13 SEO Mistakes Wedding Pros Keep Making

Improving visibility for your wedding business online can be done by utilizing search engine optimization.

This is where you aim to rank your wedding business on a search engine (such as Google) so that you can be found by couples searching for your services!

For wedding professionals, having a solid SEO strategy is one of the best ways to get found online.

Every single day, engaged couples are using a search engine to find their dream wedding photographer, wedding planner, and other wedding vendors.

Not showing up here means that you are potentially missing out on a huge number of new leads, whilst your competitors are snatching them up.

For wedding professionals who are actively working on their SEO, there’s a lot to think about on top of already running your wedding business!

Here are some of the mistakes wedding pros make with their SEO and how you can avoid them.

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1. Thinking That A Plugin Will Fix Your SEO Alone

Wedding businesses are always telling us they don’t need help with their SEO because they have a plugin that does it for them.

Yoast, Rank Math, and more.

These and other SEO plugins can help you optimize your website for SEO. 

However, they are not an SEO expert or a replacement for a winning SEO strategy.

It’s a real problem and a lack of education in the wedding industry causes pros to feel like they are improving their SEO because they turned the light from red to orange and then green on their WordPress SEO plugin.

That green light means nothing. When we’re helping wedding pros they say, “I turned the light green so how come I’m not getting traffic?”.

These are just plugins, and tools that can allow you to affect things on your website.

It’s also part of a bigger problem in SEO with arbitrary site health scores, and percentages out of 100% that don’t tell you the full picture.

The problem with these metrics and graphs is that they scare wedding business owners who don’t fully understand SEO into thinking they have glaring problems.

And then you, the wedding professional, waste your time fixing things that didn’t need fixing in the first place!

Whilst these plugins, health scores, and traffic light systems might be a nice benchmark indicator and feel like you’re making progress with your SEO, it’s actually somewhat misleading if you don’t know what, why or how you’re optimizing.

If you really want to take your SEO seriously, get some help from experts.

Having a green light does not guarantee rankings. Be careful over-optimizing.

2. You Don’t Know What Keywords You Want To Rank For

Keyword research is the bedrock of any successful SEO campaign.

For wedding pros trying to improve their search results, it all begins with discovering what keywords you want to rank your website for.

Choosing the wrong keywords can set you up for failure before you’ve even started marketing your site on Google.

For most wedding professionals, your keyword research involves figuring out phrases with enough people searching for them to justify the effort in ranking for them.

More often than not, your primary keyword for your wedding business should follow one of these two formats:

[service] in [location] or [location] [service]. For example:

‘Wedding photographer in Manchester’

or

‘Manchester wedding photographer’

This is your money keyword. The phrase that your ideal clients will be searching for online. The one you want to rank for!

3. Not Using Google Search Console or Google Analytics

There are loads of paid SEO tools and things wedding pros can do to get more data.

However, if you’re not using these free digital marketing tools from Google to begin with, you’re missing out.

For SEO in particular, Google Search Console is a must-have.

It’s a free service from Google that will help you monitor your website’s appearance in search results.

You can see technical errors, what backlinks you have, how much traffic you are getting from search results, and even what keywords your potential clients are using to find your site.

You should also hook yourself up to Google Analytics for a deeper dive. This will allow you to analyze the behavior of your website users, allowing you to make smart changes.

4. Ignoring Search Intent

Understanding the search intent behind your target keyword or phrase is crucial when it comes to SEO. 

Let’s say someone Google’s the word ‘wedding cake’.

Do they want a Wikipedia article on what a wedding cake is? Wedding cake recipes? Pictures of wedding cakes? Articles about wedding cakes? It’s pretty unclear what the user is asking Google for.

However, let’s say someone Googles ‘wedding cake makers near me’. From this, you can glean that there is purchase intent behind that keyword.

They want to hire or enquire about a local cake maker for a wedding, and the results will reflect that.

