The Complete Guide to Local SEO for Wedding Venues & Suppliers

Is SEO (or search engine optimisation if we’re being formal) high on your agenda for your wedding business? If not, you could be leaving money on the table.

Historically, the main ways that couples find wedding services are through word-of-mouth and wedding fairs. However, more and more couples are using search engines to find their wedding suppliers.

Through SEO, you can position your website to show more frequently on search engine, and higher up search results. This helps your business gain more awareness, which means more leads and more income for your business.

So, what exactly is search engine optimisation?

In a nutshell, SEO is about writing better content on your website. But it’s more complex than that, it’s about writing content that people are searching for, and making sure what you write satisfies the user intent. Most importantly, it’s about letting both people and search engines alike understand what your content is about.

Want to learn more about SEO for wedding services, and how you can generate more leads and customers using local SEO? This guide is here to help.

We’ll be covering the following:

Why you should invest in local SEO for your wedding business

For a wedding vendor, it’s important to consider local SEO. That is, optimising your website to capture location-based search traffic. Here’s why:

SEO generates more leads

A solid local SEO strategy will benefit your business in a number of ways.

When somebody lands on your website from Google, they’re actively searching for your direct competitors, or those within your area.

A well-optimised website will make it more likely that you can convert that targeted traffic into leads for your business.

SEO strengthens your authority

We all know how competitive the wedding industry is. Standing out from your peers can be difficult.

By creating high-quality and useful blog articles that add value to your readers and potential clients, you can become a thought leader within the industry. Google recognises this and will show your business more frequently in search results, which builds authority and helps you distinguish yourself from your competitors.

SEO helps you compete with the rest of the world

With the internet, your potential clients have a lot more options these days.

I’m currently in the middle of finding a wedding photographer, and the first thing we did was google ‘wedding photographer’. Right off the bad, the search results were not all local. There was a guy from Leeds, and another guy from South-East.

With the internet, your potential clients have access to more choices. In short, you’ll get limited benefits on local clients located near you.

So, investing in local SEO can help your business be found by couples searching in your area.

Local SEO Wedding Investment Reasons

How to develop a well-rounded SEO strategy

There is a tendency to consider keywords as the main SEO strategy.

Keywords are important, but they’re only one piece of the SEO puzzle. To get the full picture, let’s look at the two main categories of SEO…

On-Page SEO: Improving Your Website

As it sounds, on-page SEO refers to the actions you take on your website to optimize each page to what search engines need to see.

On-page techniques serve two main purposes:

  • To let search engines know what your content is about
  • To improve user experience on your website (search engines priotise easy-to-navigate sites)

Here’s a list of what you need to do to optimise your on-page SEO:

  • Identify high-value keywords that your ideal audience normally search for
  • Optimise page titles, meta descriptions, URL structure and headings
  • Ensure images have ALT tag descriptions
  • Link relevant content internally
  • Ensure your website is mobile-friendly
  • Optimis the speed of your website

Off-Page SEO: Promoting your Website

Off-page SEO refers to strategies implemented externally to your website.

The key goal of off-page SEO is to promote your website as an authority in the eyes of Google and other search engines. This, in turn, can help your website rank higher on relevant search results.

Off-page strategies include:

  • Using social media to promote your business
  • Building backlinks from other sites, which signals that your content is of high quality

The Importance of a Well-Rounded SEO STrategy

When most business owners create a website, they focus on design.

Some might consider the structure and content of the overall website, as an afterthought. While this is an important SEO factor, it’s not enough on it’s own.

Even if your website is the best looking in the industry, without a well-rounded SEO strategy it will suck, because no traffic means no sales.

Combining on-page with off-page strategies can help your content earn the relevance and authority to capture more traffic. So, it’s worth investing the time in both.

Ready to dive deeper into on-page and off-page SEO strategies?

Let’s go!

Local SEO Wedding Strategy Plan

On-page SEO strategies for your wedding business

We’re going to three areas for on-page SEO:

  • Keyword research
  • Creating high-quality content
  • Optimising on-page elements

Keyword Research

Your SEO strategy starts with keyword research. But first, you need to be clear on your SEO goal.

Is your goal simply to rank number one for a chosen keyword on Google? Or, is it to generate more business?

The former is a nice goal to have but it’s far better to target keywords that will get you in front of your ideal client. But, how do know which keywords are more likely to get you more business?

Well, it all starts with keyword intent.

Keyword Intent

We need to consider why people use Google so that we can understand the intent behind their search queries.

