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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old January 31st, 2006, 08:48 PM   #1
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Website help

Hello everyone,
I was wondering if some of you might take the time to review my basic website and let me know of any way that I can change it in order to get more people to view it from searches. Keep in mind that I have no building experience and that this was done completely on Frontpage 2003. So please no bashes on the look, I am still learning. The website is www.jbvideoproductions.net

Thanks for all your help
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Old January 31st, 2006, 09:16 PM   #2
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Hi Jason, I would limit my font types to 2 max, 3 or more get too busy looking, the key to websites is, don't make people try to find things (keep menus in same spot, and reuse images (menus etc.) so it does not have to go back to the server to get a new image, nice start though.

MIke
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Old January 31st, 2006, 09:22 PM   #3
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The good news is that your front page has text that describe what you do. If you just add your company name as it is written in your domain name and it will reinforce it for search engines.

Change your title to "JBVideo Productions: Thunder Bay's Only Unique Wedding Video Source" so that it reinforces your company name. I'm not a fan of the "Only Unique". To me that is meaningless.

Also think about how a customer searches for your services. They likely search for service terms. So it is good you have Video and Wedding in your title.

The bad news is that you don't have any meta keywords, meta descriptions. It's not a huge determiner but the fact that you don't have it is bad.

Read this article on what meta tags are and what they do and how to implement them:
http://searchenginewatch.com/webmast...le.php/2167931

Looking at the source of your page shows a huge mess of FrontPage related code which means absolutely nothing to search engines. One trick with search engines is making sure the text that tells people what your site is about is located as close to the top as possible. The good thing is that your title is at the top but frequently many sites put a lot more description near the top.

I'm sure someone will come along who is like a search engine maven. There are people who just live on changing keywords every day and positioning and order of keywords. But if you choose to do at least the meta tags that will be a start.

The other rule that you can pay attention to is that search engines need new information. So be sure to change your text content around on occasion. This aids not just search engines but customers who may have visited in the past but have returned to see if you have anything new to add.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 09:43 PM   #4
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I agree with Keith. Also, the site (although under construction) is everywhere. There is no structure visually to the layout and design of the site. Keep it basic and to the point, but have a flow to it. Also, never put a hit counter on the site. It makes the page look very unprofessional. If you want to know how many people visit your site look for a (I hope I get the term correct) backend stats system. It would be a page that only you would know about that would show the traffic of your site.

I guess that's all I can think of at the moment. I hope this is helpful.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 10:03 PM   #5
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hi jason. i used to be a web and print designer so i'll be blunt in the hopes that your business and website benefits from it.

i suggest that you remove the "under construction" text and the visit counter... it's very 1994.

for better search engine placement, look up meta tags and use them to your advantage. my business name search comes up as the 2nd hit on yahoo, even though it's the same name as an internationally renowned audio facility.

also, take some of your marketing budget and use it on sites that already have good search engine placement and also drive a lot of targeted traffic, such as theknot.com. even though my website comes up on page 6 at google, the first 5 hits on the first search results page goes to wedding websites that link directly to me (i.e., the knot).

your website needs to look professional to generate an inquiry. in its current state, it does not, and i fear that even if you get a lot of clickthroughs, you may not be able to convert a good percentage of them to inquiries because of your site's current look.

if you are not good at web design or development, you should really consider paying for someone to do it right for you. this is your business, after all. it's not a knock on you. you're a videographer, not a web designer.

and don't let some high school kid or your friend's techy son do it just to save money... someone stole my website design that way and since the thread was deleted i probably can't discuss what i did for retribution. let's just say it's not good for generating business.

good luck!
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Old January 31st, 2006, 10:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Bowers
Hello everyone,
I was wondering if some of you might take the time to review my basic website and let me know of any way that I can change it in order to get more people to view it from searches. Keep in mind that I have no building experience and that this was done completely on Frontpage 2003. So please no bashes on the look, I am still learning. The website is www.jbvideoproductions.net

Thanks for all your help
For driving traffic to your site you need to research search engine optimization, or "SEO". There are books on it too. You might consider buying advertising on google as well as getting your URL on the web sites where your customers will go looking for services. So if you are doing wedding videos, that probably means bridal magazine sites and the like. You might also research gorilla marketing for ideas on getting your name out in front of people.

Last edited by Jim Michael; February 1st, 2006 at 06:46 AM.
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Old February 1st, 2006, 12:10 AM   #7
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Guys, I think he knows he needs design help. He did after say that he didn't want to hear design advice just now. I know it's tough to hold back.
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Old February 1st, 2006, 08:40 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your suggestions. They were greatly appreciated. Thanks for the links on meta tags and the encouraging comments. After all it is a learning process.

