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Topic: Top Five Web Page Secrets for Magicians
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jun 2, 2010 08:08AM)
After reading "Top Five Marketing Courses for Magicians" I thought it would be nice to list the "Top Five Web Page Secrets for Magicians"

Here's a Start:
1. Rename your web page names to something more significant so the search engines list them better. Here are some Examples:
[list]
[*] about.htm to AboutDennisMichaelsBirthdayParties.htm
[*] testimonials.html to WhatPeopleSayAboutMagicalBirthdayPartys.htm
[*] contact.htm to New_Jersey_Magician.htm and same page Philadelphia_Area_Magician.htm
[/list]

Naming them something significant instead of the millions of "about.htm" pages.

2. Offer a guarantee. Make sure the reader understands there is no risk in hiring you. The customer wants a perfect event and a guarantee does put them more at ease. Remember for children parties, it's the Mom who does the hiring and the decision many times depends on what she is reading so Content is very important.

3. Make sure you list testimonals, the more the better. If there are ones where she can contact another to hear 1st hand about your show, the better. (Principals/PTA/PTO Leaders will contact other leaders)

4. A you-tube video is a solid seller. They get to see you in action. It better be what you are really doing and not something you no longer do.

5. The index.htm page (Home Page) top half is what they see first so make the pitch there and so powerful they want to scroll down and read the rest.

6. Get away from the 600 width size, most (95%) of all today's computer can read minimum of 800px width. Its more room for you.

Opps that six, What do you suggest?

Dennis
Message: Posted by: jackturk (Jun 2, 2010 10:25AM)
All good stuff there.

Okay, here are a few more:

* Have your website target a specific customer and market. Yes, you can serve multiple markets with a single website, but it's better to not go after Trade Shows AND Birthday Parties on the same one. So... really, the rule should be "have multiple websites for multiple markets."

* Provide a customer-focused, benefit-oriented headline that catches your customer in mid-thought. Use sub-heads that equally compelling AND enable the reader to browse the web copy quickly - you always want to enable a double-readership path.

* Use compelling sales copy that speaks directly to that customer. You exist to solve a problem. Paint an emotionally compelling picture of why you are the best solution for doing so.

* Include a crystal clear and direct "call to action" - make sure they know what their next step should be, whether to email you, call you, or use a web-form... don't make them guess, give them specific direction.

* Before you even write one word of copy, think through who your market is and what phrases they will use to search for you and your services. These are your core keywords and keyword phrases. These are gold. Use them throughout your site - in your domain name, page filenames, headlines, sub-heads, meta-tags, <alt> tags for
images, and sales copy. Don't do this in a gross fashion, be wise and smart in writing prose that makes sense. Using keywords in this fashion will absolutely help you with SEO.

I have a lot more stuff, but here's the most important one:

* Finish what you start. If you don't get your website done, it will never bring you business. Don't be intimidated by the effort. Having something is better than nothing. Get started and get it done. Then make it better over time.

--Jack Turk
Message: Posted by: TheDean (Jun 2, 2010 10:31AM)
Offer and add REAL Value for your guests and visitors…

Give them a killer reason to:
- Stay
- Participate
- Be excited
- Have a great experience at your site
- Initiate the relationship process
- TELL all their friends because you have added so much REAL value!

Our brother Skip has this down big-time!


“Success isn't a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire."

Find Your Passion… DO Your Purpose… Make It Profitable!

Live “L.O.V.E.” Everyday!
Life Of Vibrant Expression!

I am at your service and in HIS Service,
Deano (Helping You Succeed) in Reno
<><

PS
Grab Your 100% FREE, No Foolin’ Success Event Playback AND Downloadable GIFTS Now?
http://www.EntertainersSuperConference.com
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jun 2, 2010 10:46AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-02 11:25, jackturk wrote:
Use sub-heads that equally compelling AND enable the reader to browse the web
copy quickly - you always want to enable a [b]double-readership[/b] path.

--Jack Turk
[/quote]

For clarification, "Double reader path" means write for the "scanners", that is the people who focus on the headlines and bold points, and the "readers" who are those who read every word. I believe this is what Jack meant by double-readership
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jun 2, 2010 06:41PM)
Excellent advise. I spend much more time marketing then I do performing. Its really difficult today when there are so many options flooding our market.
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jun 3, 2010 12:40PM)
Eww eww can I throw a few more into the mix???

