Jump to content

Cre8asiteforums Internet Marketing
and Conversion Web Design


Photo

Www.chicagolandoutdoormovies.com


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 cdepaola

cdepaola

    Ready To Fly Member

  • Members
  • 13 posts

Posted 04 February 2010 - 02:14 AM

First things first a link to my site: www.ChicagolandOutdoorMovies.com.

So I've had my site up, in various forms since, approximately July of 2009. Originally it was thrown together, quickly, when I mid-year decided to start my own business. I made a lot of mistakes in the early stages and have slowly gotten myself to the point at which I am at now, a site I'm semi happy with.

I'm guessing that the changes I've made over the last 6ish months, some major redesigns, haven't helped my PR or rankings. With that said the site as it stands will hopefully stay as it is with only the addition of new pages, articles, and media (both video and photo). But as it stands this is my site, for good or bad.

I've tried to learn some of the basics of design, css, html, seo, etc and apply them as well as I can. However I'm sure there are area that could be improved upon or that may or may not work.

I currently list my Facebook fan page and twitter page and have been trying to engage folks to join one or both. I'd like this as a way to keep them engaged with the business obviously but also to try and determine if what I have is effective at making them interested in the services or utilizing my service. All normal things I'm guessing but is what I'm doing effective or should I look at doing something else?

Lots of questions and I apologize if I should have started smaller but I wanted to get as much detail into my opening post as possible. I appreciate you taking the time to read this, look at my site, and I look forward to your replies.

Chris dePaola

#2 DonnaFontenot

DonnaFontenot

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 3790 posts

Posted 04 February 2010 - 08:43 AM

I had to zoom the screen so I could more easily read the smallish text, but other than that, it looks good. At first I worried that maybe the nav was flash, but no, it's nicely readable by bots, so good job there.

I've never been a fan of gray on black, but that's just me.

I wasn't able to get the submenus on the home page to work (outdoor menus, limitless possibilities, why, etc.) but that may be a problem with me using Chrome browser. Hang on, let me go check in FF real quick. Yep, works fine in FF.

I think the site needs more photos. For instance, in the Event Ideas section, under college events or sports events, it would be great to envision people actually using this at those events - having fun. I had no idea such a thing was available, and if I lived in the area, I'd definitely want to book you for my next party, but I'd be more inclined to get excited about it if I saw photos of others having fun with it.

If you can also get some photos of some local celebs enjoying it, that'd be great too!

It looks to me like you're doing a good job also of tweeting. The tweets are interesting and engaging. Now, you just have to find more people to follow you. I'd start with using some of the search tools out there (not twitter's itself) that focus on the location of tweeters. Search for chicago area tweeters and start following them. One of the best ways to get followers is to first follow them. Right before you start following them, however, I'd start a little promo of some sort that would appeal to them. Something like "RT this to win 10 free passes for you and all your friends" or whatever.

I like that you've highlighted that you are a Google favorite place.

Good luck!

#3 bwelford

bwelford

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 9005 posts

Posted 04 February 2010 - 10:00 AM

I agree with the points that Donna is raising. Since my default browser is Google Chrome too, I have the same problems and at my screen resolution some columns of text display only part of each line with text disappearing at each end of the line.

There's lots you're doing right but I believe there are three major problems you should try to crunch:

a. the site loads very slowly and this would cause me not to hang around. It is also a factor that Google is now including in its algorithms we are told so this could affect rankings.

b. there is a confusion of brands here. I'm not a fan of keyword rich domains and believe you have to have a name that sticks with your human clients. You have the domain blazingstarcinema.com which you redirect to the chicagolandoutdoormovies.com. When I'm on the site, I'm not sure what the company name really is. It's a tough one to resolve but I think I prefer the old name. I believe you should go completely with one or the other and by now I guess that should be the new name.

c. occasionally the display would change on me and show me a different page. I didn't like this. I should be in control.

