5 tips for Booking Brides through Organic Search
If you would've asked us two years ago what the best way to book ideal fine art clients, our answer would have been 100% completely different than today. Our .com world is changing every single day, which means all of us must remain dedicated to adapting!
We get loads of questions on how to connect with the ideal client via organic search so we've narrowed down our top five actionable tasks to get started...
1. UPDATE CONTENT REGULARLY
Read: your blog. By keeping your content fresh, you not only make Google and all other search engines feel more confident that their users will find relevant material, but your clients will find your newest work.
Are you advertising on a wedding blog? It is the job of that wedding blog or platform to send traffic your way, but your site, personality, and visible work ultimately will make the final decision for your clients. By keeping things updated on a regular basis, you appear more trustworthy, reliable, and more easily accessible to a future client.
What if you don't advertise with a blog or another platform, but you rely on your social media platforms for your advertising? That works fabulously, too! However, it is the same concept - your reliability and cohesiveness as a brand depends on regular updates on your site.
ACTIONS TO TAKE
a. Decide how often you will update your blog and stick to it. Once a week? Twice a month? Once a month? Do it as often as you're able and put a notification in your calendar and stay committed. A blogpost does NOT have to be more than 10-15 highly curated image and enough text to provide relevancy and some SEO terms (but do not.... we repeat... do NOT go overboard. Just play it cool with the SEO terms ok? Google will punish you for keyword flooding).
b. Don't have enough time? Understandable. Hire someone! There are plenty of VA's out there that specialize in this and, *hint hint*, we do it too: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. GROW NATURAL LINKS
So, Google is like your mom. For the sake of this example, you're the kid (aka the internet user / potential client / google searcher). Your mom probably needed tons of constant reassurance that your new friends (blogs, internet sites, etc) were good kids - reliable, trustworthy, into the right stuff, and would be good for you... no? No doubt she relied on third-party opinions to deem your new friends acceptable. If Charlie's mom, Anna's dad, or whoever called her and said your new friends were good kids, you would be in the clear to go hang out, right?
Indeed, Google is like your mom. For Google to recommend a site via a search, he or she requires third-party opinions. Have you heard more and more successful photographers or other vendors say that their biggest source of bookings come from organic searches now? Let me fill you in: one MAJOR reason is from third-party links from things like blog features, past advertising, mentions on social media from third-parties, and more.
ACTIONS TO TAKE
a. Submit your work to be featured. Plain and simple. The more a blog or online magazine with a solid large platform links to your website, Google (your mom) says 'ah, okay. Sounds like a good kid!' and sends your clients on their way to your website.
b. Consider the SEO implications and benefits of advertising in non-traditional ways. Vendor guide listings, guest posts, sponsored posts, e-book writings, etc... all of that boosts your SEO and Google Rank immensely!
3. MOBILE SITE OPTIMIZATION
Is your site optimized for a mobile device? Please say yes, please say yes! We CRINGE when we hear folks say they don't want to do that or they just haven't done that yet. Google will penalize you for this and actually lower your Google rank. This is a simple fix, just do it. It is worth the hassle and expense.
ACTIONS TO TAKE
a. Do you work with Wordpress or Squarespace? There are plugins for that. If you don't, chat with a reputable site designer and they can fix you right up!
4. ALT TAGS AND IMAGE NAMING
Google doesn't have eyes. In order to recommend your site to an internet user, Google needs you to spell out exactly what is on your site. In addition, naming your images correctly and with SEO in mind, Google is able to identify what type of site you are and what type of images are on your site. All of this essentially spells out: don't skip the little things.
ALT Tags, also known as alternative text descriptions, are the descriptive terms that you manually input into your website while creating content. By increasing the descriptive terms on your website, your chances of being found by the right searcher increases greatly! Image file names are also important as that is another input field that can be useful for Google or any other search engine.
ACTIONS TO TAKE
a. Rename those images, baby! "12048120aajkdahf.jpg" does you no good. Do your research for what terms would yield your best results and if you would like to schedule a consulting appointment with us for help, don't hesitate to reach out! You can batch rename items as well, so it doesn't take you forever.
b. Input ALT terms. We generally use the image title, photographer name, and our name in our ALT images.
5. GOOD, QUALITY WRITTEN CONTENT
We get it. Your brilliant and incredible mind is so great at what you do - those photographs, floral arrangements, styled lay flats, etc. are one of a kind. But oftentimes masters of the craft have to genuinely sit down and think about wording, it is a different part of the brain! But written content on your website is crucial, so don't miss this part.
There are plenty of guides out there, all with very different suggestions for word count, number of times SEO terms are used, and more. First, you need to know that 'keyword flooding' is a real thing and Google really does punish you for using odd terms too many times. Readability goes out the window and surely your potential clients would hate to read that type of content. In addition, you must never sacrifice good quality written content for poor writing just to fit a specific word count.
ACTIONS TO TAKE
a. Write a little something to aid in the visuals of what you're posting. Think about the five senses - what did you see, hear, taste, touch, smell (okay, maybe omit that one for the part of the day by the port-a-potties)? How did the couple make you feel? What was your favorite memory of the day? What was a funny story? As a general rule, we recommend at least a solid paragraph, no more than three.
b. Do keep in mind who you want your potential clients to be. If the bridesmaid images are exceptionally beautiful, be sure to type the word 'bridesmaid' at least a few times. If the bouquet from a styled shoot is one that you'd die to do more of, make sure you're typing to who you'd like to see that post: perhaps mention 'fine art bride' a few times?
Owning a beautiful fine art wedding business requires so much more than just the weddings or styled shoots. With our ever changing online atmosphere, it is imperative to stay up on the latest algorithms, changes, and trends. Increasingly, couples find their dream vendors from social media, pins from their favorite blog posts, and from smart Google searching so get ahead of them and find your ideal clients!
Image via My (un)finished Home