With my wedding just around the corner, we’ve almost come to the culmination of our planning. All throughout the course of our engagement (about 18 months from the proposal until now), I’ve utilized many online resources to help with the planning process. For those in the wedding industry, the ultimate goal is providing chairs, linens, chefs and venues to those just ready and willing to fork over mindless amounts of money for the event. While more and more brides-to-be are using search and social media to find the best vendors to set the stage for their big day, vendors need to make an effort to get their name out there among the sea of competitors. It’s hard to think of another industry that has one person so engaged for such a long period of time, ready to sign on the dotted line. So, for those in the wedding industry, make sure brides find you instead of your competitors.
Be sure to optimize your site for search, so that all those brides starting their search on Google and other search engines can find you, especially if you are local. Do some research on key terms brides are using, and be sure you have content to support those interests on your site. While people will use a lot of methods to make their decision, and usually everyone will start with Google to find out what’s out there. I recently presented a webinar on local SEO, which will give you even more tips for optimizing your online presence.
If people are really happy that you helped their day go off without a hitch, they are going to want to tell you, and tell everyone else. Make sure you give them an outlet to do so. Not only let people review or rate you right on your site or on popular wedding planning sites (such as WeddingChannel or WeddingWire), but also through social media outlets. Reviews on Google+ can help you rank higher in search results, increasing your visibility and giving you the potential to increase your lead volume from search.
I know I’m this way, and I’m sure a lot of other brides are, but I always heavily value the opinions of past brides and other brides-to-be, to see what worked, what didn’t, what the current trends are, etc. Social Media is a way to easily get that information without even trying that hard. If you’re a vendor, be sure to update your profile often, engage with your followers to answer their questions, and periodically direct folks back to your site. Sites like Pinterest are great ways to drive a ton of traffic to your site, which in turn can help impact your search rankings.
Whatever direction you choose, be sure to put forth some effort online. It’s where people find you initially and where you make your first impression. Just like all the fiances of the brides, get the bride’s attention, then you can work on winning them over.