Communication

Fine Tuning Your SEO Before Proposal Season

What your designer may have missed.

Design by    Rebecca Rose Events   . Photo by    Nancy Ray   .

Design by Rebecca Rose Events. Photo by Nancy Ray.


“Engagement season” refers to the period of time each year when the most wedding proposals happen. In the United States, it runs from Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday of November) until Valentine’s Day. For many other locations, it starts just a few weeks later, going from around Christmas to Valentine’s Day.

The most popular days for engagements are currently Christmas day, Valentine’s day, New Year’s Eve, Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s day – in that order.

Just like most good publicists will start prepping and pitching their clients’ Christmas campaigns in early Summer, wedding pros’ prep for engagement/proposal season should ideally already be underway. However, if you, like almost every wedding business owner, have been juggling a zillion things, the next best time to start is now.

For the month of October, I’m going to be mostly discussing the things you can do get your business ready so that yours can be the company they most love once the ring is on their finger.


One of the most overlooked aspects of SEO is your website and blog’s photos. You’ve nailed the copy, you blog consistently, yet your photos may be named in a way that doesn’t help you get found by potential clients at all.

Since most brides and grooms will use Google to search for wedding pros to interview and for wedding ideas to add to Pinterest, your photos should be titled with the search terms that reflect what you do and what you want your brand to be known for.

To do this, think of the words a potential client would type into Google at the beginning of their search when they know nothing about wedding planning yet. Name your photos that. If you are focused on your local area, include local cities and landmarks. If you’re focused on destination weddings, include the far-flung places you’ve worked. Keep the titles short yet descriptive – don’t overstuff keywords and stay away from using industry jargon (“tablescape,” “creative partners,” “month of coordination,” etc.)

Photo titles that are beneficial for SEO:

  • blue and white wedding decorations (color combos get searched a ton, so pay attention to what is depicted in each photo you post)

  • affordable wedding venue in Houston

  • best wedding cake in Des Moines

  • romantic luxury resort for honeymoon in Capetown

  • modern wedding bouquet ideas (variations of ‘wedding ideas’ are popular search terms for Google, while variations of ‘wedding inspo’ get searched more on Instagram)


Photo titles that may be helpful for your behind-the-scenes organization, but are NOT beneficial for SEO:

  • IMG021418

  • JohnSally-106

  • rebrandheaderimage1

  • Headshot Color WebRes

  • ValentinesPromo2020


In many cases, you will need to rename your photos and re-upload them to your site in order to make the changes. You cannot just edit the alt text in Squarespace, Wordpress, Showit or whichever web software you use (though you should definitely fill these out, too!). If you had a web designer create your site, you should still double check that everything is good to go – many are not well-versed in SEO and may have overlooked your photos even though they optimized the rest.

Yes, this type of admin work can be tedious, but it’s not difficult, and it WILL be worth it.



Splendid Pro Tip: Once you’ve edited your photo titles and re-uploaded the images to your site, submit your pages to Google Search Console, part of Google Webmaster Tools. This will tell Google that you’ve made changes so they know to re-crawl and re-index your site, allowing your new terms to show up in search results more quickly.

Getting Your Wedding Business Ready for Engagement Season

Preparing for Yes.

Photo by    Nancy Ray

Photo by Nancy Ray


“Engagement season” refers to the period of time each year when the most wedding proposals happen. In the United States, it runs from Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday of November) until Valentine’s Day. For many other locations, it starts just a few weeks later, going from around Christmas to Valentine’s Day.

The most popular days for engagements are currently Christmas day, Valentine’s day, New Year’s Eve, Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s day – in that order.

Just like most good publicists will start prepping and pitching their clients’ Christmas campaigns in early Summer, wedding pros’ prep for engagement/proposal season should ideally already be underway. However, if you, like almost every wedding business owner, have been juggling a zillion things, the next best time to start is now.

For the month of October, I’m going to be mostly discussing the things you can do get your wedding business ready so that yours can be the company they most love once the ring is on their finger.


