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When is it time to revive your web presence and join the modern era of the "Web"? In case you were wondering, yes, there are still successful companies, organizations, and brands that do not have a web presence.

Excluding those exceptional entities - Why would it be important to have a modern era web presence?

Well, it is no secret that the internet has changed how we live. We share our thoughts, moments, interests, and very personal information with the digital world. We consult the internet for products we need and solutions to challenges in our daily lives. The internet is embedded in so many aspects of our lives whether we want to admit it or not. Estimate from July of 2016; 46.1%1 of the world's population uses the internet. This represents roughly 3.4 billion2 people. Are you successfully marketing your brand to potentially half of the world's population? This information shouldn't come as a shock to anyone with a smartphone, tablet, and/or laptop but it begs the question, "Are you putting your best foot forward on the web?"

That's Great - but what does that mean exactly?

Let us consider an example to clarify the importance of a web presence. We will use a simple brand development web presence for a local company that is established. Also to simplify this scenario we will exclude all forms of traffic driving strategies (eg: SEO, Blogging, Referrals, Social Media, Email, etc.). We have a moderately successful local business with a small unorganized approach to their presence on the web. This business would like to grow, however, growth is stagnant due to lulls in sales. What has research shown? Well, data from Placeable suggests that "81% of consumers go online before heading out to the store"3 It is safe to say that a majority of consumers will review your web presence before communicating or purchasing from you.

But we have a web presence, we're good, right? Is the message clear and concise; or has your message been overshadowed by a underachieving brand or web image?

Client before and after web presence[/caption] In a Case Study by Placeable in 2014, "73% of Adult Consumers lose trust in a brand when the online listing shows incorrect information."4 Even more interesting is a study referenced by Drew Hendricks contributor for Forbes titled "Trust and Mistrust of Online Health Sites". He found

"When asked to describe why they(consumers) mistrusted a website, 94 percent of comments were directly related to web design elements, while only 6 percent referenced specific content."5

So not only is web content important but design can shut the door before you even have a chance to communicate.

A great place to start looking for financially responsible solutions would be your brand's image. Consider developing a strong web presence that can create demand. This foundational advertising is a manageable, first step, that can build trust and confidence. It's a rather simple concept; If consumers are not aware of your products/services, how could success be expected? While there are situations where web presences aren't a necessity; in most cases, they will play a vital role in achieving sales, marketing, and advertising goals. Underutilizing the web can negatively affect your goals, but then again, utilizing the web negatively might have a worse effect.

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