In spite of those issues, you have a great concept and I imagine if you do it well your customers should be great missionaries for your services. Social media should be a great way of spreading the word. However for some reason I can't get your Facebook fan page to work for me.

Best wishes for your success. :)

Edited by bwelford, 04 February 2010 - 10:01 AM.


#4 cdepaola

cdepaola

    Ready To Fly Member

  • Members
  • 13 posts

Posted 04 February 2010 - 12:10 PM

First thanks for your input; I will be actively working on some of these issues today.

I had to zoom the screen so I could more easily read the smallish text, but other than that, it looks good.



I was worried about this myself; I'll be adjusting up the font size.

At first I worried that maybe the nav was flash, but no, it's nicely readable by bots, so good job there.


My original site was almost all flash and I quickly learned that it was horrible for seo, so I dumped it for Joomla.

I've never been a fan of gray on black, but that's just me.


I'd like to keep the background colors, so would white or a lighter shade of gray be a better alternative to the current text color. I'm afraid pure white may be too bright, but maybe not.

I wasn't able to get the submenus on the home page to work (outdoor menus, limitless possibilities, why, etc.) but that may be a problem with me using Chrome browser. Hang on, let me go check in FF real quick. Yep, works fine in FF.


Forgot to test in Chrome, I'll have to diagnose the issue. Thanks.

I think the site needs more photos.



I couldn't agree more. My main focus last year was in the execution of the events vs. snapping pictures. So hopefully this year I'll have more time to snap photos and take video.

This brings up a new question though. Would it be better to dump all the individual "Event Idea" pages in favor of a single page until I have more photos to go along with those pages? Will removing content hurt my ranking?


I like that you've highlighted that you are a Google favorite place.


I was excited that I got the sticker, even if it doesn't mean anything, so I figured I'd put advertise it.

a. the site loads very slowly and this would cause me not to hang around. It is also a factor that Google is now including in its algorithms we are told so this could affect rankings.


I'll have to play with this and test it a bit more. So far I'm getting an average load time of 3 seconds, utilizing several different speed test sites. That time I hope will improve once I turn on compression of the CSS files. Were the pages loading even slower than that for you?

b. there is a confusion of brands here. I'm not a fan of keyword rich domains and believe you have to have a name that sticks with your human clients. You have the domain blazingstarcinema.com which you redirect to the chicagolandoutdoormovies.com. When I'm on the site, I'm not sure what the company name really is. It's a tough one to resolve but I think I prefer the old name. I believe you should go completely with one or the other and by now I guess that should be the new name.


Last year I noticed a lot of confusion with the original domain of BlazingStarCinema.com, lots of folks thought it was a sit down theater vs. a portable outdoor movie rental company. This is what caused me to secure the new domain and to migrate everything to it, an attempt to more easily clarify exactly what type of business we are. It also seemed easier for people to remember and thus spread the word.

I haven't really promoted the old domain in a long time, I assume I should keep the redirect just in case?

c. occasionally the display would change on me and show me a different page. I didn't like this. I should be in control.


Are you speaking of the sub-menu on the home page? I currently have that set to "auto-play" at about 45 seconds per page. I can see your point on the control issue and I've now turned off auto-play.

Again thanks for your replies and input, I'm trying really hard to build a site that will engage potential customers into either calling or e-mailing for more information or to obviously book an event or party. Having a good design, writing good copy and doing seo is MUCH more difficult that I would have ever guessed, until now. Much props to those of you that do this for a living, I now understand why your services at least appear expensive it's a TON of work.

#5 bwelford

bwelford

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 9005 posts

Posted 04 February 2010 - 12:29 PM

Hi Chris
Perhaps I had a slow connection earlier. I'm now getting access times of 3 - 5 seconds so that's not a problem.

... and I'm still getting that autoplay on moving me from one tab to another.

My confusion over brand names was because the banner on the web pages always shows Blazing Star Cinema. The text sometimes uses one and sometimes the other.