- Write Compelling TITLE TAGS.... If your in google the title tag for the page linked to is the BLUE link.. This is your 1st Call to Action.. the Action you want is the CLICK..


- Get other websites to LINK TO YOU... this is the 1 part of internet marketing that is the most powerful.. in general he who has the most powerful links WINS..
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jun 3, 2010 01:04PM)
Mike I understand the importance of the links, do you want to explain or shall I.
Message: Posted by: jackturk (Jun 3, 2010 09:57PM)
In considering in-bound links / content / title tags / etc. in regards to SEO, it's important to make sure you understand what Google (and Bing for that matter) is trying to accomplish with its search algorithm.

When you enter a search phrase into the Google search box and click "Submit", that algorithm (i.e., software program) is then charged with the task of finding THE VERY BEST website it can to fit with that specific search phrase.

Google only continues brand loyalty if the search results it produces deliver webpages that their customers are looking for. Happy customers continue to use Google for more searches... again and again and again.

Factors that Google's algorithm considers includes things like:

-- How many high quality and RELEVANT sites link to the site. By relevant, that means that if you are a family show entertainer, you don't want in-bound links from investment brokers or sheet metal factories - they are in-bound links, but what they do isn't relevant to what you do. But top notch, high traffic websites that are related to the search phrase (a.k.a., keyword phrase that you've put on your site)
do give your site plenty of street cred in Google's eyes.

-- Lots of relevant content to the search phrase... and even better if that content is unique and refreshed regularly with new relevant content - hence the popularity and usefulness of Blogging software like Wordpress. And by content I mean words, pictures, videos, audio, etc.

-- Tags used properly inside the underlying HTML framework.

And so on. Again, whatever you can do to make sure your site matches as closely as you can imagine to what Google would consider the ultimate, absolutely perfect site to display when entering that search phrase, that's the kind of stuff you need on your site and those are the kinds of sites you want linking to your site.

--Jack Turk
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jun 3, 2010 10:57PM)
Well said Jack...

and just to point out how big a deal this is...

I have seen websites that say nothing more than comming soon

with 5k backlinks (links from other websites) ranking #1 for a search result

ALL links count, but like Jack is saying above.. Relevant links are KING

you can build out properties that generate links using web2.0 and so on
This is so important I spend a LARGE portion of the classes I teach on how to get MORE links
Message: Posted by: Hart Keene (Jun 4, 2010 02:39AM)
So since we are on the subject of links....

Besides physically asking for links(directory submissions, paid links, reciprocal, etc.) and article marketing what other way is there now? It seems that guest blogging, video, social bookmarking, and some other methods are "no follow" or have less and less weight. So what is the best way to get the best backlinks, preferably with the ability to use anchor text? Is article marketing king? It's just so dang time consuming, I'm a magician not a writer! Lol
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jun 4, 2010 03:40AM)
I find that my link in signatures at the bottom of forums means more than just a link to the web site.

Do a search on your name, on your titles of your web page and see what it bring up.
Message: Posted by: Hart Keene (Jun 4, 2010 12:56PM)
Most of them are no follow, look at the code:)
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jun 4, 2010 01:06PM)
Umm yeah.. things are changing a lot right now..
550 changes to Google this year (split testing is getting OLD)

What I am seeing (and I have over 100 sites that we use to do nothing but test) is as follows

-NoFollow only partialy WORKS - Google and Yahoo follow the 1st link and pass weight to a given DOMAIN (Not URL) even if it is NOFollow

-No extra benefit from social bookmarking more than 20 times (different sites)
Social Bookmarked 50 URL's with 20 sites and 20 different sites with over 1k EACH such a small difference I will never do more than 20-- not worth the work

- Article Marketing is GREAT as long as your also getting syndication from your articles... Setup Alerts to see if your articles are showing up on other sites.. WHEN they do check to make sure the Author Box is intact (if not email and ask for it to be placed there with a link) and EMAIL the site to offer unique content

and ummm AUTOMATE this stuff
BIG time

I do article submissions and such
Example
you send me the article
we spin it to 60% unique
submit it to 90 websites with your backlinks
Ping each article
Social bookmark each article 8 to 20 times (I have 50 social bookmarking sites I submit to)
Ping the social bookmarks (30 sites we ping)
submit each article to RSS feeds (12 feeds)

and span the submission over a week time frame to let them get indexed at different times.