There are 3 main reasons to use a search engine:

1. Informational Search Query

The primary purpose of an informational search query is to figure something out.

For example:

“wedding photography tips”
“wedding venue decor ideas”

Here the person is seeking inspiration, rather than looking to buy something.

2. Navigational Search Query

People conduct navigational search queries to find a particular website.

An example would be when someone is unsure of a website URL, so searches the business name in Google.

3. Transactional Search Query

Transactional search queries have high commercial (or ‘buying’) intent.

Examples include:

“buy confetti online”
“wedding photographer in Birmingham”

Let’s assume I run an online confetti shop. Using the example above, someone who enters my site after searching for “buy confetti online” will be more likely to convert into a sale as compared to somebody found by site when searching for “different types of confetti”.

Therefore, finding and targeting high buying intent keywords will make it easier to convert traffic into enquiries, and ultimately, sales.

Should you only concentrate on transactional keywords for SEO?

In short, no.

Informational keywords may not immediately impact your bottom line, but they can play a useful part in your SEO wedding strategy.

Writing helpful content to address common questions can increase brand awareness, as well as your site authority.

Finding the Right Keywords

So, now you understand the importance of search intent, how do you go about finding the right keywords for your business?

The first step is to use Google’s Keyword Planner.

Set up a Google Ads account to use the Keyword Planner. You will have to provide billing details but, don’t worry, you won’t need to run an active ad campaign.

Once you’ve set up your account, open the Keyword Planner from the ‘Tools’ menu.

Then choose the option to ‘Find New Keywords’.

To start with, choose a fairly broad keyword that describes your wedding business and plug it into the search box.

I’ve gone with ‘wedding photographer london’, which throws up 229 keyword ideas.

So, how do you decide which ones might work for your business?

The two most important factors to follow are:

1. Monthly Searches

This is pretty self-explanatory.

The higher the monthly search volume, the more people are searching for this keyword. So, the more traffic you can potentially capture.

2. Competitions

This is a little less straightforward.

The Google Keyword Planner is aimed at advertisers using Google Adwords and not SEO. Therefore, the competition score technically refers to pay-per-click (PPC) competition.

But, higher competition keywords tend to have the highest commercial intent. This means it’s easier to convert them to sales once they land on your website.

So, it makes sense that more people from an SEO perspective will also be trying to rank for those keywords.

What’s the best strategy to find keywords for your wedding business?

Whilst it’s tempting to only go after keywords with high monthly volume, these tend to be the more competitive and have lower buying intent. As such, it can be significantly harder to rank on the first page.

I recommend that you strike a balance between monthly search and competition. Aiming for the highest average monthly searches with lower competition can help you rank for keywords more easily.

With that in mind, create a list of keywords that strike the right balance between search volume and competition.

Expand and refine your keyword ideas by analysing the competition

Your keyword strategy isn’t complete until you consider what your competitors are ranking for.

Head over to SimilarWeb and register to try it out for free.

Once you’re set up, head to the Website Analysis page and enter a competitor’s URL in the search box.

In my example below, I’m checking out Pure Invitation, which is a UK online wedding stationery site. This shows me the top 5 organic keywords that they rank for.

Immediately, we can rule out the 2 keywords containing “pure invitation”. These are branded keywords, so there is no point in wasting SEO resources trying to rank for them.

The remaining 3 keywords are all pretty competitive.

It’s time to take a look at your competitor’s site and content to decide if it’s worth attempting to rank for these keywords.

Consider how in-depth their content is and see if there is an angle that you could improve upon. If so, these might be keywords to add to your list.

BONUS KEYWORD TIP: Voice Search and the impact on SEO

When coming up with keywords for your business, it’s also worth considering voice search.

Voice-activated assistants and speakers are now mainstream. In fact, a study by Google estimates as much as 41% adults use voice search nowadays.

This clearly has ramifications for SEO.

Google uses featured snippets to answer voice searches, which are the boxes with information that you see at the top of the search page, like this:

The easiest way to grab the featured snippet spot is to provide a useful answer to common questions in your niche. Consider targeting direct question phrases like “how to…?”, “what is…?” etc.

You could sit and brainstorm relevant questions in your niche for hours, or you could head to Answer The Public to find a ton of questions in seconds.

Just enter your keyword and press search (don’t be put off by the grumpy man on the homepage!)

Answer the Public for Featured Snippet Ideas

I’ve searched for “wedding photographer”.

The results default to an impressive looking mind map, however, I prefer the ‘Data’ view to see the results in list form.

