“What am I doing wrong?” she asks, towards the end of our lunch last week. After some chit chat about our kiddos and random musings about what is going on with this and that in the small world that is the Austin weddings and events industry, she finally asks the question she’s been dying to ask for the last 45 minutes.
While my awesome friend may have invited me to “lunch” I knew what I was getting in to. It wasn’t a lunch for the sake of lunch. It was a “fix my shit” lunch. And like the glutton for punishment I am, I happily accepted her lunch date offer.
Who are we kidding – I love this shit! I thrive on it. It is what my husband and I lay awake and talk about when we’re supposed to be sleeping at night. He loves it too. If it’s business, marketing, website stats, SEO, Google analytics, whatever – we’re hooked. WE. CAN. NOT. GET. ENOUGH. We realize that we’re not quite normal. We’ve come to terms with this. Don’t judge. Or do, I don’t really care.
Back to our lunch date – here is what she’s doing wrong on her website, and it’s what a lot of YOU are doing wrong too. Are there more things to consider than just these 6 SEO Mistakes on your website? Sure! But if you’re trying to fix what ails your website, these are some damn good places to start.
#1 She doesn’t have a blog
Scratch that – she tells me that she “has a blog”. And once a year or so she gets around to posting something. That is not a blog! And it’s the same thing as not having a blog. If you have a blog page on your website but never make a new post, it still doesn’t help you. Just having a page titled “Blog” doesn’t somehow render the Google Gods defenseless to your magical powers of thought persuasion. It actually has to have CONTENT.
Having a blog is one of the best ways to increase traffic to your site. Google loves content – and lots of it. Long, well thought out blog posts, with lots of valuable information that is written in your own words, do much better than short posts.
#2 She doesn’t know what key words her website is being ranked for
What the hell does that even mean? It means that she has no idea what words (or phrases) that a potential client types into Google that eventually leads them to her site. Shea and I have NEVER had a single client that knew this info, so she’s not alone. And Google Analytics isn’t a great source for this kind of crucial information. It is found by using expensive programs paid for by SEO dorks (read – people like us). So don’t feel too bad that you don’t know this. Just hurry up and find someone that can get this info for you. I might know someone that I can refer you to…Hmmm…what are their names again?…Oh yeah, It’s us!
What we discovered for our friend was that she was showing up on the front page of Google for something completely unrelated to her business, because she happened to have an old blog post that was related to a totally different thing. Not really a good deal for her since she was being found for the wrong service by the wrong client, which equals NO SALES. No wonder she was getting a lot of traffic to her website, but no one was buying. She wasn’t reaching the right person. This was an easy fix.
#3 She didn’t have a Google listing for your business (recently known as Google Local and now, Google My Business)
She has a small studio but didn’t have her business listed on Google because she doesn’t want people to show up without an appointment. Easy fix – we added her business to Google, which is a totally FREE service, and simply stated in her business details that they only accept meetings by appointment.
In case you haven’t figured it out already, Google owns us! You can fight it by not placing your business info online, and go quietly into that great night. Or just accept it and play along. If you want to be found online, you better invite Google over for a beer. Because you guys are going to need to be friends.
For more information on adding your business to Google, GO HERE.
#4 She only had one or two reviews online
She only had written testimonials that people had personally emailed her. This is a real bummer of a deal, because while I encouraged her to make an entire page of her website with nothing but testimonials, this isn’t enough.
Google is placing a much greater emphasis on online reviews across all platforms right now. When your business shows up on a Google page (or map), the description of your business has the number of reviews that your business has listed with it. Up until a few weeks ago, this number only included Google reviews. Now it shows the sum total of all the reviews that Google could find for your business online. If you have 5 reviews on The Knot, 4 on Wedding Wire, and 8 on Yelp, it will now show that you have 17 reviews. It is not aggregating this info from your website. It’s taking it from various review sites found online.
#5 She has a ton of images on her website but no words
Photographer friends – I will admit right now that you guys are the worst offenders, yet the easiest websites to fix! Photographers tend to think that just placing a shit ton of pictures on their website will just automatically SEO the hell out of their work. Well you’re wrong. So so very wrong. While people may love images, they can’t find them if there are no descriptions of them. You have to give a description to each photo. “Bride” is not a description. “Indian wedding bride in a pink Vera Wang wedding dress at Happy Life venue” is a description.
And that goes for your blogs too. You can’t just throw a bunch of images on your site and call it a day. You have to TELL about the pictures. Where were they taken? What was the venue? Who were the other vendors? What was the inspiration for the shoot or the colors of the wedding? Details, people! Details!
Those key words are how clients are finding you. If you have 2 photographers, similar style, pricing, etc and one has a ton of images on their blog/site but the other has ¼ the amount of images but takes the time to write descriptive content about each wedding on their blog/site, the one with the content wins on Google. Which means they will win in business, as more potential clients will find their work online. More images don’t equal more exposure unless you have the written content to back it up.
#6 Her website is not mobile friendly
It has Flash! Flash, I say! Guess what doesn’t show Flash?? Most Smartphones. Already, she’s missing 60% of the wedding market. And she’s left to compete for the few clients that are her ideal clients from the 40% that don’t look for her on a mobile device. We all know people that don’t have mobile devices. Think it through for a second – who are those people? Yep, they’re probably your grandparents. Do grandparents get married at the same rate as Millennials, which happen to make up 80% of the wedding market? No. No, they don’t.
If you have a website that can’t be seen on a mobile device, you are OUT OF BUSINESS!
Could your website use some help? Is your SEO not what it could be? Connect with Shea & Cheryl HERE and ask about their SEO Code Blue program and workshops for wedding business websites.