Before you dive head first into optimizing your page or website around a certain keyword, figure out exactly what the search intent is first.

This might even help you decide on what keywords you want to go after (which really is the bedrock to a successful SEO strategy).

If you are a local cake maker, you might see the search volume for the word cake (over 200,000 in the UK) and think, I want a piece of THAT cake.

But it’s the wrong place to focus and not appropriate for your business.

Trying to rank for those local searches instead will actually benefit you as a wedding vendor.

The quickest and easiest way to discover the search intent behind a keyword if you’re not sure is to perform a search.

What is Google trying to show? This gives you a good indication of what users are looking for. You can use these results to inform your own content so you can better match.

For example, perform a Google search for ‘how to be more productive working from home’. The top 5 results are ALL list-based articles with between 10-30 tips to help you. 

Not only does this show the user intent, but it also informs the style of content in which the user most enjoys consuming here.

If you were going after the same keyword, you can assume that organising your content into a listicle would give you a better chance of ranking for that phrase.

5. Not Getting Links Back To Your Site

One of the things Google and other search engines look for is how much they can trust your website.

The more trustworthy they deem you to be, the more likely they are to rank you above your wedding competitors.

Backlinks somewhat serve the purpose of a ‘recommendation’ or ‘upvote’ towards this trustworthiness.

A backlink is when another website links to yours.

A website without any backlinks is going to be difficult to rank.

Having backlinks from other wedding sites is a signal to Google that another site in the industry finds your content valuable enough to link to it within their own content.

This can increase the power of your wedding business website, making you more capable of ranking for those tough keywords.

6. Keyword Stuffing 

It’s pretty old news that keyword stuffing is bad, yet wedding professionals STILL do it.

It used to be the case back in the day that you could shove your main keyword on your pages 100’s of times and just rank, but these days that will get you penalized by a search engine. 

For search engine optimization, you just have to be careful and write naturally. It helps to use related or LSI keywords instead of stuffing your main one in as a way of adding context but again, don’t go overboard.

LSI means latent semantic indexing. Basically, using the words in and around the content plus other signals they can infer what context the page is about.

For example, if you are writing an article on ‘best running shoes’, it’s not a good idea to shove the phrase ‘best running shoes’ in every paragraph.

Related words like ‘nike’ ‘adidas’ ‘trainers’ ‘footwear’ ‘surface’ ‘comfort’ ‘durable’ ‘lightweight’ ‘grip’ can help a search engine understand what the page is about.

7. Not Blogging

If you want to skyrocket your SEO performance in the wedding industry, the blog post is key.

Creating optimized blog post titles and amazing content can make your site explode on Google and other search engines.

Not only does it help you rank but creating helpful content for your target audience can actually drive more traffic and more clients into your inbox, allowing you to convert that website traffic into an actual wedding booking.

It takes a consistent effort to create fresh content that’s relevant, but it’s so worth it.

Too many wedding pros make the mistake of not focusing on blog posts as a strategy and they are missing out.

8. Keyword Cannibalisation

If you haven’t heard this phrase before it can sound a bit grim.

This is basically when you target the same keyword with multiple pages. 

The reason is simple: when you have multiple pages ranking for the same keyword, you’re actually competing with yourself.

Consequently, each page has a lower click-through rate, diminished authority, and lower conversion rates than one consolidated page will have.

We’ve had instances before when helping out wedding professionals where they have an insane amount of blogs, all about the exact same thing with almost the exact same title and content.

In an attempt to get more visibility on search engines, they would have multiple instances of the same piece, not realising it’s having little to no positive effect.

In many cases, it’s a good idea to take all these pieces that are basically clones of each other and create 1, really strong and in-depth cornerstone piece on the subject instead.

If you are going to this, redirect the old pages and URLs to the new super piece instead of deleting them. 

You may also have service pages competing with each other. A wedding photographer may have 3 or 4 pages all targeting the same primary keyword which is actually hurting them.