I find both names a bit cumbersome. If you really want to grow your business in a major way, you might even consider biting the bullet and going for a new short name that is easily repeated when people talk to people. It could be based on an acronym even. However Clom (ChicagoLand Outdoor Movies) is not appealing. Sorry to throw up this disruptive thought but the devil made me do it. :)

#6 cdepaola

cdepaola

    Ready To Fly Member

  • Members
  • 13 posts

Posted 05 February 2010 - 01:03 AM

Ok...

Font Size & Color Adjusted

Auto Play on frontpage sub-menu turned off

Chrome Issue: This appears to be releated to older version of Chrome, I think, as the tabs work fine for me in the newest version of the browser. Can someone with an older version check the functionality of the tabs again?

Cleaned up some XHTML issues that came up on my newest validation run, it now validates again...

Working on cleaning up the Blazing Star Cinema / Chicagoland Outdoor Movies confusion. This may take a day or two as its going to force me to rewrite some of the content. Ugh...

As for looking for a new domain, I've actually been doing that for some time. Most of the best ones are already taken though I do like the idea of an acronym, now I just need to think of one. CLOM? Hmmmm... Yea, your right, sounds as good as "Spam" sounds or tastes...


Time to go read more on SEO, its a darn tough subject I've had an easier time learning to write code then get my site optomized.

#7 DonnaFontenot

DonnaFontenot

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 3790 posts

Posted 05 February 2010 - 08:18 AM

Ohhh, much nicer now. Font size and clarity is just fine now, and the submenus work fine for me now in Chrome as well. (And I do have an older version of Chrome, since it's kind of a pita to upgrade on Linux atm). Once you add more photos, I won't have any objections left. Good job. :)

p.s. my version of chrome is 4.0.249.43

Edited by dazzlindonna, 05 February 2010 - 08:18 AM.


#8 bwelford

bwelford

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 9005 posts

Posted 05 February 2010 - 10:38 AM

It's looking very good in my latest version of Google Chrome 4.0.249.78.

I notice on your Film Licensing page some of the code is showing on the page, e.g. [ H1 ] and list.

Good job overall.

#9 earlpearl

earlpearl

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1531 posts

Posted 05 February 2010 - 11:38 AM

Interesting business, site, and web efforts. Great comments from dazzlindonna and bwelford.

I spend most of my efforts on search optimizing for local businesses. This site should be blasted and available all across the greater Chicago territory.

Couple of comments:

I didn't bother checking for where you are optimized and what terms but I'd do the following:

1. Make sure you install analytics and follow where and how people are finding your site: For this business I'd definitely use google analytics in that it has a strong tool wherein you can zoom in on town geographics.

2. Keyword expansion (spamming).

For organic coverage I'd read this post/review. (The review coincidentally was written by Donna years ago)

http://www.seroundta...ves/006710.html

Its my bible for organic optimizing for local/regional businesses. It works. The part that is relevant is the portion by Jake Baillie (bakedjake). (I had stumbled into this years ago. It worked then. It works now)

Jake was a wonderful authority at the time. Being in charge of a mini-local search engine, he saw more search phrases for more local businesses than anyone (save the large search engines)...but was the one person who would speak about what he saw.

Keyword expansion is the KEY. Do it 2 ways.
A)Expand keyword phrases for every kind of application of your business service. Don't just stick to the particular service. Expand it to the underlying reasons why people would hire your business (birthday parties, graduations, etc. etc. etc.)

B) Expand keyword phrases for every geography in the region. Don't stop with town names. Use counties, geographical expressions, etc.

C) I'd probably look at expanding this for interest groups also (fraternities, lodges, family gatherings, etc.).

If you do it well you could start showing up for all kinds of local phrases with all kinds of appropriate services.

Definitely get into Google Maps, Yahoo and Bing Local if you haven't already. Claim your listings.

