SEO for wedding planners doesn’t need to be a complex undertaking. I’ll explain everything you need to do to rank in search engines.
Search Engine Optimizations is one of my favorite topics. I love it, and I love seeing the results as my efforts add up. And I’m sure that you’ll love it too, once you understand it. The coolest part is that much of it is genuinely in your control. Let’s dive in.
What Is SEO For Wedding Planners?
SEO is search engine optimization. According to Search Engine Land, it means the process of improving your site to increase its visibility for relevant searches.
But let’s break that down for wedding professionals specifically. When someone searches online (or Bing, I guess) for a “wedding planner in Albany,” Google tries to deliver the most relevant results for the person searching. Google has tried to figure out the search’s intent and make sure that the results are ranked with the most useful websites first.
So the optimization part is all about improving where you rank, intending to get to the first page if possible, and even the first spot.
Why Should Wedding Planners Care About SEO?
On the first page alone, the first five organic results account for 67.60% of all the clicks.Zero Limit Web
Why? Because the first page gets the most clicks. According to Zero Limit Web, On the first page alone, the first five organic results account for 67.60% of all the clicks.
When people in your town are searching for a wedding planner, a day-of coordinator, or any other services you offer, you want to be the link they click on.
Let’s state this outright. SEO for wedding planners is crucial because it means more business. Luckily, it’s not terribly difficult to do.
Getting On The First Page Even If Your Website Doesn’t Rank Yet.
I know I keep saying that SEO for wedding planners is easy, and that’s true, but it is also slow. SEO can take weeks or even months to really pay off. But there’s something you can do in the meanwhile. You can use other companies’ SEO.
I’m talking about wedding vendor directories!
Wedding planners have sites like:
But don’t neglect non-wedding specific listing sites like:
Also, don’t neglect local listings or niche directories. There are destination wedding listing sites, LGBT-focused listings, state-centric listings (like this one), and other niches. Get listed on them all!
I discuss Listings as a marketing strategy here in more detail, but let’s stay on the SEO track.
It’s All About Reviews
Pick one or two sites and work your butt off to get reviews, as many as possible. Update your photographs regularly too. You’ll also want to put time and energy into crafting the right text for these listings, describing your specialties, showing your personality, and building a real “storefront.”
Because these websites have great SEO, they’ll rank on the first page for many relevant web searches. You, in turn, want to rank on their first page.
Most listing sites use a simple algorithm for their internal ranking system. It’s almost always the number of reviews multiplied by the overall rating. For example, if you have ten reviews and a 4-star rating, your score is 40. Someone else with 15 reviews and a 3-star ranking would score 45 and may rank ahead of you. So, the number of customer reviews is going to usually give you that boost. There are probably other factors, but you’ll likely move the needle the most by focusing on the quantity of testimonials.
If you live in a smaller town, you’ll find ranking easier, especially on these listing websites. And yet I’ve seen too many small-town wedding planners ignore their Listings-SEO. It’s a real missed opportunity.
On-Page SEO For Wedding Planners
Let’s let Google explain how search works:
“The most basic signal that information is relevant is when a webpage contains the same keywords as your search query. If those keywords appear on the page, or if they appear in the headings or body of the text, the information is more likely to be relevant.”
So on-page SEO for wedding planners simply means making sure that your website copy tells Google what you do best, so they can present you as a relevant result to a related search query.
Here are the basics of on-page SEO:
Your website copy should explicitly answer the likeliest search query. For example, suppose I’m searching for a wedding planner in Albany, NY. In that case, your website should have the words “wedding planner, Albany,” clearly stated.
It helps if you have those words repeated in a few different ways:
Your website’s heading should contain a variation of this, like “We Are Albany Wedding Planner Experts.” But absolutely prioritize readability rather than keyword-stuffing. Still, it does help to have the main keyword in a position of importance. At the very least, in the first 100 words.
Then, the main keyword ought to be in one or two other places in the text copy. Again, don’t sacrifice good writing for Google’s sake, but see if you can add in the keywords elegantly and tastefully.
HTML, the language that websites are written in, defines which words on your site are headings, sub-headings, links, etc. One of these HTML tags is the title tag. It tells Google what the title of each of your web pages is. It also lets Google know what you’d like your page’s name to be in the search results.
You’re a wedding planner, not a web developer. You may not feel entirely comfortable adjusting your HTML tags. Don’t worry!
If your website is on WordPress, install the Yoast SEO plug-in. It’s free, super easy to install, and often comes pre-installed anyways. They’ll automatically handle the meta tags and title tags and make it easy to set for each page.
GoDaddy has an integrated SEO tool that will help you handle all of this. Your task will be to pick your keywords. Wix also has internal SEO tools that make it somewhat seamless to manage on-page optimization. And so does Squarespace. They handle title tags automatically and also allows you to add and edit your descriptions.
If your website is hand-coded, then you’ll need to talk to your website developer or learn a little HTML yourself. It’s not very difficult once you get the hang of it.
Like title tags, the meta description informs Google about who you are and what you do. So, just like above, you want to make sure your description contains keywords. The same tools like Yoast that allow you to edit title tags will help with the meta descriptions.
Here’s an example I pulled from a highly ranked wedding planner.
