These simple SEO hacks for wedding planners will have a genuine impact on your search engine rankings. And they’re super easy to implement too.
Now, if you’ve read any other blog posts, you know I talk a lot about two things. Event planning, online marketing, and event planning software. Okay, three things. But one topic comes up time and time again, and that’s SEO or search engine optimization.
I love SEO because it has such a high impact over the long term. It’s a way for local businesses to stand out to potential clients who are actively looking for you. That, to me, is the coolest part. It’s not disruptive marketing like paid Facebook Ads. SEO is simply about making sure that people who need you can find you.
I’ve written quite a lot about SEO, and I’ll include links to those articles below. But this post is not about the obvious stuff. We’re talking about SEO hacks for wedding planners – the little things that most people won’t ever think about.
Related: SEO For Wedding Planners In 2020
Does SEO Matter For Wedding Planners?
Let’s consider where wedding planners find clients. Well, some clients come via referrals from past customers. Then there are the directory websites like The Knot, Zola, or Carats & Cake. Occasionally, wedding planners might find customers through other event pros, like the venue or photographer.
But let’s flip this idea upside down. How do potential clients find wedding planners? They might know about those listing sites and go directly there, but more likely, the first thing a potential client will do is ask Google.
So even if the client reaches out to you via The Knot, odds are they still began on Google. So SEO matters for wedding planners because it’s the first step on the journey from newly-engaged to becoming your client.
SEO Hack 1: Your Website’s Age
Okay, let’s first quash a rumor. Some domain registrars (the places where you buy your domain) have been pushing this rumor that you should buy a 3-year contract because it boosts SEO.
According to Google, the domain’s age doesn’t matter much at all, but they do note how long your website’s been live. So if you’re just setting up your website, get it online ASAP, even with a simple landing page. Then, by the time your site is fully designed, Google’s already begun ranking you.
However, Google is notoriously cagey about their ranking factors, and I’ve heard it from multiple SEO experts that domain registration contract does matter. All things considered, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. It’s unlikely to have a significant impact. But if your wedding business is going strong, you might consider renewing your domain name on a multi-year contract.
SEO Hack 2: Your Domain Name
According to Moz, domains that are short and easy to remember have an advantage. This is partially because we humans prefer it, and Google gives people what they want. It’s also because it’s way easier to process in terms of accessibility and usability. Moz says, “stay away from domain names that include numbers or other non-standard characters, use unusual spelling, or are longer than about 15 characters or so.”
That 15 character limit is a big one. I’ve seen many event planning websites with very long domain names. Now, if you’ve already established your online presence, that’s fine, don’t make the change. But if you’re just getting started, be wary of launching your business with a long domain name.
SEO Hack 3: How People Link To You
Initially, I intended these SEO hacks for wedding planners to highlight the pros and cons of including a keyword in your domain. During my research, I stumbled across a video where Google explains why having a keyword in your domain is advantageous. And it’s not why you think.
The SEO boost doesn’t come from having a domain like kansas-wedding-planners.com. Instead, the increase comes from how other websites link to you, which is a major signal to Google. Suppose your business name is A Lovely Day Event Planning. Your URL can be alovelyday.com, and that’s fine. But you’ll want to encourage anyone linking to you to hyperlink the full business name, including the “event planning” part.
SEO Hack 4: Get An SSL Certificate
Most wedding planning websites have contact forms and questionnaires, but passing information over the web is not considered particularly safe. Unless you have an SSL certificate. GoDaddy explains it as “When a visitor enters an SSL-protected website, your SSL certificate automatically creates a secure, encrypted connection with their browser.“
The SSL Certificate encrypts anything passed between you and your clients, which makes search engines happy. Again, according to GoDaddy, “Search engines heavily favor https-encrypted websites and will push them higher in search results. That vastly increases the likelihood customers will find you.”
SEO Hack 5: Your Google My Business Name
Joy Hawkins, the owner of Sterling Sky, explains that having an important keyword in your business name in Google My Business impacts your search engine rankings. Now, you can’t change your business name, but including a keyword appropriately, as I mentioned above in SEO Hack 3, might be a fair solution.
So here’s one the easiest SEO hacks for wedding planners. Try to add in something like Lovely Day Wedding Planning as your name in Google My Business, and you’ll be teaching Google precisely what it is you do.
SEO Hack 6: Update Your Categories in Google My Business
Joy Hawkins also says that your choice of categories in Google My Business will help your SEO rankings. As of 2020, there are almost 4000 categories, and Google makes changes every few days, either adding or removing them.
But here’s the trick. PixelCutLabs says that you should be as specific as possible. And it makes sense. The more specific you are, the fewer competitors you’re fighting with for the ranking. So if you’re a wedding planner and only do events, don’t add in the categories like Event Management Company or Event Planner. But, frankly, you probably want to include Event Planner, right? But don’t be tempted to also add the Event Technology Service category.
Lastly, keep it high-level. Don’t describe your amenities or services in the category area. Leave that for the services section.
SEO Hack 7: Your Website Copy
As I write in SEO For Wedding Planners In 2020, 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.
SEO Hack 8: Unique Pages For Specific Services
I’ll give you an example from ThymeBase’s SEO efforts to illustrate. One of our best ranking pages is our page is Free Event Timeline Maker. We added this page because we wanted to elaborate on our pretty cool event timeline features. Then I noticed we began ranking higher and higher. Now we’re consistently on the first page of Google for related keywords.
So if you do full-service wedding planning, day-of coordination, bar mitzvahs, and baby showers, then you’ll get a real SEO boost if you create pages for each of those. It allows you to be far more relevant to a specific search, which, in turn, Google appreciates.
The pages don’t have to be elaborate. But if you add a couple of paragraphs and a few bullet points describing the service, plus a picture or two, you’ll be all set.
SEO Hack 9: Get More Reviews
More reviews almost always result in higher rankings. Because we’re talking Google, the more reviews you get on your Google My Business profile, the higher you’ll rank. And this includes ranking in Google Maps too.
But it’s worth mentioning that most listing sites will follow a similar formula. All other things being equal, the more reviews, the higher your ranking.
SEO Hack 10: Alt Tags
You’re a wedding planner, and that means you’ll have a treasure trove of gorgeous images. But it’s not enough to throw those up on your website for your portfolio. You need to add alt tags to your photographs.
An alt tag is used to help the visually impaired understand what a picture represents. So your alt tag should describe the image depicted. For example, you might want to write something like “rustic Vermont country-style wedding.”
Google indexes alt tag content, and it’s effective in boosting SEO in both regular searches and image searches. On our homepage, we add alt tags manually to the code, but on our blog, a WordPress site, there’s a field for alt text on every image.
Most website builders like Wix, Squarespace, or GoDaddy will make this easy. Just check with their customer support on how to find the alt text field.
Small Changes Lead To Long Term Results
None of these SEO hacks will shoot you to position 1 in a week. However, over time, incremental improvements will have a genuine impact. And the best part is, it’s likely your competitors aren’t staying on top of this stuff.
One of the reasons I love SEO so much is that good SEO costs nothing but pays off year over year. The SEO hacks for wedding planners you do today will work indefinitely.