There are a ton of question ideas there. Not all are suitable, but I’ve collated a list of questions to target that would easily be answered in featured snippet format, including:

  • Are wedding photographer prices negotiable?
  • What to tip wedding photographer?
  • When to book wedding photographer?

When formatting your article, use headings to highlight the key questions being asked (and answered) within the text. That makes it easier for Google to recognise and feature the question as a snippet.

Producing High-Quality Content

Ok, so you have a list of well-researched keywords with a good mix of commercial intent, search volume and competition.

Now it’s time to get writing!

While I’d never condone plagiarising, it’s worth checking out the content that’s currently ranking for your keyword.

When writing your own piece, don’t just aim for content as good your competition, it should and needs to be WAY BETTER!

Of course, it has to deliver exactly what the user is looking for. Google is scary and knows if the content is what people are looking for based on metrics such as:

  • How many times visitors interacted with the page
  • How long each visitor stay on the page

Google itself recommends that you “think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.

Above all, ensure your content stands out as being well-written and easy to read.

Avoid keyword stuffing and overly complicated language. It’s also important to keep your writing ‘skimmable’ by utilising:

  • Short sentences and paragraphs
  • Using bullet points
  • Headings to create clear sections
  • Bold text to highlight key points

Optimizing On-Page SEO

Now that you know how to write great content, it’s time to switch our attention to website structure.

Optimising your website structure helps Google understand what your website is about. It also improves user experience on your site, which reduces bounce rate and, in turn, flags strong relevance to Google.

What are the key things you need to consider?

Organizing the structure and layout of your website

1. Internal Content structure

How you organise and link between the content on your site can have a bearing on SEO.

It should be easy to navigate to all the pages on your site in just a couple of clicks. You can do this by ensuring that your content is grouped into ‘silos’ based on similar topics, as shown below:

Website Structure Hierarchy

Linking between related content also helps your SEO rankings. By building relevancy on a certain topic ‘silo’ across a range of pages, this is turn creates authority for your site in that topic.

So, where relevant, add 2-3 internal links to each page.

2. Sitemaps

Don’t confuse this with the website structure.

Google crawls sites to index content on the web. So, having a ‘map’ of the topics and content available will help Google understand exactly what your website is about. It also speed up the indexing process, which helps new content on your website become searchable.

This map is known as an XML Sitemap. It’s simply a list of all the URLs on your site, along with information on when they were last updated.

I know it sounds horribly technical, but don’t worry, it’s easy to implement. If you have a WordPress site then you can use a plugin, like Yoast or Google XML Sitemaps.

Optimising on-page elements

Now it’s time to make sure that all on-page elements are fully optimised.

We’re going to take a look at:

  • URLs
  • Titles and headings
  • Meta description
  • Image tags
  • Keywords
  • Schema mark-ups

Let’s jump in…

1. URLs

Which seems more clickable to you?

myweddingbusiness.com/2018/08/21/nine-ideas-for-better-wedding-photography

Or

myweddingbusiness.com/wedding-photography-ideas

It’s the second one, right?

A study by Backlinko.com has found that shorter URLs tend to rank better in search results. It’s also advisable to use your keyword in your URL.

2. Titles and Headings

Headings benefit your content in two ways:

  • They provide a guide for the reader on what to expect on each page and section
  • Allow search engines to analyse the context of your article, by outlining each page's topical hierarchy

You might see headings referred to as < h1 >, < h2 >, < h3 >etc. These are coding references that shows the hierarchy of the information in the post. It’s important to use these tags correctly so that search engines can work out the topic and context of the content.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The title of the page should be a < H1 > tag and should include your target keyword, ideally as close to the beginning of the title as possible
  • There should only be one < H1 > tag per page
  • Other headings should be used more than once
  • Use your main keyword at least once in < H2 > tag
  • Always follow a hierarchical structure with your headings - ie, use a < H2 > tag before you use a < H3 > tag.

It’s easier to see the hierarchy in action in this wedding blog example:

3. Meta Description

The meta description provides a brief summary of a web page in search results.

Your meta description should be about 150 characters, include your target keyword and provide a valuable summary of what the page contains. Give the reader a reason to click through and read your page vs. the others in the search results.

4. Image Tags

Don’t forget about images when optimising your content.

I recommend focusing on the following:

  • Make sure to edit your image names before you upload them to your website. For example, an image called "wedding_venue_ideas.jpg" is going to give more Google more insight on your content than "blogpostimage12345.jpg"
  • Add your target keyword to your image's 'Alt Text'

Here’s an example of how you can edit these elements in WordPress:

SEO Wedding Guide - Image Tags
5. Keywords

We’ve already covered the fact that your target keyword should be contained in your page title, in at least one < H2 > tag, your meta description and image tags.

