Online presence is crucial for business growth nowadays. Not only does it help people find you more easily, but it also lets you connect and engage with your existing customers. Your website and social media account will prove to be extremely useful when it comes to branding as well.
While keeping track of all the trends can become a bit too overwhelming, it’s important to be in the loop. Hiring one of the top managed service providers can help you save up time, but we understand that’s not always an option.
Therefore, we bring you some of the top trends in web design, SEO, and social media for 2022 and the actual steps you can take to meet them.
7 Web Design Trends
Scrollytelling is the kind of design that tells a story through visual elements like animations as you scroll down the page. The Scrollytelling experience is similar to reading a book; more information is revealed as you scroll down the page.
You can get creative here with multiple animations, or you can keep it simple by using different colors to separate different sections on the page.
A very creative and good example of Scrollytelling is Huffpost’s “Millennials are screwed”.
2. Retro design
Bright colors, classic image filters, retro fonts, blurriness, and grain all belong to a different time, but web designers have decided to incorporate these to create a retro experience.
Nostalgia is not such a rare experience, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic started. People often want to feel connected to one another and go back in time.
There are so many elements you can borrow from 20-30 years ago. Starface, for instance, went in with contrasting colors and retro fonts.
3. Handmade graphics
While we heavily rely on computers and technology, design done by hand still provides personality that computers just don’t. You can go with simple doodles or create analog textures like crayons or paint. Really, it’s up to you.
Inapsquare, for instance, used doodles throughout the entire website.
4. Going off the grid
Grids are widely used in web design since they provide structure and order. Going off the grid is a great idea when you want to emphasize a certain element on the page.
A good example of that is the Yelvy website. As you scroll down, the images of the clothes they offer don’t line up with any other element on the page.
One of the most often used styles in web design is minimalism. You can, however, spice things up and one of the ways to do that is to add multiple imagery layers. Layers are interesting because users tend to spend more time exploring the website if done right. You can also combine it with animations.
A General Condition website got creative with multilayers, combining images and text.
6. Typographic hero image
A hero image is the first thing users see when they come to your website. Instead of putting a photo, you can use typography instead to make a statement about your brand. You can really play with the lettering style here.
Spotify used this idea for its hero image emitting a central idea: “Listening is everything.”
7. Visible borders
Designers are well aware of the fact that web pages are built upon a grid. By using visible orders, you can make the grid borders visible and structure the content even more clearly.
The New York Times uses visible grid lines to different content and provide more structure.
7 SEO Trends
1. First-party cookies are coming into play.
For that reason, we suggest you create a first-party data collection plan focusing on obtaining users’ information directly on your website. That will allow you to get to know your audience a bit better.
Basically, once a user comes to your website, there are a couple of things you can do to get the information you need. You can allow your users to sign-up for a newsletter, for instance. You can also use an interactive infographic or offer your users to participate in a quiz if you also want to engage them.
Once you get what you need, you can use this information to create a personalized experience that fits the user’s profile.
2. Page speed will continue to affect user experience.
While some experts argue that page speed is not the most important factor determining one’s position on the search engine results page (SERP), we believe you should put effort into decreasing a page’s load-time.
We won’t lie to you; Google did state that the Speed update from 2018 only applies to the slowest pages. But that doesn’t mean that page speed has no effect on the user experience in other ways.
Remember, people expect to get what they want as fast as possible, especially on mobile phones. Even if the content you post is of the highest quality, they won’t stick around long enough to find that out if your page takes too long to load.
To avoid this, we advise you to take a look at your page speed and speed it up if you notice it’s going a bit slow. You can look into the size of the files uploaded to your website, the location of your hosting company, and what your code looks like if you want to increase page speed.
3. Focus on user intent.
Users come to the search engine with a specific question in mind. They type it in the search engine expecting the answer that fits their needs and search intent. Google knows this, which is why they came up with BERT and RankBrain. Both of these algorithms are used to better understand the query and deliver the results the user expected.
Following Google’s lead, we advise you to take a look at your target audience and focus on their needs. Think about what they’re after and their search intent. Try to answer these two questions:
- How are users going to look for a solution to their problem?
- How can you create content that solves that problem?
Answering these questions will help you align with Google’s algorithms, thus bringing more organic traffic to your website.
4. Creating evergreen content is a must.
The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to SEO is your content. It has to be interesting, reliable, and high-quality above everything else.
Evergreen content is the kind of content that retains its value throughout time because people are always looking for it. How-to and beginner’s guides, as well as checklists, are great examples of content that will never go out of style.
Creating evergreen content offers numerous advantages:
- It saves time and works you’d otherwise have to invest in creating pieces that are focused on the current hot topics
- You’ll rank high on the SERP for a longer period, which will give people an opportunity to get more familiar with your brand
- You’ll retain a constant traffic rate because users will always be interested in the evergreen content.
