I'd love your feedback- Website for Weddings Photography

Discussion in 'Website Creation' started by joe_marshall|4, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. Hi All!
    This is my first post here, but I'm excited to get involved!
    I have created a website for our wedding photography in Wichita, KS. I'd be honored if you would take a look and let me know what your comments/critiques are. I am very willing to change things! I was getting some good traffic, but recently it has dropped off, so I'm worried about my SEO not being up to snuff. I'm reading up on the info on this forum for help too!
    Here's our site: www.marshallphotographyks.com/weddings
    Thank you!
  2. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Not commenting on SEO, but two general comments.
    If you also have a drop-off in enquiries,maybe that is because you mention a price up front on the opening page?
    Also, in the 'about' section apart from stating 'necessary dedication, know how and technical knowledge' (but not why and how those came about) - it is only the last para. you mention 'Photography' per se: and then only your photography and not Stacy's?
    Maybe I shop differently others, but I always read the back story to the BUSINESS and the relevance of the Operatives' skills sets; education and experience to the business. These are key foundation building blocks and a major decision making criteria for me as a prospective purchaser.
  3. Agree with William, you also have dual links, under the Weddings drop down, you have a link to your pricing, but you also have a pricing link on the main header menu.
    Also, I found taking down pricing is the best way to keep people interested, that way they need to contact you, and get engaged and it immediately becomes a little more personal. I'd remove that.
    And I emphasize on William with the about section...
  4. Thanks for the comments William and Aleks! I really appreciate it.
    The pricing thing was because so many emailed asking: what is your prices... You're right, since I have a pricing page on the menu I can skip it on the main page. I think I like that. Less Tacky.
    Thanks for pointing that out in the about page. I need to revise this. Also, my wife doesn't actually shoot with me, she's an assistant. I have trouble when I want to say 'we offer this' or 'we do that' when really it should be "I offer this" since I'm the one doing the work.
    Is it ok to say 'we' even if I am the only shooter? (unless they add a second photog package)
    Thanks again!
  5. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I have built three studios and because of that experience I think of a business website as in many ways synonymous to the front display windows of those bricks and mortar establishments. Obviously there are differences. But there are also similarities.
    A studio display window is passive and is also a one way conversation: so is a website. . .
    "The pricing thing was because so many emailed asking: what is your prices..."​
    And each one of those emails was a person making an enquiry by opening the door and stepping into your studio.
    So did you simply answer their email with another email, or were you an hungry enough businessman to engage the Prospect in the Initial Sales Conversation?
    That’s just the way I look at opportunities.
    “my wife doesn't actually shoot with me, she's an assistant. I have trouble when I want to say 'we offer this' or 'we do that' when really it should be "I offer this" since I'm the one doing the work. . . “​
    It is not about who owns the business.
    You both might own the business – I don’t know?
    If you both own the business then as business owners you each or both can offer services or commodities for purchase.
    BUT when discussimng or advertising the “photography” and what “we do” . . .
    with all due respect and acknowledging that you had difficulties finding words; please note that the words on your website specifically state that there are TWO Photographers. I just checked that my recollection and understanding was on target and I can confirm that the heading remains:
    “Wichita Wedding and Portrait Photographers: Joe and Stacy Marshall”
    Clearly the noun “Photographers” is plural.
    The list after the colon contains the names of TWO people: "Joe and Stacy Marshall”
    If this is not a true and accurate statement then I think attention is required: post haste.
  6. Thanks for pointing this out William, originally when we first started, my wife was photographing with me, she didn't have the passion to really study and learn the craft, so I stopped inlcuding her in packages and now hire someone when I book with 2 photographers.
    She does do a ton of editing, advertising, preparation, taxes, and assisting, so it's definitely 'we' when it comes to the business being 'ours', but 'I' when it comes to the photographing.
    The heading on the about page was something I had overlooked when we changed her role, I have it fixed it already. This is why I love getting feedback!
    I love your analogy with the storefront, I do go after brides, but so many were budget shoppers below my price range that I thought I would try to show where we start in the pricing scale. I like your advice and I deleted it from this page, if they are really searching for pricing they can easily find it, and now I think the page reads smoother too. Thank you again.
  7. I think I'm going to scrap and rewrite the whole about-us page, more about how much we love weddings, and how I'm obsessed with photography, less other stuff...
    Stay tuned for another request for help! Thanks for your willingness so far!
  8. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "I do go after brides, but so many were budget shoppers below my price range that I thought I would try to show where we start in the pricing scale."​
    Yes. I understand that marketing style. I am not totally disagreeing with that. I am offering a different point of view. You must choose how you want to market your business. It occurs to me that you are growing your business during an early period.
    On the other side of the coin, 'tyre-kickers' walk through the door ever day, it only takes a little bit of work to establish if the salesman can convert them to engage in the initial sales conversation. If that can be done then all that is required is closure rate greater than zero for every one of those sales to be MORE sales than the business, otherwise would have made.
    It doesn't take a lot of effort to establish if the initiation would be fruitless. But just giving out the price, in my mind makes the website "a brochure", and in my opinion that doesn't give one any chance for the sales team to even attempt to engage in that most important initial sales conversation.
    "budget shoppers" begin from a premise of price that, for whatever reason (usually one without much rationale), they come holding in their hands. That does not mean they will always only invest that amount of money in the services and the goods they eventually purchase. That is what the Profession of Salesmanship, is all about.
  9. I read over the source code from your front page. As far as SEO goes, it seems like you've tried to take advantage of some Wordpress plugins. One looked like it was from yoast.com and it used Open Graph Protocol. Open graph has a website here, http://ogp.me/ , which explains some of the syntax of their language.

