Keywords That Will Boost Traffic on Your Event Company Website

You’re hearing the advice: to rank in search engines, you need to blog. But what exactly do you say? And are you even using the right keywords to get that post to show up for searchers?

If you’re taking the time to write out the details of an event, let’s talk about how you can get the most traffic for it—by focusing on the right keywords (including the keywords no one else has thought about).

How to Use Your Keywords

If you want traffic to your recap posts about weddings or events, you have to be specific. I recommend choosing your “focus keyword” phrase for that event blog post before you even get started writing. Choose one phrase only.

Then, use your focus keyword phrase within the post title, the text of the post, and the URL.  For extra credit, use it in the meta description too. Not sure which focus keywords to pick?  Here are some do’s and don'ts.

Keywords That Probably Won’t Bring You Traffic

I often see event planners trying to rank for very general, broad terms.  Unfortunately, search results for idea and inspiration terms are usually dominated by Pinterest and the big wedding blogs. 

If you want traffic, I don’t recommend focusing on keywords about event colors or themes.  Your website just won’t have the authority to outrank the bigger sites.

Keywords not to use:

●      Pink and Gold Wedding

●      Paris-Themed Wedding

●      Lavender Wedding Inspiration

As for city or geographical keywords, I know you want to rank for “{Your city weddings}” but using that as a focus keyword for an event recap post isn’t likely to rank very highly. 

City keywords are another type of keyword dominated by larger sites and more in-depth articles.  It’s really hard to compete with a simple event recap post.

Keywords not to use:

●      Downtown Atlanta Wedding

●      Northern Kentucky Wedding

●      Corporate Event in Glen Arbor, MI

Not sure if your keyword idea is good? Search for the term yourself and see if the results are from big wedding sites or other local vendors like you. If other websites like yours are showing, you probably have a chance to rank too.

Keywords That Will Bring You Traffic

So if broad event themes and city name keywords won’t work to bring in traffic for event recap posts, what will? If you want to bring in traffic from local searches, focus on venues.  An idea that many vendors haven’t thought of is hacking traffic from clients searching for venues where you like to work.

Getting your recap blog post to rank for the venue where it took place is a great tactic for getting more visibility.

Keyword examples to use:

●      Corporate Event at Apple Blossom Farms

●      Belvedere Hotel Wedding

●      Rehearsal Dinner at Meadowview Hall

This is absolutely the most effective keyword tactic I’ve seen for local vendors to bring in search traffic.

Other Vendors and Businesses

Did you work on an event or inspiration shoot with a prominent local vendor? You may be able to craft a post that ranks for their business name. Searchers who click your blog post will be able to see that vendor’s work, as well as yours.

Keyword examples to use:

●      Stunning Fall Event with Big Sky Floral

●      Romantic Wedding Inspiration with Hannah Nichols Photography

You could also create vendor-focused posts that are separate from the general event recap, so you can more specifically talk about the vendor you’re focusing on. 

A post called “Hemmings Jazz Band: A Joyful Wedding Reception” could bring in great traffic if you talk about what the band played at your event, how it created the right ambiance, what the guests said about the experience, and why you recommend them.

While this tactic may not reach a big volume of searches, it will be much easier to rank than more competitive keywords.  You’ll also be bringing in traffic from clients who are searching for vendors you like working with.

Sara Dunn is a wedding SEO consultant at SaraDoesSEO.com, helping wedding planners, photographers, venues, florists, and more reach rockstar status on Google.

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Pushing the Reset Button: Self-Care in the Off-Season

A career in the events industry is an all-encompassing, all-hours and all-in type of job. During peak season it can be extremely difficult to take care of yourself when setups start before dawn and strikes end after midnight. In between, you’re on stage and on call, with your current event demanding only slightly more than the next ten are. It’s a frenzied, frankly unhealthy pace. For any longevity and personal satisfaction as an event professional, you have to learn to reset during the off-season.

I know. We seem to spend most of the year giving you the opposite advice – maximize your off-season by taking on another mountain of tasks. However, striking a balance is critical, and if you can’t devote yourself fully to your well-being during peak months, you need to prioritize it when things slow down. Your business needs you to be at your best. Here are a few easy ways you can push the reset button during your next off-season.

Unwind

When you get home from work, turn your phone and email off. Establishing regular work hours on non-event days is key to separating your business life from your personal life, and you can’t effectively decompress if you don’t draw a clear line in the sand between the two. Reassure your clients that you are still accessible and that you know they have needs by responding to each email or phone message within 24 business hours to acknowledge you have received it and give a reasonable timeline for your response after you have some time to review their file.