I'd be all over craigslist and other classified advertising sites. I wouldn't just advertise in them. I'd scrutinize them to see how other enterprising people are using them to gain visibility. Besides Craigslist I'd look at Backpage.com and kijiji.

On twitter especially and Facebook also I'd start expanding the numbers of people you follow. Chicago is huge. Instead of being part of your local town twitter group I'd be part of Chicago. Its a huge market and can expand your efforts.

If you are making charitable contributions, especially to local charities, leverage that to get links from the charities. I can't emphasize how great that can be for improving your rankings and maps visibility in Google.

I would 100% agree at adding pictures and videos. Should be a huge bonus for your site.

BTW: What do you do in the winter? I guess the business revenues die off. If nothing else its the best time to drive all your marketing efforts.

Best of luck.

Dave

#10 DonnaFontenot

DonnaFontenot

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 3790 posts

Posted 05 February 2010 - 12:10 PM

Wow. That was incredible advice you just got from Earlpearl. If you follow his advice, you'll own the traffic for your niche.

#11 RisaBB

RisaBB

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1437 posts

Posted 05 February 2010 - 01:08 PM

Hi Chris,

I think your website is beautiful! I love the colors and the gradient background. It's very sleek and sharp and very professional looking. A few comments:

- I think in the header "Blazing Star Cinema" should be a lighter gray or white.

- I think the space between the header and the content area below - that blue area - should be tightened up to maybe look like just a thin line maybe 2-3 pixels wide. Although I'm sure you did it for design purposes and I like white space (really blue), it just seems like dead space to me.

- I like About Us pages, which you have, however, you don't identify yourself or sign it. I like the story you started with, but it's pretty anonymous.

- On most pages, for the H1 tag, the first word is blue and the rest is white. Although pretty, I find it distracting and don't really get it. I think it makes it more difficult to read.

- I just checked the title tags under Events, and you didn't write any for most of them. Do keyword research and write great title tags and make sure those words are on the page, as well, to be found in the search engines.

Risa

#12 cdepaola

cdepaola

    Ready To Fly Member

  • Members
  • 13 posts

Posted 09 February 2010 - 01:34 PM

Thanks again to everyone! I've continually been making small changes to the site including the latest notes from RisaBB.

1: Updated logo text to be white

2: Reduced white space between navigation and start of content. It was originally 30px now 20px. Much more then that and it seemed to be too much.

3: Updated the About Us page to include a picture of the Drive-in Theater I mention at the start of the story. Also added a signature at the bottom.

3a: Should I include a picture of myself to make it more personalized, or skip it?

4: Working on adding still missing title tags, most should be done, and also tweaking current ones.

EarlPearl, thanks for your great info on SEO issues... This is the toughest portion for me by far but I read all the normal sources like Seomoz, Seochat, SeoBook, and of course here to try and learn. Basically I read a bunch and they try and implement what I think I learned, then I watch what happens in the search engines.

I'm doing ok on local search, I'm the first listing on almost all searches for outdoor movies or inflatable movie screens in Google Local, I'm also a favorite place which I advertise. As for organic result I'm doing well in Yahoo and Bing, typically in the top 6 for searches with city or regional references. My results in google though fluctuate a ton. One day I'm in the top 10 on a search like "outdoor movies Chicago" then next I'm only in the top 20.

In yahoo and bing I'm in the top 10 for a general search like "outdoor movies" however in google Im only in the top 120. Wish I could figure out how to at least break the top 20 on google for the general searches.

Thanks again and if anyone sees anything additional or has other suggestions please let me know... Now to go and try to contribute my own comments someplace here.

#13 earlpearl

earlpearl

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1531 posts

Posted 10 February 2010 - 06:40 PM

Chris:

Site is looking good. Noticed one thing though. I went through your calendar. I checked last year. I'd eliminate all the personal stuff on the calendar. Set up a separate calendar for your personal requirements. Your business calendar should be limited to scheduled events.

