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By Sylvia Fowler

Website Optimization in 2018

A website portrays an image of a businesses' brand for prospective clients. An old site is an indication the brand is out-of-date as well. Fresh new web designs are more appealing to visitors and make more positive first impressions of a business. Dated sites can decrease conversions and decrease the confidence of existing customers in the brand.

Prevalent platforms and technology trends drive website design and development trends. It is time to consider tuning your website to the latest trends for 2018. Staying on top of the following trends in website design and optimization now will keep your business search engine friendly, ahead of the competition and growing well into 2018.

Negative space

The white space concept is not new, but the use of negative space to create a focal point is gaining popularity. Efforts to drive value and conversions are more necessary than ever. Negative space lures users attention to the conversion point and allows no room for distraction. Everything on a web page must serve the purpose of increasing conversions. Fast, lightweight pages are crucial, especially for mobile functionality, and negative spaces help achieve that.

Bold, expressive typography

The use of bright colors and artistic fonts is eliminating old school images, which increase load times and server costs. Typography creates more negative space and cleaner lines without impacting functionality. Therefore, logos and calls-to-action explode on the page immediately, giving the customer a fast introduction to the company.

Cinemagraphic snippets

The happy medium between a still image and a complete video is a cinemagraph. The use of cinematography is not just for flair, but to attract interest to important aspects on the site. Adding engaging clips or 360º extracts to product pages will prove successful with increasing conversions. These quick snippets are already proliferating, even headed into the second half of 2017.

Scroll-triggered animations

When executed well, smooth scroll0triggered animations are strategic and discreet and achieve their intended purpose of increasing conversions. The animation tempts users to continue scrolling, luring them to the conversion point and providing product education at the same time.

Hybrid website apps

Web designers are developing hybrid website apps, called progressive web apps, by blending traditional app behaviors with webpage behaviors. This trend of upgrading site functionality includes push notifications, splash screens, offline mode, and animation of page transitions. Efforts to refine cognitive capabilities will increase as these apps gain in popularity. Through more dependency on natural language processing and automation, progressive web apps will learn and respond to users' personal preferences and idiosyncrasies.

Facebook for business websites

Facebook is aggressive in its attempts to become a destination for content by tendering blog platforms, reviews, live chat with patrons and livestreaming. Often, prospective clients find a Facebook page and click through without ever visiting the company's actual website. Facebook is quickly shifting from a source to drive users to another website to the place to build a business.

In 2016, mobile usage surpassed desktop browsing. Therefore, innovations in 2018 will fully develop mobile functionality as never seen on desktop computers.The digital environment calls for continuous access and an endless flow of information, which makes "performance" the catchword in 2018 web design. The projected trends will allow for the creation of more attractive and engaging websites with better response and conversion rates, hence functioning at optimum performance. Staying on top of these potential changes in website design now will help with future trend changes beyond 2018.

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