    I'll be frank: search engine optimization is a buzzword of a phrase. First off, few really know how different search engines prioritize their displayed results. Some, like a search on Facebook, will often withhold the desired answer to a search just to get a user to eliminate similar, but unwanted, answers. Try searching Facebook sometime while logged in and then again while not logged in. Look for someone you know who is on there. Take a look at how different the search results can be. I expect you will find that one method, not being logged in, will yield a much less efficient set of results. In practice, I expect that you might endlessly scroll through results without ever seeing what you know you could find in an instant if you were logged in.

    With those two different kinds of experiences in mind, ask yourself: how are you going to optimize that?

    I once had some pages crawled by a guy over at Blekko who was running spiders based on URLs he had bought off of Yahoo!. One search engine company tried to keep and sell data on anything. The other was trying to build up a database of human-reviewed websites. How it was that those two were trading data with one another was mind-boggling. Even within the context of commercial data swaps like those, how would a user "optimize" his web page to "win" by "ranking" on the "first page" of "results"?

    When I told that CTO at Blekko to stay off of my website, he acted as if he didn't know which one his program had crawled. In a limited sense, I suppose it's plausible that he was clueless. He probably crawled tens of thousands without knowing what his program was doing. Meanwhile, his program was doing exactly what it was programmed to do, by his company and for his company. It's obvious that there is little real judgment or intellectual control of data management, data gathering or general "situation awareness" on the part of many of these data companies.

    Maybe they can Google "a clue" and find one for themselves. They'll probably get a 404. I have seen little reason to believe that good judgment or consistent logic will ever be applied to a semantic web view of this mess we call the Internet.

    People just aren't savvy enough to get organized and stay that way. Search engine companies are no exception. Their main form of organization: identifying who pays money into their wallet. Everyone else is the hoi polloi.

    The effect of this is that search engine optimization pays about as well as good auto maintenance. If you want your site to run well and be reasonably survivable, put 30 minutes into routine maintenance. That should include updating some simple text files to reflect what pages have what content on the site.

    Some basics make sense. Build up a robots.txt. Install a sitemap. Aside from those simple kinds of lists you can make yourself, and metadata tags that you can write yourself, there's little point in spending a lot of money or effort in trying to gain in everyone's "rankings" by "optimizing" your web pages.
    Take care. Good luck with your photography.

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