It comes as no surprise to know that keeping your website up to date means you have to do a lot more than just moving a few words about on the home page, or just adding some pictures or videos.
No, today altering a business website means implementing those exciting new technologies which run behind the scenes, all with the aim of making sure your website’s pages attract and keep your audience’s attention. This entails research into what people are looking for, both in search terms, but also what way they seem to want to assimilate information.
You only have to have a look at a website that was designed 10 years ago (or looks like it!) to see that it looks a lot different from the best sites you see online today.
Competition for the attention of potential online customers never relents, and with this in mind all businesses need to keep up with the changes in internet technology. Failing to do so could mean that they would lose any competitive edge.
So just how will these emerging trends affect the creative direction of your website?
One of the major issues all businesses face is the ever reducing ‘user attention span’, this to a degree being caused by the ‘pace of modern living’ and the fact that more and more content is being made available every day, all of it competing for attention and time.
So what trends you should be paying attention to?
- Virtual reality
A good few years ago, it was thought that virtual reality was the way forward for web sites, but in the end it never took off, one reason no doubt being the speed of the Internet at the time, this just not being high enough for the large data streams required.
Today, however a lot has changed, the speed of the Internet now exceeds the requirements of most users in most of the UK, whilst the programming capabilities of those writing VR code has also improved by many hundreds of percent.
All of this could well mean that in the not too distant future we could all be looking at hotel rooms and resorts using VR googles, this allowing us to move around the location and thus get a much better idea of where we could stay…
- The Rise of Not.Com Domain names
Again, not so long ago there were only a few domain extensions to choose from. But now advent of the so called ‘Not.Com’ range of Top Level Domains means that finding one that really matches a companies market sector is a lot easier.
Now businesses and brands have hundreds of new names to choose from when selecting their online digital identity. For example, you could choose to have a “dot-clothing” (.clothing), or a “dot-shopping” (.shopping) domain name, which if you are selling online may make enough difference to your potential customer and get them to click through to your site.
At the moment, we are not sure whether these ‘not dot com’ names will get a boost from Google (at present domain names with keywords in them help get better listings, at least to some degree), but either way their psychological impact could be high.
- More Personalization
This is another area that was supposed to sweep across the Internet, the idea being that every (or at least most) sites would recognise you when you logged on then personalise the pages you were offered. This of course is quite common today and is even used by Google with its ‘Remarketing’ system and Amazon with its emailing ‘suggestions’ (and where those Adverts seem to follow you around the web).
It looks like it is set to be used on more and more sites. Should your site be using it??
- Combining Reality with Technology – Augmented reality
Before going into this area in detail it is first necessary to define was ‘Augmented Reality’ is. One of the best definitions we have come across is:-
Augmented reality is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it.
One great example of the use of AR was the Pokemon Go craze, which aptly demonstrates how the GPS facilities on a smart phone can be used to interact with the App, thus seeming to show a Pokemon in the room with you..
Other (more useful?) applications include ones like the video shown below, this one allowing medical staff to identify where the veins are in the human arm.
These AR Apps need the faster and more powerful smartphones that are arriving on the market place, this encouraging websites to become more than just the ‘Responsive sites’ that we now expect (and that Google ‘demands’).
Making these sort of changes could make all the difference, that being between keeping your customers and losing them to a competitor.
Technology is allowing websites to be so much more than a simple static site, but that possibility means that the customer demand for this to take place is also growing. Thus companies that want to keep hold of (or gain a) their competitive edge must take steps to differentiate themselves from the competition, using AR, virtual reality or special ‘not-com’ domain names.
Today, to compete, a business website has to be so very much more than just a mass of media and content.
The best step is to schedule a series of ‘health checks’ on your website, this to make sure that your pages up to date and are using the technologies they ‘need to’.
As ever Rouge Media are ready willing and able to help you here, so please do contact us.