As to optimizing. I'd focus on optimizing for local. All of the good things you've learned in the other sites, Moz, Chat, and SEOBook are applicable; especially the on-page information and the importance, need, and mechanism's to obtain links.

Your business, though, is going to benefit from being optimized for local phrases. I have a couple of businesses, some highly web (search) reliant and others not so search reliant. They are all local and we focus on that....and it works. BTW: We do have an anomaly local business site that is ranked well for the industry phrases....and the local industry phrases. The industry phrases with local geo modifiers are the ones that best convert into sales.

I wouldn't focus or concern yourself with how you rank in google for the phrase outdoor movies. I'd be uber uber focused on ranking well for every variation of outdoor movies and local towns, Chicago, and every relevant local phrase that is appropriate. Right now I don't see you there. So you have to build link strength and focus your pages on appropriate search terms and the local environment.

Come to think of it, I don't know of or am aware of "the" definitive or pretty good A-Z description for optimizing for local. It really should focus on organic results (non-maps) , on Google maps results and on PPC.

PPC (on a regional basis) and G maps (when its showing) will tide you over for industry phrases such as outdoor movies when searchers don't use geographic modifiers ie Chicago outdoor movies.

You should definitely focus on both organic and G Maps because when I looked at local phrases with the business term "outdoor movie" ( <local town> outdoor movie ) I saw a G Map with only 3 businesses. For search G maps can swallow up traffic and searchers...if it is a large 7 pac and/or a large 1box on the top of the page. A smaller 3pac means that organic results are infinitely more visible. You should strive for high organic results for every local variation of "outdoor movies" and other relevant terms when combined with a geo modifier.

For local expertise (primarily focused on G Maps) I'd reference a variety of good blogs including:

http://solaswebdesign.net/wordpress (our friend and a mod here, Miriam)
http://blumenthals.com/blog (the definitive blog on all things Google Maps)
http://davidmihm.com/blog (one smart analytic dude is he) :)

I'd do significant amounts of keyword research if you already haven't. Typically I find Google keywords tool to be sufficient. Having looked at the term "outdoor movies" I can tell you its not an extraordinary high volume phrase. Who cares about the traffic for outdoor movies in California, Texas, Kentucky, etc. You aren't getting business from those searchers. You'll be getting traffic from those searching in the Chicago markets.

If outdoor movies phrases aren't voluminous to generate a lot of contacts I'd look for other phrases that might generate traffic. That is for you to figure out...and experiment with. Its why I referenced earlier about getting to underlying reasons why people might buy the service.

Personally I think the kind of service you offer can be leveraged to pick up a lot of links with local groups. You need to put on your thinking cap on how to obtain those.

I referenced things like craigslist above. Here is why.

Some local businesses might do well with search...but its own traffic isn't significant enough to drive enough business. We have a business type of that ilk. It does quite well. Search traffic is not the thing that drives the business though.

The particular business ranks well....but we depend on an incredible network and targeted marketing to drive business our way. The web can work well with that...and it can work on a localized basis.

Again, I'd study craigslist (CL) and other local classified websites. CL is the largest and most used....and massive. You might find great ideas via smart applications from a smaller version such as kijiji.

Another local application I love is meet up groups. I just glanced at a list of local meetup groups off of a suburban area of DC (which is a smaller market than Chicago). There were about 800 meet up groups.

Imagine that. Up to 800 groups in my neighborhood that I might market to with regard to outdoor movies. How cool is that? On top of that some of those members of some of those groups might get introduced to outdoor movies and get one for their kid's birthday. How cool is that? Two showings via one contact.

We have 3 types of businesses. One is highly reliant on search. One moderately so and one relatively not reliant on search. Regardless we have found a variety of ways to use local web resources to still market those businesses.


Lots of luck. Fill that calendar!!!

#14 cdepaola

cdepaola

    Ready To Fly Member

  • Members
  • 13 posts

Posted 10 February 2010 - 08:39 PM

WOW, thanks again for your detailed responses...

