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Square Space Virgin - Feedback on my first site, please :)


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Site URL: http://www.maephotography.co.uk

I'd love your feedback on our first site - it's for our photography business.

Formerly on wordpress, so we've transferred the blog across, in soft-launch now for a week while we tweak.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to view and feedback - it's my first time with SS and I've really enjoyed it. So much so I'm building sites for clients now in one of my other businesses.

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It reminded me of a Wordpress site. It's very heavy on text, and when viewing from a phone, you don't know that there is any information to scroll down to. The menu hambuger and book button take all the attention. I am not a big fan of action buttons high on the site when there is a lot of information to be seen below first. Its my experience that it may not turn viewers off but it doesn't turn them on either. Photography sites really need to remember that a picture really is worth a thousand words espcially when two of those words are book now. Think about a landing page, one or two really good images, not much text something with some really good impact that will grab the viewer, you have four seconds to do so and that is all so make those seconds good ones.  Here are two examples of this first impact concept:

https://christinegregoryphotography.com/

https://mattrobertsphotography.net/

 

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An interesting point of view.

Though this is my first squarespace site, it's not my first rodeo building a site and getting it to the top of google. Of the two sites you mentioned, neither rank as a photograhper in their location in SERPS, Christine ranks under facebook if you type "Christine Gregory Photography".... indeed Matt Roberts isn't even found if you type "Matt Roberts Photography"..

SEO has been our major source of clients over the years and I'm eager to see what happens when Google has scraped the SQSP site and ranked us on that. We were on Wordpress before, but it's such a flakey platform these days, we decided to give SQSP a go.

I do hear what you say about style preference, and I'd be really interested to hear your perspective on gaining photography clients through organic SEO. 

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There has to be a balance between site content designed to intrigue and capture the viewer with the goal of making new customers. Putting the emphasis on getting to the top of the search engines is not nearly enough. One can try to cheat to do that, stuff the site with all kinds of irelevent key words just to show how great it is to to get it to the top. Nothing is better than a website that is shouting at you in a good way, lots of good content, suited for what the site is supposed to say, friendly and most importantly now, Mobile ready. 

I owned my own communications business for tweny five years, I  was an analytics manager for Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens. My job was to measure the effect of their media advertising, and this was based on the number of call ins to reservations and ticket sales and I built the call in center for them as well. There was no real way to measure how many people saw ther ads on TV or in print. We measured how it worked, by it I mean over 80 media outlets,  and that was based on content as well as numbers, did the spot on the Travel Channel work better than one on ESPN? I tracked that. I take what I learned  then to the websites I build now.

First off does the client like them? How do they use the site? Are they depending on it as the main source of business? It is a tool for them to tell prosepective clients here is some of my work?  It has to be both, but neither can be the main. I believe that Squarespace understands this to, and they have designed their hosting with the idea that  if you have good content with the right  in context keywords, and relevent images, viewers will love the site and that Google and other search engines will like it too.  

Edited by derricksrandomviews
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Thanks all for your comments. I was most nervous about coming to SQSP and losing search engine rankings. I've always known that the GTMetrix type scores are getting to be more important as the web develops, and I've really tried to up those, as traditionally these web builders don't do well there.

Frankly I'm REALLY impressed, the SEO in SQSP, it's smashed us right back up to page one, but the blogs that we are writing are really taking off; consistently getting fantastic traffic. Content is obviously key with google these days.

I never thought it possible to have a platform like this which is so easy to use and will actually rank so well.

One thing I've learned that you might like, is to use Cloudflare for your DNS, it really speeds up your web load time.

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