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Old February 16th, 2011, 03:30 AM   #1
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how's my website?

Hey everybody,

I've been doing wedding videos for 4 years in the low to mid-range budgets. My website is www.withthisringvideo.com. I've worked hard on my SEO lately, have had tons of new year traffic and have been booking steadily for 2011.

Late last year I jumped on the high-end bandwagon and have started a new business venture focusing on those brides. This website is www.rossiweddingfilms.com. Based on Google Analytics, I've had a bunch of visitors despite the site being new and a bit harder to find than the first website I mentioned. Most visitors are spending a minute or less before they bail. Why?

My first thought is price. I don't expect as many inquiries as I have for the cheaper videos, but I'm wondering why visits aren't translating into inquiries (aside from the handful so far).

My second thought is that's it's flash.

I'm eager to hear your thoughts. You won't hurt my feelings!

Last edited by Brian Johnson; February 16th, 2011 at 08:25 PM. Reason: removed asterisks
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Old February 16th, 2011, 04:24 AM   #2
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Hey everybody,

I've been doing wedding videos for 4 years in the low to mid-range budgets.* My website is www.withthisringvideo.com.* I've worked hard on my SEO lately, have had tons of new year traffic and have been booking steadily for 2011.

Late last year I jumped on the high-end bandwagon and have started a new business venture focusing on those brides.* This website is www.rossiweddingfilms.com.* Based on Google Analytics, I've had a bunch of visitors despite the site being new and a bit harder to find than the first website I mentioned.* Most visitors are spending a minute or less before they bail.* Why?

My first thought is price.* I don't expect as many inquiries as I have for the cheaper videos, but I'm wondering why visits aren't translating into inquiries (aside from the handful so far).

My second thought is that's it's flash.

I'm eager to hear your thoughts.* You won't hurt my feelings!
Personally I hate Flash website partly because they are crap for SEO but also because they are so damn slow loading. I have 50Mbps broadband so expect pages to load instantly.

Another point why the hell should I have to click on 'Enter site' after I already typed in your URL? There is nothing interesting to entice me to do so. Isn't this click to enter site thing a bit old-fashioned as it's so 1990s. Perhaps that is why nobody is staying on your site? I also don't like web pages that expand to fill my whole screen

When I eventually reached your site proper after clicking through & waiting for Flash to do its thing I then cannot see what to do next. Black text on a dark brown background is a terrible choice for the top menu. It's all but unreadable. Perhaps another reason why people aren't staying on your site is that they cannot see what to do next.
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Old February 16th, 2011, 04:43 AM   #3
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Wow, you seem pretty angry. I value your input anyway. :)

The landing page exists only as an SEO tool. There is also an HTML mirror in place that picks up the SEO slack from the flash site.

I'll revisit the font color choice. They change color upon mouse rollover but perhaps a lighter default color would be helpful.
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Old February 16th, 2011, 10:27 AM   #4
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Wow, you seem pretty angry. I value your input anyway. :)
Not angry just being blunt & realistic. You did say "You won't hurt my feelings!" With one of my other hats on I do web design & development so am not just being negative for the sake of it but offering constructive criticism about something that I am pretty knowledgable about. Flash is anathema to SEO & your site could just as easily have been done without it. I just checked the non-Flash version on my iPhone & it loads 10x faster & one can navigate around 10x faster.
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Old February 16th, 2011, 01:42 PM   #5
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You need to fix your links in this thread, Brian - both are broken. Is there a reason you put asterisks at the end of every sentence?
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Old February 16th, 2011, 08:20 PM   #6
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No idea, Martin. Must be an iPad glitch.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 02:24 AM   #7
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Brian, I too hate flash sequences as the gateway.

So many of them still give the user the option of a quick release - and I'm left wondering why the owner paid the designer for an ostentatious indulgence for the designer that's so unimportant the owner feels it can be missed out altogether. What a waste of money.

I'm not knowledgeable like Nigel but I've read that it Flash is death to SEO.

Finally, I strongly recommend you don't write that the comments "won't hurt my feelings" when they clearly do. It puts people off trying to help.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 11:58 AM   #8
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I was planning on doing a flash site over a year ago, and decided against it. Mostly because I wanted to optimize my site for SEO. After a year, my rankings are increasingly strong for my target. I would advise against flash, future proof your site. Say in a year or so down the road you want to do SEO, to only find out you can't, unless you shell out more to revamp your site.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 01:46 PM   #9
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Brian, I only had a minute right now to check out your site and will try to explore it in more detail later. Two things jumped out at me the first minute I was there;

1. Like someone else mentioned why should I have to hit enter to get to the site content? I would think that should be automatic.

