» 10 ways to make the most of your customer reviews

newlywed reviews, customer testimonialsOn Monday I wrote about our Rated Program logo being updated and encouraging you to grab it for your website and blog, but I came across this article on copyblogger about making the most of your testimonials that I thought provided great tips to using them effectively in your marketing efforts.  We all know customer testimonials are vital in our marketing, but how many of you have thought about how best to use them?

The 10 ways consist of:

  1. Select testimonials from customers similar to your prospects.
  2. Select testimonials that give specifics.
  3. Edit carefully and lightly.
  4. Group testimonials for greater impact.
  5. Use many short quotes instead of a few long ones.
  6. Don’t be afraid of long testimonials.
  7. Include full names, titles, and locations when possible.
  8. Feature photographs (maybe).
  9. Enclose each testimonial in quotation marks.
  10. Use a powerful headline to introduce testimonials.

The article contains more detailed information on each bullet point.  So if you’ve got testimonials, or reviews on WeddingWire, be sure to make them work for you.  You’ve done great work in the past, now show prospective clients how you make their dream wedding happen.

Have you done something unique or different with your testimonials?  Leave a comment to share the community.

» Are you WeddingWire Rated?

weddingwire, newlyweds, reviewsFor those that haven’t noticed yet, our 2008 WeddingWire Rated badges are available to place on your website.  These badges are meant for your websites and blogs so potential clients easily click through to your reviews (our system generates the code that will link it to your reviews automatically)

You can find this badge in your account by logging in > click on Marketing > click on WeddingWire Rated.  Just paste the code onto your website.  It’s that easy!

Do you have the Rated badge on your website or blog? Leave a comment with the link!

» What is a RSS Feed?

With the latest release to the WeddingWire platform, we are now allowing vendors to not only link to their blog, but also post their blog feed on their storefront. This new feature will allow vendors to show their latest 4 posts directly on the storefront and link to their blog as well.

So in the spirit of this new feature, I thought I’d do a little introduction on what an RSS Feed is and how to find their feed URL (or create one).

What is a RSS Feed?

An RSS (or Atom) Feed allows blog writers to syndicate their content quickly to people across the web. Feeds are piped into feed aggregators, programs or sites that allow people to read multiple blog or news feeds instantly without having to visit the actual site.

How do I find my Feed?

Each blogging solution differs slightly in how they display your Feed link. Below is the method to finding Feed links on some popular blogging programs.

Blogger (or Blogspot)

  • Blogger typically provides a link at the bottom of your blog homepage that should read: “Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)”
  • Right click this link and select “Copy Shortcut” (Internet Explorer) or “Copy Link Location” (Firefox)
  • Paste this in WeddingWire on your storefront

WordPress

  • Hosted
    – Feeds for hosted WordPress blogs (the free blogs that WordPress hosts) are simply your blog URL plus /feed/ on the end.
    – i.e. – http://yourblog.wordpress.com/feed/
  • Installed
    – Installed WordPress blogs (blogs that you host on your servers) do not all automatically have a feed setup and ready to go. It’s best to create a feed for this type of blog anyway. The easiest way to create a free Feed is to go to www.feedburner.com. It takes just a minute to setup an account with a Feed.
    – Your feed link will look like this: http://feeds.feedburner.com/WeddingWireVendors
    (WordPress also offers a popular plug-in to manage your feeds called FeedBurner FeedSmith)
  • Paste this in WeddingWire on your storefront

Typepad

  • First ensure your feeds are enabled by going to your Weblogs tab > Configure > Feeds
  • Then select “Post” to enable feeds
  • Once your feed is enabled, you will need to display a link on your blog to obtain the link for it
    – Do so by Setting Your Content Selections and selecting Post Feed for display
  • Once the is on your blog, simply Right click this link and select “Copy Shortcut” (Internet Explorer) or “Copy Link Location” (Firefox)
  • Paste this in WeddingWire on your storefront

And for those creative minds, here’s a link to 51 different RSS icons for those that like something different.

» WeddingWire to present at the Northeast Regional Coordinators conference

On August 3rd, Sonny Ganguly, our Chief Marketing Officer, will be a keynote presenter at the Northeast Regional Conference for the Tri-State Coordinators conference in association with ABC (Association of Bridal Consultants).  His topics will cover new marketing trends that we’ve seen lately in the wedding industry as well as tips to help market your business to day’s web savvy brides.

The event is coming up fast so if you’re thinking about attending, registration and other information about the event is on the event website.

Conference Website

We hope to see you there!

» Check us out on Facebook

WeddingWire's Fan Page

WeddingWire’s Fan Page

If you aren’t on Facebook yet, I might recommend doing so. Facebook just announced they have 80 million registered users on their site. Oh and while you’re there, stop by the WeddingWire Fan Page and become our fan! Fan pages and groups can be great social networking tools for your business.

As additional way to keeps users interested in your business using Facebook (and Myspace) is to put links in your sidebar.  We have those little boxes with our logo in them so be sure to do something unique to your business if you choose to follow a similar route.

How are you drawing attention to your social network page?  Leave a Thought with anything you’d like to share.

» “Write a review, donate to a good cause”

wedding vendor reviews, i do foundation

Newlyweds can donate just for their reviews

This can be your new invitation line when emailing your brides to write a review about your business on WeddingWire.  We’ve teamed up with the I Do Foundation to donate $5 for 5 reviews on WeddingWire.  If you think your brides might appreciate this, feel free to use it.

The I Do Foundation links engaged couples with a charitable options for their wedding registries.

» See who links to your site

Yahoo site explorer, internal linking, search engine optimization

Another of the many factors that goes into search engine optimization is link building.  One-way, incoming links to your site help determine the popularity of your site. So if you want to find out who is linking to your site, one popular way is to use Yahoo! Site Explorer.  There you can simply type in your domain and it will return all links to your site. It will also return internal links so filter them out by selecting “InLinks” and then choosing “Except from this domain.”

» Does your website have a sitemap?

Google Webmaster Tools

There are lots of factors to being included on search results in search engines, but one such factor are sitemaps.  Sitemaps make your website easier for the search engine spiders to read the pages of your website.  If you’re unfamiliar with sitemaps, that’s fine and it’s actually quite easy.  Hopefully you’ve taken advantage of Google’s free webmaster tools.  (If not it’s free and easy to setup)  Once you’re in your webmaster tools, you can upload your sitemap for your website.

Not sure how to create a sitemap?  No problem.  Go to www.xml-sitemaps.com to create and download your free sitemap.  It only takes a few minutes so give it a try.