Another year behind us. The internet and its technology grew by leaps and bounds in 2012, and 2013 looks to be no exception. The number of social media users is higher than ever, more and more people have access to reliable high-speed internet, and people are demanding more and more from the websites they visit. So how do you stay ahead of the curve? Take a look at our top 3 online predictions for 2013.
#1 – Cross-platform integration will be expected by users
Technology had reached the point where users are now relying on and coming to expect cross-platform integration from their websites. This means the website needs to integrate social media (both theirs and their visitors), mobile devices and apps, multimedia experiences, and so much more. It goes further than just being able to easily get from one platform to another.
Try incorporating things like allowing your users to log in with their Facebook or Twitter accounts, making sure you have RSS feeds so they can stay up-to-date, allowing social bookmarking, making your multimedia content less reliant on plug-ins, and using QR codes to integrate with your traditional advertising. The list is literally endless. If you are having problems coming up with ideas, take a look at some of the biggest websites out there and see how they handle such integration.
#2 – Video content will become more widespread
With the vast majority of internet users now having reliable access to broadband speeds, hosting video content is no longer the barrier it once was. Whether you are advertising on video content yourself, or if you are hosting videos for product information, offers, or just entertainment, the possibilities for taking advantage of video media is endless. In a way, you can think of it as a low-cost alternative to traditional television advertisements. Also, many people are more willing to watch a video for information about a product than they are to read a long article about it. So, it behooves you as a website owner to capitalize on this evolving trend.
#3 – Web Applications will reach an all-time high
Now that HTML5 has (finally!) reached “feature-complete” status, more and more websites will be focusing on taking advantage of this new coding standard by developing new web applications. These applications are a great way for websites to engage visitors and keep them on-page longer, which leads to higher conversions and clicks.
While website owners were understandably reluctant to embrace a standard that was still “in-the-works”, there is no real reason to delay at this point. Especially since the leading web browsers (IE, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari) will be quick in ensuring that their browsers render HTML5 content correctly. Businesses that embrace this potential will definitely have a leg up over their competition.
Taking the time now to get ahead of these trends will leave you, the business owner, well positioned to capitalize on them, while your competition is floundering to catch up. Your visitors will thank you for it, and so will your bottom line!