By Erik Wong, GoDaddy

You’ve climbed mountains to make it this far. Your small business’s doors have opened and business is starting to pick up. There was so much to do, so many details to align, to get to this point. With that many moving parts, things can get lost in the shuffle. In your balancing act, you’ve managed to set aside some time to create a simple, informational website about your business to supplement your brick-and-mortar location. It would never win a Webby award, but that’s OK! It’s done, it’s live, and that makes it one less thing you need to focus on.

Or is it?

In this age of ever-evolving content, your website needs to stay with the curve. Nobody wants to be the person with the website that looks like it was made in 2004. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but you should definitely be aware of newer trends and how they drive more traffic to your site. Remember, the more online traffic to your site, the more foot traffic your brick-and-mortar gets. And if you happen to sell products or services online, well that’s a no-brainer!

First impressions matter.

Your home page will be the first impression many people get of your business. Many reputable companies employ basic home pages with only a little content. Studies show that simple design increases SEO ranking as well as customer traffic, as more people are drawn into a site that is not a cluttered mess. Keep your home page simple yet appealing; don’t try to tell a customer everything at one time. This handily leads into our next tip:

Keep up with the latest design trends.

Web designers love to play with the latest design trends and tips. According to Forbes magazine, big trends for 2014 are simple, yet responsive designs. Flashy HTML sites might have been all the rage in 2001, but the technology for designing sites has since improved tenfold. Take advantage of these new technologies to keep your site dynamic and current. But hey, who has time to peruse the tech magazines for nonsense like this? Well… we do. Check out the GoDaddy Garage to stay in touch with popular design options.

Show some love for mobile viewers.

Did you know that nearly 50 percent of all local business searches take place on mobile devices? A business without a mobile site is therefore potentially missing out on half of its traffic! Don’t believe me? Take a gander at these astonishing statistics and then tell me it’s not important. Due to the sheer popularity of mobile browsing, most web design platforms offer some sort of mobile translation or standalone designer specifically for mobile sites.

Keep up with search engine expectations.

Your business will take a long time to grow by just word of mouth. You need to get your name out there, and fast. Get your billboard up on the search engine highway by adhering to the visibility expectations of the major search engines. Recently, search engine juggernaut Google announced that they will be incorporating both social media presence AND HTTPS security in their algorithm. That means getting social and secure can help you rank higher in search engine results. And that’s good for business.

About the Author

Erik Wong is a small business/tech consultant for GoDaddy and a freelance pop-culture writer. He has written a regular column for a current events blog, and his commentary has been featured on Connect with Erik on Google+. The world’s largest domain name registrar and Web hosting provider, GoDaddy gives small business owners the tools to name their idea, build a beautiful online presence, attract customers and manage their business. To get more tips for your small business—including articles, videos and webinars—check out the GoDaddy Training Hub.

Don’t get stuck in the Past: 4 tips to Modernize your Website