9. Focusing On Amount Of Links Over Quality Of Links

We’ve already explained how backlinks work and why they can be useful for wedding planners, wedding photographers, or any wedding business trying to improve their search rankings.

Not all links are equal though.

When it comes to your website, don’t try to go after quantity in link building. Focus on building highly relevant links from authority sites that are topical to the content on your website.

You can really quickly land your site in hot water if you are highly focused on just building any and every link. 

Of all the things to approach with caution when it comes to SEO, link building is one you don’t really want to mess with unless you know what you’re doing. The biggest mistake wedding pros can make with their SEO is getting loads of bad/toxic links. It’s difficult to come back from.

Remember, Google pays attention to the sites you are associated with, and sites associated with those sites. If you’re swimming in a really dirty swamp pool with loads of other RATS, Google is going to think you are a rat too! 

However, if you are linked from other blogs to do with weddings, wedding planners or anything else in the wedding universe, Google is going to start associating you with those websites and the industry as a whole.

10. Forgetting About Internal Linking

Internal linking is fundamental for helping search engines find content on your wedding site.

They’re also great for users when used correctly. 

It’s about power distribution.

Make it part of your process to look for and map out internal linking opportunities ahead of time whenever you add a new piece of content you want to rank to a site.

You can be quite smart with this stuff and find powerful pages on your site. Pages like your home page, popular blogs or landing pages that have powerful backlinks pointed to them.

Sending internal links from these powerful pages to other pages you want to rank can move the needle.

For example, if we were trying to rank our blog post about getting ghosted for phrases such as ‘how to stop couples ghosting you‘, it makes sense to link to it as we have done here.

Again, don’t go crazy and use it when and where it makes sense to for the user. Another common mistake wedding pros make with their search engine optimization is going overboard with internal linking.

11. Your Site Isn't Mobile Friendly

Mobile device use has skyrocketed over recent years.

In fact, it’s now the primary usage method for online visits. It’s no surprise really.

We’re all carrying around smartphones (you might be reading this on one now), and your couples are no different.

If your website isn’t optimized for a friendly mobile experience, it’s going to hurt your chances of ranking properly on Google.

In fact, Google now uses the mobile version of your site to determine how well to rank it!

Again, using Google Search Console can help you here. It will flag up any potential issues on mobile.

You should also be looking on your own device to see if everything is performing how it should.

12. Not Optimizing Your Images Properly

Most wedding professionals that know a bit about SEO are aware that the words you put on the page can affect how that page ranks and what for.

What about the images on that page though?

Optimizing your images for keywords can help your rankings too.

You can even make it part of your Pinterest marketing strategy.

For Google to know what your image is actually portraying, you need to tell it.

This is why it’s worth amending the image names, alt text and the description for your images so you can tell Google what the images on your site actually are.

The wedding industry is an extremely visual field and you will no doubt have a plethora of images on your site that you can amend straight away with alt tags and a new file name.

Whilst we’re talking about images, it might be a good time to talk about image sizes.

We get it. Wedding photographers in particular want their images to look incredible on their website. But using high res photos can actually slow your website down and negatively impact your search engine rankings.

If your website is slow to load, Google will prioritize faster websites over yours in the search rankings.

13. Using ‘Near Me’ Instead Of The Actual Location

We can’t believe this still happens, but it does.

Let’s look at the keyword phrase ‘wedding cake maker near me’. Wedding pros often make the mistake of optimizing their title tags, content, and headers with this exact keyword – but this isn’t what to do.

What you need to do is replace ‘near me’ with your actual location!

When people search ‘service – near me’, search engines are smart enough to know the user’s location and deliver results on map packs and search results from that area. 

To rank for “near me” searches on Google, you need to create a Google Business Profile for your wedding business.

This means you can start working towards ranking for your specific location on map packs and more.

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How To Book More WeddingsFREE Guide!

Inside you will find our most important tips for getting more leads for your wedding business, and how to convert those leads into profitable bookings.