Posted August 9, 2017

It burns me when I see a website that doesn’t match the real-world work an organization does. It’s an avoidable and costly mistake, and it hurts the organizations who do great work when their website looks nothing like their business.

The reason for this is simple. There is nothing more important than consistency — especially for your business. Building a business is all about building trust, and consistency is the key to doing just that.

On some level, I think we all understand what it means to be consistent in real life. But consistency online is harder.

It’s not just about doing what you say, or sending a newsletter to your audience on the promised day every week (even if you did just come off a long weekend). It’s not even about showing up to work every day (but you should keep doing that).

Online consistency starts with your website as a whole. It has to be consistent within itself. Each page, blog post, and functional piece of your website should look like a part of the same whole.

And everything expands out from your website. The website is your home base, so the rest of your online presence should share its look and feel (to the extent that doing so is possible). I’d go so far as to say that this should include your tone of voice.

So you’ll need to use the same logo, colours, and character on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and your website. And don’t forget your newsletter! (Or your banner ads.)

But it goes deeper than surface aesthetics. The experience people have with you offline and online should feel similar. (In industry terms, online marketers call this User Experience.” In reality, we call it the Customer Experience.”)

While you’re planning your marketing plan for this fall, consider this: how can your online personality match who you are in real life? What would that look like? Next week, I’ll share how you get this right — and an example of an organization getting it wrong.