An Online Marketing Presence Should Represent an Offline Presence

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Imagine you are staying away from home in a new city; you go online and search for the best restaurant in the city.
After a little sifting through some possible options, you think you have found the right place.
The website is impressive with many nice pictures and a modern design, images of a busy restaurant with people eating lovely looking food.
It would seem a good place to visit, so you order a taxi and travel to the restaurant.
Currently your expectations are high, but when you arrive you find an empty restaurant in a quiet area of the city.
The signage outside is old and uncared for, you start wondering if the food will be the same.
This is an extreme demonstration of how you want your online marketing to represent your offline marketing.
If you paint an inconsistent image with your online marketing, as soon as someone arrives they will instantly be concerned and loose all trust they previous had.
Consistent marketing does not mean that a restaurants interior should look like its website and vice versa.
An appealing web presence is important, but if your offline marketing has not been looked after in the same way, then you may need to tone down how your presence online is displayed.
A good web designer should understand the importance of this, but a web designer only designs and meets a criteria provided by a client.
Where with consultancy and seeking advice an organization will have more chance to hit the mark with their online marketing and make a success of it.
You need to start with understanding your industry and local competitors; you don't want your online presence to demonstrate that you do not understand your own industry.
A restaurants website will need to look different to a carpet wholesale website.
It is important to remember who your target audience is at all stages, if a large majority of your customers are families then targeting 18-24 year olds with drink deals and pictures of young trendy people will not serve your requirements.
You may want to target a younger audience, but your web presence should be open to all.
The same as you would want to welcome everyone at the door when they arrive at your business.
You should keep in mind that often customers have a preconception of what they expect to see from a website in your industry.
Stepping too far away from this anticipation may look new, modern and fresh.
But it may confuse your potential customers and take you down an unsuccessful path.
Remember, if your competitors are generating business then they are doing something right, it may not be their website, it maybe something else.
However, if a large competitor has a performing website it would not be advisable to create something vastly different when designing your own.
You should research your competition, how is their online marketing working for them? What do they do? Does it appear to be working for them? Don't just look at your local competition, look at the competition in a larger city and websites that compete on a national or regional scale.
While you never want to copy your competitors, the information learned from understanding them can help you form a top line marketing strategy.
Apply this strategy to offline and online marketing and you will be marketing your organization with more understanding and success than you would have done without research.
Once you have a web presence that you are satisfied with, you should remember that search engine marketing (SEM), through either Pay Per Click or Search Engine Optimization could be the next step to improve your marketing online.
There is no point having a wonderful presence online if no one visits your website, through SEM you can gain visibility on the search engines when people who are already looking for your products or services search.
This is one of the best forms of marketing because you only spend money to gain visibility for targeted keywords and phrases related to your organization.
Instead of traditional offline advertising where your advert could be displayed to many people who would not even consider purchasing.
Ensure that when you combine your online and offline presence, you try to stand out from the crowd, consistency is important but eye catching and stimulating marketing will help you stand apart from the other organizations within your industry.
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