It’s also important to ensure that your keyword is sprinkled throughout the page content.

You definitely shouldn’t stuff the page with the keyword, just add it in a few areas where it makes sense and flows with the content. A general rule of thumb is 0.5% keyword density – which means using the keyword no more than 5 times for every 1,000 words.

More importantly, try to mention your keyword in the first and last paragraph of the article to ensure the subject of the content is immediately clear.

6. Schema Mark-Up

This one is a little more technical, but bear with me.

Have you seen search results on Google that look like this?

SEO Wedding Guide - Schema Markups

How does Google pull through the 5-star rating and 3-hours bake time for this recipe?

Well, it’s because of something called Schema Markup

Many search engines are moving away from the standard phone book style search results and are adopting a more interactive approach – notice all the maps, pictures, and videos these days?

Well, by using schema, search engines will give you slight preferential treatment. It’ll also help you get more attention in search results. So it’s definitely an important factor and something you have to add on your website.

Off-page SEO strategies to build authority for your wedding business

You’re really rocking it now, with a well-structured website full of high-quality content.

But, as we discussed earlier, on-page strategies alone aren’t enough to see results, especially in larger cities / competitive industries. So, it’s time to dip our toes into some off-page SEO for wedding professionals.

Firstly, we’ll discuss the foundations of off-page strategies for local SEO. Secondly, we’ll cover how to build authority for your website and your brand.

Let’s get going…

Foundation of Off-Page STrategies to Local SEO

As you’ll recall, ranking well in local search results is important for wedding businesses.

When it comes to off-page factors, the aim is to let search engines know that you’re credible. You do this by showing what your business offers, where it’s located, and how you’re better than your competitors.

There are two tools we can use to do this:

1. Google My Business

Google My Business page is a free tool that allows you to manage how your business appears in the ‘Map’ results of Google search.

Here’s an example of a wedding bakery in London:

As fewer businesses have a well-optimised Google Business Profile, it’s often easier to rank a Google My Business Page than it is to rank your own website. So it’s well worth spending a little time ensuring it’s accurate and fully optimised.

Head to Google My Business, click ‘Start Now’ and follow the steps to claim and verify your Google My Business page.

Here are the key points to keep in mind when populating your profile:

Name, Address, & Phone Number (NAP):

Ensure your NAP are consistent with your website and any all other online presence.

Categories

You should use up all the available category slots if possible. For example, a wedding photographer could choose ‘photographer’, ‘wedding photographer’ as well as ‘wedding service’.

SEO Wedding Guide - Google My Business Categories
Description

Keep it short and punchy. Aim for 100 to 200 words, include your website’s primary keyword and showcase what makes your wedding business unique. Consider finishing it with a call to action to encourage clients to make an enquiry.

Images

According to Google, “Businesses with photos receive 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t have photos”.

There are 3 types of photos you can (and should) include:

  • Your branded logo
  • A cover photo that highlights what your service offering
  • Extra photos to showcase your business in action

Photos should be at least 720 pixels wide by 720 pixels tall, high resolution and either a JPG or PNG file type.

Videos
Video converts better than images or text alone. So, adding short videos of your wedding business can have a big impact. Videos should be up to 30 seconds long, max 100 MB in size and at least 720p resolution or higher.

2. Citations

Citations are online listings which tell Google about your business purpose and location, which helps with local SEO.

There are 3 types of citation:

  • GENERIC: Basic listings on broad subject directories, such as Yelp
  • NICHE: Industry-specific listings - for example, Wedding Daze
  • GEO-SPECIFIC: Listings based on location, such as London Directory

As an established wedding business, you would want to create citations across all 3 types. Above all, ensure your name, address and phone number are consistent wherever you have an online presence.

Citations - Local SEO for Wedding Venues

How to Build Authority for Your Wedding Business Website?

You can create as much fabulous content as you like. But, unless it’s seen and referenced by others, you won’t get very far with ranking on page 1.

As Wendy Piersall famously commented, “Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.

When another site links to your content it’s called a ‘backlink’. It acts as a vote of confidence in your content and increases your authority in Google’s eyes.

Link Building Basics

Your aim is to get as many backlinks as possible – but it’s important to note that not all backlinks are created equal. You need to bear in mind two factors:

1. Domain Authority

To get the most SEO ‘juice’, you want backlinks from well-established sites, which normally has a higher domain authority.

