Oh SEO. For some wedding pros, the thought of SEO makes them excited, but pretty nervous. Where do you even start when it comes to SEO? Heck, what IS SEO?
SEO is one of those things that everyone hears about, but many don’t understand how it works. They understand that it’s important and that it can help in your business, but they’re not quite sure how. SEO is important for every business and professional, which means SEO matters for wedding professionals too!
SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. So know that there is no “getting to the first page of Goggle overnight” magic potion. Oftentimes, scammy SEO “gurus” will try and sell you a secret potion, but there really isn’t one. It’s about consistency, keywords, and time.
Today, I’ll be breaking down the basics of SEO, so you can start to feel confident!
SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s basically the thing that allows search engines to find you. There are TONS of elements to SEO, such as site speed, backlinks, and image alt text. All of these elements are important, but a good chunk of SEO has to do with keywords.
Keywords are the terms you put into Google when you’re searching for something. Keywords allow search engines to figure out what your content is about and if its relevant.
For example, if you’re blogging a gluten-free brownie recipe, “gluten-free brownies” will probably be your keyword. You’d put that in your title, subheadings, and meta description. Most importantly, you’d sprinkle it throughout your blog post. Then, Google can understand what your blog post is about, and it can turn up in search results when people search for “gluten-free brownies.”
One of the first steps in your SEO strategy is to research and create a list of keywords that would attract your ideal clients. Keep in mind localized SEO: AKA your city. Couples are searching for “City Wedding Photographer” vs. “Fine Art Wedding Photographer”. Keep your keywords simple! Oftentimes, couples are not in the wedding industry. So using terms like Fine Art, Editorial or Romantic are not going to be search terms. Instead, keep them very simple!
My favorite free tool for Keyword research is Uber Suggest. This tool lets you search for a keyword, and get relevant keywords that are similar.
Another easy way is to use Google and Pinterest! They both have autofill, which automatically gives you similar search results. Type in a keyword and the search bar will autofill with commonly searched keywords and/or phrases.
Remember: your keywords should be related to your businesses and the services you offer. Describe what you do, who you serve, and where you are located. If you were a couple looking for your specific service, what keywords would you search? Use those keywords throughout your website as well. But, don’t spam your website with keywords! This is called keyword stuffing and will not help your rankings. Instead, use them organically throughout your website.
Simply put, SEO matters because it’s what allows people to actually find you. If you have a strong SEO game, when people Google “Manchester NH wedding photographer,” you could show up in their results. This greatly increases your reach. If you properly optimize your site and blog posts, over time, your results will increase.
More than that, SEO allows the right people to find your content. Google is trying to connect people with the content they’re looking for. This means that SEO is drawing people to your site who actually need your services. Even the most targeted ads can get shown to people who wouldn’t be interested in your services, but SEO makes sure your content gets in front of people who are actively looking for your type of content.
Though you might need to hire someone to implement an SEO strategy for you, SEO itself is free. The important thing about visitors that find you through SEO is that they’re organic. This means you didn’t pay for them. You didn’t have to create an ad to get them to come to your site. They found you on their own. Isn’t that cool?!
You never want to rely on social media for all of your traffic. Social media algorithms change all the time, and the platforms are consistently becoming more “pay to play.” Beyond that, you don’t actually own your social media followers list. You could lose it at any time. I’ve heard horror stories of people losing access to their Pinterest accounts and losing that traffic. You don’t have the same issues with SEO as long as your site and blog posts are properly optimized.
To be completely fair, Google’s algorithm is changing constantly too, so be aware of that. But in general, SEO is steadier and more reliable than social media.
Blogging. Seriously, blogging is one of the best things you can do to improve your SEO. There are several reasons for this.
The first is that Google loves new content. If your website consistently has new content, this tells Google that you’re staying updated, and this makes Google more inclined to show your content. The second is that each blog post is an opportunity to add keywords to your website. If you have a blog post with the keyword “[venue] wedding,” then your blog post about that venue might show up in a search. Then, that blog post is a chance to sell your services to whoever finds it who is looking for a vendor for their wedding at that venue. As long as you’re writing engaging blog posts that provide value, you can always take the opportunity to sell your services at the end.
Not to mention, blog posts are always great content for social media too! You can easily repurpose your blogs. For example, one blog can be broken down into 4 IG posts, 8 Pinterest pins, 2 Facebook Posts, and 1 newsletter! Repurposing blogs is our secret sauce at Ava And The Bee. By creating long keyworded blog posts, our clients no longer question what to post on social media!
Personally, I like SEO for wedding professionals because I’m not a fan of wedding directories like The Knot. They’re insanely expensive, and they can’t guarantee leads. Meanwhile, SEO is free and allows potential couples in your area to easily find you. If you spend some time on SEO, you can get yourself the same results as a wedding directory.
I’m not going to lie. SEO isn’t a quick method. It takes serious time and effort to get started. Then, it takes more time for Google to crawl your site and start to recognize your efforts. But SEO is always worth it because it’s the best way to bring new, organic traffic to your site.
Need SEO help? No problem! You can always reach out to Ava and the Bee! We specialize in working with wedding professionals, so you know you’re getting the help you need.