First, thanks for the pick-up on the calendar, I had no clue that stuff was there. Needless to say I deleted it immediately.

So we are on Google Maps/Local and typically rank as the first company on that search except when searching "Outdoor Movies Chicago" or "Chicago Outdoor Movies". With those searches, at least here locally, only one local listing is put up, and I haven't been able to figure out why yet. I'm working on that. Thankfully though in the organic results we are listed 10th & 4th respectively... We typically rank 1st for these terms on Bing and Yahoo.

I've taken your advice from the previous post and started working on keyword expansion. Going to try and get on the front page of google for all of the local counties, the largest 10 cities, and then some of the more affluent ones as well.

#15 earlpearl

earlpearl

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1531 posts

Posted 15 February 2010 - 06:10 PM

Chris:

2 things:

Expanding keywords (geo wise) and underlying reasons wise.

One of the reasons I suggested expanding keywords and visibility is because the search volume for outdoor movies isn't great. If the volume isn't great...your website is more a destination opportunity for people who learn about the service..then a popular local search phrase. Hopefully as a destination they've found out about you one way or another.

In that regard I suggested things like craigslist, kijiji, backpage and meetup groups. Those are excellent local sources of leads outside of search. They are also sources where you can put up references in topics other than outdoor movies, such as parties. Meet up groups are an excellent source for direct marketing.

If I could somehow market into schools and school groups I would. That gets the entire population of kids and then their parents...as it relates to outdoor movies for kids birthdays. I've never done that and tried to appeal to that market...but that would be a great way to get to the kid's birthday market.

As to the Chicago Maps thing:

Couple of points.

1. Probably the reason there is just a onebox for chicago outdoor movies...is that G Maps has this sort of two factor element to its maps algo.

A way to describe it as follows: one factor is straight geography. When the word chicago comes into play it probably looks at sites w/in the geography of chicago first. It simultaneously is checking for "nearby geo signals" connected to "outdoor movies".

It would show a larger geography and include your suburban location...but I'd bet your G Maps signals connected to the phrase "outdoor movies" and your site in general is probably pretty weak.

You have to build your presence. The main ways to do that are as follows:

1. Get citations. Best descriptions of what these are and how to obtain them can be found at blumenthals.com/blog and at davidmihm.com/blog. or at getlisted.com. I think Mihm and getlisted actually have a starter list for getting citations.

2. User Created Content. (UCG) is basically like citations. They are signals for Google maps. You can create maps for your business (and other non competing businesses) and add them to G Maps. You can try and get other sites to reference your business and put in the address. You can try and get reviews. That is all UCG.

If you get enough G Maps signals connected with the phrase "outdoor movies" ultimately the Maps algo will expand its geography and include your site.

Good luck.

#16 cdepaola

cdepaola

    Ready To Fly Member

  • Members
  • 13 posts

Posted 21 February 2010 - 10:44 AM

Awsome, I can't believe the amount of help all of you have been. Thanks!

After the comments on the dark themed website I started really looking around the web and evaluating the look. While I generally like the idea of a dark themed site I made some changes to the color of the site, its now white background with black text. I still have some of the nice blue elements in there but it is 100% easier to read now.

So again thanks.

#17 ionisis

ionisis

    Gravity Master Member

  • Members
  • 154 posts

Posted 23 February 2010 - 12:12 AM

Oh wow, i''m not reading ALL of these replies, so forgive me if anything i state has already been stated.

It looks like you've gotten quite a bit done since this thread was started. The site looks great; but I have a few things to point out.

*) As per your original post, one thing that i've learned is that things like xhtml/css/javascript/seo are sciences, which can be LEARNED. Design is an art, which requires a natural talent. If you can design, then there's only a matter of time before the rest follows. If you can't design (me!), then you're screwed, unless you have the cash to hire a designer. I'm not sure who did your current design, but it's great.

