Monday, May 19, 2008

A banana a day

.. keeps your visitors at bay

Readers of this blog may have noticed my passion for bananas as they are all over the site and pages. I just think the banana is a nice thing, easily recognized object, it's tasty, nutritiuos, kids and adults love them. Well, I better stop before I the water from my mouth starts to run on to the keyboard.

This is a picture of bananas on a countertop.Image via Wikipedia

But there's more to bananas than just fruit. There is? yes, there is. The banana is a symbol that brings a smile to a face, because you know someone might slip on the peel. The banana is also oasis of distraction in a busy world. Hmm that might just stretch it a bit.

The banana as part of the website optimization

Yes, again this seems far fetched, but I do believe in it. I have seen an experiment happen and I saw the effect it had, but can not go into much detail. But, today I found an article on a Dutch site that describes almost exactly the same strategy of using a banana on a webpage.

Here's the story

For those readers that can not read Dutch I give this short translation.

The article is about the three B's of SEO.

  • Bananas
  • Bullets
  • Bold

Starting bottom up. Using bold throughout the text makes it significantly easier to scan. Users can quickly identify the important words and phrases on a page. As a bonus search engines recognize these important keywords as well.

the use of bullets is already shown above. A small list is very easily recognized and is also easily scanned. If you get 4 seconds to scan a page you will straight away go for the headers and sub headers, bold words and the bulleted lists. Mind you, web readers tend to scan pages even fatser than that!

Finally, the banana. It seems a bit out of place, but the article tells about Seth Godin who states that "website visitors are like little monkeys looking for bananas". A picture of a banana on a webpage acts like a strong magnet that pulls the mouse and vistor towards it. The urge to click is irresistable. Create a big button with just a banana on it and users will just start to click on it and they know they will get where they want to go.

I know it works

I have seen the banana on a site and I have seen the data and I know it works. I will now find me a big banana picture and create me nice big banana button.

It's so easy to mistake a madman for a genius and vice versa.

Update

Yes, I could resist it. And then again: who can resist the call of the banana?