Inbound marketing works. This not an opinion of a few experts—it’s become a fact in today’s industry. In light of this, a few areas of your company’s marketing plan must receive your attention, including its website.

Consider the Facts
We are heading toward a world dominated by the Internet. In fact, according to 2014 research by Pew Research Center, 87% of adults utilize the Internet. However, we came across some even more staggering statistics when looking at Pew’s previous studies. Just 20 years ago, only 14% of American adults were online. Jump ahead 10 more years to 2005, and that number shoots up to 66%. This is no longer a trend. The Internet is a huge part of our lives.

It’s no wonder your website must be a priority. A well-designed site can be a gold mine for your enterprise. However, one that is outdated, slow, or difficult to navigate will not only hurt your chances for generating leads, but will tarnish your reputation.

First Impressions Count
Personally, when researching an organization, the first thing I do is visit its website. Once the page loads, the layout of a website is front and center. Certain areas of a website should be considered prime real estate—such as anything that displays without scrolling. Therefore, be sure to display what you want every visitor to see in this space. We also recommend a call-to-action in this area.

Remember Ease of Use
If a user visits your company’s website looking for one specific thing—your address, for example—how quickly will he find it? Nobody wants to spend more than a couple minutes aimlessly sifting through your content, looking for one minor detail. Ease of navigation is essential in a world that is constantly looking for ways to move faster. Find someone who is exceedingly OCD (like myself) and let him guide you through tidying up your content, leading to a website that is both aesthetically pleasing and efficient.

“Just Google it”
How many times have you heard or used this phrase? Can users find your site if they don’t know the name of your corporation? Your old website could be hurting your sales because of poor SEO (search engine optimization) rank. SEO will remain essential for years to come.

Go Mobile
We have entered the mobile web era. Today, over two-thirds of Americans own smartphones. Americans now spend 5.6 hours a day with digital media; 51% of that time is spent on a mobile device, compared to 42% on a desktop (Smart Insights). On top of all this, if Google doesn’t think your site is optimized for mobile use, it will rank you lower in search results. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly more vital for your site to be optimized for mobile devices. Do you know if your site is optimized? You can find out for free here.

Ultimately, your website is a reflection of your company. When visitors see it, what do you want them to think? If they don’t like what they see, they’ll go to the competition—and your sales will suffer.