Corporate Website Development: 4 Trends to Adopt in 2019
Are you checking your calendar to see if it’s January, because usually when we talk about trends in corporate website development it’s the beginning of the year? No need. I know that a little over six months have passed since the beginning of 2019, but I want to ask you two very important questions – are you absolutely sure that you read all about this year’s trends in corporate website development? And if you are, did you implement them on your website? Is your business website optimized with the current trends in mind?
If you have two positive answers, that is great! You can check the rest of this blog post just to make sure you are not missing something important in building your successful website or you can just skip to the end (Bonus Round) – we have a little surprise for you. But even if one of your answers is negative, we have some work to do. According to Mill For Business, every minute approximately 380 new websites are joining the Internet, so every second counts and you have to be in front of your competition, right?
Sometimes it takes just one small step to be in front of everybody else. But just to be sure – make another one. And then another.
Trend #1: Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
We cannot talk about corporate website development trends, without turning our attention to the popularity of mobile devices and their role in the future of the web. According to Statista, last year 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones. In Asia and Africa, the percentages are even higher. It’s safe to say that with the constant raising of smartphone usage in the years to come and the adoption of 5G networks, mobile traffic will be an even bigger part of internet consumption. That’s how important it is to have a well-optimized website, capable of loading instantly on mobile devices. After all, people don’t have a lot of time and sometimes even a second more waiting is the difference between a happy visitor and a missed opportunity.
Enter Google and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
Basically, “AMP is a web component framework to easily create user-first stories”. At least this is the description that greets the visitors of the official AMP webpage, one of the most significant website development trends for this year. This is a project from Google and Twitter with one main purpose – to make really fast mobile (only mobile for the moment) pages via optimization and striping down the page to its basics. It is open source and is created with ads in mind, so there is no revenue loss for the business.
AMP can even push your page higher in the SERP. Source: PMG.COM
Speeding up your corporate website performance on mobile devices can be achieved by using more traditional methods and intensive tests and optimizations, but you have to invest more resources. Through AMP the process is much simpler, quicker and without big investments. Google created a well-stacked page with information about AMP and detailed documentation.
AMP not only affects speed but is useful for the SEO of your website. Source: Google Blog
AMP consists of three elements:
- AMP HTML – This is the standard HTML with some mandatory AMP extensions. The idea is that regular HTML can be easily adapted.
- AMP CDN – Optimized network that caches AMP pages.
“We want web pages with rich content like video, animations, and graphics to work alongside smart ads and to load instantaneously. We also want the same code to work across multiple platforms and devices so that content can appear everywhere in an instant — no matter what type of phone, tablet or mobile device you’re using.”
From Google Blog
Example of how quicker an AMP page loads. Source: Google Blog
This was the more technical part. It’s time for the performance outcomes from implementing AMP to your corporate website.
- Faster page load speed – This is the obvious one. The time that the page opens can drop from three to less than a second. This can lower the bounce rate and increase traffic.
- Improved SEO performance – AMP is not an official ranking factor for the search, but it can still contribute thanks to the faster load speed and mobile friendliness.
- Increased mobile browser visibility – According to Neil Patel, the green AMP symbol, showing the optimized pages, can improve the click-through-rate. Very important for business websites battling with stiff completion in the search results.
“Mobile search engine users will then begin to look specifically for AMP plugin pages since these pages load up quicker than the typical mobile pages.”
Neil Patel | Entrepreneur, Analytics expert, and Investor
Trend #2: Progressive Web Apps (PWA) in Website Development
Beside Accelerated Mobile Pages there is another important trend in 2019 mobile websites that needs your attention – Progressive Web Apps (PWA). According to the creator of the term (Alex Russell), those are “websites that took all the right vitamins”. This sounds like something a corporate website development should benefit from.
This year there are going to be around 2.7 billion active smartphones in the world. We spent over 85% of our usage time in different applications. This is how used to this kind of interaction we all are. Your corporate website must take advantage of this trend.
In a little bit more detail PWA is a web page that looks like a mobile application with similar interactions and navigations – they deliver a native app-like experience for the user on all platforms. And most importantly PWA can maximize your reach and increase engagement thanks to features like push notifications, controlled by the publisher. It helps users to re-visit your website through features like Rich Offline Experiences, Periodic Background Syncs & Push Notifications.
PWA means quick opening even when the connection is bad, quick access through icon and higher engagement.
When using PWA the mobile website utilizes the full screen of the device and the URL is not visible. This gives more space and strengthens your corporate brand identity. Your website can be opened again even if there is no internet connection and the sharing of the content is much easier.
If we can put it bluntly PWA combines the best features of two words – the engagement and usability of applications and the higher adoption rate of traditional websites.
Building a PWA is much easier than making a standalone app, but there are still some minimum requirements that need to be met. You can find out more details in this Google Documentation.
PWA core three elements
- Application shell architecture – It ensures reliable performance that is constantly fast.
- Service Worker – It provides a programmatic way to cache app resources.
- Web application manifest – It describes the resources the app needs – displayed name, icons and so on.
“PWA is a natural choice if you wish to build an offline-ready, installable, fast web application. Also, it gives the possibility to send push notifications.”
Maxim Salnikov | Azure Developer Technical Lead | Microsoft
What are the benefits of using PWA in your corporate website?
- Faster page load of the website – two or three times faster than a normal app.
- Quick access – no installation on the device is required, so there is no waiting time for application download, nor the user has to go through an application store. Publishing an application on Apple’s App Store, for example, costs the developer 99 US dollars per year.
- Optimized user experience – can be accessed through an icon on the Home screen, which gives the user a quick and convenient way to access your corporate website.