In some of the markets I hit if it's not automated (as in submissions) you just cant keep up...
Message: Posted by: Hart Keene (Jun 9, 2010 06:42PM)
Hi Mike,

Have I told you lately...that I love you? Lol

You are a wealth of information on this subject!

So you said that even with no follow the first link has weight? The domain but not the URL? I guess I don't understand. Does anchor text even matter if it is no follow then?

I want to talk to you a bit more about some other things but since you don't have PM what is the best way to get in touch with you? Can you pm me your email addy?

Nothing major, just a few questions and possibly some work for you?

Thanks Mike, really appreciate your posts here...
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jun 9, 2010 07:27PM)
Hart,
Sent ya a PM with my # and email

OK so here is how we currently see it working (and google is always changing so who knows after the dust settles)

say you goto a website and comment but all the the links are nofollow

so you enter your website (and they make your name a link to your website) and then you put a link in your comment with anchor text

the link in the comment is then the 2nd LINK it will pass no weight

the NAME is now the link and the anchor text passing weight

also google got wise on PR sculpting (the art of building and passing page rank) and now uses every outbound link in the math involved..

How it used to be

PR comming in = 5
all links on page nofollow
page PR = 5

NOW
pr comming in = 5

5 divided by all links on page (lets say there are 5)
the links with nofollow still are part of the math so it lowers the weight passed but the nofollows only pass weight to the 1st link to any domain

a link to
yourdomain.com
and
yourdomain.com/yourservices.html

are both to your domain
so place links and anchor text with some thought
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jun 10, 2010 02:14AM)
Hopefully this thread is more than a focus on search engines.
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jun 10, 2010 05:35AM)
Dennis,
Thanks... I chase to many rabbits, and get side tracked easy

Another thing that I find HUGE "ON" the site is to have some form of signup for a mailing list/ newsletter / ebook on party tips and so on

because by building the list you can build a relationship with a potential client BEFORE they need you and then become the logical choice
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jun 10, 2010 11:14PM)
I know my name comes up and websites in the Café signature but what I worry about is exposure because of this.
Message: Posted by: m.ruetz (Jun 14, 2010 11:12AM)
This article has few tips not mentioned to add to the list:

http://magicgizmo.com/home/Business-Side-of-Magic/12-web-site-secrets-for-magicians.html
Message: Posted by: TheMagicianGuide (Jun 15, 2010 02:14PM)
This has been an interesting topic to follow - don't forget length of time too - Google weights sites with 1, 2, 5, 10 years . . . if you have access to site results over these periods of time, analyze your SEO position at these intervals . . . especially 5 years for some reason sites seem to be blessed with a little more SEO weight . . .
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jun 15, 2010 09:12PM)
[b]Using Images to their Fullest[/b]

As the saying goes,"A picture is worth 1,000 word". Make it worth more! use the "name=" tag and "alt=" and give the picture meaning and "meat" to it.

For example, a picture with children laughing is an excellent choice for a Birthday Party website. The alt="Fun for everyone, and this is what your party could be like!" When the cursor crosses the picture that comment is displayed. the "name" tag could be "Children having a lot of fun and laughter At he Dennis Michael Magic Birthday Party."

Use a variety of phases with key ad-words that match the picture and if you want your name to get know make sure it is in a lot of these tags.

A Photo Gallery page helps the customer make a decision on hiring you. IF you use animals display these. If you use illusions display them. Kids having fun on stage is also a good image to use.

Avoid cutesy smiley faces and other icons for images unless you need them for some major purpose. Bullets are OK to highlight Key points.

