SEO or Search Engine Optimization is not rocket science although algorithms do change regularly. If you Google SEO, you will find lots of free resources and automated audits to assess your website and recommend actions to improve SEO. Get in touch if you want some us to point you to the best resources.
However for the purpose of this article we will keep it high level and movie focused.
A stand alone website for a specific movie release cannot win when it comes to reputation. Their short term nature mean cinema, press or review websites will all dominate the first couple of pages of search results. So STOP BUILDING STANDALONE WEBSITES if you want to up your game!
1. Reputation – short vs long term:
Build a long term website for all your movies. This is a definite plug but usheru focus on building one corporate website for a partners movies and each movie page can have a vanity URL pointing to the corporate website but with the look and feel of a standalone website. A long term approach will build reputation and increase organic traffic.
2. Start early:
Reputation will also come to early adopters and if you are producing or distributing a movie, get it up on your website as early as possible. This will give you a head start on others who will talk about your movie later.
3. Improve quality content and try up the amount of unique shown:
Again, any assets such as videos, making of teasers, trailers, still shots which are unique and properly tagged will help with SEO. Proper tagging of videos and images is crucial as search engine become more visual.
Other types of unique content which are great include creating competitions, quizzes or games which can be promoted for example on social or via press outlets and can generate a lot of traffic. It is unique and a glut of traffic will ensure that your release benefits from organic and not just paid traffic.
4. Smart linking:
If there are press reviews, showtimes, streaming service and review website links available, linking them to these platforms and websites will help with reputation. If you use internal website links; make sure they link pages smartly to the best performing pages to ensure their visibility and ranking on search engines.
It is important to review all your internal and external links periodically to remove broken links which will do you SEO harm.
5. Improve page load speed
This is quite a technical point so if your eyes are glossing over we won't get offended ;-)
Slow load speed is bad for business in general as fans are impatient but search engines check for and penalize slow rendering sites also.
- Work with a quality hosting service who can put the firepower behind your web service when performance is slower
- Reduce HTTP requests: Every image, plugin, video requires a separate HTTP request so remove unnecessary plugins, merge images to render quicker and think always of the speed vs quality trade off.
- Optimize trailer, poster and image sizes: Filmmakers always come to us and say they practically want a 4K trailer on their website to give the fan the best experience which we get. However, unnecessarily larger files mean slow render and bad SEO rating. 99% of fans won't be able to watch with such quality due to network, screen or phone limitations so drop the quality size! Remember the optimal size will drive a lot more traffic and ultimately increase sales.
DON'T FORGET – Google or other search engine based ads are the most effective ad form – up to 20 times more effective than social
Lots of film marketers and agencies we deal with comment that it is not necessary to set up Google Ads as people who google their movie will go and see it anyway. This couldn't be further from the truth.
Imagine a press article giving your movie a 2 star is number 1 on the search results and rottentomatoes/imdb are 2 and 3. There is every chance, a likely purchaser gets turned off or brought down a rabbit hole which doesn't end up in a ticket purchase. For a small fee, you can make the journey direct to the purchase flow and convert customers cheaply.
A search engine ad with clear creative, a CTA to buy tickets and a simple path to the ticketing process will maximize sales. You can control the narrative and measure the conversion rate easily from fans with high intent to watch your movie.
So try it today to convert the buzz for your movie efficiently into sales.