Mind The Gap

No, I’m not talking about riding the London Tube when I say mind the gap.

It’s wedding award season so I’m talking about taking a serious look at how you display any of the “Best Of” awards you might receive.

Wedding Professionals - Best Of Awards - branding your wedding business - marketing in the wedding industry - wedding blogger

If you have ever walked into a restaurant and seen them proudly displaying a Best Of Award from 2010; you might have some idea what I’m talking about.

My brain automatically skips from whatever is in front of me in the restaurant to what have they done wrong in the last nine years that they have not won again. Not even once in nine years?

Wedding Professionals - Best Of Awards - branding your wedding business - marketing in the wedding industry - wedding blogger

Did they just stop displaying them? Do they have new owners? Has it really gone downhill? Do I really want to eat here?

Same thing with wedding businesses!

If you have won a wedding award in the past and have a gap of more than one year before receiving that award again; get rid of the old ones!

Start fresh!

That gap of two years or more may be enough to wipe out all of the positive juju your beautiful website, social media, and blogging have put in front of a couple.

Be proud that you have won the recent awards and move on from there!

 

 

STOP IT, JUST STOP!

Stop turning business away with your website and your blog.

On a DAILY basis I look at someone’s blog post, and while I’m reading I come to a hyperlink, this is a good thing.

Hyperlinks connect your blog post to other entities on the internet. Things like the venues where the weddings were hosted {which is something couple’s are probably searching} or a fabulous wedding gown shown by a famous designer.

However, I see one major, MAJOR mistake.

When you click the “insert hyperlink’ button…

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You then add the URL to wherever you are linking…

But, you have to click the “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” tab…

blog - blogger - blogging - wedding blogger - adding links to your blog - wedding ghost - ghost blogger

PLEASE If you do not click the tab a reader will click on that link in your blog post and be swept away to that site, it takes them away from you and your business.

The site you are sending them to could have multiple pages or another article or wedding gallery of interest and before you know it they have forgotten where they started.

SQUIRREL!

You are now completely out of their mind!

Stop sending your hard earned SEO juju away from your blog post!

Did You Blog Harry and Meghan’s Wedding?

If not, you may have missed a Royal opportunity!

royal wedding- Prince Harry - Megan Markel - Royal wedding - wedding blogger - blogger - blog - wedding

Seriously, it is sort of like being a sports writer and ignoring the World Series or the Stanley Cup.

When couples engage wedding industry professionals they most often want to work with professionals who are up to date on the trends of the day and what is going on in their industry.

Regardless of what it is that you do, there was some element of the wedding for you to focus on what relates to your business.

The fact that nearly everything they did will set trends in the industry is reason enough to look at the entire day.

Focusing on personalization of the wedding is a great start. Meghan potentially picked the gown designer for some very specific reasons. The designer she chose is British and the first female artistic director of the iconic French design house Givenchy, and she is a working, single mom.

The gown was simplistic in style and allowed the rest of the day and the personalization to take center stage. The sixteen-foot veil had nods to Great Britain and California in the floral patterns in the lace embroidery.

The floral décor was simple and had some of the same nods to flowers handpicked from Kensington Palace including white peonies, forget-me-nots and garden roses. The flowers were favorites of Princess Diana, and Meghan’s bouquet was placed on the Grave of The Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abby. The flowers from the wedding were made into bouquets and sent to hospice patients.

Special, meaningful details of the ceremony and the music reflected the couple.

The first of the two receptions was hosted by the Queen. It was a light luncheon featuring canapes and “bowl food”. Guests at the Queen’s luncheon enjoyed:

  • Scottish Langoustines wrapped in Smoked Salmon with Citrus Crème Fraiche
  • Grilled English Asparagus wrapped in Cumbrian Ham
  • Garden Pea Panna Cotta with Quail Eggs and Lemon Verbena
  • Heritage Tomato and Basil Tartare with Balsamic Pearls
  • Poached Free Range Chicken bound in a Lightly Spiced Yoghurt with Roasted Apricot
  • Croquette of Confit Windsor Lamb, Roasted Vegetables, and Shallot Jam
  • Warm Asparagus Spears with Mozzarella and Sun-Blush Tomatoes

The evening reception was a formal sit-down dinner prepared by the royal chef. It consisted of multiple courses selected by the couple, which included seasonal ingredients sourced from the Queen’s estates.

The couple opted for a DJ and the music selections reportedly included Prince Harry’s favorite house music.

So, regardless of what you do in the wedding industry, there were elements included in the wedding that will set trends in the upcoming year that you could be discussing in your company’s blog post and helping your SEO.