The photo should not overwhelm the page. Beyond "half the page width" is as large as it should be. 400x400 or smaller is a good size.
Message: Posted by: monstercreations (Jun 17, 2010 06:49PM)
Get a website designed by a professional!
Magicians think nothing of spending 100's of buck on tricks that sit in a bottom drawer but are too tight to cough up for a professional looking site.
There are guys who post on here giving website advice who I think nearly all without exception have terrible looking sites!
Sheesh! When will you guys get it!
I can guarantee a good looking site will get you more work! Of course I'm going to say that, I'm a graphic designer... but I have done enough sites now to know it works!
In fact if anyone can show me a better looking site than one of mine... I'll design you one for free!
Ade
Message: Posted by: ScottRSullivan (Jun 17, 2010 07:29PM)
Ok, why not contribute and offer something to help those that might not be as blessed with your creative insights. Or even name names and pick apart what specifically you don't like about some sites from those who have contributed?

It's easy to paint a broad stroke. Let's get our hands dirty and "fix" someone's site.

[b]I agree wholeheartedly that a well designed site will help with the performer's branding and allow him to command higher rates[/b]. So let's all raise the bar instead of pointing at how everyone is stubbing their toe on the bar because it's so low.

And I understand you're in it for the money, but a little critique from an expert like yourself would build a ton of goodwill!

I produce videos for a living but still think that a raw 30-second reaction from a real spectator, shot on a pocketcam and uploaded to YouTube, can sometimes be more powerful than a slick 3 minute promo video.

Not everyone can afford what I do or what you do, yet we can all help raise the bar for those that decide to do it themselves.

I'm game. Who else is in?
Message: Posted by: Scott Burton (Jun 17, 2010 10:47PM)
Nothing will drag down and destroy a business like ours faster (IMO) than making regular poor choices when it comes to spending our time. Money can be made back again but time is lost forever when wasted.

I don‘t like hearing of performers spending weeks upon weeks to research, discuss, design, and create their own web site. I especially feel saddened when it is the person who is struggling to keep their business afloat who goes down this long path to save a few bucks.

Create a vision...yes! Create a concept, a strategy, and your marketing approach...yes! These things are important for you to consider absolutely and should be provided to your web designer as guidance. Learning how to build and create a web site - when you are building an entertainment business - is usually (again, IMO) not the best path to take.

Two things that I have discovered and learned for myself as I build my business:
1 - There are tons of web developers out there who want your business and will charge reasonable rates (from dirt cheap to the sky‘s the limit). My site cost me $250 to have built and includes an administrative back-end system that allows me to update it an infinite amount of times without any cost or technical knowledge. I am happy with it. Is it worth it for me to learn to do it myself to save $250! No way! That same amount of time could be spent selling myself and actually booking gigs.
2 - Something that may be a little controversial here but....you don‘t actually need a web site to start earning a living in magic! Want to own one of the greatest marketing courses for magicians out there? Go buy Paul Diamonds “It Takes Guts Dammit“. It will cost you $5, take you 15 minutes to read, and there you go. The big lesson in the book: if you want business then go out and get it.

A web site is important. I absolutely agree. However, if you cannot afford to pay someone to build your web site and you instead choose to spend your valuable time to educate yourself on the techniques of web site creation, then the solution is this: forget about the website (for now), go out and connect with people, and get yourself some business until you can afford to pay someone.

Having a web site is not the determining factor of whether you will succeed. Your success, rather, is dependent upon how you choose to spend you time.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jun 18, 2010 06:25AM)
To choice a pro, or not to choose a pro, is a good topic. I spend most of my time doing others websites and not building on mine. It's like the plumber who has leaky faucets, the carpenter who need work at home, etc. We have a tendency to neglect our own websites.

If you know very little about a website, then a pro will make the difference. Even some pros don't understand our business so one must be informed of what works and doesn't and help the pro. There are a lot of bad sites, and good looking sites and neither are not selling themselves right.

So the Web Secret here is, invest in the pro that has done other Magician pages, you think would work for you. Graphic artists are expensive, but here is a tip see
* Angel or Susan Contreras Angel's Artistic Endeavors, Inc.
* PO Box 146
* Mokena, 11, 60448
* angel@art4clowns.com
* http://www.Art4Clowns.com
* 708-479-3837
He does excellent characters that can make your site exciting and funny. He also does lots of magicians!

This is such a true statement by Scott above:
[quote]Having a web site is not the determining factor of whether you will succeed. Your success, rather, is dependent upon how you choose to spend you time. [/quote]

If I spent as much time on my magic as I do on the computer or the 5,000 plus postings, I am sure I would be a far better magician today!

