SEO (search engine optimization) is essential for getting brides and grooms to find you. In fact, that’s exactly what it means.
SEO: the process of improving your website’s ranking in the search engines so that more visitors can find you…without having to pay for it.
Avoid These Common Mistakes
1. Forgetting your local keywords.
Most wedding businesses work with local clients. If that’s the case for you, your website should be optimized with local keyword phrases.
Google and the other search engines serve up search results based on the words on your website. If your website doesn’t include the words couples search for when they want to hire someone like you (Austin photographer, Atlanta florist, New York City wedding planner) they won’t be able to find you.
2. Optimizing for broad keywords with lots of competition.
Wedding pros who make this mistake remember to use keywords (Hallelujah!) but choose phrases that are too broad or have too much competition to help their ranking.
A “broad” keyword phrase is something like weddings or even wedding video. You’re competing with hundreds of thousands of websites and you’ll never rank on Page 1 for these keywords. Even if you did, those phrases aren’t specific enough to attract the leads you want.
3. Not tracking your lead and sales conversions with Analytics.
Not all traffic is created equal. Your SEO activities should attract traffic that turns into leads you can actually book. To figure that out, you need to track which keywords are drawing high quality traffic.
Install something like Google Analytics on your website and set up conversion goals so you can trace the path of your SEO traffic and determine what’s most effective.
4. Your website’s metatag and page descriptions are the same.
If your web programmer created your website without asking for (and explaining) your metadata, you’ve likely made this mistake without realizing.
Your “metadata” is the keyword phrases and words describing the contents of each page on your website.
Each page should have its own unique title, tags and page description. Otherwise, your SEO efforts are failing.
5. Not using anchor text for internal links.
One of the easiest ways to improve your SEO is with the actions you take on your own website. Use anchor text that linking to other pages on your website to your benefit.
For example, one of the keyword phrases we might choose to rank for at Book More Brides is “wedding marketing.” When I link the phrase to a page on our website that’s about that topic – like this: wedding marketing – that’s an “anchor text link.” It tells Google what the page is about, helping to pass authority to that page.
6. Boring, poorly written content.
This is a bad idea to begin with because it drives away potential clients and makes for a poor visitor experience. But it gets worse.
Google bots these days can detect spelling mistakes, typos and crappy content, and it’s BAD NEWS for your SEO.
7. Keyword stuffing.
“Keyword stuffing” happens when a wedding pro understands the concept of using keyword optimization to earn traffic (yay!) and they take it to an unholy extreme by cramming as many keywords into their website as possible.
Make sure the copy on your pages, metadata and photo descriptions contains relevant words written for real humans to read.
A quick test to determine if you’re keyword stuffing; read your website copy out loud. If it sounds unnatural because it uses too many of your target keywords, change it.
8. Broken links.
When the search engines crawl your website and encounter broken links, it stops them in their tracks.
Even one broken link can hurt your search engine rankings, ruin your website visitor’s experience, and result in lost bookings.
Do yourself a favor and audit your links every few months by clicking every link on your website. Find the broken links and fix them.
9. Your website isn’t being crawled.
In order for Google to rank your website in the search engines or update your ranking after you make improvements, the Google bots need to “crawl” your website. In other words, they need to find and scan your content before they can index it.
If you haven’t been creating regular content or if your website is brand new, Google isn’t visiting your site very often. You may have pages that don’t appear in the search engines at all.
Make sure your website gets crawled by:
– Creating a sitemap.
– Submit your sitemap and website url to Google Webmaster Tools.
– Share your site on social media.
– Install Google Analytics.
Each of these actions will help Google find your site and rank your content so you can get found.
10. Using flash content on your website.
The search engines determine what your website is about by reading your text. They can’t read flash, which means they have no idea what your site is about and it won’t get ranked.
If you have a fancy flash template, it’s killing your SEO. Get off a flash platform as quickly as possible. Create an html version for any page you want to rank in the search engines.
11. Expecting immediate results.
SEO efforts are dependent upon Google and the other search engines to work. You might address every mistake on this list today, but you may not see an improvement in your rankings for months.
Search engine optimization is a long game strategy. You might be surprised to see some results quickly, but be prepared for it to take some time.
How to Get On Page 1 In 2016
Now you know the common SEO mistakes to avoid, but let’s take this to the next level!
We’re excited to have SEO and internet marketing expert, Chris Jaeger, teach us the secrets of “SEO: Getting Ranked In 2016” where you’ll learn how to get on Page 1 of Google for your target keywords.
- Why SEO is so important when it comes to booking weddings.
- SEO techniques the professionals use, then do-it-yourself.
- 3 actions you can take to immediately boost your SEO.
- 4 things that are critical to get high ranking.
- Quick LIVE basic SEO reviews of attendees’ websites (time permitting).