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"Data -> Information -> Knowledge -> Wisdom"

List Moderator: Eva Rosenberg
Published by: AudetteMedia

February 09, 1998 Issue # 073
"Charging for Web Site Placement"
~ Rod Aries

Subject: Charging for Web Site Placement

I read this post, gushed with a multitude of thoughts, humpffed a couple of times, wanted to reply, but thought, "too busy," and then let it go.

About 160 e-mails later, right before empty the trash, I came back to this post, and thought I might try to comment on what I felt about this, and see what type of feedback it will generate (yeah, I love hate mail...)

>Subject: Charging for Web Site Placement A question for the very knowledgeable Internet folks on this mailing list, which by the way, is very informative and helpful. I am having a website created and the developer is saying that upon completion, it would require about $200 to get it strategically placed with certain search engines and other forums.

Well... if you went to web designer #1, 'the Fluff and Fury,' and they quoted $1,200 to get that web site appearing EXACTLY the way you want and if you went to web designer #2, "the 'wu-wu' web structural architect" and it was $1,400 to get that web site appearing ALMOST the way you want and get ranked in the top 20 in a couple of search engines, with a couple of your search words -- which designer would you select. I probably, well not even probably, I would take an almost good visual design with exceptional html architecture, allowing for optimizing search engine indexing and providing high rankings, over a great design and no ranking... Heck, I would take a $400 search engine optimized, funky site over a $200 'glory and brilliance' site. People may like the great visual design better, but if they can't find it, it is a moot point.

Now obviously, we want both, and I like the 'fluff and the fury' as much as the next person, but given the nature of web design, all designs are a work in process, so start with the underlying architecture, make it strong, make it right, 'cause you can't put a Corvette on a Yugo body.

I remember when I interviewed for graduate school, each university had heritage, they had an 'outstanding' program, had great football teams and cool stadiums, the faculty was respected and 'cared' for each student, blah, blah, blah; but the school I selected (thankfully they selected me as well) did one thing that no other school did... they showed me where 'this years' graduating students were placed and how the alumni placement network operated and how 'employers' came to campus. Not one other school focused on the 'back end,' on what I would do once I left school, all the schools focused only on why to select them. Now what does that have to do with web designers????

I visit web designers sites and find this tremendous void on the topic of 'how to make your site reach clients before they journey to your site': virtually all commentary is on how to build your site, the way you want it, the bells and whistles. Many web designers show you how they will deliver the client, AFTER they arrive at your site, but not how to focus on the destination, on how to deliver your site the search engines so it can reach customers BEFORE they reach your site.

(Yes, that is my wife that you hear, whispering in my ear, "Enjoy the journey and you'll enjoy the destination even more.")

> He said that it is a means to get the site noticed and that they have a lot of contacts where they could place the site.<
It ain't who you know, it is if you speak the search engine language, that will get you the placement.

A bit of reality, if there are 1.7 million pages with the words "long distance telephone service" imbedded, what do you think the probability that yours might rank in the top 1,000, let alone the top 20? (Where is that 'wu-wu' guy when we need him?)

>Is charging for this service a common practice?< Sadly, I would wager, some designers don't even know to offer it, let alone charge for it. I charge a flat fee and to perform this fee, plus an additional per page fee to optimize each page, on top of our 'visual web design.'

At your service,
Rod Aries,
How to Internet Your Business

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