The beginning of the year is often a great time to evaluate the status of your website, and in particular, whether you're due…or even overdue for a full-on website redesign. There are always valid motives to provide an overhaul to your site, whether for reasons of improving technology, messaging, visual design, or all of the above.
But if you're currently on the fence on this decision, here are six important trends that may provide that extra nudge needed to ink that website redesign into your 2019 priorities.
#1 HEADLESS CMS
The idea of separating content completely from display has been around for ages. But this year, marketers will really need to pay attention to this trend (if you haven't already been doing so). Considering your content as an individual asset, that can be used (and re-used) across multiple channels requires a mind shift, but an important one. As more and more channels emerge, and users begin demanding more contextual, channel-specific experiences, 2019 may be the time to invest in this technology.
#2 CHATBOTS AND HOME ASSISTANTS
Coinciding with the above, you've probably noticed that intelligent chat is taking over customer service. With the explosion in the popularity of voice-first home assistants like Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Google Home Assistant, companies that don't want to fall behind will absolutely need to ensure they invest in this software – as well as the thoughtful content required to power it.
#3 CONTENT FIRST MODELING
The growing trend of content modeling requires organizations to re-think how to use their content management systems. A CMS is no longer just a “website builder”. It is evolving into a tool to manage content everywhere. Think about the number of ways customers ingest content…it’s not just websites on their desktop or phone anymore. People are demanding content in their cars, from their smartwatches and from personal home assistants. Even in the B2B space, users engage with content via dozens of offline and online methods.
This demand for content in so many channels means forward-thinking organizations will start having their content itself guide their digital strategy. Organizations that develop a streamlined plan to manage and distribute their content, starting from a single source, out to multiple channels, will be able to build consistent and more memorable experiences for their end-users.
#4. GDPR AND DATA COMPLIANCE
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect in 2018, which brought significant changes for any organizations doing business in Europe. GDPR regulations affected site and overall privacy practices, everything from how cookies are used and stored, opt in and opt out methods, to any personalization on websites.
Even if your business was not affected by these changes, you should be aware that California also passed its own digital privacy law this past year, to take effect in 2020, which will essentially allow consumers to know what information companies are collecting about them, as well as why they are collecting that data, and who it is being shared with. With this trend of growing regulation protecting consumer data, it could be time to evaluate your own data and privacy practices.
#5 PUSH NOTIFICATIONS
Consumers are accustomed to app-based notifications, but an increasing trend this year will be websites that enable notifications too. The opportunity to maintain user engagement after a website visit is huge here, and those sites that implement this technology intelligently (by leading with useful content) will be trendsetters. If you're looking to create a more highly engaged subscriber base and to communicate with your audience at a personalized, real-time level, this is a trend worth your consideration.
#6 BI THAT’S RELATABLE
Big data is nothing new – and has likely been a part of the ‘trends’ list for the past several years. But, new developments in analytics tool have made what once seemed like a daunting undertaking reachable for nearly any organization. Customizations to your Google Analytics and your CRM can now bring together a simple, unified view of your entire marketing pipeline. It’s an effort worth considering to gain real insight on what to prioritize for your site.
AND THAT'S NOT ALL…
The digital space is in constant evolution, and the six trends above are merely a jumping off point for the technology benefits and trends you're likely to encounter in the upcoming year. The key take-away should be that to keep up with these trends…and stay ahead of your competitors, you should always be evaluating whether a website redesign is in your immediate future.
Discuss these trends and their impact on your business with our Strategic Solutions team - Click here to request an appointment.