Here were are the dawn of a new year. Out with the old, in with the new, right? And yet here we are, in the year 2009, and the Internet is still littered with websites that look like they were written and designed during the mid-90s heyday of Geocities and Alta Vista.

While an old book in a library might be a comforting sight, on the Internet, old is bad. Take a look at websites such as the aptly-named Web Pages That Suck — does any of it look familiar to you? If your company’s site looks anything remotely like the ones posted there, it’s time to make a new New Year’s Resolution and get with the times — and fast.

Your website is your “virtual storefront”, the place where first impressions are made and sales won or lost. And if you have a poorly designed website — or even one that was a state-of-the-art “online brochure” 10 years ago — people will quickly leave your site and never come back.

For whatever reason, bad websites can happen to the very best of companies (for more information on this topic, I recommend reading the series of posts at EvoBlog). However, that’s not an excuse to just let your website slide into obscurity.

Yes, you’ll need to invest in a reputable web design firm to do much of the work on your behalf. But there are so many easy ways to improve your site, and you don’t need to be a programming guru to make thing happen. For example, writing search engine optimized web content is easier than ever thanks to Google Analytics and its plethora of SEO keyword tools.

With a few clicks of a mouse, you can find out what exactly people are searching for, how many people are searching for it, and what they are doing once they finally reach your website. Having this information at your fingertips makes it extremely easy to revise your copy, as necessary, on a regular basis. So what’s stopping you?

Of course, if you need help getting the most out of your website, or simply don’t have the time to write copy, well, that’s where web marketing companies like Marketing Breakthroughs come in. Our staff of Web 2.0 and web marketing specialists has turned around numerous websites, providing extraordinary results to our clients.

The pages of the calendar have turned. You owe it to yourself and your clients / customers to make sure your company’s website isn’t stuck in the past.