I just had an email exchange with a certain person, whom I will not name (let's call her JANE), who is teaching people in the film industry about marketing themselves. When I offered her my actor website services she said "I think I'll stick with WIX... built and hosted for free" - wow, my jaw dropped, but if that comes from a person who is planning to teach about marketing yourself, I wonder how many people think that way... so I will list a few reasons why WIX is a big no-no as a website for actors.
S.E.O. value of your Actor Website
S.E.O. value of your WIX website is so bad! I'm 100% certain that if I mentioned JANE in this article, my article would rank higher on Google then her entire WIX website! You never want that. In fact, one goal of your website is so that whenever people search for you by your name, the first thing they see is your website, a place that you have full control over and showcase the things that are important to you: your actor headshots, your resume, your reel, your film credits, your awards, your representation, and so on. JANE may not be the best example, because she has a lot of profiles, but imagine someone searches for your name, and the first thing they see is me talking about how bad your website is... you never want that!
Actor Website vs. Actor Profile
Now let's talk about FREE value of profiles - because yes, we also offer free profiles, but let's not get it twisted. The main difference between a profile and a website is your domain name. If you host your "actor website" for free the odds are, you have no domain name, so your website shows up as "yourname.wixsite.com" - it's still a WIXSITE website, not YOUR website. Not to mention that WIX will bombard your visitors with so many ads, nobody will take it seriously. At least with our free actor profiles we don't overwhelm your website with ads. If a person comes to your "actor website" and the first thing they see is "This site was designed with the Wix.com website builder. Create your website today. (Start Now)" - this is now YOUR BRAND. You are officially a WIX ad! On top of that, it practically screams that you don't care enough to pay a few bucks a month for your own actor website, so perhaps you're not really serious about acting. I'm not saying that, but how can you be sure others won't think that when they see WIX ads on your website?
Responsiveness of your Actor Website
The thing that annoys me the most about WIX websites is that they are not responsive. I have yet to see a nicely responsive website on WIX. Responsiveness was "discovered" about 15 years ago. WIX, do you really care that little? If you're on a WIX website, I dare you to resize the window to a smaller width... let's say 500 pixels. Is it cutting everything off? I bet it is. "But Tomasz, I always look at my website on a full screen view" - it's not really about how youare looking at your website, now, is it? It's about everyone else. I'm picking on WIX, not because they're my competitor, Squarespace is a competitor too, but at least their designs are much nicer... and they're responsive like ours.
Website for Actors (or Dentists?)
One thing no WIX (or Squarespace or Weebly) website will ever give you are optimizations for actors. They are websites for ... (fill in a blank). Dentists... dog walkers... small shops... real estate agents... my cat... you name it. But do you think real estate agents that take themselves seriously go to WIX, or do you think they get a custom-developed website? I can answer that question because I've built over 150 real estate websites in NYC. I know that some actors can't afford a custom-built website ($2,000 or more), but with Web For Actors, it is as close as you're gonna get for a very low price, and it's customized for actors with a multitude of tools that you can use to promote yourself in the field. Prove me wrong! Show me one WIX website that neatly lists actor's film credits and provides S.E.O. data points that will show an actor's website in search results when researching a film project they worked on. Well, Web For Actors (as stated in the name) is for actors, and we do that better than anyone out there.
Branding yourself as an actor
So, back to JANE, I dug up her website. I searched for her full name and here are the websites that Google returned to me in order:
- IMDb - to be expected - and it's actually okay to see it in the first position. IMDb has a good S.E.O. value, and it says you are a creative person.
- Twitter - hmm... not great, but okay, especially if you are active on Twitter, you probably want it to show up somewhere on the first page
- Travel Massive - umm, okay, we are getting off topic here - this doesn't belong here obviously, this is the reason why people have stage names, but I would rather see your own website ranking #3
- LinkedIn - ughh... seriously? If you are an actor and you are on LinkedIn, please tell me what have you gotten out of LinkedIn as a creative. I'm not asking JANE specifically, but overall anyone who is an Actor. If you have booked a job or connected with a casting director, please tell me your success story in comments below.
- Stage 32 - yay, I worked on that S.E.O. too so I'm happy that it's ranking in the top 5. Stage 32 profile means you're in the film or TV industry. Stage 32 allows you to put a link to your website in your profile as well, and unlike LinkedIn I've met people who were hired through the site.
- Patch - what is patch? I dunno, I don't really care. If I haven't heard of it, then I'm certain it's not industry related. Skip!
- Contently - no thanks.
- Crunchbase - not related.
- Facebook - seriously?
- Backstage - Outdone by a backstage profile?
I went on to page 2 of results. Not there. Page 3 - no luck. Page 4! JANE's WIX actor website was on page 4! If that's the case for you, you might as well not claim that you even own a website... ain't nobody digging through results until they get to page 4 unless they're searching for your WIX website like I just did. :)
If you are serious about your career, please, NEVER EVER put it on WIX, especially on free WIX. If you're an actor, you deserve to be with us. Don't wanna pay? Sure, keep the free profile with us, you'll still see the difference in search ranking within a month! That's my guarantee. We mean business. We are #1 in actor branding, after all we host over 2,000 actor websites right now. No one knows actor websites like we do.
By the way, just look at that WIX logo - it's a big "X", and this is exactly what I do with any actor using WIX services for their website, I give them a big "X"... a red one. :) Just look at the Actor Website Sins I've collected for few laughs and entertainment - I'd say half of those are WIX, Weebly and Squarespace hosted. If that still doesn't convince you, here you will find 40 more reasons why Web For Actors is better than WIX.