Dennis

I looked over, monstercreations posts and much of what they say here on the Café, related to web design, is a put-down on many magicians, even on there own web page. For obvious reasons, his site graphically is suburb, top-notch!
http://www.monster-creations.com

His approach to customer relations may need improving if he wants business. I know I can't afford him, he reeks of "this guy is to expensive for me!" Having said that, I have stereo-typed him, and apologize to him for that, like customers do to magicians, they stereo-type us by our website and its content. Graphic designs with the right marketing like this can do wonders and hurt business. There is much more to a website for magicians then just design.

I personally don't believe using "foul" language to get a point across, especially as a business man. Put-downs displays one's inner character. Offending is the quickest way to lose business and to use it to make oneself better than another is also bad business practice. I say this not as a put-down, or to offend, but to help others realize there is much more to web design than the design itself. If one gives of themselves, and helps others, goodwill is a key business trait. Remember this when you decide to put together a website. Remember this in selecting professionals.

Content is key, a site can be pretty good looking but if the content offends, one moves on to someone a little more compassionate, and understanding especially if he is willing to shell out his hard earned money.

Dennis
Message: Posted by: monstercreations (Jun 18, 2010 08:44AM)
Hi Dennis and everyone else,
Apologies if I come across as offensive towards magicians, I don't mean to be...I love you all... it's just frustration!

Heres why I'm frustrated. I'll give a quick example...to give my son a great birthday party I wouldm't get my Uncle Bob in to do the 21 card trick to a bunch of 7 year olds, I would hire a professional magician, someone who knows what they are doing and whos publicity ie business card, flyers and website look professional! I would always use a professional.

As for prices you really would be (pleasantly) surprised at our prices... people seem to assume we are ultra expensive. We arn't! I came across another magic related designer who offer template sites... for £200 bucks but if you wanted the design exclusive then it's $1000! We don't offer template sites, we don't code in frames and tables either, all our sites are exclusive and for 1000 bucks you would get one hell of a website with CMS, with design for flyers and business cards thrown in!

How about to make the peace, I will design, code and host a website for the first person to PM/email me for just $200! You will however need some content such as text and a few photos! Let me know,
Ade
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jun 18, 2010 09:15AM)
I am probably (ok we know I am) one of the "Web advice" guys who has a bad looking site..

and ya know what.. I don't care about some aspects of it.. Yeah I would like to get a graphics designer to redo the look (but it's not on top of the list)

the look is just 1 aspect of a site, and I would love to test the conversion ratio, but UMM I care more about the bank account at the end of the week.

and from TONS of testing the look doesn't effect the $ enough to make it a priority over all the other things.

so let me share a story with all of you of MY experience with this new TWIST (balloon pun intended)
About a year ago I was hired as a marketing consultant for a company and we started working with the in house web editor to get things all in order. I spent a few days and built a set of guidelines of things to do per page and such. Then one morning at a networking meeting the owner met a Graphics design "WEBSITE GURU" and he hired the guy without talking to the rest of the team.. A few days later the site SUDDENLY changed (not the designers fault, but the CEO's)

so we threw out ALL the work we had already done and started again with new changes and such. We sent changes to the "Artist on high" who promptly told us that his design was perfect and didn't need to be changed. Within 3 days the site lost 70 pages in the index due to new 404 errors (there where over 2k of them the day the site changed)

the new "PRETTY" navigation once we installed split testing software was getting 90% less clicks.. Sales of the site dropped over 30%

the CEO asked me what I was doing, to which I told him WHY and what the issue was.
60 days later (after changing back to the original BORING design) sales where back up, and the CEO learned a valuable 5K lesson.

A good design needs to increase conversion not get in the way, it's not about having a pretty site it's about my bank account at the end of the week.
If a PLAIN site with NO text is what converts BEST in my market.. then that's what I will use..

http://www.myweddingfavors.com
uses stock photos, inside a yahoo store
they even used a stock logo that was edited in house
and they do about 120k in sales a DAY

so I am going to keep my boring dull badly designed site, until I hit 1000 unique a day then will SPLIT TEST new designs


----
EDIT less that 2 min after post..
OK I was writing mine as Monster was writing his..

