It’s the new year, and as you set goals, you may want to take a look at your small business website. These days, every small business needs a website; it’s a must, not an option. Social media can only go so far, and with platforms like Facebook and Instagram constantly shifting their algorithms, a site that you own will be more valuable than your social media presence. Your small business website is where your prospects and customers will go to first to find out your hours of operation, your contact information, and the services and products you offer.

However, if you’ve been in business for more than a handful of years, you might have neglected your small business website. It might be there as a static placeholder, similar to a Yellow Pages listing, because that’s what your last web designer told you to do. (“Get on Facebook!” she likely said. While that was a good strategy before Facebook started squeezing business pages for money, it’s no longer enough to cut through the baby pictures and cat memes.) If you haven’t done anything with your website in a few years, here are five reasons why it’s long overdue for an overhaul.

Your small business website is outdated.

When was the last time you updated things like your hours of operation, the products and services you offer, or your staff? I did a cursory search of a few small businesses I’ve patronized, and I know for a fact that the staff has changed, the products and services are different, and they no longer keep those hours. Prospects and customers receive incorrect information from the site, which in turn can affect your bottom line.

It’s not mobile-friendly.

I know entirely too many small businesses that are running an older version of the platform they used to build their initial website. Maybe it was a quick DIY effort, or the last time the website was updated was years ago. If you don’t think you need to update your small business website to be mobile-friendly, consider this:

  • 57% of users won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site (socPub)
  • As of March 2017, 82% of the top-ranking Alexa sites were mobile-friendly (Mobiforge)
  • Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead. (McKinsey & Company)

Basically, if you want users to get information or shop on your website, or if you want it to show up in search results, it needs to be mobile-friendly.

Your SEO is nonexistent.

When was the last time you optimized your site for search engines? Google has undergone some serious algorithm changes, what I call the animal menagerie. The keywords you used ten years ago may not be the same that customers use today. You may not be using SEO to your best advantage by frequently updating your site or using long-tail keywords.

The design fits right into the aesthetics of 1999.

Animated GIFs, frames, image maps, flash intros – if your website has any of these, take it down. Now. These were great in 1999, but today’s websites need to be sleeker, with easy to navigate menus and easy to find information. Your home page needs to say exactly what you do and why customers should hire or patronize you, not play a song or video immediately.

The content is full of grammatical errors – or is boring.

Read through your content with a big cup of coffee next to you. Do you need that coffee to stay awake? Are you cringing at grammatical and spelling errors? Your website content may be hurting your credibility. If it’s not interesting, full of buzzwords, or riddled with errors, it’s definitely time to overhaul your small business website copy.

Make 2018 the year that your website accurately reflects your small business. Audit your content using the above criteria, and consider hiring a web designer and copywriter to polish up your site.