How do you know when it's time to update your website?

Your website is often the first contact a potential customer has with your brand. It’s the hub of everything you do online. Neglecting to keep it up-to-date is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

If you want to prosper, your digital presence needs to be a vital part of your marketing strategy. It’s important to make sure your website is up to par in terms of technology, usability, and content.

If it’s been a while since you’ve overhauled your site, odds are it’s time for some upgrades. Here are the top five ways to know you need a new website right now:

1. A Design Make-Over is in Store

A quick way to know if you need to re-design your website? You envy the sites of your competitors.

Other signs are a text-heavy site, Flash animations, and content that talks about your brand, not your customer. Your website is a statement to the world that your brand is fresh. Today’s best sites use quality images, attractive layouts, easy navigation, rich animations, and a responsive design.

2. It’s Not Social

Social medial affects web design in many ways. Your webpages should include social media buttons for sharing, liking, and following. Likewise, your social media channels – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. – should be included as links on your website, so your fans can find you on their preferred channel.

3. SEO Could Use Improvement

Optimizing your website so that search engines can find it is key to increasing your site’s visibility in organic (non-paid) search results. SEO combines the technical and creative elements your site needs to drive traffic, improve rankings, and increase search engine awareness. If your search traffic is low, it’s time to take a look at how to make your website more SEO optimized.

4. The Content Is Good, Not Great

Stories have always been used to illustrate great ideas. Great content engages readers in your business’ story.

If you feel like your website doesn’t quite convey your message in a meaningful way, it’s time to switch from sales-like writing to compelling storytelling.

The best content resonates emotionally with your audience. It encourages them to stick around and learn more about you and your products or services. Great content also positions you as a thought leader and differentiates you from competition.

5. It’s Not Internet Friendly

If you’re website isn’t mobile friendly, it’s just not internet friendly. The bulk of online traffic is now coming from mobile devices. As mobile internet use has become the norm so has responsive design. Performance is key, so you need to make sure your site performs at its peak ability for the best user experience – the best way to do this is with a responsive website design.

6. It Lacks the Latest Technological Developments

Does your website work well on mobile devices or do users have to scroll left and right? Does it take forever to load? Still using Flash? In a time when website trends are constantly changing, your site needs to be able to handle animations, short videos, and other engaging content. Even the most basic factors – such as screen resolution and navigation – need to be optimized for handheld devices.

A website redesign is a big project, but it can also be a wise investment. A well-designed website is one of the most effective marketing tools at your disposal. Make the most of it by keeping it up-to-date and easy to use.