Set Boundaries

Communicate your business hours clearly to your clients, and stick to them. Trust me. It actually makes them feel more comfortable to know when it’s appropriate, and when it’s not to contact you.

At home, let your family know how you plan to observe personal boundaries. They can help wean you off of the habit of working 24-7. Give them your “Spouse or Parent Hours” so they know that it’s okay to need you and seek connection with you during those times as well. Often, we’ve programmed everyone around us to walk on eggshells while we deal with client matters. It is healthy for everyone to know that your personal time is equally (or even more) sacred.

Set Priorities

Face it. There are not now, nor will there ever be enough hours in the day to do everything we think needs to be done. So, set priorities for your business and personal lives. Apply block scheduling not only to those things that simply need to be addressed at work, but also for the stuff you let go of during the year at home. An hour for an uninterrupted walk outdoors. Twenty minutes to touch up the kitchen. 30 minutes to lay in the grass and name clouds (with sunscreen!) with your kids. Choose what’s important and then schedule it like your sanity depends on it. In many ways, it does.

Pursue (or Get) a Hobby

One sure way that you can disengage your thoughts from work is to devote them to something else that is recreational for you. Exercise is great for producing endorphins and making you simultaneously healthier and more relaxed. Or, you might pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read, learn how to crochet, or brush up on all the latest stamp collecting news. It doesn’t really matter what you do – just that you do something unrelated to your work that you enjoy,

The best thing you can do for your business, your team and your clients is to spend time regularly taking care of you. There will never be a better time to start, so what are you waiting for?

Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the past president for Silicon Valley NACE, and national vice president for WIPA.

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Are Your Vendor Partners Inclusive?

In this socially complex time, adhering to your principles can be challenging and often presents some difficult decisions, especially when it comes to picking and choosing who your business associates with. It is especially important when it comes to providing referrals to your clients, as the partners you recommend speak heavily toward your own company. 

For most, business values align neatly with personal values—it’s a question of what is most important to you about the work that you do and the people who you work with. 

Being inclusive isn’t about showcasing rainbows and making bold statements, so it’s not always as simple as keeping tabs on your partners’ social media accounts. Instead, inclusivity is a much more fundamental shift—it’s about changing the way you communicate, think, and conduct business as a whole.  

If you’re providing referrals for an LGBTQ couple, it’s essential that those professionals are equality-minded. Take a look at how your partners communicate with potential clients, as well as other industry peers. Do they include photos of same-sex couples in their portfolio? For newer relationships, don’t be afraid to ask other vendors if they are LGBTQ-friendly and suggest ways that they can better convey that to their clients. If inclusivity is a part of your day-to-day, it’ll become easier to catch possible red flags and to ensure that your business is aligned with like-minded individuals. 

Still, we unfortunately cannot control everything and, in some cases, even pre-qualified professionals can say or do something that leads to hurt feelings. While you may not have been the one to offend, you must still take responsibility for your referral and take strides to remedy the situation. If the situation is salvageable, make sure the other vendor does their due diligence to apologize and ensure that the couple feels safe and appreciated. For many, navigating the waters of same-sex marriage is still a learning experience.  

However, if it’s beyond repair and you’re no longer comfortable working with the other vendor, communicate your thoughts with your clients and help them close out the contract with minimal repercussions. If they still choose to continue working with the vendor, take over all communication so the couple doesn’t have to deal with them directly. You may take it on yourself to communicate the wrongdoing to the vendor as well, in hopes that they take it to heart and change their approach. 

Regardless of identity or orientation, every couple will have obstacles throughout the planning process. What should be most important to you and your vendor partners is that they’ve put their trust in you to help them through the ups and downs. Be supportive and never make assumptions. Always keep your clients’ best interests at heart and treat them with respect, kindness, and understanding. At the end of the day, it’s their wedding and they deserve nothing but pure happiness during their celebration.  

Brittny Drye is the founder and editor-in-chief of Love Inc., the leading equality-minded wedding blog and digital publication. Her inclusive efforts have been celebrated by the New York Times, The Advocate, OUT Magazine, Refinery29, NY Daily News, Cosmopolitan, and more. She serves on the 2018-19 North American Advisory Board for the International Academy of Weddings & Events.  

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Why You Aren't Attracting New Clients (And How to Fix It)

Sometimes it can seem like the clients are flooding in, whereas other times, you’re convinced your empty inbox is due to a faulty email account. Worry not—while it can feel discouraging, a dip in prospects can be overcome and is a timely sign to step up your business to its full potential.

