The first two months of the year are typically wedding months in North America. Naturally with weddings in mind come a whole slew of venues, services, and products that are offered to engaged couples all over the Internet. It can be overwhelming to plan and organize from the couples’ perspective! That’s why they search online for good wedding vendors and their products and services these days.
How is it possible, then, to get noticed by these couples online and also stay ahead of the game in such a highly competitive industry? Especially if you’re starting out as a business? A website is a great starting point for sure, but your new site will also need to have the following elements in order to see any long-term success for your company in the near and distant future.
- A Clear Target Audience in Mind
Yes, we know your answer to this is ‘couples’, but keep in mind that every engaged couple, just like every individual person, is different. You’re not only going to be serving just the one bride or groom; these kinds of couples are about to become a team in married life, so you have to make sure both are targeted (even if your business caters mainly to one or the other).
For example, maybe you offer tuxedo rentals for grooms; the bride is going to be the one who sees the groom long after the wedding and honeymoon is over, so you have to keep her in mind too when it comes to promoting your website and services (the groom will be thinking of her, definitely!). The same rule of thumb applies to everyone involved in helping a wedding become reality, such as bridesmaids, the mother of the bride, and the wedding planner to name a few. If your site aligns with one specific need, then stay consistent with that audience in mind.
- Professionally Taken Photos
We’re not just talking about getting your neighbour or anyone with a camera on their phone. We’re talking genuine, professionally shot photographs of your products, end results of the weddings you’ve served, and yourself. Without any of these, there’s no proof that you’re really worth the bride or groom’s time in reaching out to you.
There are a few other aspects to your professional photos you need to keep in mind for your website. Showcase any photos per season if they match certain popular wedding themes (for example, if it’s summer, showcase your best items for summer weddings, rural themed weddings, and so on). Use these photos in a section that will inspire brides and grooms when they’re planning their wedding, and promote these photos everywhere online. You may end up getting a lot of people booking your services and products as a result of this action.
- Clear Goals Throughout Your Website
The homepage is one of the most important pages on your website. However, you need to fulfill the promises you make on your homepage, which is to articulate the following to the bride, groom, etc.:
- This is my product/service.
- This is how what I’m offering will benefit you.
- This is what you have to do next.
So if you’re trying to offer wedding cakes, then you have to follow this example on every single page of your website. Yes, focus on this on the homepage first and foremost when it comes to design, but you have to present that same sort of goal in the content on the homepage too. And the about page, and the blog, and your portfolio…everything. Otherwise, people will ask why they’re bothering and click somewhere else online.
Be clear on what you want your intended target audience to do. If it’s to provide inspiration before clicking to contact, then offer a gallery and portfolio. Make all methods of contact clear; if you want to get e-mails only, make that clear on the contact page. If you offer online booking, you need to make sure that form can work and connect you to potential leads.
Don’t offer something on your website and then fail to follow through with that promise. Be that consistent with the goals you want to see on your website, no matter what kind of wedding product or service you’re offering.
- Communication via Lead Generation
If you want brides and grooms to come back or use your service, you need to keep the conversation going. You can do this by initiating a lead generation system. This system does in fact go hand in hand with content marketing strategies that we’ve outlined in the past. To be clear, the system needs to keep the conversation going between your business and its customers. It works by capturing contact information from people visiting your website even after they click away and go somewhere else.
For example, the e-mail list is a tried and true method of lead generation. This list consists of brides, grooms, etc. who have initially said that they want more information and time spent with your company before they make a purchasing decision. After all, the money being spent on a wedding is the equivalent of a down payment on a new house or a new car; the engaged couple doesn’t want that kind of money going to waste and they’re likely very nervous about making the right choices.
Setting up a lead generation system can provide your customers with the information they need. To set up a good system, your website needs to have the following:
- An e-mail marketing account and set-up, such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact. You can send brides and grooms tips, suggestions, discounts, deals, promotions they can share with their friends, and more.
- Straightforward sign-up forms. Don’t make these means of contacting you too complicated. Most often the form should consist of first and last names, e-mail addresses, wedding dates, and the option to leave comments or messages. Leave extraneous details such as the wedding colour scheme (if that’s applicable) for your conversation with the customers in question. The more slots you try to add for a form, the more overcomplicated it will be and the more you’ll inadvertently drive people away from signing up!
- A thank-you page, for after the sign-up is completed. This can be a really simple thing to set up but it goes a long, long way in that it retains customers and makes them feel good about their choice. It doesn’t take too much effort to show gratitude, and the end result is a satisfied customer who may refer you to their friends.
- A confirmation e-mail. In this, thank the bride or groom for signing up and remind them of what they’ll be getting for doing so (i.e. a coupon, a free consultation, a download—basically whatever you promised to deliver on your landing page or website, you need to remind them here).
- Mobile Responsiveness
The use of mobile devices to check the Internet, access information, and even buy products is not going to stop this year. According to one study, over 20% of Google searches take place on a mobile phone as opposed to a desktop computer. Another resource indicates that the number of people using mobile has only increased in usage since 2016.
What this all means is if your website isn’t responsive, i.e. people can’t shrink it down or blown it up on a screen where the text is readable, then it needs to be made responsive ASAP.
Take all of these elements into consideration when and if you need a website for your business. If you are a vendor in this particular industry and need help standing out online, give our company a call. We’ve been around since the 90s so our depth of knowledge and hands-on expertise with building beautiful websites is extensive!