

9. Continue ​Email Marketing

its been big, and it will continue to get bigger. The important thing is targeting: make sure you are getting a relevant message to ​the right audience.

Because your social channels are no longer useful as effective organic engagement, controlling who you send messages to and what you say is once more all about your own channel: your email list.

Finding ways to build your list, and keep your audience engaging with your content will be an important part of your online in 2017.

You can never have enough ideas about building your email list, but remember to be strategic. Don't try to do everything. Your website is a key component of this strategy.

Here are ​19 ideas for building your list in 2017.

10. Messaging and Bots​

New ways to communicate with customers​. Two trends to look out for in 2017 is the growth of messaging apps, including Facebook Messenger and SMS. Neither of these are new, but the capability of them is growing, and the opportunities to communicate with customers are growing.

Bots are a way of automating your communications. They are most commonly seen as the "how can I help you" icon that pops up for chat on a website. There may or may not be a real person behind the popup. Bots can parse and answer the most common questions that arise, and then hand off to a human when the going gets tough. This can save an organisation a lot of money and improve the interaction with the customer. 

Combining Bots and messaging is now possible with Facebook Messenger. This is the future.

Here are some Bot trends to watch out for in 2017.

We asked our friends at rocketvideo.com.au to make a short video to introduce the ​Facebook Messenger AI:

Summary

Website fashion and technology is always changing. There are plenty of trends to follow or avoid. How you decide depends on your strategy. Understand your audience, know the purpose of your site, have a style guide, and get clarity on the results you want from your site and you will be able to choose wisely.

Lisa Harvey