2. The site is for a wedding FILM company but for the entire short time I was there I was watching a slide presentation of still pics. They were nice but what I would expect on the site of a still photographer not a videographer.

Very classy looking site though so I am sure there are many good things I didn't get to.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 02:34 PM   #10
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Based on Google Analytics, I've had a bunch of visitors despite the site being new and a bit harder to find than the first website I mentioned. Most visitors are spending a minute or less before they bail. Why?
I think it was under packages where it says "Investment starts at $3200". You were right up front about it which thinned out the unlikely clients right off the bat. Depending on the size of your market and numbers of other competitors you have, if someone has a fair number of providers to investigate, thinning by affordability is one of the quickest ways to go through them.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 03:57 PM   #11
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I own a web development company. Here are the reasons people are bailing on your site:

1. The use of a landing page. Nobody wants to click "Enter Here" and a suprisingly large percentage simply won't.

2. Opens a new, resized browser window. Most people knee-jerk reaction is to think it's some sort of spam pop-up or even worse, a virus. Again, a surprisingly large number of people will immediately close that window.

3. Flash. Flash works best as a small part of an HTML page, not as the entire site. Can you think of any major business that has a 100% flash site? Not even Adobe.

If you were my client, here's what I'd recommend you could do without much cost or effort:

1. Eliminate the "Enter Here" link. If you absolutely have to use the landing page, use javascript to start loading the flash in the same browser window after a couple seconds. The first frame of your flash site can be a copy of the landing page so the transition can be (nearly) seemless to the visitor.

2. Don't resize the browser. Anyone who has surfed the web for 10 minutes will know how to adjust the size of their browser if it's not large enough to view your site.

3. Change the font colors.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 11:35 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for the comments. I completely agree with your suggestions and unfortunately the template I used from PhotoIdentites.com does not allow for any of those things to be changed (except font colors of course).

The landing page is required as part of the design, and the "enter here" link is what you see first when visiting on a mobile device...without it you get a white button with no words on it.

I've decided to bail on this template even though I've sunk some $ into it. I've been redesigning the site using SHOWIT. Yep, it's flash. Flash sites can be as visible as non-flash sites when you include an HTML mirror for the search engines to crawl.

Philip, I welcome constructive criticism or I wouldn't have asked for it. Nigel's post came off as a mean spirited rant more than a desire to be helpful. To each his own I suppose.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 02:37 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone for the comments. I completely agree with your suggestions and unfortunately the template I used from PhotoIdentites.com does not allow for any of those things to be changed (except font colors of course).

The landing page is required as part of the design, and the "enter here" link is what you see first when visiting on a mobile device...without it you get a white button with no words on it.

I've decided to bail on this template even though I've sunk some $ into it. I've been redesigning the site using SHOWIT. Yep, it's flash. Flash sites can be as visible as non-flash sites when you include an HTML mirror for the search engines to crawl.

Philip, I welcome constructive criticism or I wouldn't have asked for it. Nigel's post came off as a mean spirited rant more than a desire to be helpful. To each his own I suppose.
Brian, you really are being thin skinned about this. My 'rant' as you call it was just a list of things that I saw wrong with your site & each of my points was echoed by other contributors to this thread. I am very sorry if you have sunk money, time & effort into this but you did ask for us to critique it & now evidently don't like the answers you have been given. If for example The landing page is required as part of the design then this just means that the design is wrong. Don't shoot the messenger!
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Old February 20th, 2011, 11:08 AM   #14
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I am not a big fan of the landing page, as has been mentioned before, but what may be causing many people to leave is that when you click on the enter here, it consumes your entire screen.

Many people surf in tabs (hence why most browsers have them) opening several pages and then going back and reading. When a page consumes the screen, it messes up that pattern and research has shown that many people will just close that page instead of reading it before returning to the tabs.

Hope this helps.

Thanks
Mike

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Johnson View Post
Hey everybody,

I've been doing wedding videos for 4 years in the low to mid-range budgets. My website is Nashville Wedding Videography | With This Ring Wedding Films | Nashville Wedding Videographers I've worked hard on my SEO lately, have had tons of new year traffic and have been booking steadily for 2011.

Late last year I jumped on the high-end bandwagon and have started a new business venture focusing on those brides. This website is Wedding Videographer Nashville | Wedding Videographer Tennessee Based on Google Analytics, I've had a bunch of visitors despite the site being new and a bit harder to find than the first website I mentioned. Most visitors are spending a minute or less before they bail. Why?

My first thought is price. I don't expect as many inquiries as I have for the cheaper videos, but I'm wondering why visits aren't translating into inquiries (aside from the handful so far).

My second thought is that's it's flash.

I'm eager to hear your thoughts. You won't hurt my feelings!
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