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Just went live with video website

    Just put together a website to showcase some of my work to potential clients. Could probably use some adjustments to give it a more professional look, though kind of stuck and not sure what to do. Any suggestions would be welcome though please go easy on me as this is my first attempt at web design. Thought about hiring someone to make it, though like the idea of being able to make changes myself. Also, will probably change the name, as I just found out someone on vimeo and twitter already use this name.

    And if anyone would please leave a comment on the site, I would like to see how that goes from an admin pov.

  • 10 Replies sorted by
  • Demo reel on site looks great. Looks like you had some nice adventures at sea. Great quality across the board on that demo reel.

    I think the front page could use a few smoothouts. The font/style for the words "Do It With Video" look a bit cheap. Kinda looks like lettering you'd see at a VHS rental shop from the mid '90s. Also, for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th picture/still/frame out of the six that rotate, can you make those images sharper perhaps? They look a bit rough/out of focus/not smooth. (Ship manager, guy on bike, and wedding shot).

    But overall, quite good. Keep smoothing out the site until you have a nice blend of professionalism that also lets your personality come through. Well done. Great demo reel - you should have no problem getting plenty of work.

  • Thanks @matt_gh2 for the feedback. You are so right about the text for the title looking like it's straight from the 90's LOL! As far as smoothing the frame grabs, I am glad you pointed that out, as I wasn't sure how noticeable it was.

    I do feel like the site is lacking a bit of personality, though not really sure how to have that come through. Perhaps, I need to minimize some of the black backgrounds? Looked at some other sites for inspiration, though perhaps, if anyone knows of any sites designed for a similar purpose that they like, they could point me in that direction to give me some direction.

  • It seemed you had a bit of the personality thing going as you showed concern for the clients' costs as you discussed workflow. Perhaps you could shoot a video of some satisfied clients talking about you, and how you helped them successfully complete their video/film projects, while staying within the very reasonable budgets set. (Testimonials). I'm no marketing genius, so I could be off on that, but I bet if you dig around and look at sites of other individuals who offer similar services, you'll see what seems to be professional, and what comes across as most engaging. Rock on.

  • @matt_gh2 you are spot on about having some testimonials! Will make sure to get some footage from my upcoming clients after our projects wrap up talking about my service. I have looked at some other sites, and they can really differ hugely from one to the next, though have a general idea of what looks good.

    Also, thanks for the sample comment on the site. Approved it so I could see how it looks, and then disabled it for now, as I figured it was kind of 'behind the scenes' talk.

    A question for anyone else reading this thread: can anyone post some links to their sites (or any they have come across that they either like or dislike and explain why), which we may discuss a bit and maybe help one another further improve them?

  • Nice images and I like the look of the site. Can you edit the music on the showreel so it actually stops at the end rather than fading arbitrarily (and badly!!) - this bit just looks (sounds) careless and probably doesn't do your editing justice! Just a thing that really grates with me - and might with others too?

  • Thanks @Mark_the_Harp! You are right about the audio needing some fixing. My plan is to redo the demo reel and make it a tad shorter. Perhaps incorporate some actual recorded audio from some of the footage.

    Made several changes to the site since your comment. Changed the logo (will probably change it again once I have my new name and url), changed the backgrounds from solid colors to abstract designs, and used new still shots for the video slider, as some were a bit blurry - actually probably need to fix a few more, too.

    Having trouble deciding on a new name for the site/business/url. What are people's thoughts on this? Short and sweet? Should I keep the word video or visuals or media in the title?

    Also, been working on SEO, and even installed some SEO helper plugins for Wordpress, though still do not seem to show up at all on Google when searching for something like 'video production Milwaukee.' Checked with Google's index, as looks like my site has been indexed, so not sure what I am missing. Guess it's not all about the Meta description, title, and keywords. What have others done to improve their SEO?

  • Looking good! Prompted particularly by the footage done of the boats, it might be nice to say a bit about the context of the different video examples: where it was shot, why, what was special / challenging about the circumstances, the client brief or whatever. I think context helps a lot and might make it even more engaging for potential clients, and of course, it shows how you have worked to a particular brief and still produced those lovely shots. You could do the context thing as voiceover or graphics on the video itself.

  • @sam_rides_a_mtb my understanding how to raise google rank:

    1. Content

      • The keyword is in the content text
    2. SEO-address

    3. Title, headers

      • The keywords are present in title, h1, h2 tags etc.
    4. Other indexed sites are referring to your site with links

    Meta description and meta keywords don't have any effect anymore. Only the content matters.

  • Am I right in also thinking that the YouTube videos you embed, should have references to your site in their description. Would that help? Can't hurt, anyhow!

  • I like your ideas @Mark_the_Harp! I plan to work on adding some context to the "Our Work" page and perhaps shrinking the embedded videos down a bit. Perhaps will include some context/voice over in my revised reel. Also, currently adding my website info to the youtube video descriptions - great suggestion!

    @tonalt - I think you are right... it's all about the content. Would content even include Tweets if I have a Twitter plugin on the homepage to show recent tweets?

    Someone called me today about a job and I asked how they found me, they said Google, so guess it's working to some degree.

    Changed a couple of the slider images with sharper and better lit shots, as my gf had suggested that.