One of the most common questions we hear from wedding and event professionals regarding Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is, “How long does it take to start working?” Our answer is usually, well, it depends. It depends on a lot of factors, including the age of your website, how long you’ve been optimizing it, the amount of content on your website, the age of your content, and more.
SEO has been around for a while now, and some of the rules have changed as technology across the Internet changes. There are some significant differences in the way we view SEO now from the way we used to view it, and they affect the way your business should approach its strategy. Below we’ve listed the two main areas affected in the world of new SEO for Wedding Pros!
Old vs. New Keywords
Old SEO dictates that your business should select a short list of big keywords to focus on within your website, blog, social networks and more. While this strategy is still huge in SEO, new SEO is taking the concept in a new direction. With changes made to the Google algorithm from Google Hummingbird in 2013, Google is now doing more than finding relevant web pages – it is compiling information from several sources and displaying the results within Google itself. This helps searchers find answers faster, with fewer steps between query and answer. In other words, Google is now attempting to understand what a person is searching for and return the most relevant results for that specific query.
Back to keywords – it is becoming increasingly rare for a single keyword or short keyword phrase to drive the majority of your website traffic. Those using Google on mobile devices or tablets are often searching complex, long-tail search queries using natural-language rather than keyword strings, so it’s more likely that a visitor will find your website through one of these longer queries. While it’s still important that your business identifies those keywords and short keyword phrases, it’s also just as important to start targeting some longer, natural-language phrases. For example, if you’re targeting “Chicago wedding planners” as a short phrase, try to also include “where can I find the best Chicago wedding planners” or “best wedding planners in Chicago area.” Though the odds that someone uses the same long-tail phrases are low, if you target enough of them you’ll see significant results.
Old vs. New Goals
Rankings were the main goal in old SEO rules. The better you matched your business with top keywords being searched in your area, the more likely your website or blog was to appear in top rankings on the first page of Google. Now, with the amount of businesses vying for a very small amount of space on that first results page, top rankings are hard to attain. More than that, though, top search engine rankings were such a hot commodity that few people stopped to think about the actual value of first page placement.
In the new world of SEO, higher rankings are still valuable and are most often an outcome of a good SEO strategy, but they’re not the goal. The goal of any marketing strategy should be actual results for your business. For SEO, it doesn’t matter if your business is listed on the first page of Google if the visitors sent to your website from search are not converting into customers. Rather than focusing on the outcome, focus on the conversion rates of your search traffic. Are they spending more than a few seconds on your site? Are they visiting more than one page? Are they contacting you or otherwise converting into a lead for your business? These factors matter more than high rankings!
Though many areas of old SEO remain the same today, keywords and goals are vastly different in their implementation. Use these tips to adjust your strategy and keep up with the latest SEO trends so you can see more success from your efforts.