Making a film is hard enough. In this day and age, you are also going to need a website. Starting a website can be tough work—getting the world to see it can be even more tedious. Whether you’re starting a website to promote your production company or an individual film, creating a website and an internet network can be the best way to spread the word. Don’t get lost on the information highway! These tips will show you how to begin:
1) Choose a name for your URL.
It should be simple, relevant and easy to remember. If you’re promoting a film, usually the title and the word ‘movie’ make a good URL name. Whatever it is, don’t try to play tricks with the name like dropping letters or adding dashes. The name you choose should be available in organic form, so make sure to check its availability before marrying the idea of a URL name.
2) Use Keywords
Google and eBay both have keyword tools to let you know what the top words and phrases are at the moment. Monitor these tools for a few weeks and see if you can incorporate a word or phrase into the title of your movie.
3) Get a Logo
You’ll want this for all the following steps. You can either make one yourself simply in an application like Photoshop or InDesign, or get a crafty friend to help you. If you want more help, websites like CrowdSpring and 99Designs let you launch contests for designers to create your logo. For a small fee, you’ll have plenty of great looking options to choose from.
4) Create a Simple Website
Right off the bat you probably won’t have too much information to put on the front page: that’s OK. In the beginning all you’ll need is enough information to get it generated in Google searches. Just make a clean, organized front page with film/production details and your great, new logo. Try to use an easy content management system to build your pages, which means you won’t have to toy around with HTML codes.
5) Get Other Sites to Link to Yours
This will generate traffic and get your website into the Google crawler. If you have a personal page, or if family members and friends have sites and blogs they can post the link at, do it. The more links the better.
6) Get it On the Social Networks.
Make a Twitter account and a Facebook fan page to promote your film or production company. Make the names for each match your domain name and display your logo. On Facebook, give some information about your film or service. On Twitter, tweet once or twice each day about your progress. Link both pages to your website and vice versa.
7) Start a Film Blog on Your Website
You can write the actual blog on a free hosting site like WordPress or Blogger. Don’t use their domain name—register the blog as ‘blog.filmtitle.com.’ This gives you greater control of the SEO authority. Then, link the blog to your homepage. Update the blog a couple times a week with humorous anecdotes, informative updates, photos, whatever you like.
8) Start Building Contacts on Twitter and Facebook
Using the Twitter Grader Search feature, find high-impact film Twitter-ers and start following them. Organize all your fans on Facebook into a separate group. Start to build relationships with these people.
9) Find Bloggers who are Writing About Independent Film
Read them daily. If you have something relevant or interesting to say, leave feedback in their comment boxes.
10) Fix Your Website with Website Grader
Website Grader is a tool that gives marketing reports to submitted websites. Fix the things it suggests and your grade should improve quickly.
11) Get Analytics
Web analytics software lets you monitor your web traffic. Google has a fantastic and free analytics tool. You can see where visitors are coming from, what links they click on most, what keywords they’re finding you with, some programmes even show you how long people stayed on each page. Using this information, you can make some educated decisions about what’s working, and what you need to do to take your site to the next level.
Sooner or later you are going to have to log out of your LinkedIn account, stop composing Tweets and decline pokes and party invites on Facebook and actually make your movie.