What are your customers' expectations for their website in 2022?
You’re an expert in marketing and website design is part of your service offer? We bet that the satisfaction of your customers is of the utmost importance to your business!
The following gives you an overview of what will be your customers ' expectations for their new website in 2022. What do they think are the standards and best practices that must be met in terms of website design? What is now possible to do with today's technologies in their view and what have they been made accustomed to?
Pick an easy-to-use CMS
Your customers expect their website to be easy to manage
Companies are increasingly aware of their web presence and its importance in their customer acquisition strategy. They now know that development of a website is never quite finished and that it needs to be continuously optimized. It is therefore normal that they wish to continue to actively manage their website contents after its launch.
Your customers expect to be able to be 100% autonomous when the time comes to update the content of their website. They want to have access to a tool that will allow them to do it SIMPLY and QUICKLY. They also expect the training necessary for proper use of the content management tool to be included in your service offer.
If your customers must plan for more than an hour for a training allowing them to use the tool you offer them, it's because it's too complicated. Whether it's a CMS or a web builder, you probably aren't using the tool that is best suited to their needs. For simple projects, there are now powerful technologies that are available and that can replace your old school website creation tool. You should consider more modern and easier to use solution for your clients’ websites.
Make loading speed faster
Your customers expect their website to load in less than a second
According to a study by Jakob Nielsen, a renowned web usability researcher, if a website takes more than three (3) seconds to load, it will lose about 40% of its audience.
We know that web users are always looking for immediacy, and your customers themselves are no exception. They are going to want you to pay attention to any low-speed issues. If these loading delays bother them personally, they will assume, with good reason, that the feeling will be experienced in the same way by their customers.
On their end, search engines like Google understand this issue very well. With the goal of ensuring their users have the best experience, they severely penalize slow websites. Penalties are even greater when it comes to user experience on mobile devices.
Optimize for all devices
Your customers expect their website to be responsive
Responsive web design has been the standard on the internet for nearly 10 years. The importance of having a website that is adapted for all devices, be it a computer, tablet, or mobile device, no longer needs to be emphasized.
What is underestimated, however, is the potential that resides in a better positioning of content elements according to the type of device used.
Let's take the example of a restaurant for which we want the display on a computer to offer a pleasant experience and atmosphere to convince the visitor to choose this restaurant. On the other hand, for a visitor on mobile, it's a safe bet that the reason for their presence on the website is more practical such as obtaining the address of the restaurant, their telephone number or being able to make a reservation quickly. It is therefore necessary to ensure that in the little space available on the screen of a cellphone, very particular attention is paid to the positioning of these three possible actions.
In 2022, it is no longer enough to adapt to the different types of digital device, we must now reflect and adapt to the intentions of users to offer them the best experience in each situation.
Make it SEO friendly
Your customers expect their website to be easy to optimize for search engines (SEO)
Whether it's to gain notoriety, attract talent, get more leads, or make more sales, if the main objective of your client 's website requires that it appears first in the search results of Google, you will need to make sure you have the right tools in hand to do so.
In these common situations, website SEO optimization features need to be easy to use and seamlessly available for everyone involved.
Be sure to offer a solution that will meet the needs of any stakeholders who will have the difficult task of accomplishing this feat. In addition, we always suggest including web marketing and SEO specialists early in the process of designing a new website, rather than waiting until the end of the project and suffer their audit.
Secure the website properly
Your customers expect their website to be secure
IT and digital experts agree that the scourge of the next decade will be cybersecurity. Every minute, companies collectively lose US$1.79 million to cybersecurity-related issues. By choosing to outsource the design of their website to you, your customers believe that they are taken care of in this regard and rightly expect to be fully protected against cyberattacks.
Their expectations may seem unrealistic to you, especially considering that the vast majority of cyberattacks are made possible by human error but you still need to be able to show that you have done everything in your power to adequately protect them and their business’ interests.
One of your priorities should be to select secure tools for their projects. Avoid directing your customers to solutions that require weekly or monthly updates, that are exposed to security vulnerabilities, and that have compatibility issues between the plugins and the themes.
Also, make sure that data entering and leaving their websites is properly encrypted by an SSL security certificate. In addition to providing additional protection to the website visitor, the HTTPS protocol will communicate to search engines that a website is to be trusted.
Reduce website's carbon footprint
Your customers expect their website to be socially responsible and ethical
The concept of eco-design of websites is gaining ground in North America and Europe and for good reason: the carbon footprint of the internet worldwide has now exceeded the aviation industry. You should know that an average website has the same carbon footprint in a year than a flight from London to Tokyo… and remember the web is more than 200 million active websites.
More and more companies are pledging to become carbon neutral. These forward-looking companies are demanding that their websites reflect their values and are looking for service providers who share those same values.
Choosing servers that consume less energy or use renewable energy is not enough (although that is a good start). A conscious and active approach must be taken from the start of the project to identify potential areas for improvement (website colors, choice of photos and videos, script removal, content architecture, etc.).
On an ethical level, make sure to call on local talents and avoid outsourcing to developing countries. Your customers expect you to be able to offer them an eco-responsible and ethical solution that will suit their needs.
In terms of good news, it is interesting to know that most of the initiatives you will take to reduce the carbon footprint of a website are also compatible with improving its performances in search engines rankings!
Think about accessibility for the website
Your customers expect their website to be universally accessible
The concept of digital accessibility, when applied to the Web, covers the techniques that allow a website or a webapp to be made available to individuals with disabilities, whether in speech or language, auditive, cognitive, neurological, visual, or physical.
It's easy to imagine the challenges a blind person will face when trying to browse a website, but it’s less obvious when it comes to make sure you include subtitles in your videos so a hearing-impaired person can understand its content.
Both public and corporate awareness efforts are currently very intense and the expectations of the latter towards your work will reflect this awareness.
Your customers expect their site to meet web accessibility standards. This special attention will affect the perception of their brand in the future.
Launch the website quicker
Your customers expect their website to be online by tomorrow morning
In 2022, everyone is in a hurry, your customers are too. More often than not, their marketing strategy, new branding, or latest advertising campaign is just waiting for the website rollout to kick off.
"How long?" is an inevitable question that you will have to answer during the preparatory meetings for the design of a website. You may be judged harshly on your response to that question, and you will be sideline if your deadlines are too long.
Equip yourself with a solution that allows you to react quickly. Implement a smooth creative process to eliminate frustrations. Avoid using outsourcing if possible.
The field of website design is quite mature, and few entrepreneurs are building their first website. Often most of the companies you will do business with in 2022 will be on their 2nd , 3rd or even 4th website. They will be increasingly aware of their own needs and the costs associated with them.
However, because web design is a creative process and is pretty much unregulated, you should expect to encounter some mistrust from decision makers. It is by being proactive and putting forward practical, ecological, and ethical solutions and technologies that you will be able to stand out and give your customers confidence in your services.