<meta name= "description" content= "Custom wedding planning and design services from the award-winning team at [company] in Austin, TX will leave your guests speechless."/>
Note that the description contains the keywords of wedding planning as well as their location? That’s why Google ranks them for search queries about wedding planners in Austin.
Own The Map
SEO for wedding planners means local search. In other words, many of your potential customers are sitting at home, on the couch, typing in a search like “wedding planner near me.” And since Google places their map on the first page, you need to get on the map.
Brandify says that 77% of respondents use Google Maps to find “near me” business information well ahead of other sites.
But how do you get your wedding planning business on Google Maps? That’s also super easy. Get on Google My Business.
Read my article, Google My Business For Event Planners: List Higher in Google Search Results, to walk through the entire process. Signing up for GMB is kinda fun, I promise, and it won’t take very long. But like the listings sites I mentioned above, you can influence your rankings on the map through reviews.
Try and get customer reviews on your GMB profile. Also, regularly add new photographs, posts, and any other activity you can. Google rewards activity with improved rankings on their map results.
SEO For Wedding Planners, Website & Copywriting Tips
If there’s one thing I love as much as SEO, it’s copywriting. And there’s a pseudo-science around writing good copy that also takes SEO into account.
It starts by understanding your customers. What are the search queries your potential clients are typing? The fact is, these search queries are likely the same as your service offerings.
Suppose you offer full-service wedding planning, day-of coordination, and bar mitzvahs, too. In that case, you need to get that info into your web copy. You’ll want to list your services on your homepage, but to really boost your SEO, try this:
Have a heading on your homepage called “services” and list, in bullet points, the services you do. Then, I recommend also having a “services” page with one small paragraph for each service. Lastly, create a page for each unique service you do that explains in a little more detail. It doesn’t have to be much, just about two paragraphs, some pictures, and a call-to-action. I even did the same thing for ThymeBase, creating a unique page for our timeline maker and our event task list manager. Both now rank on page one of frequently.
In a nutshell, I’m merely saying that your copywriting needs to include the words your clients use and then expand on them.
Do You Need A Blog?
Yes. Yes, you do. Blogging gives Google content and trains Google to understand who you are and what you offer to clients. But it also gives you opportunities to reach the longtail keywords like “rustic weddings” or “backyard weddings.”
What if a client is searching for:
- Rustic wedding in Albany
- Rustic wedding venues near me
- Rustic venues in Albany
- Country-style wedding Albany
This is a little much to add to your homepage, but you can quickly write up some blog posts about them:
Your blog post titles might be something like:
- Rustic weddings in Albany – this post will be a general guide to rustic, country-style weddings in your area.
- Decor tips for rustic weddings – here, you’ll share tips and inspiration, and maybe even link to your Pinterest board.
- Top Albany venues for a rustic wedding – and you’ll write about the best local venues that would suit a country-style wedding vibe.
Think up 5 to 10 event styles for you’d like to rank in Google Search, and you’ll know what to blog about. This will give you an edge for the more focused searches.
I recommend reading Blogging Tips For Event Planners: Search Engine Optimization for more details.
Site Speed And Mobile-Friendly Design Will Improve Your Rankings
First things first, let’s discuss mobile-friendly design. Your clients are most likely using their phones when they search on Google. So your website should be functional and even gorgeous to mobile visitors. I’m guessing that’s already the case, but take the time to make sure the website experience is suitable for mobile users.
Google’s mobile-friendly test is helpful, and anyways, Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites in search results.
Site Speed is a little trickier to control. Still, it’s a significant factor in Wedding Planners’ SEO, especially with mobile searches. A prolonged site loading time leads visitors to leave, which, in turn, disappoints Google. And so they’ll lower you in the rankings. I recommend running a site speed test here.
One of the easiest ways to improve your site speed is to use smaller images. I’ve compiled a bunch of tips on optimizing your images for faster loading. There are other tricks like “lazy loading” – only loading the photos when the visitor gets to that part of your website. This stuff is super easy on WordPress sites with the right plug-ins like JetPack, Smush, or Hummingbird (my fave). On other website platforms, check with customer support to see if they offer speed optimizations. Many will handle lazy loading automatically.
Do Backlinks Improve SEO for Wedding Planners?
There’s no discussion on SEO without talking about backlinks. Backlinks are when other websites link to your website. This confers “authority” and used to be considered the primary way to increase your website’s rankings.
Recently, however, Google made waves in the Search Engine Optimization world by stating that backlinks are not, in fact, a leading factor in rankings. And that’s good news. It means you don’t need to go hither and thither begging other websites to link to you.
So do they still matter?
Sure they do. I’m confident that backlinks are still a factor, even though not the biggest one. So I’d encourage you to try and get related websites to link to you. Directory listings like the Knot will indeed count. Also, get in touch with your local business directories, or reach out to your local hometown newspaper for a profile or mention. This stuff helps.
SEO Is Worth The Efforts For Wedding Planners
Look, when it comes to your business, some marketing channels are immediate yet costly – like Instagram ads. Other marketing channels are slow, free, and have a payoff that lasts for years. That’s SEO for wedding planners.
If you get your SEO right, a blog post you write next week will still bring you clients two years from now. A few hours here and there invested in your search engine rankings will be effective years from now.