Stop Your Web Designer From Hurting Himself!

In an earlier article entitled, “Should I Link to My Web Designer?“, I explained how web designers often seek some extra benefit for creating a site in a way that actually shortchanges his customer, the site owner, as well as cheats him. This is something I see frequently as the owner of a website promotion services company.

Web designers frequently make the mistake of putting a link to their own website on their customers’ home pages. If he goes the extra mile and puts it on every page, he’s only whacking himself further.

How this hurts your web designer’s site.

It’s all about his site’s reputation with Google, which he damages by linking from your site. Google sees every link from one site to another as a vote for the receiving site. Some votes are much more valuable than others. Here’s why: If your home page is about (ie. optimized for) “pizza pockets” and a dozen other web pages link to yours that are also about pizza pockets or pizza in general, Google sees these votes as a justification of your “claim” that your site really is about “pizza pockets”. It’s called “Link Reputation” – Google asks the question, “What do OTHER sites say your site is about?”

In contrast, if your web designer’s website is optimized for the phrase “Dallas web designers” and he links from your home page that is about “massage therapy school” or “red revolving widgets” or anything but “Dallas” or “web designing,” then he is muddying the waters.

Getting links from pages that aren’t about what his site says it’s about just makes it more difficult for Google to want to rank him for “Dallas web designers”.

The ideal link from your site to your web designer’s site (let’s assume you have compassion for the poor sap), would be:

1. A separate page just for his link from your site to his – a referral page, I like to call them.
2. Then you could link to it from your About page, or, even, your home page (but not every page). That separate page can be primarily optimized for “Dallas web designers”. In other words, the title, the first heading, the first graphic are all top-heavy with his target phrase. Then the first paragraph has his target phrase mentioned two or three times, and bolded the first time.
3. The last mention of his target phrase is a link text to his URL.

When I optimize clients’ sites (and they still are happy with their designer), I always create a referral page on their sites that links to their web designer’s site in a way that will helps the designer, but not at the expense of my client.