Your website is often one of the very first points of contact that a prospect or client has with your brand. First impressions matter and a well-designed WordPress website can funnel your leads towards taking the actions you want them to take on your website, whether that’s signing up for a newsletter or scheduling a call with you.
Website design trends don’t stand still. As consumer needs evolve, the platforms they access your web content from change – from desktop to mobile and now onto VR and AR, exactly what constitutes a good WordPress site is being constantly redefined.
As we move into 2022, and as your target audience gradually returns to normal buying patterns, it’s the perfect time to give your WordPress site a once-over, and to make key updates in line with 2022’s emerging design trends. In this piece, we’ll walk you through some of the hottest WordPress design trends for the coming year of 2022 and how you can leverage them to turn your website into a lead generation machine.
Leverage Augmented Reality Plugins to Offer Immersive Experiences
Both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have seen a significant rise in popularity over the past few years, thanks to smartphone AR and billions of dollars in investment by the likes of Google and Facebook. In practice, what this means is that your leads are used to dealing with AR mini-apps using their phone cameras in daily life, for everything from QR-code coupons to virtual changing rooms for clothes. It’s a good idea to think about ways in which AR or VR experiences can be tied into your brand and your products, to offer something meaningful to your users without confusing or inconveniencing them.
If you’re a brand that sells physical products like jewelry, clothing, or furniture, AR’s a great way to help users understand how your product might fit into their day to day lives. An online furniture seller, for instance, could leverage AR to help users see how a particular sofa or armchair would fit in their living room, in terms of size as well as color and style. The AR for WordPress plugin is a great option here. It’ll allow you to import 3D models onto your WordPress site and then superimpose them on the user’s smartphone camera view.
If you’re a service-based brand or if you offer a fully digital product, there are still ways to integrate AR into your website, in a way that’ll propel users down the funnel. If your product is a SaaS service, for instance, you could add a QR code to your desktop website – visitors could download your smartphone app by scanning the code and getting a signup bonus.
The key to smoothly integrating AR into your WordPress site is to ensure that you’re not just hopping on the bandwagon – add an AR experience that will meaningfully drive leads to learn more about your product or take an action.
Another key consideration is in terms of optimizing your asset size. When you’re dealing with mobile websites, page load time is a critical SEO factor. Conversion rates plunge by 20 percent if you add just an additional second to page load time. 3D models for AR are often large files. This means that a “less is more” approach is optimal. Use less complex models and don’t try to throw your entire product inventory into your AR tryout section. Monitor how integrating AR impacts your page load times, then iterate until you’re at a good place.
Intelligently use Popups, Exit Intent Messages, and Other Sticky Elements
No one likes popups. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be making strategic use of them on your business website. Exit intent, pop ups, signup forms and other “sticky elements” all exist to drive users to take specific actions. That action could be to put an item in their checkout cart, to sign up for your newsletter, to schedule a free consultation, or something else.
With “sticky” UI elements, the key is to be judicious about when to show them and where. Exit intent popups are a great example. These are calls to action that come up after the user’s either spent a given amount of time on a website or makes a UI interaction (scrolling up or moving their mouse cursor towards the top left) that indicates that they may be about to exit the webpage. The exit intent popup creates friction to keep them on the webpage but, more importantly, to direct them to an offer or action that may be more relevant than what they were exiting from.
Let’s say you’re a SaaS company with a subscription service. A user visits your purchase page and your pricing structure just isn’t a good fit for them. As they’re about to exit, however, an exit intent popup displays, offering 30 percent off for the first six months. A properly designed exit intent popup, with text that urges immediate action, can drive significant conversions.
When we worked with Envirocool, for instance, Flying V Group was able to push the conversion rate for a particular exit intent popup up to 30 percent by making judicious tweaks to the text utilizing a tool called ConvertFlow.
Remember to always have a strong CTA for sticky elements: to a certain degree, you are “invading” the user’s browsing experience with these UI elements and you need to make that count by offering something that’s more relevant than whatever they’re seeing on your page by default. Urge a specific, time-bound action, “Last-chance sale, buy now and get 15 percent off,” instead of “Click here to checkout,” for example.
Also, it’s wise to remember when not to use popups and other sticky elements. If your user is already somewhat committed to your website – if they’re spending time browsing one of your blogs for instance, random pop ups could drive them away at a critical moment. And if you fill your homepage with too many popups and CTAs, users could feel that things are spammy or your website’s untrustworthy, and bounce away. Tools like ConvertFlow can easily be plugged into your WordPress site to help you test out and optimize sticky UI elements to find that fine balance between driving action and spamming the user.
Going Beyond Responsive Design: Optimize Your Design for Multiple Formats
In today’s world, your prospect has multiple options when it comes to browsing your website. They might log in from a desktop PC, from their phone, or even the VR browser on an Oculus Rift. Responsive design refers to an approach to WordPress web design where your UI elements scale in shape and size, so that users have a great experience on your site, regardless of their platform. Plugins like WPTouch are a great starting point on your responsive design journey. However, it’s important to go a few steps further.
At Flying V Group, we undertake regular UI and CTA audits for client WordPress sites, especially after new content or interface elements are added in. Oftentimes, responsive design is as much a quality control process as it is a web design philosophy. A lot of the time, we see websites that are 80 percent of the way there in terms of responsive design, but issues that stick out like a sore thumb and adversely impact the user experience.
A pop-up that looks fine on desktop might swell up to fill the whole screen on mobile if it isn’t scaled down, and it might lack a close button to get rid off. Formatting and font sizes might not work as intended, and multi-column tables could have bits cropped out. Even if you’ve invested in responsive web design, it’s critical to go back and check through every single page on your WordPress site, ideally from a range of hardware platforms – including tablets and smartphones – that your leads might use to access your content. Go through, identify flaws, fix them, and iterate.
Businesses across the world are looking at a return to normalcy or something close to it. This means that there’s immense opportunities across the board. Making your website stand out is a fantastic way to capitalize on this. And the best way to do that is by leveraging emerging WordPress design trends to transform a stagnant business website into a base for your online lead generation efforts.
As an agency handling web design in Orange County, FVG has years of experience helping businesses turn their web content into a cornerstone of their digital marketing efforts. Reach out to FVG today. We’ll schedule a free consultation call and get the ball rolling to transform your WordPress site.
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