Rest assured that, with the help of these solutions, you’ll be on your way to welcoming more clients to your business.

Define your dream client

Who is your perfect client? Are you marketing to them in the right ways? The more your brand speaks to the work you want to do, the more prospects you’ll begin to attract. Ask yourself what kinds of qualities your favorite clients have had in the past, whether it’s a communication style or shared design ideas. Chances are those characteristics make up your dream client.

Evaluate your brand

More often than not, prospects will find you online—is your brand turning them away? Dig into your digital presence to evaluate whether your brand really captures your style of work. How does it fit into that ideal client profile? Carve out time regularly to update your site and social media with new portfolio additions and keep your blog and press pages up to date.

Focus on creative partnerships

As you surely know, referrals are worth their weight in gold. With that in mind, place special consideration in building strong relationships with industry peers. In addition to being a team player and effective communicator throughout an event, think about ways to go above and beyond expectations with fellow event professionals. Staying on top of mind can be as simple as showing up at networking events or sending out a regular newsletter, but it can also be a chance to get creative. Create touch points to check in with others and let them know what your company is up to.

Try something new

If you’re not getting as many clients as you’d like, don’t be afraid to switch things up. Evaluate what is and isn’t working in your company and work with your team to discover new ways to generate leads. Avoid jumping into a full overhaul, though; instead, focus on one tactic at a time to see if anything works. Successful business owners often have a healthy dose of humility, so don’t get stuck in the trap of assuming you’re perfect. Recognize that you have room for improvement and take the time to figure out how you can take your business to the next level.

It’s worth noting that none of these strategies will help if your company is not delivering on its promises. New clients are exciting, but returning clients are the ultimate goal—retaining your new clients can only be achieved through quality customer service and a mindset of exceeding expectations. Let your work ethic speak for your company and your success will sell your services for you.

Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the past president for Silicon Valley NACE, and national vice president for WIPA.

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Collaborating Virtually with Vendors

All great events have at least one common factor – superior teamwork. In order to create magical guest experiences, many pieces have to fall into place, and that can only happen when a group of professionals work together with a common goal. Collaboration is key to the success of any event, but in this digital era it has taken on a virtual dimension that is revolutionizing our industry. 

  Virtual Reality and the Events Industry

The events industry was born to ultimately go virtual! We have long faced the challenges of working not only with clients, who often plan from a distance, but with each other effectively. We have an innate need not only to keep everyone on the same page, but to communicate a common big picture made up of many smaller parts, then come together for a matter of hours to make the impossible seem effortless. Virtual collaboration connects the dots that used to take extreme levels of organization, man hours and frankly, luck, to accomplish. 

  

The Benefits of Virtual Collaboration

Collaborative planning tools allow us to work together without the restrictions of geography. Apps, programs and software make it easy to maintain a database for each event, open to all who are involved, updated in real time. In-person meetings can now be held digitally, and with VR tech the experience is as valuable, if not more so, than costly on-site travel and unnecessary extra in-person meetings. Vendors can share new ideas, confirm specs, finalize pricing, and attain approvals virtually, then all of it can be uploaded, updated, signed digitally, sealed and ultimately delivered. 

  Virtual collaboration not only increases efficiency and convenience, it promotes accuracy and better end products. Instead of tracking down the information you need to confirm an event-day detail, the ability to use virtual project management software gives you everything you need at your fingertips on practically any device. 

  Inevitable Pushback

As with every introduction of new technology, there will inevitably be pushback among some towards virtual collaboration as people can be resistant to change. However, it is no longer something forecasted for the future. It’s here. There are apps, software and hardware in the marketplace, being adapted and adopted every day. Our clients expect live access that allows them to see the fruits of our mutual efforts, track our progress and both evaluate and share their opinion of our work virtually themselves. Those who don’t accept this as the reality of our industry will be left behind. 

Rather than resist, why not embrace virtual technology and find new and wonderful ways to apply it! What benefits the entire events community will ultimately benefit you. The future is now, so get onboard and start collaborating! 

With over 20 years of experience in the international events industry, Sandy Hammer is the co-founder and CMO of AllSeated, a collaborative network for planning events that offers tools including floorplans, 3D view, Guest List, RSVP, Seating, Timelines, Mobile Check-In and more. 

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WeddingIQ welcomes guest posts from wedding professionals and industry experts on all topics relevant to running a wedding business. Please review our guest contributor guidelines and email us with your submissions!


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