As a successful business owner, you know the importance of building and maintaining an effective online presence. This, of course, begins with your website and extends into all your digital marketing efforts. Yet, once the initial website launch and marketing plan is underway, most companies neglect to revisit their approach and adjust to new market conditions, which are constantly in flux.

Maybe you have noticed that traffic to your website is down, or that you have been getting fewer and fewer leads. Here are some signs that your website needs to be updated:

Visual Appeal (Your look and feel are outdated)

Visual appeal affects how your website visitors perceive your company and how it is remembered (e.g. sporty and fun, professional, informed, etc.). Your website’s visual appeal is how you and, by extension, a visitor visualizes your brand. If the look of your website has not been updated in quite some time, then you are missing out on putting your brand’s best foot forward. Every day new website themes and layouts are created. More than likely, there is a website layout specific to your industry and company’s individual needs. Updates to themes and layouts, pictures, fonts, white space, navigation, and overall balance can give your site that modern upgrade it needs to appeal to your target audience.

Calls to Action (You are not generating enough leads/sales)

Having visitors explore your website is great but creating a discernible path for them consistent with your marketing funnel will better enhance your engagement, lead generation and sales. Calls to Action are at the heart of that path. These are essential elements on a website (and related digital efforts, such as email, social media posts and display ads) acting as signposts to the visitor to know what direction to take next. Each is typically written as an actionable phrase such as “Sign Up,” “Download the Free eBook,” or “Buy Now” in the form of a button or hyperlink. Each Call to Action allows you, as a company, to gather much needed information on who your most engaged customers are. In updating your website, you can utilize the latest tools and technology that make squeeze pages, pop-ups, landing pages, and information gathering in general that much more effective.

Content (Your expertise does not shine or you are not getting enough engagement)

If your website content is aging or does not accurately reflect your brand, then you might be in need of a change. Keeping your content fresh allows website visitors to know who you are and perceive you as an expert in your field. It provides a 360° view of who you are as a company by providing a style and voice to, first and foremost, educate your visitor on products and/or services because useful content drives brand trust.

Search engines are typically the way visitors find content, though they may also be directed to you by social media, partner referral, email, etc. Having strong content, you can create keywords and phrases that appear in relevant searches that bring new leads to your website. SEO revolves around keywords and phrases. But be mindful that these keywords are written naturally into your content, as search engines reward authenticity and freshness. Conversely, they will penalize you for loading your pages with keywords at the expense of clarity and readability.

Another essential website driver is social media. Social Media is one of the best ways to achieve a connection with your target audience. It provides a way to have conversations, get feedback, and get new leads to visit your website. But without strong content that showcases the company brand, giving the visitor something to learn or resources to discover, then your social media endeavors lead to a dead end. Content is king! Keep it fresh and relevant.

Security (You are not protected from spam and hacks)

By keeping an updated website, you ensure the website’s security will not be compromised. One of the primary reasons a website is due to out-of-date website security. Websites typically come with plugins which hackers exploit to intrude upon your website. By keeping these plugins updated you keep the risk of these intrusions to a minimum and create a greater trust between you and visitors to your site. Many website building platforms, such as WordPress, Wix and SquareSpace, are great at security coding in HTTPS, which is now the standard.

SEO (Your site is not optimized for traffic)

If you are not thinking about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) then you are limiting your exposure to potential customers. There are 1.74 billion websites in the world and people rely heavily on search engines to connect them to those websites. Optimizing the keywords and phrases on your website to get ranked higher on search engines is essential to your company’s bottom line.

SEO, at its core, is designed for customers, not brands. The intention is to give users the content they are truly seeking. So, if your website does not address a user’s search query, it will not show up as a result. Smart SEO strategy is to think of what your target audience is looking for in your product or service, and make sure that your content reflects that using keywords they are likely to enter in the search bar.

Importantly, the algorithm search engines use to deliver search results is constantly changing. For this reason, it may be worth investing in experts to help. Many SEO experts use results-based pricing, which means you only pay if they fulfill their promises in rankings across a variety of keywords. If your budget does not allow for it, you can still optimize your SEO in-house by following best SEO practices.

Whether your site is under-performing or you simply want to freshen your approach, reviewing and updating your website regularly is an important piece of the marketing mix you do not want to overlook. Doing so keeps you competitive in your industry, and, most importantly, helps you drive the engagement, leads, and sales that are essential to your business.