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The Reel Deal: Taking Your Website to the Top
Posted Nov 9, 2007 Print Version     Page 1of 1

While reading the business section of my local newspaper, I was shocked to read that 43% of small businesses don’t have a website! This is according to a survey of 550 small businesses across the country (conducted by the Northfield, Illinois-based Small Business Research Board). Today, a website is a must-have! In this column I’ll offer some tips on how to maximize your visibility and credibility via the web. As of this writing, if you Google Chicago wedding videographer, my company, Elegant Videos by Kris, is the second company listed, and I do not even pay extra for this. Here are the key elements of a good videographer web page.

Your Home page. This is the first impression people have of you—make it count. Say why someone should hire you. Be clear about who you market to (brides, corporate, etc.). I have a link on my home page that goes directly to my video samples and client testimonials.

Your About Us page. On this page, tell site visitors about yourself and include a picture. Let this page do the bragging for you. You can talk about your experience in business, and any awards or achievements. What makes you different from other videographers? List it here.

Your Services page. On this page, list everything you offer. Brides can’t buy a service if they don’t know you offer it. I offer more than 25 different services. By tracking my website stats, I have found my services page is my most widely visited page. You can get your website stats from your webmaster or by signing up for Google Analytics (a free service).

Your Press page. A press page helps establish you as an expert. Have you been in the news? Quoted in an article? Written an article? Attended a convention or other educational training? Received an award? Do you hold a position in an organization? List it here. You’d be surprised how many items you have once you start to list them.

Your Testimonial page. When your clients write great things about you (like in their thank-you emails), post them on your website. You can even use a picture of the couple and put it next to their testimonial. Your FAQ. Some brides don’t know what to look for in a wedding video, so here is your chance to educate them. You can do it in a Q&A format, or just write a couple of paragraphs on what they should look for.

Your Links page. Your links page is very important; the more links and cross-links you have, the more it raises your visibility on the internet. Get listed on as many free sites as you can and have a reciprocal link. I do not pay to be listed on any wedding sites.

Your View Video page. Video samples are a must-have! Brides have told me that if they go to a videographer’s website and it doesn’t have video, then they move on to the next videographer. Without video, you may be losing business without even knowing it. Afraid of your work being stolen by other unscrupulous videographers? Watermark your videos with your logo.

Meta tags. While in no way a sure-fire route to search engine success, meta tags, which are essentially keyword and title information inserted into the "head" of your website to attract popular search engines, are one way to make your site come up higher when potential clients go looking for things like "Chicago wedding videographer." Whole articles could be (and have been) written on how to create meta tags and use them effectively; you can read a good one here.

One key question is, should you create your own website? I’m not a website expert, so for the past seven years I have used PixelPops Design to maintain, host, and stream my video samples. PixelPops is known for designing cool products for videographers, and they offer high-quality "website templates" that make it easy for you to have a professional-looking website.

You may save money by having a friend design your website, but I know of several videographers who are having issues with their amateur "webmasters." They are unhappy and spend countless hours trying to resolve their issues. Meanwhile, their energy isn’t being used in more productive ways.

Are you more of a do-it-yourself kind of person? Then check out Moorecast. Several years ago, Wes Moore offered all professional videographer associations across the country a free Moorecast website with free hosting. Moore takes pride in personally helping his clients becoming self-sufficient in maintaining their websites.

Another issue is choosing and purchasing a web domain name. I addressed company names and website domains in my November 2005 column, What’s In A Name? Check domain name availability at GoDaddy.com. One thing you’ll need to worry about once you have a great website is unethical competitors stealing it. How do you catch a website thief? Go to Copyscape and enter your website domain name and each individual page. It scans the web for pages that use the same text. Do this on a regular basis.

You know you are a veteran videographer if you can remember doing business before the internet came along. Today, I can’t image doing business without it!

Kris Malandruccolo, owner of Chicago-based Elegant Videos By Kris and Elegant Storybooks By Kris and a certified Master Wedding Vendor, was named to the EventDV 25 in 2005 and inducted into the WEVA Hall of Fame in 2007.

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