Saturday, 20 July 2013

Five current web design trends for great function and SEO





My website has been online for just over two years and a lot has changed in that time. To keep up to date I am currently planning an overhaul of the site to rebrand my business, improve the aesthetics and refresh my current SEO. It's a big job with lots of research to be done and lots of decisions to be made — some of which I hope to share with you along the way.

One of the things I have been researching is current website trends. Some of these trends could really boost your website's functionality and Search Engine Optimisation. 

1. Content first
This means getting the content for your website — the copy and photographs —finalised before you have it designed and developed.

This is something I have been advocating for a while, so I am really pleased that others are recognising the sense of it. If you want see why I think it is such a good idea, you can read my blog post on the subject here.

2. Web fonts
Once upon time there were only selected fonts you could choose from to use on your website. These included Arial, Courier, Georgia, Helvetica, Times, Trebuchet and Verdana

The rationale behind this was that, to view your website as you intended it, your visitor needed to have your website's fonts installed on their computer. If they didn't, the fonts would be substituted with ones they did have installed — and this could completely change the look of your website.

The only way to use a non-web-safe font was as a graphic, which would not be keyword searchable.

Today, that is a different story. There are now web fonts available, which are fully keyword-searchable and which will show on other computers whether they are pre-installed or not. It's a great development for your web designer's creativity and your SEO.

3. Single-page websites
That's right — you can now have your entire website on one long page!

There are two other current trends that may have inspired this one. The first is the trend for using a minimalist landing page that keeps things simple and, in some instances, contains just one or two lines of copy and a strong call to action.

This approach is great for sales as it cuts out everything else and focuses your visitors' attention solely on the thing you want them to do most. In terms of SEO, however, it is not so effective — especially at a time when long copy is actively promoted as the being best way forward.

The second trend is infinite scrolling — as used by sites including Pinterest and Tumblr. These sites continually load as you scroll.

A single-page website gives you the best of both worlds. It allows you to combine a minimalist screen space at the top of your page with longer SEO copy further down. Plus it's all kept on the landing page — the best place for quality SEO copy.

4. Fixed headers
Fixing your header will stop it from disappearing upwards as your visitor scrolls down the page. This is great news if your header contains all-important details such as your contact information and subscription/networking buttons.

Even better — it's really simple to do and requires only one small line of code.

5. Content, content, content!
Google's latest algorithm updates are seeking to clamp down on "black-hat SEO" techniques that violate its webmaster guidelines by lowering the rank of websites that have poor quality content.

To maintain their web presence and relevance, all businesses should now be looking at the content of their websites to be sure it measures up. In addition they should be investing in quality content marketing in the form of blogs, articles, e-books, e-newsletters, case studies, testimonials and social networking.

 Here is a link to the article I wrote in March about Content Marketing.


I am a professional copywriter and editor with experience of producing organic, search-engine-optimised web copy and a range of content marketing materials.

If you would like some help to update your website content or start a content marketing campaign, please visit my website to see my previous projects or drop me an email.

2 comments:

  1. Indeed it is a great era for SEO. Personally, the rise of the single-page website has been one of the biggest gamechangers. The combination of the minimalist web design movement and infinite scrolling has made even the simple act of surfing the web fun and easy on the eyes. And for SEO, this means more freedom for SEO copies and better density in one place.

    Kristofer Mcginty @ ReachForFreedom.com.au

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