While design attributes do not directly affect a websites rank in search, they can play an important part in indirectly affecting some areas of SEO, including content, backlinks, user engagement, and traffic quality among other factors. While we knew the most important factors of Duluth MN Web design success, I wanted to verify them with external data and across industries.
To do this I reviewed each website at the top of search results for a total of 43 industries (identified using the Duluth Chamber), to better understand the most predominant Duluth, MN web design trends. These industries ranged from hotels, hospitals, construction, and dentists, to 39 other diverse industry categories. Each website design was unique in its own way, but several underlying design factors remained quite stable.
The Faster Points
- Make your websites design mobile friendly
- Use Contact forms
- Incorporate Social Media widgets in your websites design
- Make sure your website has a blog
- Design email sign-up fields
- Combine videos with text blocks
- Social Media feeds can sometimes be effectively leveraged in web design.
Mobile Pages or Responsive
Of the 43 Duluth MN Web Designs, I reviewed 36 (or 83%) of them had mobile versions or were responsive on mobile. Those websites that weren’t mobile friendly, but still remained the number one page result, had very limited competition in Duluth and no competitor with a mobile friendly page. Based on our internal comprehensive design analysis, to be competitive, one of the universal design features of your website is that it be mobile friendly. This is especially true in mobile search results.
While there were other design trends that displayed more universality, this is still the most important design aspect when it comes to influencing your website’s rank in search results, according to google.
Contact forms were the most consistent website design trend across industries with 97% (42) of Duluth websites containing a contact form.
Contact forms are the most common design feature largely because of their versatility and effectiveness. A contact form can be as short or as long as you need it to be, with the all the necessary information required. You don’t require as many follow ups because all the information you need can be requested in the form. It makes contacting your business more convenient for your users and ensures they are certain they are sharing the information you need, avoiding confusion and uncertainty, improving conversions.
While contact forms are fairly plain from a design perspective, they play an extremely important role in generating leads and sales for your business and should not be ignored.
On Page Social Media Widgets
A full 86% of Duluth Web designs had one or more social media widgets on their websites allowing users to quickly and effectively visit, explore, and engage with them on Social Media. While these social widgets could be found in a variety of locations across the industry websites we analyzed, the most effective location for them tends to be around the upper right corner where they are easy to find, but don’t distract users from the primary goals you want them to accomplish on your website.
Blogs – Designed for SEO
Nearly three-quarters of Duluth websites contained a regularly updated and cleanly designed blog. Blogs allow for the generation of helpful and keyword optimized content without the need to create additional unique pages or navigation items. Blogs also provide another way for website visitors to engage with you through social sharing and commenting.
Designing a blog into your site means you can quickly address the needs of your users without additional design or development costs. This means if users continually have questions or show confusion about a product or service you can quickly write something up and post it on your blog to help improve user experience, while greatly benefiting your SEO efforts at the same time.
Email and Newsletter Signups
While not ubiquitous (23 of 43 websites had them) across all industries. Those Duluth, MN websites that primarily focused on serving the needs of individual consumers often included an email or newsletter subscription signup designed into each page template.
Web sites with a small unobtrusive email signup designed into the pages allow you to quickly and easily receive opt-in email addresses from users that are highly interested in your offerings. Email is the highest converting digital marketing medium. Using your website to build an email list should always be part of your design considerations, and Duluth web design trends across top industry websites further reinforce the importance.
Less than 40% of top Duluth web sites had video incorporated into their designs, but those websites who do, use it very successfully. Video is an extremely rich media and can greatly improve user time on page, especially among mobile users. However top Duluth web designs that ranked high, and used video, used it as an addition to rich and informative text blocks in their designs. The designs did not use video to replace detailed text, which is very important for SEO.
The above video about Duluth is great quality, unfortunately, search engines cannot crawl the content of a video. You can let them know the context, and what videos are about. Even if your video is extremely informative and useful, you will want text blocks alongside, so search engines have keyword rich content to crawl and effectively index your page with. If the above video was on a page all on its own it’s unlikely that page would ever rank. Keep this in mind for your web design.
Social Media Feeds
Duluth, MN web design trends for the top ranked websites, clearly illustrate the importance of having social media connected to your website. Social Feeds take that connection to the next level, with live social posts directly embedded into the design of some pages. Less than 20% of top-ranked Duluth website designs utilized this feature.
This is understandable, effectively leveraging a social feed in a web design requires a very active and image (or news) focused Social Media posting schedule and a highly engaged audience. That doesn’t work for many industries outside B2C. See – why social integration doesn’t always work in web design.
But those top-ranked, highly consumer focused websites (tourism, etc.), can effectively leverage them. Social feeds, allow you to leverage your website traffic into a social community where you can regularly engage them in ways that build loyalty, beyond what a website alone can accomplish. Helping to grow the reach, awareness, and returning traffic numbers of your website.
I hope this snapshot of Duluth MN web design trends, gives you a better feel for how design can indirectly influence your websites rank in search results, and help identify some design commonalities among the most successful websites across industries in Duluth. While simply including these design attributes into your website without detailed content, continuous SEO efforts, and marketing is unlikely to get you to page one, they play an important role in adding value and improved user experience, which keeps users coming back and loyal after they first find you in search results.