Last year marked a 25-year milestone of the first website, which was launched in August 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee. It was dedicated to information on the World Wide Web project and how to make web pages.
In a quarter century this world wide web and the websites on it have managed to change the way we work, socialise and of course, procrastinate. For your business, websites have dramatically transformed the competitive landscape and shaped the way you now reach, communicate and sell to your audience.
In what seems like a short amount of time, technology has advanced at a rapid rate. If you’re a website owner you’d know that new web updates and tools pop up daily. WordPress, a leading open source CMS, is constantly announcing new improvements to their offering, in an attempt to keep their market share from their rivalries like Squarespace, Craft CMS and Wix. With this rate of continuous improvement, the abilities of the website of the future are set to be impressive.
From a business perspective, being proactive and prepared to move with the technology as it changes, will help you remain competitive and well-established online. For this reason, we have decided to explore 4 trends that are set to be features of your future site.
1 Websites to become smart sites
In the future it is expected that websites will become ‘smart sites’ that aim to create the optimal user experience, blending both brand storytelling and performance. Web developers, designers and strategists will set to fine-tune transactional approaches, using landing pages and removing the hard sell to create more positive free flowing experiences for all users.
The benefit for the future you: more conversions and positive, personal experiences for your customers.
2 Artificial Intelligence
It is expected that in the near future more consumers will have AI devices such as Amazon’s Alexa. This means your audience will be using them to read your site (instead of their own eyes- what a luxury). Your web content strategy will need to be ready, as “artificial” audiences may not pick up on the subtleties of visual cues such as images, colours or video. The language you use should be conversational to ensure your audience not only receive the message but are more likely to interpret and engage with it.
Already we see AI working behind the scenes. IBM’s AI “Watson” offers a WordPress plugin that does the time-consuming job of organising, cognitively tagging and distributing content based on your user’s behaviour, questions or projected needs.
Chatbots are changing both the user experience and marketing game and are advancing rapidly. Chatbots are used widely in Messenger apps, which are so much more than “Chat” tools. Brands are getting creative with their application now that people can research products, ask questions and even purchase all within a “conversation”. Have you had a chance to talk to Boost Juice’s fruit or ordered your pizza by chatting with Dominos Dru?
Chatbots will impact how your website is designed and extend the integration elements for your site. Your site will need to be highly compatible with chatbots in order for you to leverage the marketing power they have.
4 Sophisticated marketing automation
Marketing Automation (MA) is already a very big trend, but as a solution, it’s still in its infancy. We will continue to see advances in automated systems for collecting data, integrating it into your website, and communicating with your customers. In theory, MA will enable dynamic personalisation of page content and messages presented to visitors, this will improve the conversion process for both on and off page interactions.
This means your website can be tailored to be like a first meeting, offering solutions to add value to users on the spot by showing the relevant information. Automation is very much a focus for Thirst as we look to support clients in improving marketing efficiency.
Ready for action?
Creating a proactive strategy will help you leverage opportunities as new technologies constantly improve user experience and online performance. It’s important to remember, that the investment into trending digital can be high. You need to make sure you’re adopting technologies that suit your business.
At Thirst, we are constantly thinking ahead, researching new developments, improvements and acquiring new skills. We are focused on ensuring our clients can keep up with technology changes and leverage new opportunities in the future.