Domain authority (DA) is a search engine ranking measure developed by Moz, which ranks websites from 1 – 100. Higher domain authority sites will have more high-quality external links vs. newer sites with few backlinks.

For example, Hitched, a popular wedding planning website, has a DA of 64 (found using the MozBar Chrome Extension):

SEO Wedding Business - Domain Authority Based on Moz
2. Dofollow Vs. Nofollow Links

There are two different types of backlinks:

  • Dofollow - These links carry weight in Google's algorithm use to rank your website.
  • Nofollow - These links are not really considered for Google's ranking purposes

We generally want a mixture of dofollow and nofollow links because it makes your website’s link profile look more natural. Even though nofollow links don’t have SEO benefits as such, without them, Google will know you’re exploiting their system and penalise you – by dropping you off their search results.

How do you gain backlinks?

Let’s talk about two ways to gain backlinks proactively for your wedding business:

1. Guest Posting

Guest posting means publishing one of your articles as a guest writer on someone else’s website.

The idea is to get the post to link back to your site (ideally with a dofollow link!), which helps you and your website’s link building efforts.

And that’s not the only benefit. Your guest posts will also get you in front of your target audience, which again increases traffic and leads.

The key is to write authentic and original content that you would be proud to publish on your own site.

How to Find Guest Posting Opportunities?

Let’s start by searching for sites on Google that accept guest posts.

I searched for “wedding blog + write for us” and found tons of sites that accept guest bloggers:

I did a similar search for “wedding blog + guest post” and “wedding blog + contribute”. These turned up some further results – many of which are bigger reputable blogs.

Another way to find opportunities is to find sites that have accepted guest posts from influencers in your wedding niche and approach them directly.

2. SEO Wedding Photography Backlink Opportunities

Wedding blogs are always on the lookout for new wedding images. This is a unique opportunity for wedding photographers (and other suppliers) to provide content, in return for backlinks.

There are two ways that you can take advantage of this:

Real Wedding Submissions

Major wedding blogs are always publishing new and inspiring real wedding imagery. As a supplier of a featured wedding, you’ll be credited in the blog post, which not only gives you a bit more exposure, but a nice link back to your site.

Blogs will generally only accept real wedding submissions from the photographer who owns the image copyright, so it’s worth asking the photographer to consider submitting the wedding if it’s work you’re particularly proud of. Also, the bride and groom will need to agree to their images being used.

You can find a ton of wedding blogs to submit real weddings to with a simple Google search (“wedding blog + submit”)…

Take Part in Styled Wedding Shoots

A styled wedding shoot involves a group of wedding suppliers coming together to create and photograph a ‘mock’ wedding.

The photoshoot will then published on wedding blogs, and again, all contributors will gain a backlink from blog post.

Check out this guide to organising a styled wedding shoot.

How to track results and continuously improve your SEO wedding strategy

Now that you’ve implemented all the on-page and off-page strategies, the only thing left to do is track your results.

Peter Drucker wrote that “What gets measured gets managed” and this definitely applies to your SEO strategy. The only way you’ll know if it’s working is to measure your progress over time.

I recommend concentrating on 3 areas to track:

Your Ranking in Search Results

Use Google Search Console every month or quarter to check your ranking for the target keywords you’ve optimised.

Website Traffic

Google Analytics allows you to track the following (non-exhaustive!):

  • Total traffic to your website and to specific pages
  • Bounce rate of your website
  • Where your visitors come from
  • What devices are your visitors using
  • Percentage of your traffic from Google search vs. social media
SEO Wedding Guide - Google Analytics

Lead Conversion

Website traffic alone doesn’t pay your bills. So, it’s key to understand how you’re converting SEO traffic into leads.

Google Analytics allows you to set up ‘Goals’ to track a whole range of actions. For example, you may set up a goal to track the number of sign-ups to your email list, or enquiries via your site.

By keeping an eye on the 3 measures above you’ll soon get a feel for what is working (and what isn’t!) for your SEO strategy.

Looking for help with your SEO strategy?

You’ve made it to the end of this mega post! By following these steps, you’ll be able to apply SEO that’ll make a real impact for your wedding business.

However, if you rather concentrate on your business and want to get a team of SEO specialist to sort it all out for you, then we’re happy to help.

SinFa is a digital marketing agency that provides local SEO services in London. Find out how we can help your wedding business succeed by implementing an effective SEO strategy.

Get in touch for a no-obligation discover call – contact us today!

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