It really should go without saying. Your website is one of your brand’s most valuable assets. With engaging content and dynamic design, a proper website brings your brand to life.

The soaring use of mobile devices means that websites are no longer slave to the desktop experience. Whether template or custom, single-page or multi-page, websites can travel and adapt to nearly every corner of the world. They are one of the most powerful and cost-effective ways to reach and engage your target audience.

Or at least they should be.

Unfortunately, there are still companies that would rather invest a fortune on redecorating their boardroom rather than a fraction of that cost to redesign their website. It boggles the mind. Many think the investment they made years ago to build a state-of-the-art site is enough. The problem is, websites are not static assets. They are living, breathing embodiments of your brand. Technology—and your competition—continues to advance, with or without you.

If you’re even a little uncertain about the status of your website, chances are it’s time for a redesign. Here are 5 ways to know for sure.

1. You’re Embarrassed to Share Your Website

It doesn’t take an advanced degree in computer science to recognize the first sign that it’s time for a website redesign. Do you hesitate to give out business cards? Do you feel the need to qualify your website when you do? We’ve all heard the phrase “Our website needs an update, but you’ll get the gist.” Or some version thereof. Your website shouldn’t come with excuses. If you’re not confident that your site powerfully represents your brand, the fact is it’s hurting your brand.

The Ultimate Guide to Rebranding

Everything you need to know about rebranding your business-and avoiding costly mistakes.

2. Your Site Isn’t Optimized for Mobile

These days, optimizing your website for the mobile experience isn’t just important; it’s absolutely, unequivocally, one hundred percent necessary. As we’ve mentioned before, visitors now use mobile devices to access the internet more often than they use computers. And nothing is more basic to good business than ensuring your brand experience is optimized for the majority of your customers. But it doesn’t end there. Responsive web design is about to become more important than ever. In just one month, on April 21, 2015, Google will roll out new “mobile friendly” search criteria. According to experts, the changes being made to the Google algorithm could eliminate websites that are not mobile friendly from first page search results. This is serious business. They’re not calling it the “Mobile SEO-Pocalypse” for nothing. If your site isn’t already designed from a mobile-first approach, now is the time for a website redesign.

3. You’ve Repositioned Your Brand

As we always say, successful brands are authentic brands. And a key part of authenticity is growth. Successful brands evolve, and their websites should keep pace. What’s the point of strategic growth if the most comprehensive manifestation of your brand—your website—doesn’t reflect that growth? An outdated site does nothing but undercut the hard work you’ve put in to grow your business. With the rate of change in technology and the marketplace, a website these days remains relevant and effectual for about 3 years. How long has it been since you updated your site?

4. Your Site Doesn’t Tell a Powerful Brand Story

As your primary touchpoint to consumers around the world, your website should tell your brand story in a powerfully compelling way. Stories aren’t told with statistics and bullet points, though. And they aren’t persuasively conveyed on overly complex pages that attempt to tackle multiple goals. Powerful brand stories are the product of carefully planned interplay between unique verbal and visual language. Stock images won’t do the trick, and mundane copywriting is a far cry from persuasive narrative. In the end, the most successful brands rely on simple websites to tell stories that resonate with audiences.

5. Visitors Aren’t Sticking Around for Long

If being embarrassed to share your website is the first sign you need a redesign, the final measure is how engaged your visitors are. If web analytics indicate that your site has a high bounce rate—that is, percentage of visitors who leave the site after visiting one page—it’s a sure sign you’re in need of a website redesign. High bounce rates mean that your website isn’t giving its visitors what they want. The best sites are designed with their target audience in mind. They’re driven by brand research, and built on deep insights into the unique customer segments the brand serves. If a site’s user experience is optimally segmented, its target customers will keep coming back. Higher customer engagement equals higher conversions. And that’s the bottom line.

When it comes to the health of your brand, putting off a much-needed website redesign is like putting off major surgery. Things are only going to get worse. Revitalizing your online presence to reflect your brand’s current positioning is one of the soundest investments you can make.

The Ultimate Guide to Rebranding

Everything you need to know about rebranding your business-and avoiding costly mistakes.


A prolific blogger, speaker, and columnist, Brian has two decades of experience in design and branding. He’s written for publications including Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, Fast Company, HuffPost, and Brand Quarterly.