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Want to know if your website makes the grade? Here are the essential elements you should include on your wedding business website.

1. Professional website design. If your site looks amateur, so do you.

2. Your location, including a mailing address with town and zip code. This is the only way Google knows where you are so that they can deliver your website to local searchers. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on powerful local traffic.

3. Reviews and testimonials including photos and video when possible. And make sure they’re recent! Only having reviews from 5+ years ago makes you look outdated, so be sure to update them or eliminate dates altogether.

4. Links to online reviews on other websites. These reviews are even more credible. Some reviews sites allow you to embed a reviews widget right on your website.

5. A phone number prominently on every page. Make it super easy for brides and grooms to contact you.

6. A prominent call to action on every page. “Call or email now…” Tell visitors exactly the action you want them to take. This will increase the chance that they will actually do it by 10x.

7. Driving directions and map if you have a shop or office. Again, make it easy for them to find you.

8. A good FAQ page. Put together the questions you get asked most frequently, and answer them. Make sure you include some details of what you include, price and what to expect at a meeting.

9. Ability to increase font size to make reading of site easier. This one can mean the difference between losing a visitor and keeping one.

10. Engaging, professionally written text without spelling errors. Don’t skimp on this one! A single typo or misspelling creates a bad first impression that lasts.

11. Photos of you and your staff. Put a face on your business; people want to deal with real people, not corporations, so let them get to know you.

12. Background information on your staff. This goes along with #11. Friendly, personable bios make you a real person who brides and grooms will want to know.

13. Listing of professional associations or logos. This adds credibility and builds trust.

14. Photos of happy couples from previous weddings. This makes your reviews even more powerful and gets the couple imagining themselves working with you.

15. Links to news and blurbs about you in the press. This gives you authority and demonstrates your expert status, communicating your value on a subtle and powerful level.

16. An About page. Visitors expect an About page they can easily click to learn more about you. Give it to them. And they’re not the only ones; Google wants to see About pages on the sites of legitimate businesses.

17. Links to social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube) on every page. Today’s brides and grooms spend one out of every eight minutes on Facebook. Make it easy for them to connect with you there.

18. Email lead capture form and a free “Bride Bribe” giveaway. Capture those website visitors and turn them into real leads you can follow up with, or you’re losing money.

19. New content added at least once per week. Content includes articles, photos and video. The easiest way to accomplish this is with a blog. (See below.)

20. A blog on your own domain with recent blog posts. This helps you get more website visitors, proves your expertise and communicates your value.

21. A range of prices or realistic starting price. Whether you like it or not, brides and grooms want to see a PRICE before they contact you. Give it to them or you run the risk that they will move on to a competitor who will.

22. An emotional, professional video. Most people prefer to watch video. You’ll increase the power of your message and the response you get from website visitors by having one on your site.

23. A client area. Couples enjoy the exclusivity of a client area where they can update and make changes to information for their wedding without having to send emails or deal with paperwork. This can make the difference between getting hired or not.

24. Free information, tips and resources for brides and grooms. Make your website a real resource for couples in your area and you will naturally get more visitors and turn them into clients.

25. Local keywords sprinkled naturally throughout the text. This is essential if you have a local wedding business because you want to attract brides and grooms from your local area. It’s also much easier to compete and get ranked on Page 1 than the more general wedding keywords, so it’s a good strategy even if your business is national.

26. Internal links for keywords you’d like to rank for. This means if you want to be on page 1 of Google for the phrase, “Orange County wedding photographer,” include a link on your own website to another page on your site. This helps the search engines know what you’re about and gives you more authority for that phrase.

Did I leave anything out? Leave a comment to let me know!

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