and for 1k I would hire you
I have 3 contracts I am pitching next week and will add in 1k for a site redesign

shoot me an email and we can start talking about what I need for clients cause I REALLY want a talented graphics person to sub work out to for my clients.
cause I am a marketing guy not and a code junkie, not a graphics guy
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jun 18, 2010 09:28AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-17 23:47, Scott Burton wrote:
1 - There are tons of web developers out there who want your business and will charge reasonable rates (from dirt cheap to the sky‘s the limit). My site cost me $250 to have built and includes an administrative back-end system that allows me to update it an infinite amount of times without any cost or technical knowledge. I am happy with it. Is it worth it for me to learn to do it myself to save $250! No way! That same amount of time could be spent selling myself and actually booking gigs.[/quote]

Like Scott, I also have an administrative back-end system that allows me to update it an infinite amount of times. Very handy, because I know almost nothing about website coding.

I like being able to update it in that fashion.

And I also like that it isn't hosted on my designer's server.

I get concerned when they want too much control.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: monstercreations (Jun 18, 2010 09:28AM)
Scott, I did actually offer some help to a Café member and was told it wasn't needed.
Ade
Message: Posted by: Scott Burton (Jun 18, 2010 11:52AM)
I just wanted to mention that I have worked with Ade (on print material in my case...not web sites) and have nothing but good things to say. Great work, great customer service, and reasonable pricing. That's my experience.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jun 18, 2010 01:23PM)
A web graphic designed site for $200 is a steal! Someone should have jumped on this offer.

My son paid $2,000 to a web designer and hated it. He ended doing his own and it turned out great. We both have degrees in system design and computer science, but graphic arts is a specialty.

Monster creation needs a portfolio of magic related graphic designs. Similar to Angels characters. It was those drawings that gave him at least 100 jobs at the KIDabra Conferences. I'm sure Ade can get the business if one likes his work.

I know it is hard to meet minds of a Graphic Artist, Web Design, and the Mind of the person paying the bill.

I am willing to bet if someone did a Monster Magic Show, you could create a dynamite graphic intense website. Even a Dinosaur Magic Show, or a Halloween Magic Show, you would be my choice.

[quote]
On 2010-06-18 10:28, monstercreations wrote:
Scott, I did actually offer some help to a Café member and was told it wasn't needed.
Ade
[/quote]

Have you considered, possibly you may have scared them away because they have not seen or heard of you helping others?

I get at least 3 phone calls a month from web designers want to help me make more money with my website(s). They have reached the telemarketers annoying calls level.

Also, your help may come at a price which, many magicians just don't have or are part-time and don't want to put out more money. We've all grown to know that FREE is never free, some how it ends up costing money.

This is why I created this thread, for those who are going to try to make it on their own. Ideas and tips to help them.

If one can afford a professional, then go for it. If is cheaper in a long run to have another do a knock-out job but can they do it that fits their idea of a website.

I don't know Ade, but I am willing to say if he can create pages like this monster-creations page of his, in a usable magical way, he will have more work then he can handle, of course if the price is right.

I really love it but it is not magical. Can you show something magical with rabbits, doves, top hat, wands, streamers, for Birthday Parties, Clowns, Balloonist (Not a one picture fits all, but something non-monsterish so one can make an informed decision if they would like your services, and yes I can look through watermarks to prevent graphic hi-jackers.)
Message: Posted by: monstercreations (Jun 20, 2010 01:24PM)
Hi Dennis,
There is a web gallery on the site with at least 30 sites showing different work, with different styles for pro-magicians, semi-pro and amateurs. There are CMS sites, basic css/html sites and wordpress sites!
We don't only do websites, but all graphic design, and not only magicians... monster-creations is the magical side of things!
As for something magical with rabbits, doves, top hat, wands, streamers etc this is 2010 not 1950 so its really not my style!
I think I have offered to help by offering a site for $200 bucks! No takers!
I guess I won't be breaking into the American market! Ah well...
All the best,
Ade
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jun 20, 2010 10:53PM)
He who dies with the most websites wins. :)
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jun 21, 2010 04:29AM)
Ade,
I went to your Gallery and looked over your designs:

Below are some decent designs that scream professionalism and suited for corporate or agency type work.