*) In your Google Location listing, you have photos of people using your services, but yet, they are nowhere to be found on your website.

*) "why-us.html" is linked to twice, from 2 different menus. Not sure why...

*) On the "event-policy" page, you have your fonts backwards (by convention). The Serif fonts are good for headings, and sans-serif is good for paragraph text. Sans-serif is more readable in small sizes than serif.

*) Your title tags are a bit haywire/chaotic. That's SEO death. You need to do some research on what people are typing in, that is related to what you are offering on a given page, and implement that data on-page. Be sure to weed out things that are not relevant, despite the fact that they are closely related. Your title tag is the most important on-page element --more important that the content. Screw that up, and shoot yourself in the foot. "Research, re-search, re search and and destroy" :).

(that's no joke; I've got a website that's stayed at number 1 for about a year now. When i updated the core preprocessor for my company's framework, it accidentally screwed up the main page's title tag for all websites running under that framework. I dropped to page 2 OVER NIGHT! Once i noticed i was on page 2, i found the cause, and fixed the title tag error in the framework, and went back to #1, over night. Title tags are very, very important... also, keep them as SHORT as you can; between 40 and 70 characters)

BTW, who DID do your design? I really like it. Did you hire someone? If so, can you PM me their website?

Hope some of this helps! Good luck!

Edited by AlexGrim, 23 February 2010 - 12:17 AM.


#18 ionisis

ionisis

    Gravity Master Member

  • Members
  • 154 posts

Posted 23 February 2010 - 01:48 AM

I figured that i'd reply to your PM comment about "SEO being tough" here, in case someone else may benefit.

One of the biggest tricks with SEO is to say "If i was a user who was interested in EXACTLY what i'm offering, what would i type into google to find it?", and then digg through google's stats to see what they are typing; and then make sure that you BREAK UP YOUR PAGES so that they cover only ONE or --at the most-- TWO closely related topics per page (people don't do this enough!).

You, unfortunately, have another problem, other than just SEO. For a service like yours, i've never heard of it before, and i'm willing to bet that MOST people have never heard of a service like that before. As a result, they are NOT going to be searching for it. What this, in turn, translates to, is that you have to take extra effort to MAKE people aware that such as service exists. There is a good side, and a bad side, to that. The bad side is that means that you are going to have to dump money into PPC advertising. The good side is, as long as it is truly a new and unique service, you can BRAND the service, so that it becomes synonymous with your company :). For example, you could call the service "Backyard Cinemas", and then call your company the same. This means that any time a person mentions "backyard cinemas" to another person, your company, and your website, are the first things that come to mind, even if there are 1000 other companies offering it by then. That is because YOU created the service, and took the effort to BRAND the SERVICE ITSELF! This works in real life, and SEO.

I've done this SEVERAL times for SEO. Example: You cannot say "GeoRouter" without thinking of me ;). I took an existing technology (ip based geolocation detection), and turned it into a publicly available redirecting service, and BRANDED it. I even beat GeoRouter.com for their own name ;) (well, some days they are above me, and some days they're not). But you get my point. When you have something new, EXPLOIT IT. BRAND IT. MAKE IT YOURS, AND YOURS ALONE. Monopolize on the name that YOU gave it.

OH! I forgot, in my last post i also meant to ask you why your domain name is not the same as your company name. This will hurt you.

#19 cdepaola

cdepaola

    Ready To Fly Member

  • Members
  • 13 posts

Posted 23 February 2010 - 02:05 AM

It was originally BlazingStarCinema.com, however I quickly learned that while I and many othe people liked the name it wasn't the easiest website name to remember or pass on. Also in the searches it was too generic of a name and looked like nothing more then a cinema, the name had nothing to set it out as an outdoor movie company.

ChicagolandOutdoorMovies.com was more specific to the services I offered and much easier for people to remember.

