A new year is here which means a fresh start for you and your business! Your website may have been the latest and greatest a few years ago, but as technology and design continue to evolve, it’s vital to keep your website looking new and fresh.

Business success is all about first impressions and your website is the first thing people encounter after doing a search for the products or services you offer. You may think that simply having a website is already good enough; however, here are a few reasons why you should strongly consider investing in a new website design.

1. Your website design is outdated.

According to Forbes, in a study titled Trust and Mistrust of Online Health Sites, 15 participants  were directed to search the web for health information that was relevant to them and determine which factors influenced trust of one site over another. Believe it or not, of all the factors mentioned for rejecting or mistrusting a website, 94% were directly related to the  web design elements, while only 6% were related to the content.

An unattractive web-design can come across as unprofessional. Big brands, companies and organizations which have been around for years sometimes think that their name and the vast number of years they have been around is enough to excuse an unattractive website. This might be the case for your existing clientele, but for anyone browsing the internet for a specific product or service, a more attractive and fresher website is more likely to gain their trust.

At times it can be difficult to recognize whether your website is considered attractive or unattractive. This is the case for many business owners that had a website created for their business years ago. Yes, you may have helped design your current website, so you may have an emotional attachment to it, but that doesn’t mean the visitors to your website will share your opinion. That question can be answered by looking at your Google Analytics. How long are visitors to your website staying? Are they browsing a few seconds and quickly leaving your site?

2. Shows willingness to invest in yourself and your business.

If you are not willing to invest in your own company and brand, why should other people invest in you or the products and services you offer? Keeping your website looking new and fresh shows people you are making an effort to stay up-to-date with current trends in order to offer them a pleasant experience while browsing your website. Going back to the first point, it helps gain their trust and shows you stand by the products and services offer.

3. Your current website is not mobile responsive.

If people visit your website on their phone, do they just get a miniaturized version of the website? What about on their tablet?

What is responsive design? A responsive website reacts and makes changes based on a host of factors, the most notable being screen size. A responsive website changes images, font sizes, margins and padding as well as move elements around to fit the screen of the user. Responsive web design (RWD) makes sure each visitor to your website has a good experience and easily able to view all of the imagery and content without having to pinch their screens in order to zoom in and out.

Honestly, in this day and age, having a mobile responsive website should be a no-brainer. With the steep rise in the use of mobile devices, you’d be doing your business a great disservice if your website is not designed to respond and adjust to mobiles and other devices. A study released by Salesforce found that “83% of mobile users say that a seamless experience across all devices is very important.” People want to be able to get the information they want and need fast and easy. If your website can’t deliver it to them, they’ll look elsewhere.

4. Your branding is outdated.

If you’ve recently undergone a rebrand, you’ll want to update your website to reflect those changes. When updating your website, keep in mind a rebrand isn’t simply about changing a logo or updating the website with the new company colors – it also includes the content and language used as well as the overall look and feel of the website.  You don’t want people to visit your website and think it doesn’t look or sound like your company.

5. Your competitor’s website is superior to yours.

Take a look at your website, and then at your main competitor’s website. Now put yourself in your customer’s shoes and decide, based on what you are seeing, which website would I feel most comfortable giving my business to? If your answer is your competitor, then a new website design for your business is long overdue.

6. Your website just doesn’t work.

Have you ever been on a website that was almost impossible to use? The website is difficult to navigate, it takes forever to load, the offers are outdated, many of the links are broken and the layout isn’t optimized for modern day browsers? Neglecting these issues for too long can have a significantly negative impact on your site’s traffic and lead generation efforts.