Children Magicians/Adult Magician: http://www.klassymagic.co.uk/
Children Magicians/Adult Magician: http://www.magic-chris.co.uk/
Mindreader/Magician: http://www.robertfox.net/

I've seen these design types before and do love them.
http://www.webdesignerwall.com/category/trends/
They have the best design series in this type of professional web pages. They are great for those who like this kind of web interface.

These designs are clean, crisp, visual, 3D and beautiful. However, I can't put my finger on it other than saying, "I couldn't afford these entertainers". Something inside me tells me there is something very important missing. It maybe weak on content, marketing, or something.

[quote]As for something magical with rabbits, doves, top hat, wands, streamers etc this is 2010 not 1950 so its really not my style!
[/quote]

Here might me where the personal objection to this style lies, and why I don't like to do web sites for others. "The mending of what one wants and what the designers want many times is very far apart." I can related to these designs because I've studied them, bookmarked them, and like them.

I mentioned before I am the "Classic Magician" as depicted in a child's mind, so my web design should reflect that character. This modern style wouldn't do it. If I was a close-up guy who table hops, well maybe this would work.

The hardest part about designing web pages is to find out what the customer wants and give it to them, leaving personal feelings outside. Add in that most of the time, the person wanting the web pages, has no clue about what "their" customers wants or the "benefits" of hiring them, etc. (Weak Marketing skills.) All this compounds the problem of coming up with the "perfect" page, if it is at all possible.

Only the informed entertainer can begin to explain what they want if they have some knowledge on what they might need, hence this thread on Web Page Secrets.
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jun 21, 2010 11:27AM)
I like Abe's designs...

but it always baffels me when I find sites like the webdesignerwall

the graphics take away from the content..
your eyes are DRAGGED to the image for the background and it takes a second to find the navigation because of how dramatic the background is..


as far as what a customer wants for a design I have a list of things I go over with them as EDUCATION for "Picking the right design for your business" that we use..

the key elements are
1. How the human eye looks at a website and where hot spots are on a page
2. How to effectively use layout to help increase conversion (perfect example is a TRULY HIDEOUS designed squidoo lens, the conversion was to get them to click out of the page,, UGLY WORKED)
3. Customer based design

what these 3 things do for me..
1. means I only need a handfull of images from a pro so I can skin the Wordpress Theme
2. Means I get rid of the nit picking over design factors, because we will TEST IT LATER after the launch (traffic matters more than design at this point.. what if you have what YOU see as a AWESOME design and your ideal client is confused by it)
3. I can focus on what I am good at and sub out the artsy stuff (=

Which on that note Abe.. shoot me an email I would love to go over some specs for a few projects I have on the table to see if you can help out..
Message: Posted by: monstercreations (Jun 21, 2010 12:56PM)
Hi Mike,
I have mailed you!

Hi Giani,
Didn't understand your comment I'm afraid!

Hi Dennis,
Hmm... it's a fine line to walk as a designer working with a client... some clients just won't listen! I know what works best to get a client noticed website wise but theres not much I can do if they don't have content either text or photos. I have access to a very good copywriter (a magician themselves) to provide good copy but bad photos will still let a site down. I can and have designed sites from just one photo or even no photos but its tough!
I have found that some clients think they know best and a little knowledge is indeed a dangerous thing. I wouldn't hire a magician to perform at my party and tell him the 21 card trick is a killer ... I hire him because he is a professional and knows best. So why in design to do some clients think they know best? Is it because the internet gives people the tools to have a go themselves ? I have also heard it said that is because design is subjective... I'm not sure it is.
Of course I will listen to what the client says but there has to be a compromise between what the client wants and what will work for functionality and design.
If you said to me I want a site with rabbits, doves, top hat, wands etc then I would beg (lol) you to reconsider and would suggest alternatives BUT if you were insistant then I could maybe come up with other ways to make you appear as a classic magician rather than a cheesy one!
I can design for you (or anyone) a great marketing website, good for SEO with great design but need from the client the freedom to do so, its also usefull to have promo photos, actions shots, content, quotes etc
Ade
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jun 21, 2010 01:10PM)
Ade,

I think you are on the right track and this topic is a little off course.
A separate one would be better related to marketing, another related to Graphics, etc. I fully know your frustration. Hence, I still like to play and learn. I do have the time to do that. (I like this stuff but I know I am not as good as you are in graphic design.)