Relating everything back to what you do in your business is key.

And do not forget. A call to action to call you for more information on your services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reporting Weather Where You Don’t Live

When doing research for an upcoming presentation, I always like to look at the list of attendees. I look to see how many are from large companies who might not have blogs, who blogs, how often people are blogging and who blogs well.

Those who set up a blog, write an introduction and never blog again rarely surprises me. I am also not surprised by people who toss up a bunch of images, add two sentences and nothing more.

However, the one thing that STUNS ME, are the people who blog consistently but do not blog about anything that ties back to their business.

One of the recent blogs I read talked about national data, and what I will call “DYI hazards” in their industry.  This provided the opportunity to discuss how their company could help mitigate these hazards or talk about their team and what sets them apart…and they did NOTHING!

If you are going to blog about ANYTHING, national data, trends, planning tips, ANYTHING… relate it back to your business, focus on how you and your team exceed the standard or products and services you offer that tie into the data.

Blogging for the sake of blogging and filling space is a waste of your time and energy. Prospective clients will stop coming back because the first thing they look at is ‘What’s In It For Me’?

If you are not relating the information back to your city or region, including search words to make people find you in the area you serve, it is a waste.

At a minimum, tie the article back into a call for action that brings in your location, the name of your business and a hyperlink to an email for more information or your phone number.

Email me today to talk about consultations to help you improve the way you blog and how to improve your SEO.

 

Investing Time and Doing It All Wrong!

True Confession:

Very little frustrates me as much as looking at someone’s blog, seeing that they have good content, a few links, good keywords and that they have invested time in renaming their images…

Only to open the images in a new tab and seeing that they have renamed them ALL WRONG!

No one, I repeat NO ONE is searching for Susie + John’s wedding except for Suzie and John, and they probably have seen the images already!

Very, very few people are searching the name of your company, most likely they have been on your site already OR are searching wedding photographer in Atlanta. or Central Florida.

Try adding items that couples are searching for. Start with the name of the city using Cleveland weddings, or Key West sunset wedding ceremony, or terms such as pink peony bouquet, and Groom in a blue suit.

Or, try renaming a photo of a bride using the gown designer, or the venue where the wedding was.

When was the last time you searched for John’s Plumbing and not a plumber in St Petersburg Florida?

Think outside the box when renaming your images. Look at how you search for something you’re looking for.

What makes good blogging?

Good blogging has two distinct parts… Good content and search ability.

Good content is anything that your prospective clients, fellow wedding and event professionals and the press might find interesting. It can range from Real Weddings and Events, to helpful tips on whatever service you might provide, talking about trends in your area of expertise to “Top 10” lists that readers might find helpful.

Keep Calm - Wedding Ghost - Blogger - Wedding Blogger - Freelance Writer - Mark Kingsdorf -

What engages the clients in your target market? Are your wedding couples looking for a unique experience or a fun interesting location?

A few weeks ago, I spent the day at our local zoo – while this might not seem like anything that applies to a guy who is a ghost writer for wedding and event professionals; you’d be 1000% wrong.

The zoo has some fun, interesting options for something like a rehearsal dinner; imagine your family and friends enjoying dinner in a space overlooking a lawn filled with giraffe, zebra and elephants. How about bringing two families together with a scavenger hunt after dinner?

The zoo was decorated for Christmas and filled with beautiful Christmas trees; each area had a business as a sponsor. Some were small businesses and others large corporations; some were adorned with pretty decorations and others included amazing branding for their business.

Christmas Trees - Blog - Tampa Zoo - Wedding Ghost - blogger

Imagine blogging about your company being part of a charitable event or fundraiser and connecting with prospective clients with similar interests.

The second part of a good blog is search ability; does the blog post include words that people are searching for?

Being able to tell the same story about the Tampa Lowry Park Zoo helps you get catalogued in search engines when anyone is searching those terms; whether it is for leisure, or planning a wedding or event. Think of the plusses if you already do weddings and events there, or want to get on their radar. Including words like Tampa Bay Wedding (insert profession – planning, photography, floral design, film making, etc.) all help to get your business found on the internet.

Blogging about your team donating decorations to support the Tampa Lowry Park Zoo along with Tampa International Airport, Panera Bread, Aloft Hotel Tampa links your business to things in your region people are searching for regardless of the reason.

Knowing how to weave a story about you and your company that is interesting, engages prospective clients and has terms that people are searching for will increase your visibility with clients and on the internet.

 

The truth about photos and blogging!

In reading wedding websites and blogs of wedding and event professionals across the country I see the same mistakes over and over again.