This does leave the question, would it be more wise to utilize the original website name of BlazingStarCinema.com and redirect the ChicagolandOutdoorMovies.com? I wouldn't attempt this right now at the start of my business season, but possibly in November.

#20 ionisis

ionisis

    Gravity Master Member

  • Members
  • 154 posts

Posted 23 February 2010 - 02:25 AM

In the end, they are both the same, to google. A lot of people think that buying one name for seo and buying one name for branding is still the thing to do. Well, if they are keeping them BOTH running as their own websites, and NOT redirecting them, then you have some advantages (and disadvantages (duplicate content)). But once you setup a 301 from one domain to another, they are both the same domain, as far as google is concerned. So, in the end, it is best to redirect to the SEO favored name.

I will explain this a bit further. For example, if you have "xCinema.com", and that is also your company name, and you do outdoor cinemas with clowns jumping on pogo sticks, then you would want to also lease "outdoorcinemaswithclownsjumpingonpogosticks.com", and 301 "xCinemas.com" to "outdoorcinemaswithclownsjumpingonpogosticks.com", and NOT the other way around, UNLESS some OTHER conditions hold true (which in your case, they do not --yet...). This is because when someone searches for a term relevant to your site, google will say "Oh, well, this site is relevant, and both names go to the same site, so i'm NOT showing both names; i will show the name that is the target of the redirect", which is the one that will most closely match the user's query.

There ARE times where you do NOT want to do this. For example, if you DID set out to brand this service so that it is synonymous with your company's name and domain name, then you really need your company's domain name to be the end result, even despite the fact that the other domain name matches the query more closely. This is because you are trying to SHAPE the way users search for this service in the future. For example, if your company name was "retarded clown cinemas" and you were trying to brand it so that when people thought of cinemas outdoors, they thought of your company, then you would not want them to think about clowns jumping on pogo sticks, but instead, of "retarded clowns, and cinemas". You would have to link to your site with that text, and tweet that phrase, etc, so that it begins to rub off on people, and they begin to change their associations. I'm not too sure that i'm explaining this point very well, but hopefully you catch the drift of it. But remember, it takes more money and effort to brand a service than to simply conform to search trends. And they immediate payoff is going to be less. This is more of a long term effort.

Hope this makes some sense.

If you are interested in branding, then some of these names (for your domain, and your business (remember, they must be the same, for branding purposes)) are available, and may be a good start:
lawnchaircinemas.com
lawncinemas.com
lawncinema.com
frontlawncinemas.com
frontlawncinema.com

#21 cdepaola

cdepaola

    Ready To Fly Member

  • Members
  • 13 posts

Posted 28 January 2012 - 10:45 PM

So, I wanted to take revisit this thread a few years after the original advice was given...

First, thanks again to everyone, your help was greatly appreciated and found to go well beyond any other resource I utilized. Second your help has really given me a leg-up on my local and regional competition as our site now has first page results for the vast majority of our intended key words and we see new ones pop up all the time. The journey was a long and difficult, I continue to fight to move higher and higher and stay in front of my competition but its been fun.

Please take a look at the site, if you have a moment, and let me know what you think and if you have any other advice...

This place rocks!

#22 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13460 posts

Posted 29 January 2012 - 12:41 PM

Congrats on your site's progress. Are you keeping any data on it? I'm curious if rank is enough, for example. Are there any abandonment issues? Bounce? Do you have a social marketing strategy? There are where I would be looking to push it more and keep the good vibe going.

#23 cdepaola

cdepaola

    Ready To Fly Member

  • Members
  • 13 posts

Posted 29 January 2012 - 02:50 PM

I utilize several different analytics sites to study what's going on. We do have a high bounce rate but that's because we also rank well in local searches for Thetera or regular indoor cinemas.

I've been trying to develope a good social media presence but it's difficult for our small niche business and I haven found a site like this that covers social media for the truly small business. I wish I could, would really like someplace to go the help figure out a strategy.



RSS Feed

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users