Every one of your marketing efforts communicates something. Everything you do is a marketing effort, even if only a passive one.
There is a psychology behind the effect of your marketing efforts has on the perception of you as an expert in your field. How you meet your clients, how you operate your business, even how you deliver your services says something about you.
And by you, I also mean the value of your expertise.
For example, when I do a lot of SEO work, I also focus on user experience. It includes technical SEO, content marketing, information architecture, and user navigation. Why? Because user experience (UX) is now an important ranking factor among search engines.
Google, for example, doesn't want to send people to your site that may have the information people are searching for but, if is so user-unfriendly, it makes it hard for the searcher to find or consume that information. A website with poor UX makes Google look bad.
It makes you look bad, too.
Your website structure plays a key role in how the market perceives you. It's the first touchpoint for any client who wishes to interact with your business. If it's poorly structured, users will be confused, distracted, and frustrated.
People will unconsciously assume what you offer will be just as confusing, distracting, and frustrating. It's simply human nature.
This is not limited to navigation, layout, or design. It includes your branding, the quality of your content, how they find you (SEO), and how what they find fits with they're looking for.
If your website experience is poor, confusing, outdated, or unprofessional, they'll say to themselves, “How can they take care of me when they can't even take care of their own website?”
Like it or not, this is almost always the case.
Even if your content dazzles them with your brilliance and your audience recognizes this, the lingering doubt will always remain in the back of their minds. That doubt will fester, create undue cognitive dissonance, and subtly influence other decisions.
Either they will never approach you and buy, approach you but then ghost you, buy from you but never buy again, or go with a competitor altogether. Or worse yet, they tell others how bad you are, even without ever becoming a client. They just assume you are terrible.
Assumptions are based on perceptions.
Marketing is all about perception.