Now that we have moved into 2015 it is a good time to go ahead and look at what we can expect to become popular, or absolute must haves for your website. Looking at design features is one thing, but there has been a real movement towards using widgets in websites in recent times. This is a trend that is anticipated to only gain more momentum over the next 12 months, so it is a good idea to check out the top widgets for 2015. Here are our top five.
1. Marketing By Email
It is widely accepted that marketing via an email list is going to give you a far higher return on your investment than pretty much every other form of marketing out there. However, the hard part is staying on top of your email list, including your contacts, but help is at hand with a number of extremely useful widgets.
The most popular ones out there just now come from companies such as MailChimp and Ininbox and they just make life so much easier on the back-end section of your email marketing. Basically, by using one of their widgets you will be able to take advantage of templates for your very own email newsletters, find it easier to manage your contacts, send out emails via automation, and a whole host of other cool features that just makes life easier. Thanks to this widget you should see an upturn in the success of your email marketing.
2. Booking Appointments
If you have a business where appointments need to be booked, then offering this option via your website is certainly something that will be appreciated by your clients. This widget shows the dates and times available and they can then go ahead and arrange it to suit themselves and it is all done in real time.
The idea behind this widget is that it does vastly improve your customer service and it also allows your staff to get on with serving customers rather than being stuck on the phone all of the time. It is also surprising who can utilize this particular widget as it is certainly very helpful when trying to organize your schedule.
3. Analytics And Search Widget
A big thing now is having a better understanding as to how well your website is doing via analytics and there are widgets out there that can provide you with all kinds of up to the minute data. One widget that should be of interest is called eClincher as that not only tells you about your website, but also allows you to deal with all of your social media accounts from one single dashboard.
This is going to make your life a whole lot easier, but we also mentioned a search widget as more and more people want to search for specific information on your website rather than read everything that is on there. Swiftype is one example of a widget that allows you to add a search function to your site and you should see an increase in the time people spend on your site as they explore more of what you have to offer.
Slideshows are making a huge comeback in 2015 and there are a whole host of widgets out there that will allow you to have various shows all over your website. This is a great way to showcase products you sell or work that you have previously done as it is still accepted that we love visuals rather than just a lot of text on a website. However, one cool trick is to make sure that you can link it to photos that you have on image sharing websites or social media and Photosnack is one such widget. This will result in you being able to take photographs on your cell phone and upload to Flickr or Facebook and it will also then appear directly on your website.
5. Floating Social Media Buttons
Everybody already understands the importance of social media for an online business as it does increase awareness of a brand and makes direct marketing so much easier. However, previously it was a case of links to social media accounts being stuck in the corner of a website and the result was that a lot of people did not even see those buttons. Of course this is a bit of a disaster from a marketing point of view, but that has now changed with floating social media buttons.
This widget will have all of those logos linking to the likes of Twitter etc floating on your page as people scroll up and down. It sites at the side so as not to impede them and annoy them, but you will see a real increase in the number of people that then click through and subscribe or join your page.
There are of course a number of seriously cool widgets out there just waiting to be added to your website and the ones that work best for you does depend on what you hope to achieve from your site. However, the one thing that is clear is that we all need to look more at widgets and what they can do as there is no doubt that they do improve the experience that people have on your website.