Website review needed

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Postby Dynamike » 12/07/10 06:12 AM

Give me your suggestions on my clown website. It is almost done.
http://www.detroitclown.com
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Postby mrgoat » 12/07/10 06:25 AM

Seeing as you didn't even say please, I am not going to candy coat what's wrong.

a) No alt tags

b) Bad file names for the images. Rather than logo.jpg put Detroit_Clown.jpg. This should be applied to ALL the images on the site.

c) Really obvious SEO copy everywhere. This will put off prospects as it isn't good copy writing. It reads like it was written for a machine to read. Which it was. There is a fine balance between really obvious google spam and good copy writing a prospect may respond it. You fall WAY over the edge of that line.

d) The photos look like a friend took them on a camera phone, get some professional shot done.

e) What is a 100% satisfaction guarantee as a little icon? No mention of it in the copy? Have a section about your amazing guarantee and details about it

f) Why have a blog with no content?

g) Lose the contact form. People hate them. Put email, phone, facebook and twitter details.

h) The fun section, do you think that someone searching for a clown wants a page with some puzzles on it? I don't. And I doubt very much you have permission to use them either.

i) Add a site map.

That's it for free.

:)

Damian
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Postby Scott Burton » 12/07/10 09:24 PM

Interesting about the on-line form comment - that what nearly all my interested prospects choose to contact me. They fill in way more detail than Dynamike has and it has worked very well. My experience is that an on-line form is a good thing.
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Postby mai-ling » 12/07/10 10:55 PM

The site is clean and easy to navigate.
having your phone # available in the menu is
a very smart idea.

I think including booking information and
contact information (repeatative yes)
is good along with a form.

Definitely start blogging or if you have twitter
include a twitter feed or a show feed as to where
you will be appearing.

Very easy to feed into your blog space.

Using WP is very smart and easy.
Thus the reason why your image files have that
funny string of numbers and letters (not your fault).

I use WP just for my press kit, perfect for just that.
you will remember my name
http://www.mai-ling.net
world's youngest illusionista

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Postby Bill Duncan » 12/08/10 03:35 AM

Way too much text on the main page. It seems like a collection of lists.

Don't list every city you've performed in, just say from _______ to _______. People in your area will get the idea.
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Postby mrgoat » 12/08/10 05:26 AM

@bill the text is spam for google. He is listing lots of places vaguely near him on the hope that his site will be top when people search for "Clown Detriot" etc. I imagine some kind of SEO 'expert' told him it was a good idea. I disagree.

@scott I think it depends on the nature of the site. For an entertainer, I wouldn't leave it to a form, I would want them to contact me directly, so I had the chance to sell to them. The fact he has his number up in the nav is great for that. I know I can convert a lead more easily on the phone than I can via a cold and unpersonal form. But it is subjective, I concede.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 12/08/10 09:45 AM

This thread reminds me of a UK tv show called Property Ladder. In it, a successful property developer oversees and offers advice to first timers who are trying to turn a profit buying and selling houses. Most of the time (in the interests of good TV) the newbies completely ignore the advice of the seasoned pro and everything goes titsup, but occasionally someone listens, follows the advice and makes a huge amount of money.

In this case, Damian is Sarah Beaney (if that mental image is not too much to deal with). You have a professional interweb marketer giving advice. My advice is to take it (it worked for me).

Take care, Ian
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Postby mrgoat » 12/08/10 10:36 AM

And I look great in a frock too.
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Postby mai-ling » 12/08/10 03:57 PM

@ian

i miss the property ladder!
you will remember my name
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world's youngest illusionista

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Postby Dynamike » 12/09/10 05:23 AM

The videos are running now too. I am going to have it worked on so the YouTube ad will not show.

I never did a blog before. Since it will be my first one, I want to take my time to make sure it is right.

The reason I prefer the contact form is because I do not want my email out in open. The spammers crawl websites daily to collect emails.

The "fun" page is to help show I am kid friendly. If a kid copies the picture to color it, it gives more advertisement. I might have a sketch of me in the future.

Mrgoat is correct to why I list the cities on the "home" page. I kept them towards the end. It is a low chance someone will read thru those cities. But the search engines will crawl the site to pick up the cities. It will enhance my site for SEO when someone searches for a clown in those cities.

Yea, I will work on the file names alt tags. It helps with SEO.

Thanks guys.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 12/09/10 06:03 AM

If you are concerned about SEO, you might want to do something with your META tags. Not too much, but more than you have now.

Ian
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Postby NCMarsh » 12/10/10 12:46 AM

Re Mr. Goat: "For an entertainer, I wouldn't leave it to a form, I would want them to contact me directly, so I had the chance to sell to them. The fact he has his number up in the nav is great for that. I know I can convert a lead more easily on the phone than I can via a cold and unpersonal form"

It isn't an either/or.

You need to have a conversion funnel in place. However they've made initial contact (and it's important that there are as many ways as possible for them to do that); once they've entered the funnel they go through the same sales process until the date is either cleared or confirmed.

A proposal doesn't go out the door until I've had a phone appointment with the prospective client -- how they contact you has nothing to do with how you close the sale.

As for forms giving more information -- I think it's worth testing the response rates you get with different length forms. My sense is the shorter the better; and the need for more information is the excuse for the phone appointment, so I don't know that you want a million details in the first contact.

@Mike,

Congrats! As a mentor of mine says: it's the worst it will ever be. That's an exciting place to be because you've taken the hardest step and from here on out you get to watch it get better and better.

I promise to chime in with a review eventually -- there's a lot that can be talked about but I'm exhausted (just home from the 13th of 45 performances this December) and it may be a few weeks before get up for air and can give you the kind of attention it deserves.

Good work so far, and excited to watch it grow from here.