[quote]Hi Giani,
Didn't understand your comment I'm afraid! [/quote]

This is a pun, a play on words,
"He who dies with the most websites wins." is a takeoff of: He who dies with the most toys wins. (Boats, Motorcycles, big screen TV, etc.) A Manly thing.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jul 3, 2010 01:40PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-02 09:08, Dennis Michael wrote:
After reading "Top Five Marketing Courses for Magicians" I thought it would be nice to list the "Top Five Web Page Secrets for Magicians"

Here's a Start:
1. Rename your web page names to something more significant so the search engines list them better. Here are some Examples:
[list]
[*] about.htm to AboutDennisMichaelsBirthdayParties.htm
[*] testimonials.html to WhatPeopleSayAboutMagicalBirthdayPartys.htm
[*] contact.htm to New_Jersey_Magician.htm and same page Philadelphia_Area_Magician.htm
[/list]

Naming them something significant instead of the millions of "about.htm" pages.

2. Offer a guarantee. Make sure the reader understands there is no risk in hiring you. The customer wants a perfect event and a guarantee does put them more at ease. Remember for children parties, it's the Mom who does the hiring and the decision many times depends on what she is reading so Content is very important.

3. Make sure you list testimonals, the more the better. If there are ones where she can contact another to hear 1st hand about your show, the better. (Principals/PTA/PTO Leaders will contact other leaders)

4. A you-tube video is a solid seller. They get to see you in action. It better be what you are really doing and not something you no longer do.

5. The index.htm page (Home Page) top half is what they see first so make the pitch there and so powerful they want to scroll down and read the rest.

6. Get away from the 600 width size, most (95%) of all today's computer can read minimum of 800px width. Its more room for you.

Opps that six, What do you suggest?

Dennis
[/quote]

Thanks for the beautiful advice!
Message: Posted by: Jay Jennings (Jul 5, 2010 02:09PM)
Dennis -

You said, "I mentioned before I am the "Classic Magician" as depicted in a child's mind, so my web design should reflect that character."

That statement caught my eye and got me thinking -- what magicians would a child of today have seen? Chris Angel? David Blaine, maybe? I can't think of anyone a typical child would probably have seen who we'd think of as a "classic magician."

Jay Jennings
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jul 5, 2010 04:16PM)
One needs to watch children TV stations and read Children books.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Oct 12, 2010 07:54AM)
1. Check the grade of your website with websitegrader.

2. Add your url in the description box of your videos with Youtube.

3. Submit your website to Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask because they are the largest search engines.
Message: Posted by: NexusMagicShop (Oct 16, 2010 03:32PM)
One thing I would like to add which during my scan of this particular forum is too pay attention to the future of technology. I recently made my site Apple Friendly, more and more people are using there I-phones and I-pads to view, search, book and buy anything and everything.

I stay away from Flash everything simply because a well designed small gif can still get a message across, and Apple doesn't support flash. Which is huge since many people are moving away from the PC. If you are all Flash you could potentially be losing a lot of possible Biz! Gifs are heavier, but if you keep it small it can still be an effective form of clickable Marketing.

Jason Ring - CEO
Nexus Magic Store

Apple will eventually be in every ones home IMO. This Apple however, will not be in mine: http://gossiponthis.com/2010/10/16/8-million-dollar-iphone-sold/
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Oct 18, 2010 03:37AM)
This is some of the best advice I've seen in a long time. Lets see if I got it correct:
[list]
[*] Most importantly "Think Mobile" its the new wave of web page seeking, iPhones, & iPads
[*] Avoid Flash Not good for content seeking Google Search Engine or Mobile devices.
[*] Intro pages are a waste of prospect/readers and search engines, (avoid)
[*] Use the Recognizable cursor graphic
[*] Make it easy as possible and hassle free to find your page
[*] Page should look good/cool, loads fast (Small Graphics) and "rich" in needed content
[/list]

Very powerful advice, especially the insight on mobile users.
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Oct 18, 2010 07:44AM)
A few more elements..

- a CLEAR call to action per page
this could be to fill out a form to join the mailing list
to call for a quote
or anything you WANT the potential client to do

- On the same thought as Mobile Friendly...
HTML 5 for video and such
I am now starting to use http://zencoder.com/ to convert video and get them
ready for mobile