If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and looks like a duck, chances are you’re going to be really surprised if it turns out to be a Chihuahua. In the real world, we can be pretty certain that things are as they seem, hence the oft-used, duck-centric saying misquoted above. On the internet however, all we’ve got is the walking, talking, appearance of a waterfowl.
I say this because I recently came across a search engine marketing company site that I briefly thought was a university. It took me but a moment to realise why. The main colours of the site design used were navy and white. They specialised in international SEO, which they obviously hoped to demonstrate by having an image of people from different nationalities. The trouble is, if you search for ‘young + international’ together, you don’t get an international search engine optimisation agency, but a group of studious university-goers. The first indication I received of the site’s true nature was when, intrigued, I settled in to read the small-font text on the page.
It’s not a major point brought up during SEO, but appearance makes a major contribution to our impression of a website. You can’t rely on internet users to read your text before deciding to leave your site. Conversely, the smallest car dealership in Chester can make itself look like a major player with clever use of web design, and this can in turn make a difference to the success of the site’s SEO. Use design wisely.