Nearly three quarters (72%) of women (and some men!) who know that the proposal is coming are scrolling wedding hashtags on Instagram before they get engaged. Nearly half (49%) are reading wedding blogs and over a quarter of them (27%) have purchased wedding magazines before their partner has popped the question.

Since Instagram is the second place nearly-engaged couples turn to for wedding inspiration (Pinterest is still first), I want to mention a common mistake I see a lot of creative professionals make that can be immediately corrected with a tiny change in how you post.

If you #write like #this in your #Instagram #caption with #hashtags on every #keyword, it does #more than just #look #ugly: it literally tells the reader's brain that you and your brand are exhausting to work with.

Here's why: The visual clutter of the hashtags in your captions slows a person's eye down while reading, causing fatigue. The brain subconsciously associates that fatigue with you and your brand.

The potential client may l-o-v-e your work, but for some reason they can't quite pinpoint, they're not entirely comfortable hiring you.

Use your branded hashtags in your caption and save the keyword hashtags for the bottom or the first comment underneath. You'll still show up in search for those keywords, and you won't be actively branding your company as exhausting.

It really doesn’t matter if you think this is unfair since your photos show that you’re clearly the best at what you do. When it comes to how you think things should work in marketing versus how the brain actually works, you need to bet on the brain every time.


(Splendid ProTip: if you want to clean up your captions even more,
this site will automatically create line breaks for you in a way that Instagram won’t convert back to a wall of text.)


A version of this was originally published in March 2012

Being Authentic On Instagram Without Oversharing

Keeping it real without selling your soul.


Being transparent doesn't mean laying all of your cards face-up on the table.

You do not have to share everything on social media. Nor should you, since studies show that when people overshare their personal life, they actively build distrust in their brands.

Not allowing strangers access to every part of your life does not make you any less authentic.

That said, it's okay to be as open as you're comfortable with online.

It's also important to understand that each platform has a different purpose, different audience, and that each requires a different approach. Decide which platforms you're going to use and then write down guidelines for how you want to use them.

For example, here are some of mine:

  • ThinkSplendid blog (yes, blogs count as social media): Here I write about whatever strikes my fancy, but primarily focus on the topics of leadership, influence, and generosity.

  • Pinterest: I keep a curated aesthetic so that my clients can get a sense of and build trust in my level of taste. This matters to my clients, even though I don't sell design. Luxury brand clients want to know that I can understand and relate to the level of detail their own clients demand from them. Any useful-yet-ugly pins get saved to secret boards.

  • Instagram: It’s so easy with Instagram, especially in the wedding industry, to get bored with the same-sameness of it all, even if the same-same is beautiful. A while back I created #500daysofinspiration to push myself to keep my creative eyes open. Art, fashion, architecture, design, travel – I share whatever inspires me that day. I do not keep a bank of images to schedule in advance.

  • Facebook: I don't use Facebook Pages or Groups for work and I don’t use my personal account for business networking.

  • Twitter: This is where I run my mouth, politics and all. For all the hate Twitter gets from the wedding industry, it still brings me the highest paying business deals of any social network. Because of this, it is where I focus the majority of my allotted social media time. My target clients are executives and other leaders, and Twitter is the platform they prefer because its purpose is mindshare rather than self-promotion.

  • TikTok: The Gen Z fave and what they’ve been replacing Instagram with. If you want to understand how Gen Z views creativity and how they incorporate it into their daily life, you need to have a TikTok account. For now, I use it to lurk and research. I will say that of the wedding pros who use it, some get it right, but most do not. Definitely take some time to learn the TikTok culture or you WILL brand your business as lame.


I also refuse to use my family in my marketing on any platform. I don't post photos of family members who are not on social media and I never post photos of anyone's children without the parents' permission (including my niece and nephews). It is important to me that I respect the boundaries related to social media that others have set for themselves. Whatever guidelines you write for yourself and your team, make sure they're respectful of other people as well.


Originally published March 2017