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We Don’t Do Web Design

When I tell people that SEO Bandwagon doesn’t do web design I get wide eyed, mouth agape, stares from potential clients.

I actually had to add a category to my blog just for this post.

It makes sense after I explain it.

Design takes a lot of time, getting client input, laying out the design, getting feedback and input on the design, making changes until the design is approved.

There is at least 2 hours worth of client interaction without getting any actual work done.

Break it down like this:

2000 workable hours a year, 10% of that (200 hours) is probably going to be burned in overhead for the business, so that leaves 1800 billable hours in a year. If you want to make $60-80,000/year you need to be billing $40-50/hour because you need to pay your own taxes also.

Most of my clients can’t afford that and don’t want to pay a designer an hourly rate on a project that doesn’t have a clearly defined endpoint. Most designers are hesitant to accept a flat fee because there is no clearly defined endpoint and there the biggest obstacle to overcome is your client, or whoever gives them design advice aside from you. Scope creep is when the project deliverables change after the contract is signed.

It’s better for me, and my client, to collect a commission on a referral fee to StudioPress for Genesis or Themeforest. It’s more money in my client’s pocket, and a guaranteed commission and less work for me. And if I have to I can tweak a theme.

Web work has changed over the years. Web sites have changed with the times and there are a ton of resources out there to build sites now, and a lot of it is free.

Free websites are tough to compete with, and designers overseas are pretty close to free.

Good design is usually worth it, it can help establish trust, guide visitors on your site, and increase conversion. You need it to operate at a high level, but you also need to crawl before you can walk. Don’t get lost in the weeds when it comes to design.

Use data to inform your design, not your opinions. Figure out how people actually use the site and make it easier for them.

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Kyle Alm

Kyle Alm is CEO and founder of SEO Bandwagon, developing and executing online marketing strategies beyond Search Engine Optimzation for Fortune 500 companies, Mom & Pop businesses, and non-profit organizations.

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