- Uninterrupted connection with the website – PWA can be used offline or even on a poor connection. Users can keep browsing your corporate website even without a stable internet connection, increasing their engagement and retention.
- Easier implementation – PWA are not restricted to AMP, HTML or CSS. This makes them easier to create and scale for different devices and operating systems.
- Higher user engagement rate – Pinterest saw 60% increase in core engagement and 44% in user-generated ad revenue after building their corporate website as a PWA.
NB! PWA is not supported by all browsers. It could drive back users because of the need to have access to some of the smartphone’s hardware – camera, memory and so on.
Trend #3: Chatbots
Just a couple of years ago a chatbot would sound like something from the distant future. But in 2019 it is one of the biggest trends in corporate website development, once called by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella “The new apps”. Implementing chatbots into a corporate page saves time and resources by automating part of the customer support. According to Gartner, by 2020 only 25% of customer interactions will be held by a human. Everything else will be in the virtual hands of chatbots.
“A computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the Internet.”
Chatbots are constantly evolving and even today can be used for a different type of interactions – form answering simple questions (working time, availability, contacts and so on) to collecting information about users, giving complex answers, leading a conversation and so on.
“People-to-people conversations, people-to-digital assistants, people-to-bots and even digital assistants-to-bots. That’s the world you’re going to get to see in the years to come.”
Satya Nadella | CEO | Microsoft
This is why chatbots are such an important trend in corporate website development – they provide a lot of opportunities for the business to interact with the visitors.
The user will be happy that there is always “someone” to answer the question – no matter the time or the day.
Building a chatbot is a more difficult and expensive process than the integration of AMP and PWA. Here are 6 basic steps you need to follow to implement a successful chatbot strategy:
- Goals – define the goals of the chatbot and specify exactly what you need it to do.
- Type – decide what type of a chatbot fits best your specific business case – some businesses communicate mostly through social media, while others through their corporate websites.
- Custom or ready – choose whether you want to invest in a custom chatbot development or a ready-made solution.
- Be prepared – compile a solid database of information both questions and answers that can be helpful in training the chatbot.
- Testing – perform an A/B testing initiative to validate the best-case scenarios.
- Never settle – take the first steps to the continuous improvement of your chatbot based on your data.
Business outcomes of using chatbots in your corporate website?
Chatbots will help your corporate website increase user engagement and customer satisfaction levels by addressing visitors’ requests in a fast and reliable manner. With chatbots, there is no delay between the moment a visitor asks a question and the first response he or she receives. This gives quick solutions and 24-hour services.
“The most common predicted uses for chatbots that consumers reported included getting quick answers to questions in an emergency (37%), resolving a complaint or problem (35%), and getting detailed answers or explanations (35%).”
State of Chatbots Report | 2018
“We believe that healthcare and banking providers using bots can expect average time savings of just over 4 minutes per inquiry, equating to average cost savings in the range of $0.50-$0.70 per interaction. As Artificial Intelligence advances, reducing reliance on human representatives undoubtedly spells job losses.”
Lauren Foye | Marketing Intelligence Manager | Juniper Research
NB! Not well-developed chatbots can give limited responses to corporate website visitors, leading to their frustration. Complex chatbots could cost more and are not always the best solution for your business.
Trend #4: Voice Search
Just like with chatbots, voice search might sound like a problem for the future but is actually part of the present and one of the most significant trends in corporate website development today. According to the statistic from Canalys, the global market for voice search devices grew by 187% for the second quarter of 2018 and 25% of all searches conducted on Windows 10 taskbar were made by using voice.
By 2020 50% of all searches across the internet will be voice-based and according to Gartner, 30% of all searches will be done using a device without a screen. Based on all this it becomes clear that a website must be optimized for voice search in order to be viable.
“It’s in our charter to innovate and find new connections with audiences.”
Mukul Devichand | Executive Editor of Voice | BBC
Users can initiate voice search from almost every device they own today – smartphones, tablets, computers, smart speakers that are becoming more popular, even TVs. Voice search is going to change even the way we think about SEO optimization. When people use written words in the search engines, they usually use phrases or just fragments of sentences.
With voice, the searches usually take the form of questions – full sentences. This means that the content must answer questions and the site must have structured data, using Schema Markup., and rich snippets.
Quickest wins the race. Right? Source: BackLinko
It is important that the Web Speech API is used in corporate website development. It provides two distinct areas of functionality – speech recognition and speech synthesis (text to speech).
Why optimize your corporate website for voice search?
- This gives your website a higher SEO ranking.
- It will increase traffic, making it more visible to voice searching.
- It gives visitors a better user experience by providing faster results to a user’s search queries.
“In 2019, we will witness commands from ‘Share my stock report’ to ‘What is the value of my monthly retirement income?”
Nick Caley | VP Financial Services and Regulatory | ForgeRock.
NB! Voice search is an important opportunity for small local businesses. Usually for them is hard to turn up higher in the search results. According to research by BrightLocal, 46% of voice search users search for a local business daily.
When developing a corporate website, always remember that you need to turn every visit into a helpful and pleasant journey for your users. They usually have specific problems to solve (or questions to ask) and you must give them the most convenient solution (or an answer). Keep in mind that every single element of your corporate website is important – navigation, design, content, SEO, images, call-to-actions, and so on. To be contacted you need to provide an outstanding user experience.
Every business and every corporate website is different, but every single one of them has something in common – first and foremost they must adopt the latest trends in corporate website development accordingly in order to drive competitiveness. This means the value of AMP, PWAs, Chatbots, Voice search, and other emerging trends depends on your business needs. We at ScaleFocus understand that. Feel free to reach out to us and discuss your specific case. Only this way you will be able to provide tailored user experience to your existing and potential customers.
Viktor Dzhambov | Senior Marketing Copywriter