Customers will discover your business on Google so you should own the search terms most relevant to you. Google My Business for event planners can help. Even if you’re getting leads via sites like The Knot or PartySlate, Google Search plays a role in their web traffic, which they then refer to you.
Search Engine Optimization, abbreviated to SEO, is the term given to actions to improve how high your business ranks on Google search results. I’ve previously analyzed event planning-centric search results. This time, I’d like to dive into one of the quickest tools to boost your placement.
Own the Search
Before I baffle you with statistics, let’s look in the mirror. When you have a question, like, say you need a florist in Paris, Texas, or Paris, France, what do you do?
If you’re anything like me, you turn to your pocket-brain, also known as a mobile phone, and type in “florist near me” or “florist in Paris.” Then, Google does its magic and presents you with something that looks like this:
Now imagine a potential client with an upcoming event. They know that a professional planner will absolutely crush it far beyond their own abilities. So they turn to Google and type in “Vermont wedding planner” – assuming, of course, they’re in Vermont.
According to Google Keyword Planner, up to 1000 searches monthly occur for planners in VT. Not all searches are precisely the same, but Google parses similar phrasing and figures out the relevant results.
Now, if you’re an event planner in Vermont, you probably want Google to include you as a result. That’s owning the search. Owning the search means you’ve trained Google such that you’re going to consistently be a top result for the keywords that will connect a customer to you.
When things go right, you’re happy because you got a solid lead. The searcher is satisfied because they found what they’re looking for. Google is pleased, too – their business relies on getting this right.
Help Google get it right.
Google My Business for Event Planners
The easiest way to reveal to Google who you are, and to show up for the searches you best fit, is a Google My Business account. It’s free, easy, and oddly kind of fun.
It’s also a neat way to control your brand in search results. Consider Google My Business for event planners as a super-listing. You’re feeding your essential business details, information, reviews, and images directly to Google. So, yeah, it’s worth setting up.
You’ll control how information about your business is shown on Google. While too many event planners do not claim their business, Google Reviews are critical. Google already has plenty of data about your business, and they offer it to you to manage in an easy to use dashboard.
Setting Up Google My Business for your Event Planning Business
You pull together events with twenty vendors and 200 attendees. Signing up for GMB ain’t no big deal for you. And yet it’s still lovely to go over the key points with someone (????). Let’s get stuck in!
Sign up and claim your business
Head on over to Google My Business to sign up.
Check to see if your business is already listed. If so, you can claim it now. If not, you can add your business to Google.
Categorize yourself as an event planner
Now, don’t worry when you get to this page. Pick the broadest category for your business. I’m assuming you’d select event planner, but if you specialize in weddings, go for “wedding planner.”
In the very next step, you’ll be able to get granular. Even so, don’t stress it, if you’re worried about missing a relevant tag. You can edit these details at any time after registration!
Does Address Matter on Google My Business for Event Planners?
Whelp, now we get to a thorny issue. Many freelance event planners work from a home office. Luckily, Google allows you to not select an address, but first, mull this over. A local address is a little trick to compete with larger companies at the local level.
Google likes to know where your business is in relation to the customer, especially in mobile searches. You’re affirming to Google that you’re extra relevant to customers in your area.
That’s not going to tie you to the location. You’re also able to indicate a willingness to travel and list the areas you serve that are outside of your immediate neighborhood.
Complete the registration
Then it’s a matter of adding email, phone, and website. Pretty simple.
Before we get to the dashboard, Google’s going to begin the verification process. By claiming and verifying your business, you’re confirming to Google that you’re legit. It’s like giving Google the confidence to send customers your way, knowing you’re a real business.
Take Your Event Business Profile to The Next Level
After registration, you get to the heart of the Google Profile. It can feel slightly overwhelming, so let me just highlight a few key areas. But please keep in mind – the more information you give, the more assured Google is in presenting you to searchers.
Complete the Google My Business Listing
Take a glance over to the top right corner. When you add your business hours, you might want to consider adding in longer hours.
Let’s say you set your hours from 9 to 5. If a potential client is searching for an event planner at 7 pm after work hours, Google may, all other things being equal, bump someone else above you. Remember, Google wants a successful outcome for the searcher. If you’re closed, then Google’s going to prioritize someone open.
As for other features like description, logo, and whatnot, definitely fill them out. And here’s another pro-tip: consider your keywords.
Try, assuming it still reads beautifully, to shoehorn in relevant keywords. What would a customer use to describe their need? You might want to state you’re an “incredible event planner based in the Vermont area, who specialized in planning weddings, anniversaries, and conferences.”
Okay, that’s not a masterpiece in copywriting, but you get the idea. Don’t get too frou-frou with your phrasing. Instead, use that space to help connect the relevant search terms to your business.
Pictures, Thousands of Words, You Know The Drill
The reason Instagram is a dominant source of event professional bookings is the visuals. Duh, right? Well, Google offers the same power. Take the time to upload as many images as you can in the Photos section. It’s an opportunity to showcase your skills.
Keep it up-to-date too. Google prioritizes newer images. Moreover, clients can upload their own photos, so by adding plenty of your own, you’ll be able to control the quality.
What Services Are On Offer on Google my Business for Event Planners?
And just in case you feel like you didn’t get it right during sign up, you can tweak the services you’re listed for over in the, well, services section. You can get granular here.
Here you can list anniversaries, bar-mitzvahs, social mixers, sales conferences, receptions, weddings, retreats, whatever. That way, you can let Google know you’re relevant to all sorts of specific customer needs.
Reviews Are Vital
If you’ve done everything up to this point, your GMB profile is in great shape. But reviews are critical. I know this is a tough sell, considering that everyone else also wants you to push past clients to leave reviews on their platform too, but this is Google. More reviews will increase your search engine ranking. Simple as that.
Want to see what a gorgeous profile can do for your business? Well, I searched “Vermont wedding planning” and looked at the results.
Note that the first three results are ads. Blech. Then results 4 to 6 are listings sites. And then we get to the map.
Harlow & Dahlia Events wins the top spot in the map thanks to their Google My Business profile – a full 3 positions higher than their organic website result. And it’s a straight-up fact of digital life. The higher you’re listed, the more clicks. Had their GMB profile not been as impressive, someone else would take that spot.
And when the map is clicked, it looks like this:
Pretty compelling, right? That’s the power of Google My Business for event planners. And yes, we focus on the exact same stuff as event planning software. SEO matters for every business. And it matters for yours.
P.S. Thanks to Claudia, from Harlow & Dahlia for permission to use her as an example of Google Search best practices.