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Old March 7th, 2007, 06:58 AM   #16
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Scott,

I know a little bit about internet marketing. I'll see if I can help. Here's my opinion on your situation.

Adwords for for a local service like yours is pretty much worthless. It's better for people selling trinkets and services nationwide. You're going to pay top dollar for keywords such as "wedding videos" and you can't really control who clicks the ads. Wanna-be brides with pounding biological clocks in backwoods Maine could be clicking your ad, which costs you money and is no help to you.

I looked at your site. It's my opinion that it's bad and is costing you money. A website is what gives you browsers their first impression about your business. Yours does not leave a great impression. Im not trying to be harsh, but trying to help so please don't take it the wrong way. I'd would keep my eye out for a site design you like while you surf. Find out who made it, and hire them do redesign yours.

Content

Another thing is it has no content to make it "sticky". By "sticky" I mean there's nothing on there to keep browsers looking through it, and nothing to make them come back. I would add an "articles" section. Find (or write yourself) articles about weddings, corporate seminars, etc and post as many on there as you possibly can. Give brides and people looking for your service something to look at, read and make them drool. This can be anything wedding related. Rings, dresses, wedding planning, locations, etc. On top of that search engines love content. It gives them something to "crawl" and put in the database. That way if one of your articles contains the words "big fat wedding rings" and a bride searches for that term, your website might come up on the search.

Links

The site has no links. What I would do is add a links section. Find LOCAL jewelers, wedding planners, dress makers, photographers, etc who are in the wedding business or something video production related and have websites. Ask to exchanges links with them. But don't put your links section up in big letters at the top. You don't want browsers clicking the links and leaving your site. Tuck the links section down at the bottom somewhere. This is benificial to both of you. Both will have sites chasing the same market, but don't compete and you can drive traffic to each others web sites. Also like before, search engines love links. Thats how they find your site. They are like little doorways inviting them in. If Jane's Dress Shop has a link to your site from theirs and Google crawls Jane's site, it will find your link and go crawl your site too. The more links you have going to your site, the better.

Content spam

What you are trying to do is sell video services. Content spam that site! What I mean is on your site, and in your content articles that you write, you want the words "wedding videos" or "video production" or whatever in there as much as possible and everywhere else as much as possble on the site without making it too obvious. A good expample of this is on the site myweddingfavors.com They do an AAAAA++++ job at doing this. Look at their site. See how many times you see the words "wedding favors" on there. It's ALL OVER IT, but not too obvious to the casual viewer. There's a reason they do this, and it's not for the people shopping the site. It's for the search engine spiders to pick up to increase search engine rankings and get more free traffic.

Toot your own horn.

Ad a section where "customers" have written you letters telling you how great a job you did on their video. You can even make them up and write them yourself. It's unethical, but it works like a charm, gains trust from the browers and will increase business. Also instead of making it look like a one man show, design the site so it looks like you are bigger than you are. Don't say "me", say "we". Don't list yourself as the owner/producer. It makes you look like a one man band and amateurish. Make it look you you have employees doing the dirty work and you're just the contact. Post still pictures on the site of "behind the scenes" shots of you looking like a Hollywood camera man trying to get difficult shots. People are impressed easy. Remove the pics of the camera and the FCP pic. Brides don't know what that stuff is and don't care. It's a waste of space. Replace it with you "Hollywood" shots or something that will impress them or gain their trust and earn your business.


Anyways, I hope I helped a little bit. If you follow those simple things traffic to your site will increase a ton, you'll get more business and best of all....it's free!

good luck.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 07:35 AM   #17
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Scott,

Wanna-be brides with pounding biological clocks in backwoods Maine could be clicking your ad, which costs you money and is no help to you.
LoL that made me laugh. Very good points though.

The only two cents I would add is, there are two lines of thought on linking to other professionals off your website. In a highly competitive market like I am in, I wouldn't link to other because I wouldn't want to offend any one else. I think it keeps the free market flowing if you don't clique up. But that's just my opinion.

One thing we offer though is names of other vendors who are good, and the few we have worked with that were horrible.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 03:08 PM   #18
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One thing we offer though is names of other vendors who are good, and the few we have worked with that were horrible.
IMHO, I would not post negative things about any company on your site, as it could be viewed as slander. If someone were posting negative things that were not true about our company, we would contact a lawyer.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 03:39 PM   #19
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IMHO, I would not post negative things about any company on your site, as it could be viewed as slander. If someone were posting negative things that were not true about our company, we would contact a lawyer.
I didn't say we posted anything on our site, I said we don't post anything on our site. Or am I misunderstanding your statement.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 05:07 PM   #20
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There are several comments re everyone in the country/world hitting your site because of the search terms in your Ad Words ads. This would indicate a poor choice of search terms and a tremendous waste of advertising dollars. If someone is searching for a wedding videographer and they live in Atlanta, Georgia their best bet in getting a non-SEO-spam-laden result set should be something like ["wedding videographer" Atlanta]. Your Ad Words search terms should cover other likely searches as well such as ["wedding consultants" Atlanta], etc. Use the power of multiple words in proper context.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 06:20 PM   #21
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I think I misunderstood what you said, Steven.......
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Old March 10th, 2007, 02:53 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Adam Bray View Post
I looked at your site. It's my opinion that it's bad and is costing you money.
I’m getting to the point where I would like to re-design the website. Most of your suggestions make sense. Keep in mind, I created the website myself with a freewebs account. It’s basic and clean, without a bunch of clutter.

I liked your idea about the testimonials and articles. I also want to put some behind the scenes photos, instead of photos of my gear.

An important point, I’m not trying to sell myself as a “wedding only” videographer. Although it seems I get a lot of phone calls for this type of work. I want to do more corporate work. I don’t want my website to have a bunch of flowers and hearts all over it.

I’m still a pretty new business so I’m building my portfolio and charging very cheap rates. As I gain more experience and my confidence grows, my website will definitely reflect that. Hopefully it won’t have the “one-man band” vibe you described.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 12:56 AM   #23
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I would not use pay per click advertising if I were you. I read an interesting article about how competitors of those that used pay per click ads would hire roomfulls of people to intentionally click on their competitors ads to completely deplete their advertising budgets with very little if none of the clicks being from paying customers.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 02:14 AM   #24
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I agree with everyone else here. I would cut my losses and stop all of my adwords campaigns if I were you. When I ran my adwords campaigns it was exactly the same thing...I found that I was getting all sorts of clicks that were costing me an arm and a leg ($3-$4 per click...for nothing). In the end - I think I paid close to $900 in total adwords expenses for 2 responses.

I found the best way to promote my business was as follows:

1) I wrote a few articles and press releases for my company, and submitted them to free PR agencies & article distribution houses.
2) I engaged in viral video campaigns - placing my demo reel and sample videos on services like YouTube, etc.
3) I created a vidcast (podcast with video) and had it available in the iTunes music store (I loved being able to say "Look me up on iTunes!")

Hope that helps.
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