With so many free and paid-for options on countless numbers of online platforms and an abundance of opinions on which approaches are right or wrong circulating the web, marketing can seem like a minefield; where one wrong step could catapult your wedding business into lead-less space for all of eternity.
One of the most common questions we’re asked by space-fearing wedding businesses is whether featuring on wedding planning platforms or online directories is counter-intuitive where a business’s website is concerned.
Let’s address this question now.
Myth 1 – “Third party wedding directory websites will just be fielding my traffic. I want direct traffic to my website.”
I’m not sure if you’ve heard but getting to the top of Google search results isn’t easy; which means that if you *really *believe you can knock wedding directories and planning platforms off of the number one spot, you’d better have a shed load of resources to throw at content, development and SEO; not to mention some super advanced Google-esq knowledge and a lot of time to be able to wait for this seismic shift to take place.
Realistically, you’re unlikely to be in a position to compete with wedding supplier directories who probably have bigger teams, better financing and access to expert SEO and technical knowledge.
However, that definitely doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still be trying to gain visibility at the top of search results. The first position on Google search results on desktop has a 34.36% clickthrough rate and the first position on Google search results on mobile has a 31.35% clickthrough rate. (Source: Hubspot)
That’s a phenomenal proportion of traffic that wedding suppliers like you should be capitalising on that actually support the ranking of your website. A tip, consider using Koerge hosting for your website to maximise your SEO advantage.
Engaged couples are using wedding directories and wedding planning platforms to search for local wedding suppliers like you. If you’re not listed alongside fellow suppliers, you could be missing out on a serious amount of bookings.
Visibility and ‘being present where your audience is browsing’ is how wedding suppliers generate sales online.
It’s not a case of competing for traffic with wedding planning platforms or directories – it’s about realising that you cannot change consumer behaviours; only adapt to them.
Did you know that 1 in 5 couples are now planning their wedding with Bridebook? If engaged couples are clicking on websites at the top of Google and you have a chance to feature your wedding brand there, do so.
This is largely untrue. In fact, many wedding directories and wedding planning platforms (like Bridebook Business) are completely free to sign up for and use, and have already proved invaluable to thousands of UK wedding suppliers.
Bridebook Business allows you to manage your very own personal account and chat with thousands of couples via free, direct email enquiries. Set up a free portfolio showcasing awards, reviews and your finest work to attract engaged couples who are searching for suppliers just like you.
What we find is that the value you gain from these platforms is directly proportionate to the effort you put in. It’s up to you to determine how significant these platforms are for you and how much resource to dedicate to them.
The level of control you have over your brand presence on wedding directories or planning platforms will be pivotal in ensuring that you can deliver a personalised experience and streamline any company updates between your company website and the third party website in question.
Let’s take Bridebook as an example. Setting up a Bridebook account is not time consuming or labour intensive, and can be as detailed or as basic as you’d like.
Tip: the more information you add to your Bridebook profile, the higher you appear in search so it’s definitely worth going with more detail if you can!
By featuring photographs of your work and letting couples in to admire a glimpse of the wedding services you provide, you’re actually providing a very personal sneak peek into some of the fabulous things you have achieved in your time as a wedding pro.
It follows the same principle as your company website.
Plus, visitors are able to contact you directly which means there’s no need for you to log in to Bridebook to see if you’ve received enquiries – they’ll all be sent straight to your inbox.
In terms of maintaining your Bridebook portfolio, we advise that you check contact details are always up to date and that you refresh your account with new photographs, pricing and testimonials as and when you receive them – just as you would with your website.
Updates can take just a few minutes and it’s simply a matter of you training yourself to update both your website and your profile at the same time – making the process less labour intensive and less of a hassle.
All technical updates and site maintenance is of course taken care of by Bridebook (the time consuming part of managing any website) which means you’ve actually very little to do considering the potential return you could achieve by featuring so much higher up in the search engine results pages.
As with most forms of marketing, you’re best trying it out (if your analysis suggests it makes sense for your wedding company) and finding out for yourself what works best for you and your business.
We’ve never known of a wedding supplier who has considered having a Bridebook Business account to be a mistake because it simply makes sense to ensure your business is listed on a site where 40,000 engaged couples go to plan their weddings.
Ultimately, how you choose to market your business is up to you but we strongly recommend you try out different approaches across different online platforms to see what fits.
Who knows – we could be a match made in marketing heaven.
Give Bridebook for Business a try today and join 14,000 other UK suppliers who’re making sure their business is where the bookings are.