For many wedding businesses, website traffic is one of the most important ways to drive leads to your contact form.
But with so many people advertising on Google and other search engines, how do you compete with other big players?
SEO gives you the opportunity to optimize your website for long-term success. With keywords, linking strategies, and optimized copy, you can start to increase your ranking… but it’ll happen over time.
Many people want to pop up on the first page of Google for their desired keyword, but the road to get there can be difficult, depending on the competition of the keyword they choose.
Since your wedding business likely needs localized website traffic, it’s smart to invest time into understanding some of the basics of SEO as soon as you can.
While optimizing your website won’t mean you’ll become an overnight success, it will help you increase your search engine ranking in the long term. For businesses who want staying power (which I’m pretty sure is all of us!), SEO is worth learning about.
So how can we make sense of all the SEO jargon? Where is the easiest place to start? That’s what I want to focus on for the rest of this blog post today.
Inside, you’ll find some easy-to-understand definitions of terms that usually make your eyes glaze over (because trust me, I get it) and activities you can do to improve your SEO.
Here’s a good place for us to begin…
Know your keywords
Your first step is to know what keywords are relevant to your industry and ideal audience. When you know who you are trying to target and exactly what services you provide, you can start to experiment with different keywords to see which will help you get the best results.
I recommend starting your SEO keyword research by simply going to Google and typing key phrases you think prospective clients are searching for. As a Nashville based florist, you may type in “Nashville floral design” but then find that “Nashville wedding florist” gives you the best chance of ranking.
It changes depending on your industry, but after you do some experimenting within the Google search function, you can also look at tools like Moz Keyword Explorer to get more information about how much competition there is for your keyword, how many people each month search for it, and more.
Place keywords in your website page titles
Once you have a list of keywords, you can start placing them into your website page titles. Since this is usually the first thing a visitor sees when they search for a solution on Google, it’s important that you make a statement.
You don’t need to be overly clever or put your website page title in all caps to get their attention. Instead, you can put clear and concise keywords into your titles so that they tell the visitor exactly what they will find inside.
If you are a wedding invitation designer who only works with clients in your local area of Asheville, NC, you may decide to have a website page title of “[Your Name Here]: Asheville Custom Wedding Invitation Designer “ while other pages may speak to your design style, your process or approach, and other keywords you can add in.
For my own homepage title, I have “Digital Grace Design | Branding & Showit Website Design for Wedding Businesses”. My main keywords are “showit website design” and “wedding businesses”, but I wanted to add in “branding” as well since that is a part of what I do.
Do you see how it can all come together? Let’s keep moving as we take these keywords and put them into your meta descriptions as well.
Update your meta descriptions
After you’ve updated your website page titles and made sure you have a high-value keyword inside it, you can start to create a meta description for each page.
I know, I know. It can feel like you have to do a lot of writing and customizing, but just remember that if you do it right the first time, you won’t have to go back and change it later.
When you are thinking about how to write your meta description, keep in mind that most SEO experts recommend that you keep it to 120 to 150 characters. See? That’s not so long, is it?
Much like a tweet on Twitter, you’ll want to use these characters wisely. As you write your meta descriptions, try to add in specifics about your location, who it is that you are serving with your business, what you offer, and anything else that feels relevant to the page itself.
Let’s say you are a wedding planner who is trying to optimize the website page about your day-of coordinating services. You won’t need to add in keywords about your other services (like event design or styling) since you want to focus in on the keyword that is most relevant.
Then you can optimize each meta description so that it has some of the same keywords as your page title with a little more detail as to what someone will find when they click your page.
Add alt tags to your imagery
If you are a wedding photographer, this is even more important for you! Whenever you place an image on your website, you should make sure to customize its alt tag.
If you wondering what an alt tag is, it is a small snippet of text that tells search engine bots what the photo is. This is because bots can’t visually see what your photograph is. Instead, it takes what you write in the alt tag to inform what the photo is.
A common misconception about alt tags is that you should stuff them full of the same keywords over and over. This is not a great SEO practice because it’s better to create custom alt tags for each photo. Since no two photos are the same, your alt tags should be different too.
A good way to do this is to take a collection of photos you might want to put in a recap blog post and create separate alt tags that describe each photo. If one photo is a sunset portrait of the bride and groom, you’ll write something different than if it’s a photo of the bridal party striking a pose.
Just make sure to keep your keywords in the imagery as much as possible without trying to optimize for too many of them. Then you’ll be close to keyword stuffing territory. For more information about alt tags, you can click here to learn more.
Focus on your links
There are a few different linking strategies that you’ll want to be aware of in terms of your SEO. One allows you to have some control over the outcome while the other does not. Both will affect your SEO so let’s dig into each one.
Internal linking is when you link to other website pages within your own website so that you can increase the value of each page. This is why you’ll see me consistently link to other blog posts that I’ve written in a natural way. Google sees this as you helping your readers with additional educational resources you’ve written that have high value.
External linking is something you have less control over but it’s still very important. It refers to someone else linking to a page on your website or a blog post. This can increase your website’s SEO if it is a reputable website, but if it is a spammy website, it can actually hurt your website.
The same goes for the email requests you may get from unknown people who offer you money for a link back to their website. It may seem flattering, but they probably don’t have a great quality website if they are paying for links. This is a bad SEO practice so stick to making connections the old-fashioned way: one-on-one conversation over social media and beyond.
If you want more information on SEO for wedding businesses…
While it may seem confusing at first, it’s really just about wrapping your head around all the jargon so you can see how SEO can be implemented into your website. It definitely becomes easier over time.