5. The EAT principle.
The EAT principle is a rule stating that your content’s quality will be assessed based on the expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of the content, as well as its creator. Google came up with this principle to provide high-quality and reliable content to the users.
There are a couple of ways you can ensure the EAT, and here are some of them:
- Hire an expert to create content
- Back up claims with statistics and facts
- Link to a reputable source
Following this principle will not only prove to Google your content is valuable and of high quality, but will also strengthen your reputation on the market.
6. Long-form content drives more traffic.
While some people assume users are too lazy to read long pieces, research shows that’s not true. For instance, Buzzsumo found that long-form content with over 3,000 words performs well consistently, as opposed to the shorter pieces. As a result, these pieces rank better on the SERP.
Users like long-form content for multiple reasons. First things first, it allows you to deliver educational content that will portray you as an expert in your field. Long-form content also ranks better on the SERP.
However, there are steps you should take to make these longer pieces more structured and easily scannable. We advise you to break text into multiple sections using subheadings as long unstructured pieces can frighten and appall the user.
7. Using keyword clusters.
Keyword clustering is a practice of grouping keywords that represent a similar search intent. There are multiple ways different users search for the same thing.
For instance, if users wanted to search for women’s athletic shoes. They could search for “women’s running shoes” or “running shoes for women” or “athletic shoes for women”.
The idea is to predict the user’s search intent and the words they might type into the search engine so that you can increase your chances of ranking higher for similar SERPs.
7 Social Media Trends
1. Reels are still good to go.
Instagram launched the reels feature back in 2020 and it has proved to be very successful and entertaining. Considering that the attention span of an average user is getting shorter, it’s no surprise that Instagram Reels are here to stay in 2022.
However, generating new content randomly won’t get you too far. You should think of the ways you can align your overall marketing goals with the IG Reels content.
For instance, if your company is producing skincare products, you can create educational reels that are related to the skincare industry. That will portray you as a professional in your industry and help you obtain new customers.
2. Long-form content is back.
It may seem weird to say that long-form content is also making a comeback since we’ve just said that reels are still trending, but it’s the truth.
Instagram extended the reels’ length to 60 seconds and TikTok videos can now be up to 3 minutes long, while Facebook launched Live Audio Rooms. These little changes show that long-form videos and audio on social media can also be used to grow your business.
3. Using a more intimate setting on Facebook as a marketing channel.
Facebook users are lately looking for a smaller community where they can connect with other users of similar interests better. Luckily, this social media platform has a couple of ways to offer that:
- Facebook Groups. You should continue to invest in your FB group and link it to your business page. Having that in mind, check out the new features such as more advanced admin control, subgroups, community chats, and much more.
- Facebook Live. This option is pretty much the closest thing to meeting someone in person. Use that to your advantage and connect with your followers on a whole other level.
- Live Audio Rooms. Live Audio Rooms became available last year. According to Facebook, this feature “enables you to discover, listen in on and join live conversations with public figures, experts and others about topics you’re interested in.” It’s great because you don’t need to have a camera ready.
4. YouTube shorts are not the best option.
While many might disagree, we believe YouTube users expect more long-form content on this platform. For that reason, we advise you not to waste your time creating YT shorts for organic growth.
Instead, we think you should spend more time researching the right keywords and generating interesting and original content if you want to attract more people. Users simply love when creators are not afraid to be different and think outside the box.
5. New options in LinkedIn Creator mode.
Creator mode, launched in 2021, offers numerous options that will allow you to grow your brand and maximize your marketing efforts on LinkedIn.
With Creator mode on, you get access to all Creator tools, as well as LinkedIn Live. You can publish a LinkedIn newsletter and people can now follow you since your profile will be converted to a Follow account.
It should also be noted that LinkedIn pulled the story feature last year and announced that they’re working on creating a short-form video feature instead. This option will also be available as a part of the Creator mode.
These short-form videos will allow creators and business owners to market their products and services by creating short tutorials that will attract more people to your account. Clearly, video content will thrive across all platforms.
6. Social eCommerce will thrive.
Many platforms have invested in creating an eCommerce integrated within the app.
Instagram shopping is one of the newer features on this platform. It launched in May 2020, right in the middle of COVID-19 pandemics. It sometimes allows users to buy products without even leaving the app, while in other cases, it takes them directly to the retailer’s website where they can order.
A similar feature was released by Facebook and TikTok and Pinterest. All that points out the benefits of social eCommerce that businesses should take advantage of.
7. Burnout prevention is trending.
It’s been two years since the COVID-19 pandemics marched in. People have been using social media platforms way more than ever, especially keeping in mind that some countries are still in lockdown. The pressure to post frequently and be more active has never been bigger.
Many creators have reported that they’ve experienced burnout, and for that reason, we believe 2022 is going to be all about mental health and self-care.
Even Instagram launched a Take a break feature that reminds you to take a break after a certain amount of scrolling through the app. This, of course, is a small step, but it’s still meaningful because it shows that social media platforms are aware of the problem.