Tech Trends Don’t Pay the Bills

Tech Trends Don’t Pay the Bills

I recently did a training for a group of business owners on tiny tech hacks. It’s a training that shares my framework for making tech decisions and my absolute must-have tech tools. During the Q&A, one of the ladies in the group asked me about tech trends. It was a great question, but not because I had trends I wanted to share. Afterwards, she thanked me and said she got a lot of value out of my answer, but it certainly wasn’t the one she expected.

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The Allure of Trends

Every January, some of the top articles we see are devoted to trends: tech trends, web trends, social trends, and trends to watch for online. Here’s my take: Attention to trends is the ultimate in FOMO. You’re giving your time, energy, and precious brainpower to the fear of missing out.

One of the biggest trends in web design a few years ago was sliders. You know, that carousel of images that rotates at the top of a page. Why was it a trend? It was new and fancy. Want to know the result? After testing, it turns out that sliders destroy the conversion of a website. No biggie, right? Just take them off. Well, a lot of people didn’t get the memo. There are still websites out there that are being developed with sliders. Ouch.

Trends come and go, and that’s great for fashion (sometimes, I still don’t understand high-waisted jeans or why they are back), but it’s not good for business. And it’s terrible input for a website. “Pretty” and “fancy” don’t necessarily convert, and trends don’t pay the bills.

The True Purpose of Your Website

Your website has the potential to be a conversion machine. And this is something you want, even if you aren’t trying to get sales or leads from your website. A conversion is when users to the site do the thing you ask them to do. Maybe “that thing” is to call you, apply for a job, give you a review, refer a friend, fill out an onboarding form, or book an appointment. The whole point of users going to a website is to give them what they are looking for and tell them the next step.

You want your website to be more intern and less prom queen. You don’t need it to be pretty and popular just to be pretty and popular; you want it to work really, really hard because it has something to prove.

Why Tech Trends Don’t Pay the Bills

If you know that tech trends aren’t “all that,” how do you go about un-trending your website and your business? You don’t need to ignore trends completely (except high-waisted jeans; those should be ignored), but rather evaluate what makes sense for your business, audience, and what you offer.

A trend worth paying attention to is mobile first (and boots; there should never be a time where boots aren’t on trend). Google has gone to evaluating websites using the mobile version first and the desktop version second because about 50% of web traffic comes from mobile devices. An interesting note here is that number was down about 4% from 52.48% to 48.62% in 2020 from 2019. I’d say that’s likely due to the rise in individual student laptops and many people having less need to look up things on their mobile devices because they were staying home.

Be discerning about tech trends and evaluate anything you choose to employ based on the success criteria for your business and the role of your website, or other technology, in your business.

The Benefit of Evaluating Tech Trends

I think comparinoia is something every business owner battles. And buying into trends feeds the comparinoia. Kind of like feeding a gremlin after midnight. When you embrace your own business metrics and know what you need from your website for it to play its role in your business, you can step out of the trend FOMO and make choices based on what’s right for YOUR business.

Get Help!

Ready to make smarter business decisions, waste less time on trial and error, and have an overall line of sight on your business health and growth? We can help. Our analytics and reporting service, Insight Pro, properly sets up metrics in your business and serves them up to you so you can make decisions based on the information that matters to your success.

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