The first, is that busy professionals rely heavily on pretty pictures! Great pictures of your work whether you are a wedding planner, floral designer, photographer or make wedding cakes are just that; pretty pictures.

Yes, they showcase your work… when they are used correctly.

But, search engines DO NOT READ IMAGES… there, I said it!

If the search engine can’t read it, it can’t index your content or site and it can’t read embedded text on a photo either.

So how do you use images and have search engines find your blog?

Start by renaming your images, use key words including your business name, the PHOTOGRAPHER’S name (always give credit where credit is due), a location, region and what the photo is about.

Clients aren’t searching XYZphotography002.jpg so don’t expect that they will find you, search engines won’t either.

Try something like:     Suzie’s Planning – Aruba wedding planner – beach wedding ceremony

Additionally, when you upload your content to your blog portal you’ll typically see a fill in labeled ‘ALT TAGS’. This is a space for you to use the key words you used to rename your photo but to also go more in-depth.  Adding in terms like destination wedding planner, sunset wedding ceremony, tropical wedding, etc.

Blogging - ALT TAGS - SEO - Wedding Ghost - Wedding Blog - Mark Kingsdorf - Search Engine Optimization
Alt Tags give your images search terms for search engines to catalogue

Anything you think your typical clients are searching should be used and Key Words are typically more than one word they are often the series of words and search terms someone is using.

More on Search Terms, Key Words and Key Phrases to help your website and wedding blog Search Engine Optimization in upcoming blogs.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed give me a call to chat about how Wedding Ghost can help you with your wedding blog content, enhancing your SEO or refreshing content on your website to make it more search engine friendly.

 

 

 

Who are you?

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time reading wedding blogs; planners, venues, caterers, bakers, you name it I’ve looked at their websites and blogs.

I’m truly astounded at the number of businesses who claim “we are the top (fill in your favorite service) in our area”, ‘we provide personalized service and treat your wedding just like it was our own wedding”, “our team will hold your hand step by step throughout the planning process”

WHO?

Wedding ghost - blogger - wedding blogger - weddings - wedding planner - Master Wedding Planner - wedding blog

Who are you? I’m not sure about you, but I really like buying things and doing business with people I know (and like). Do you like when my server tells you their name! I like when my doctor or the guy at the garage introduces themselves.

Your first introduction to a prospective client is your website and your blog… you want to introduce yourself to them, connect with them and you want them to feel like they know you and trust you.

Additionally, including things like your name, the name of your business, the service you provide and the area you work in helps people searching the internet know they have the right site and it helps search engines catalogue you. They can’t find you if you don’t tell them about you.

“Master Wedding Planner, Mark Kingsdorf, is the owner of Wedding Ghost a freelance writer and blogger based in St Petersburg Florida; Mark writes blog and website content for wedding planners and wedding and event professionals across the country.”

Immediately you know who I am, what my credentials are, the name of my business and what services I provide. There are lots of words related to my business that attract search engines. {freelance writer, blogger, Master Wedding Planner, wedding, event professionals} not to mention my name and the business name.

An “About Us” page on your website or using several blog posts to introduce yourself and your team is a great way to really allow prospective clients to get to know you; I mean REALLY get to know you. Ideally, you want them to see a glimpse into your ‘Authentic Self’ so they can connect with you on an emotional level.

I lost my mother in my late 20’s, after battling breast cancer for more than a decade, I never ceased to amaze me when a bride or a mom commented on this fact during the planning process or our first meeting. Sharing in my biography that I founded a charity wedding cake competition in Philadelphia, Let Them Eat Cake, for City of Hope Cancer Center engaged people (both clients and other wedding professionals) who had an emotional connection to this cause.

On a much lighter side, the blog post featuring our West Highland Terrier, Saphi, was probably one of the most comments on blogs in my career. It appears there are LOTS of dog lovers out there!

saphi

It can be accomplished is a short Q & A format; writing a portion of your text in third person allows you to occasionally reinforce your name (branding you as an expert) and the name of your business and position in the market. It also makes it easier to talk about yourself when you write in third person too!

I’ve included comments on my passion for travel, my love of pizza (OK, it might be a bit of an obsession), my background as a chef and passion for healthy cooking, Disney, Yelp!, pets and my husband Chuck.

I love the people that sharing myself has attracted to my business; whether it was couples and families when I owned The Queen of Hearts Wedding Consultants or wedding and event professionals since launching Wedding Ghost.

Let people into your world, tell them about you, your business and the key players they will likely meet when working with you…You’ll find you attract people who are already invested in building a relationship with you.