Having strong SEO for your business is critical to building a powerful online reputation, and considering your keywords thoughtfully is important when marketing to same-sex couples. What you might not realize is that, at times, the best practices when referring to LGBTQ clients can also be out-of-sync with optimal SEO keywords. What’s a pro to do? Start here!
This post was written by WeddingWire Education Expert Kathryn Hamm, Publisher of GayWeddings.com, the leading online resource dedicated to serving same-sex couples since 1999. Kathryn is also co-author of the groundbreaking book, The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian and Gay Wedding Photography. Follow her on Twitter @madebykathryn.
When we first founded our company in 1999 as TwoBrides.com and TwoGrooms.com — ‘mother-approved shopping sites for same-sex couples,’ we loved the domains because our URLs were catchy and descriptive. In 2005, however, we had the opportunity to acquire the domain www.gayweddings.com and expand our offerings.
Though our “new” company name, GayWeddings.com, is a bit less “catchy” than our first brand names, the advantage of our owning this keyword-rich domain is obvious. It’s the fastest shorthand to describe what we do, and the name speaks for itself in conversation and SEO optimization.
Or does it?
The answer to that is ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ And, in my ambiguous answer lives a story of how a market, a marginalized community, and our larger society has changed in fifteen years’ time.
As Far As Acronyms Go
Over twenty years ago, our community largely referred to itself as ‘the gay community.’ But, within the community, there was a push to be more inclusive. Thus we began to refer to ourselves as the ‘lesbian and gay’ community and ‘lesbian, gay and bisexual’ (LGB or GLB) community.
And, over the years, our transgender brothers and sisters lobbied and pushed (rightfully so) to expand the community’s definition to LGBT. And, finally, of late, others, including myself, have begun to add the Q for ‘Queer’ into our mainstream use as a means by which to be most inclusive. (While we’re at it, in case you are wondering, there have also been other acronyms including ‘I’ for Intersex, ‘Q’ for Questioning, ‘A’ for Allies in the mix.)
The bottom line for our purposes as wedding professionals, however, is that we are talking about same-sex couples. Two persons of the same gender who wish to marry and who, for the most part, identify with being part of the broader LGBTQ community. Continue reading