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Pilothouse Films Website - First Try

PilothouseFilmsPilothouseFilms subscriber Posts: 2
edited January 2009 in Website Critique
I`d love some feedback on my site, pilothousefilms.com. Here is what you need to know:
The purpose of the site is to explain my services to customers. I did not design the site to be found by search engines. This might sound weird, but I don`t have time for much business right now, so I plan on contacting local businesses first to see if I can generate a small amount of business that way.
I`m interested in your feedback regarding:Layout and how quickly information can be foundHow long it takes to load the siteAny obvious errors - I`ve only tested it on my home PC and a Mac at work, with Firefox on both.Any other suggestions comments you may have.
Thanks in advance for your time.
Nate Hanson


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    JmesJmes subscriber Posts: 4
    Hi Nate,
    I don`t fully understand why you`re not customizing your site to be more search engine friendly, and I think you should rethink that. If you are planning to get customers from your online website it NEEDS to be crawler friendly
    As for the site itself
    I`d add an About Us page. people usually prefer to know who they`re dealing with. The internet has a major problem of trust, especially when money is involved. So I`d build a page just for that, and add a picture of the staff too
    Contact Us page needs a physical address and a phone number, again for the same reason as the above.
    As for the home page, I think that after the short video, you should be able to direct your costumer where you want them to go. The idea of the homepage is very nice, with almost no text, and just the video, which is what you`re selling. But don`t let your customer wonder about how he goes about contact you. Think of the IKEA line, when you enter their store you follow a path which leads you through 90% of their merchandise. They lead you exactly where they want you to go. You should do the same, but not forcefully. What I`d suggest is either placing `stand out` icon to the next page (e.g. contact page) or adding something to your video which will tell the visitor what he needs to do next
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    VideographyVideography subscriber Posts: 401 Silver Level Member
    Short and to the point.  I like the overall design, but as James said, it`s light on text and there really needs to be a About Us page describng your business and what makes yours different from the competition.  You do a good job of explaining the product, but you need to go to the next step - the Call to Action and What`s In It for Me?
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    PilothouseFilmsPilothouseFilms subscriber Posts: 2
    Thanks, guys! I really appreciate the feedback. I have more questions now:
    1) The site is light on text. Did you mean that there should be more information on the site, or did you mean the information should be presented as text so search engines can read it?
    2) Regarding a "call to action" and/or "what`s in it for me", should all of that be available on the front page? Or do you think there just needs to be a more obvious path or flow through my site so the customer knows what to do next. I guess my question is: Isn`t the nav bar clear enough direction?
    3) I will definitely add more detailed contact info as well as an About Us/Me page. I`d like your thoughts on the use of the "corporate we"? It`s just me running the business at this point. I could claim my wife as part of the deal, but really it`s just me. Is it inappropriate to say things like "We can provide..." It just sounds awkward to say "I can provide...".
    Thanks guys - really helpful input.
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    VideographyVideography subscriber Posts: 401 Silver Level Member
    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. Yes.
    That was easy.
    I really like the opening video.  It does deliver the point, but, then it just ends.  There should be an immediate call to action.
    You can state the "what`s in it for me" briefly in the home page, followed by another Call to Action.
    Always use the corporate "we".  Even if you are one person, you will likely be hiring an assistant from time to time, thus you are a "we".  We all present the biggest-looking image in our marketing and the video business, except for wedding video, does not take kindly to the one-man bands.
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    PilothouseFilmsPilothouseFilms subscriber Posts: 2
    Thanks, Craig - very insightful.
    1) I`m 100% with you on the weak voice-over comment...that`s my own voice! That was basically a budget decision I made before starting up that I was going to pay for this project as I go. A pro voice-over is definitely on my list, but there are a few other things I need to spend money on first. Great advice!
    2) After reading your comments about my Portfolio page, I realize how confusing that is. The Portfolio page is intended (at this point) to show examples of motion graphics I have designed using After Effects. The examples aren`t supposed to deliver a message about my product or my business, just to show off some different looks that motion graphics can provide. It needs to be more clear.
    I do plan on adding some example commercials once I have completed some, but like you said, maybe I should create some fictional commercials to show until I do some paid work.
    3) Regarding the site re-drawing - did you notice which part of the page was doing that? The graphic elements at the top, sides, and bottom should only have to load once as all pages link to the same graphic file. The detail images in the middle of the page need to be redrawn with each first visit to that particular page. That being said, I am looking into a more efficient design.
    Thanks, Craig - super helpful input!
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