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SEO is actually pretty easy but people make it hard. Why do they make it seem harder than it is?
Well, if you think about it the more confusing they make it seem, the more they can make you believe that you can’t do it.
But the truth is you can do it yourself. You can also easily hire someone to do it for you. It’s not rocket science.
SEO consists of two parts: “On Page” and “Off Page.”
#1 – SEO
On page SEO refers to all of the things you have to do to a webpage in order to make it SEO friendly to Google.
This only needs to be done once, and the best part is that Google themselves have put out a guide on exactly how to do it.
If you know your keywords, you simply need to make one dedicated webpage for every keyword you want to rank for.
On that dedicated page you put the keyword in the following places:
- In the page title
- In the h1
- In the first sentence
- In the meta description
- In the URL
And that’s basically all there is to On Page SEO.
Does it seem easy? That’s because it is. It’s five things.
Sure, there is more to it, but all that stuff doesn’t really matter much and I’ll tell you why.
Off Page SEO is the real secret to getting to the top of the Google search results
Off Page SEO is what an SEO company will charge you for when they ask for a monthly fee.
These fees range from $300-$5000 a month for a venue and typically involve a 12 month contract. Most of the venues at the top of Google that you see are paying for these services.
After reading this guide, you will be able to easily compete with them yourself.
The key to Off Page SEO is to build links.
You need links from other local, relevant sources to link to your site.
You can’t link back to other sites. If they link to you and you do not link back to them, in Google’s eyes that makes you pretty important.
So the goal is to somehow convince other businesses in your area to link to your site without having you link to them.
Get links, don’t give links.
If you think about it, you are asking people to do something for you. That’s all there is to it.
How do you get people to do what you want?
Well, you can pay them, offer a favor in return, ensure by doing it that they benefit, etc.
There are a ton of resources on how to build links online, but the key is to remember that it’s basically just sales.
You make a list of people whom you’d like to link to you. You figure out what’s in it for them and then you ask. It’s that easy.
What you don’t want to do is ask really bad spammy websites to link to you.
Google looks at links like neighborhoods. If you get a lot of links from other important businesses in your area you look important to Google.
If you get links from unimportant sources that aren’t credible, then Google knows you are trying to pull one over on them.
The key is not to try to scam the system.
Make friends, request links, make sure there is something in it for them and you are all set.
We will be publishing more about SEO in the future so if you’d like to know more please just ask and we would be happy to share.
The most important thing we would like you to get out of reading this is that SEO will grow your business.
It’s only 2 parts, on page and off page. Off page means building links.
Then you just need to be patient while you build links. It takes 6 to 12 months to rank for a keyword so just build links naturally over time (not all at once) and you will rank.
Links are Google’s #1 ranking factor, so if you do everything wrong but have a lot of good links pointing to your site, you will still win.
#2 – PPC Ads for Venues
Another great form of advertising is PPC ads, also referred to as Pay Per Click.
The two main places we recommend doing this type of advertising are on Facebook and Google Adwords.
You can either run these ads yourself or hire a company. If done right, they can be a consistent and continual source of hot leads and inquiries to put in your sales pipeline.
The problem is that the majority of venues do not use these advertising sources correctly.
When running Adwords campaigns, it’s important to use landing pages. We recommend Leadpages or Instapage. These sites allow you to quickly build a webpage to send visitors who click on your ad to.
This is better than sending them to your website because:
- It’s easier to track who specifically clicked your ad.
- You can test different offers/specials on your landing page quickly to see what works best.
- Landing pages are built to work seamlessly with Adwords and Facebook Ads.
#3 – Lead Generation Directories
The third way to get leads is through directories. Depending on the type of events you book, there are a variety of options.
Normally these directories will offer to list your venue in exchange for an upfront advertising fee (usually paid monthly or annually) and/or a commission of sales. The standard is a 10% commission fee charged on any bookings.
Directories that provide you with leads in exchange for commission mainly work with hotels. They charge a commission on room bookings associated with catering and event sales.
When choosing which directory will work best in your area, we have found the best method is to get references from other local vendors using the directory.
If you are considering Cvent for example, ask their sales representative for 3-4 references in communities that are geographically close to you.
Contact the reference via email or Linkedin and ask what types of results they’ve been getting. Ensure that the reference is not a competitor before reaching out them.
Usually 50 to 150 miles away is the right distance to find someone who can speak with you about ROI on their directory ad spend without feeling threatened by you as a competitor.
We have found that in the right situation, these directories provide huge resources for venues leads across a large variety of industry segments and are one of the best drivers of ROI for a typical venue’s advertising budget.
Here is a list of some of the top directories we recommend:
Social and Corporate Venue Directory Advertising
- Events in America
Wedding Venue Directory Advertising
- The Knot
- Wedding Rescue
Whether you choose SEO, PPC ads, directories, or all three, we recommend starting with just one lead generation source at a time.
You’ll want to setup a software program to track UTM parameters so that you know when someone clicks your marketing content, then fills out the lead capture form on your website.
Some directories send RFPs out, so tracking is much easier, but others just send leads.
The key is to measure everything.
You’ll want a system that tracks which sources drive leads, which leads turn into sales and the ROI on your advertising.
Interested In Learning More?
Contact us at the BMB CRM: pages.bookmorebrides.com/bmbcrm