Thanks
Jason
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 02:20 AM   #9
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I really hate to rain on the search engine parade, but most of 'what you can do' won't really do much for you. I own/operate an advertising agency, and big part of what we do is website development, so I'm not just blowing smoke here.

The fact of the matter is that meta tags, lots of text and lots of keywords, a good title, very few images and no tables are all things that can "help" get your website listed, but in realistic terms, they do very little. For example, as of last year only one search engine that I know of still made ANY use of meta tags (and this is a Japanese search engine). Meta tags were abused to the point that search engines were redesigned to ignore them, or to give them such little overall value that they are basically pointless. The same pretty much goes for having a good title, using few or no images, avoiding frames, avoiding tables, avoiding text colors other than black . . . etc. . . . and so on.

I know that there are books out there and articles and websites telling everyone to use this stuff, but I have real sources that know the truth. Most of these other sources are just trying to reap some final profits on old information.

PLEASE UNDERSTAND that I'm not saying that doing some of these things won't help. I'm just trying to put some perspective on it. The help it is going to do is just about nothing overall.

Search engines are very complicated in how operate, and they all operate differently, so there is no magic solution to getting listed . . .

EXCEPT

. . . paid listings. This is one of the biggest reasons that search engines have all but eliminated your ability to manipulate your website higher in the rankings. Google and Yahoo both have systems in place that allow you to bid on keyword groups to gain ranking. There is no way these companies invested in these new pay systems with the intention of leaving their systems open to the old manipulation. They want people to pay for their ranking. Google's system still makes the popularity of your link a major factor in where you get listed, even if you're paying, but Yahoo's is very straightforward. Pay the most and get listed the highest.

So you can go ahead and do these other things, but keep in mind that most of them will have little to no effect on where you are eventually ranked.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 09:51 AM   #10
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Travis, I think you have to look at the scale of the business here. I honestly don't know how many businesses are competing in Jason's space or what competitors would come up for someone specifically looking for business in his area.

For sure companies who can afford to pay for rankings will be up there competing against others who are paying for rankings. If there is a big market in his area then maybe he should research paying for rankings especially if his competitors do.

He could also spend money on Google adwords. The company I work for has used it only because our competitors do - including counter-advertising. And you know that affects your ranking as well, not just gets your ad up there. We have spent thousands of just in counter-advertising making sure our ad comes up when our competitors' names is searched for. The clicks are there but in the end most of our customers have been references.

It's good that you brought this up but I wouldn't want someone with a small scale business putting in money that could be better used producing a decent site and making local connections. I really think a better use of money is to advertise in whatever local wedding magazine or with flyers that point to the site instead.

Jason is also advised to get on as many directories as possible.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 01:53 PM   #11
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I think you misunderstood where I was coming from. I wasn't suggesting that he turn to paid listings. I don't do paid listings for my own business. I don't need to, and the market of people looking for me on the internet doesn't merit the expense.

My goal was to combat this illusion that using all of these other website modification 'tricks' is really useful, because it isn't. I also hope I didn't offend anyone who offered up this information. The average consumer couldn't possibly know better. There are countless companies out there still selling this outdated information and there are plenty of 'self-help' websites out there that also still list this information as being useful. Unless you've really done your homework, you wouldn't know, for example, that today's search engines don't even recognize meta tags.

So yes, I completely agree that he should probably invest his money elsewhere for now.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 02:00 PM   #12
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It takes like five minutes to think up and put up meta tags. That's it. That's probably all I've ever spent on it per anything I've ever put up.

Your point is made.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 02:23 PM   #13
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Not to beat a dead horse, but why spend even 5 minutes on it if the search engines won't even recognize the tags anyways?

That website that you linked to earlier actually had an article just this past year discussing the fact that 99% of the search engines ignore meta tag information now. Also, if you'll notice, the article that you linked to was written in 2002. Four years is an eternity in the progression of the online world.

Please understand, I'm not trying to argue, I'm just trying to combat the misinformation that has been going around for so long now.

d:-)
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 02:36 PM   #14
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One last kick at the horse, Travis. And I'm going to defer to your research that meta is a waste of time - and I'm going to say you are right from what I've read now - because I would like to know.

Does Google need the meta description to fill in the text underneath the link? I'm not talking about for ranking, but for description only.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 02:52 PM   #15
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Google doesn't need a meta description, but if you provide one, it will be used for that text display. It doesn't, however, use that description text to determine relevance and ranking. That is my understanding from the research that I have done.
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