5 Website Changes You Can Make Today
If you’re a wedding entrepreneur, here are four changes you can make to your company’s website that will help you get more inquiries.
1. Create one clear call to action throughout your site.
Not three, not five, not eight. One.
If you're a service-based wedding professional, the point of your website is to get potential clients to contact you so that you can start a conversation. It is not to convince them of everything they need to know.
We like to think that people click through our sites in the way that we've laid them out, that they’ll go through all our galleries, or swipe through our 10 favorite things, or that they'll complete the fun Buzzfeed-style quiz on the wedding colors that best match their personality, but they don't.
The majority won't even land your home page, they'll land on whichever page on your site best matched their Google search term.
Make sure whichever page they land on is clear about what step you want them to ultimately take. That ultimate step should be contacting you.
2. Delete all industry jargon from your website's copy.
You may hate the term "vendor" or "supplier” (and with good reason), but a potential client who has no experience with the wedding industry will assume the term "creative partner" refers to your business partner or your life partner. They have no idea that you're referring to wedding professionals from other companies.
If this is the battle you want to pick, that’s your choice, but educating a client on how much weddings actually cost may be a better issue to focus on than making sure they get their vocabulary straight, especially since wedding spending is down and the DOW dropped 800 points earlier this month after “the bond market flashed a warning sign about a possible recession for the first time since 2007.”
3. Make your website’s copy inclusive.
Love is love, and it’s important that your site’s copy doesn’t unintentionally alienate people based on who they’re marrying.
Instead of writing the singular “bride and groom” (assumes the partnership includes one of each), you can use :
“bride or groom” (“Our services are designed to take all the stress off the bride or groom’s plate.”)
the plural: “brides or grooms”/”brides and grooms” (“I love seeing the faces of our brides and grooms when they see the beautifully designed ballroom for the first time.”)
couple/couples (“The couples we work with tend to be fun and down-to-earth while still appreciating the finer things in life.”)
On your contact form, if you need the second person’s name, simply use “Your Name” and “Partner’s Name” instead of bride/groom’s name for those fields.
4. Having a blog on your website is still the best SEO method. Period.
If you're not getting found online, blogging is the easiest and quickest fix.
If you have a blog but it's hosted elsewhere (Medium, Tumblr, Blogspot, etc), transfer it to your site. The best method is to host it as a folder (website.com/blog) and the second best is as a subdomain (blog.website.com).
I've written 2 million+ words on my wedding business blog over the years. I am not a blogger. It is not sponsored, ad supported, or affiliate-monetized. But it has landed me some of my biggest clients because it ensures I turn up on the first page for whatever they're looking for. Plus it shows that my expertise runs deep and I know what I'm talking about.
2 million+ additional words on my site for Google to crawl.
You know how many words my competitors have on their sites? Not 2 million. Not even close.
How many words does yours have? How many do your competitors have?
If you write paragraphs as Instagram captions (which do NOT help your SEO because they're coded as no-follow links), you can reprioritize to schedule some blog posts as well. Make the brand house you rent work for you (Instagram), but build equity in the brand house you own (your website and blog).
Also, "engagement season" in the United States starts at Thanksgiving (late November) and goes until Valentine's Day. If you want a potential bride or groom to find you once the question is popped and a ring is on their finger, start updating your site and blog now so that Google has time to index everything.
5. General web UX (short for "user experience") wisdom is that your contact form should be short and sweet.
By short, I mean three fields or less. Even bumping up to just four fields can reduce the number of people who fill out the form and click "submit" by over 50%. That measly extra field can cut your inquiries in HALF!
Unless you're a high-volume venue, you probably don't need their wedding date before you talk to them.
You don’t need to know up front where a potential client first heard of you, plus whatever they fill in on your contact form is probably wrong. They'll write Instagram because that was their last click when in reality they first saw you mentioned in a print issue of WedLuxe magazine, googled your company on their phone, clicked on a Pinterest result, clicked on a photo to a real wedding you had published on Over the Moon, clicked to your Instagram, then after scrolling for a while, clicked to your website.
A couple at the beginning of their wedding planning process likely does not know their real wedding budget yet. If they're having a luxury wedding, they may even assume that their budget will be around $50,000-$60,000 (they’ve heard the US national average is around $30k, so they figure doubling that number is a safe bet). Filtering them out by budget on your contact form is a sure-fire way to lose amazing clients who are happy to pay your rate once they've been educated on real costs and have been guided past sticker shock.
The above information is useful, but asking these questions can wait until your first conversation after you’ve gotten the inquiry.
That said, in some cases you can get away with more form fields without hurting your visitor-to-inquiry conversion rate, which can be helpful in certain circumstances. The catch with this is that the form fields have to be valuable to the potential client, not only to you.
For example, Millennials and Gen Z (aged 40 and younger) are famously guarded when it comes to giving out their personal cell phone numbers. This can be mystifying for people who grew up primarily sharing a landline with their family members.
Even so, it can be very helpful for you to get their phone number up front. If you opt to do this, one way to increase the chances that they complete your contact form is to include a field that asks how they prefer you contact them (by email, by phone, by text/WhatsApp, by Facetime).
A doctor or a teacher is unlikely to be able to take an unsolicited phone call and doesn't necessarily want non-urgent texts showing up on their Apple Watch. People working in an open-plan office where personal calls are frowned upon or personal email sites are blocked can often return a quick text without interrupting their workflow. If your destination wedding client lives outside the US, WhatsApp is likely king. Gen Zers are known for their love of FaceTime because – despite the anti-social label they’ve wrongly been given – they highly value face-to-face connection, even if it can’t be in person.
If you want clients from a younger generation to hand over their phone number on the initial inquiry form, make sure you give them the power to tell you how to use it, and then respect those boundaries.