Nathan
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Postby mrgoat » 12/10/10 06:28 AM

@mike you don't have to have your email address on the site in order to offer your email address. A picture of the word EMAIL ADDRESS with the mailto: command on it will work just fine. And honestly, the SEO codswallop should go and you should slap whoever told you to do it.

This is really simple. Make a site for the end user, not for google and it will contain everything google wants to rank your site highly. Google isn't stupid. They can see you are trying to trick them and will penalise you.

If you have nothing on your blog, remove it until you do. Makes you look unprofessional imho. And, if you don't know what to do with the blog, do posts MENTIONING ALL THE PLACES YOU ARE TRYING TO SPAM IN THE FRONT PAGE!

So, you do a post about a great show you did in detriot. Post title:

Amazing magic and clowning show in Detroit.

In the post you mention Detriot 3 times. You have a picture called CLOWNING IN DETRIOT which has an alt tag - A picture of me dressed as a clown, doing magic in detroit.

You then do this for every town/area in your spam list. Make a new blog post for each one. Update this daily.

@NCMarsh a) Got a link that has results of testing "as many different ways as possible" for them to contact you? I assume you are basing your statements on some research you have done or read? b) I didn't say you don't need a conversion funnel. I never mentioned them because it is a bit of a wanky phrase. They go to your site, they call you or email you, you pitch them.

The point about the form is usability. People prefer their own email client for a variety of reasons (not knowing if the form has been submitted, wanting sent items records, wanting their email rules, wanting their sig, etc). Also when the initiate contact, the reply mail will be "Re: Question about booking" or whatever subject they chose to put in. So they will know it is a reply to their mail. Otherwise they get a mail from a stranger they are not expecting and may not even open it.

I look forward to reading your link showing me I'm wrong. I love to learn new things.
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Postby NCMarsh » 12/11/10 11:06 AM

"I assume you are basing your statements on some research you have done or read?"

I'm basing my statements on working with prospective clients every day and supporting myself solely by marketing event entertainment in a down economy. Their inquiries come via email, phone, web form, in person at events, and now over social media.

The whole point of having a website as an entertainer is to interest them in making contact and initiating the booking process.

The power of the form is its impulsiveness. They don't have to open another program, pick up another device, leave your site for webmail, or stare at a blank screen and figure out what to say. If they make contact before clicking back to the search results you are in good shape.

Are there reasons some prospects would rather not use a form? Of course. That's why you make all of the options clear and available so they can come to you in their own comfort zone.

Ultimately, it is about them. They use it, I think you'd be making a mistake not to have it available.
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Postby mrgoat » 12/11/10 04:53 PM

Ah, so it's just your opinion, as someone round here says. Cool. You're more than entitled to it, I just thought - as you were sounding so sure - that you were basing that on some research or proof.

Pleased it's working out for you.
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Postby Steve Hook » 12/11/10 09:26 PM

mrgoat said: Ah, so it's just your opinion, as someone round here says. Cool. You're more than entitled to it, I just thought - as you were sounding so sure - that you were basing that on some research or proof. Pleased it's working out for you.

Goat, your ever-present negative sarcasm really sux. It's the dark cloud that hangs over the recently-happier Genii Forum. What a shame.
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Postby mrgoat » 12/12/10 09:20 AM

Mr Hook, I perform for marketing websites for a living. Ian Kendall listened to my advice and is now number one on google for his desired search phrases.

Yes, I am sarcastic.

But I know what I am talking about.

I dislike people stating subjective points of view as facts- especially when it is so easy to test such things. A/B testing with a website is free, simple and easy. Someone posted asking for review. When someone posts an opinion as fact, it could be 100% wrong and is therefore not really good advice. So I was sarcastic. Big deal.

But I would defend to the death your right not to read my posts and ignore my advice if a little snark gets on your tits.

Thanks for your awesome contribution to this thread. It really helped the OP.

Lots of love

Damian
xoxoxo
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Postby magicam » 12/12/10 10:50 AM

the goat wrote: [color:#FF0000]But I would defend to the death your right not to read my posts [/color]

Well, Steve, we know that's not true. If goat can't be bothered to mellow his tone for the sake of more pleasant reading on this board, he sure as hell won't die for any of the rights you supposedly have. LOL

Give him this, though: the goat is fairly consistent. He's sarcastic and snarky even when writing about things on which he has no clue.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/12/10 11:30 AM

Let us remove the personal invective from this thread immediately. If you don't like goat's posts, don't read them. But he does what he writes about for a living, and has a lot of hands-on knowledge in this area.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 12/13/10 11:32 AM

I think pictures are important of the entertainer "performing" in front of people (kids - groups - target market). With a web site pictures of the performer in front of "real audiences" shows the client that he "is" being booked.

The same thing for video - short segments of video performance in front of several real audiences "laughing and enjoying" the show tells a better story than any written copy in my opinion.

People have different reasons for having a web site. My reason is that my web site has replaced the large envelope of materials that I used to send out to my mailing list. On my web site is the same things I would send a prospect by snail mail.

Now I just send out light mail like post cards and cold call and the prospects log onto my web site if they want more info. And of course I suggest them to do so.

By the way I do what I do "for a living" (Booking, marketing, promoting, and the technical things I do in my show like my triumph shuffle work and my punch deck work) and I am a second generation magician as my father did it for a "living" as well.

Happy holidays.
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Postby Dynamike » 12/17/10 10:32 AM

Thank you for all the help everybody. I did make some changes from some of your responses. There are some I will correct too from your suggestions.
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Postby James Laudermilk » 01/25/11 08:15 PM

I have to agree, website forms also cut down all those spam emails you will get from bots pulling emails from websites off the internet. Look at all the magic shops online, most of those use forms because they know they will get tons of spam if they don't.

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