In a bricks-and-mortar store visual merchandising is able to create an emotional engagement with the customer by targeting all senses using fine-tuned visual displays, audio, physical textures and even fragrance. On the internet there is really only one sense to target and that is vision – this is why the online visual merchandiser must strive above all else for photography that is immaculate. (It may be argued that a website could also provide music but this is considered very high on the list of design annoyances and rarely implemented in e-commerce.)
SEO is achieved through the combination of small details which in themselves are unspectacular but combine to create a big impact. In order to succeed SEO needs to seep through every detail of the website. These details will be unspectacular to the untrained website owner who is likely to assess effectiveness in terms only of the ultimate page rank achieved.