We are in the process of revamping our rather outdated website and I have done hours upon hours of research this weekend (between weddings of course) about our competition and what other venues in this market are doing to have a great website and gain a competitive edge. I discovered many that had flash in their intro page. Some with music (very annoying) but most without and all of them with some type of flash on the landing page.

Any thoughts out there about what captures a brides imagination and heart in the first 8 seconds on your website that makes them want to stay and view more. What are you doing that works for you? What did you try that didn't work? We would love to get some kind of general frame of reference in this research project about what has the most impact. Thanks for your thoughts and posts.

Susan

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I also have a flash website - I know everyone says this is bad for SEO but my site has a HTML landing page and i have a HTML blog which is where most of my hits are!

http://onadaphotography.net
http://onadaphotography.net/blog
I too am working on a flash site. My site has an html splash/landing page as well. The landing page offers a dual portal that directs visitors to my website or my blog. Their are lots of ways you can direct visitors to your site. Through a blog, writing articles, directing others from your Twitter-Facebook accounts to your site and if you are targeting local clients your basic advertising should do the trick. I love the beautiful Flash sites. Lots of them are really clean and classy (my opinion). My site does not have a a flash intro, ads, banners, flashing lights and other distractions (less is more). Simply pages that tell who we are, what we offer, a small gallery, a calendar and news to keep my clients abreast of what is going on with my company. If I want to place all those things like links to other vendors, articles and tips I include them on my blog not my site! I hope I've helped! You can do without the flash intro simply use a beautifully designed html landing page! As for the music if you include this give the visitor the control to turn it off and Skip the Intro! The easier the navigation the more prone your visitors are to staying and viewing your entire site {and coming back for more}! Good LucK!
OK, I use Show-it sites and I love it! It is almost completely customizable, and can be designed by you to reflect you and your brand. I think for brides who are looking for something that stands out in the crowd, flash template sites can be kind of mundane. But a site that is flash based, with HTML option, but not a template, that is uniquely you, can be a great first impression. Brides want to be wowed, and to think know are getting something special, not generic. A website is a great way to stand out. If you want to talk further, please contact me via email at kristi@kristicrosson.com my website is http://kristicrosson.com , you can also check out http://erinfults.com http://catieronquillo.com and http://danesanders.com for some examples of show-it sites. Also, I want to let you know that I am doing a contest on my blog for photographers to win a free E-copy of Dane Sanders' book Fasttrack Photographer. It will give you some great insight into branding, marketing, and presenting an image for your business that is you. Visit
http://tinyurl.com/kristiblog for details. Tell your friends!

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