It’s impossible to deny the growing influence of the Internet on virtually every aspect of our daily lives. Whether you are a retailer, manufacturer, professional or a not-for-profit, it’s important to have a good online presence. These days, a striking website has become a necessity for any kind of business.

Updating your web presence may involve tweaking your current site with fresh content, visuals, video or publications – or it may need to be completely redeveloped.

Why? Most sites built four or more years ago are not mobile-ready or responsive. Since more than 50 percent of web users now search via their smartphones or tablets, older sites become a chore to navigate.

1. Optimize for mobile devices
Nowadays, people surf the web on smart phones just as often as computers. If your website is not compatible with smartphones, chances are a user won’t want to be bothered with browsing it on a tiny screen. Earlier this year, Google even announced they would boost the search rankings of mobile-friendly sites. If you know your website’s software, Google developers can help you transition. If not, there are third-party software options that can assist you for a fee.

2. Design with a visual eye
An impactful website is one with great photos, infographics and videos. If your website is full of text and lacks in visuals, users aren’t going to be impressed. Studies show people like to look at pretty things – it’s that simple. Look into different layouts and see what designs work best for your specific company.

3. Update content regularly
Rather than just posting the plain facts of your company’s name, values and services provided, offer up some current events. The simplest way to do this is to post news stories, blogs, social media posts and eNewsletters. The days of finding static brochure ware websites are over!

4. Limit the menu options
At first glance, it can be overwhelming for a user to have to pick from too many different dropdown menu options. Decide what is most important for customers to know and eliminate any headings that are unnecessary. The easier it is for customers to navigate, the more time they will be willing to spend on your website.

5. Have an accessible “About Us” page
Customers, both current and potential, want to know what they are signing up for and who they are signing up with. Don’t make users work to have to find out about who you are, who works for your company, or how to contact you. Adding pictures and interests along with professional experience adds a reliable element.

6. Include testimonials
Who knows how your company delivers better than your current clients? Reach out to some customers who can attest to real examples of how your company has benefitted them. This is the easiest way for potential clients to get a feel for how your company actually operates with current ones.

7. Keep it simple
Customers don’t want to be bothered with an overwhelming homepage or music and graphics that don’t seem to fit your company image. Remove distractions and focus on what suits your company so users can focus on who your business is and what you can offer them.

These tips are just the beginning steps to improve your company website. Whether you have someone internally who can make some changes, or you outsource the work to a professional, it will be worth your while to modernize your online presence.