How to trick your client into wanting a webstandards site

I’ve been dying to get a brief for any ‘ol new bulletproof webstandards supporting websites, but they seldom come along. Granted, I’ll do my best to incorporate it anyhow, within budget and all. But rarely do I get the request from the other side of the table.

Until recently, when I discovered a little loophole. And I’m gonna share it with you.

It’s easier to sell SEO then webstandards, semantic markup etc. One thing says make more money, the other one says extra work. But they really are closely related. So when you want to do some nice markup, tell your client that it’s to get a higher Google rank rather then it’s for that blind user that might surf by. Your boss will also be happy to hear that you are a SEO specialist as well as a webdesigner ;-)

A bit of a sidenote, but on the same page: while you’re at it, tell them how the handheld webbrowsing marked is exploding at this very moment. Refer to sales of 3G mobilephones and PDAs, and see how many more phones there are then PCs. And that you can design for them too, but only if they let you care about webstandards, valid markup, xhtml, css, microformats and such.


4 responses to “How to trick your client into wanting a webstandards site

  1. Venture Skills Team

    great post, I like the thinking but am intrigued why you don’t by default create standard compliant sites you mention budgets but its more a matter of best practice then a monetary one. On the SEO side of things the best SEO and reputation management advice has to be design well for humans so if you already design for humans you should be naturally optimising your site. The next step is reputation management which I just finnished an article on Quick guide to reputation management it covers a short section on applying semantic data to primary objects such as images to help accessibility and keyword optimisation.

  2. Most people don’t realize that Google, Yahoo! etc. is some of those ‘blind’ people we web standards geeks talk about.

    I’ve actually used that SEO/ mobile argument myself, and it works. They got even interested in learning how not to mess up the code when adding content :)

  3. – venture: misunderstand me right. I always create standards compliant websites. My main point was missing clients actually asking for it. Or just appreciating it. If they cared more I could also spend more time optimizing it for searchengines etc.
    About the monetary issues – I, we as webdesigners, shouldn’t underprize ourselves even if it is to make the web a better place. It will make it harder to get paid what our jobs are actually worth if people still believe that webdesign is just some mumbojumbo anyone who knows Photoshop or Dreamweaver can do. I believe SEO is a part of webdesign, not a separate field of work.

    BTW – sorry for a late reply. Your comment got stuck in the Akismet spamfilter. Probably because of your comment including the wordstring “great post”. It’s a shame, but that’s what we’ve come to.

  4. Venture Skills Team

    no problem, I was blocked from our own blog the other day, but hey that’s life, it reminded me to check my own Aksimet filters!