The reason so many couples base their wedding planning around online directory sites is that they can see all the important facts quickly and easily and compare the alternatives. You need to be on the page as one of the options and to stand out to relevant couples. A few minutes fine-tuning your listings will significantly increase enquiries from the right couples.
Use all the Options
Regardless of the platforms that you are listed on, all the options such as photo gallery, reviews, calendar availability checker and filters are there because they make the listings perform better on paid listings.
There are a few questions that every couple ask to decide whether or not to shortlist:
Price – Whether couples are looking for luxury or affordable suppliers, all of them find it useful if prices are displayed (even if it’s an approximation). Pricing generally helps couples in their decision making as they already know you’ll fit within their budget. This provides you with more high-quality enquiries that are more likely to convert into bookings.
Capacity / Scope – If you are a venue, couples need to know that you are roughly the right size for the event they are planning, for other suppliers it’s more important to know if you have the scope, experience and perhaps equipment to deliver what they are looking for.
Availability – Now more than ever it’s important to ensure couples can find you by availability. Our calendar feature and availability pages ensure couples can search for venues and specific suppliers with availability up to 18 months into the future. To appear in relevant searches, update your calendar at least once a month.
Is it worth spending time adding wording and images if you aren’t paying for a professional listing? The simple answer is yes, it helps with brand consistency and looks more professional than doing nothing. Directories use free listings as ‘hooks’ to attract relevant couples and signpost them towards alternative options so you are only likely to benefit if a couple had already made the decision to book you.
Update your filters
Recently adapted your venue to allow for intimate weddings? Perhaps you now stock a new designer in your bridal boutique. It’s time to update those filters to ensure you appear in any relevant searches. Simply head over to the business hub to edit your advert, click on “filters” (left-hand menu) and tick the boxes that are relevant.
From the experts
Whether you are marketing your venue or your wedding services as a supplier, ensuring your Guides for Brides listing has been maximised to the best of its ability will help you to stand out from your competitors. If you need support, remember you can always get in touch with your account manager to discuss ways you can improve and maximise the many features.
John Maddaford, Wedding venues and suppliers expert
List your USPs (Unique Selling Points)
The “What Our Couples Love” section is a quick and easy way to capture the potential customer’s attention and and tick a box they didn’t realise they were looking for in their wedding venue or suppliers. Add around 6 key selling points for maximum results.
Add a Promotion
Adding a special offer to your advert means an additional listing for you, free of charge, on our offers pages and can give the ‘economic decision makers’ a reason to contact you instead of a competitor.
Reviews and Testimonials
Online reviews are crucial to building trust in your business and having a reputation for excellent customer care has never been more important. Add reviews that you’ve already received from previous couples, or ask your current clients to review your service so far.
Responding to each review online shows clients that you value their opinions and take your customer service seriously.
All 5* reviews left on Guides for Brides listings are published immediately. Any reviews that are 4* or less are intercepted for a 7 day cooling off period to allow you and your client to resolve the issues that may have arisen or allow you to prepare your response before the review is published.
For the benefit of all our businesses and couples we display all reviews, however you are able to respond to the review online or choose to remove the review section entirely from your listing.
Choose your profile image carefully; show a few options to a few current couples and ask which would have appealed the most to them. Use the same image on all profile listings and on your social media; the more couples see the same image the more familiar and trusted you’ll feel to them.
There’s plenty of space for all your other images, in addition to the profile image (seen on main search pages and results) you can add a wide image (across the top of your listing) and the gallery (up to 50 images, but 12-20 is usually plenty).
You can add up to 2 videos to your listing, including 3D virtual tours using Matterport.
Top Tip: Try to use imagery that shows a happy couple from a styled shoot or a real wedding that you worked on to help couples visualise themselves in that situation.
Linking to Social Media and your Website
We encourage couples to learn more about you by displaying the links to your website and your social media channels on enhanced listings. If you have an enhanced listing, ensure that the links you are using are relevant and will help you to convert the browsing into an enquiry. If for example, you are a venue; send them directly to the wedding page on your website instead of the homepage. The less work the couple have to do to find the information they are looking for, the more likely they will enquire.
When couples start planning they tend to browse the top 3 wedding websites for venues and suppliers. We recommend ensuring consistency across your listings in terms of imagery and key details. This allows couples to recognise you easily, trust the legitimacy of your brand and remember the key details about you.
Watch our Tutorial
In this video, Elaine runs through how to make the most of your listing, based on a venue listing, however most of the options are applicable to all.
looking for more enquiries? Appear in more searches above your competitors with a Spotlight advert. These stand out above all others at the top of every relevant search, whether by location, capacity or filter and are supported with extra social media mentions.
If you have any questions we are only a phone call away so feel free to call us on 01235 770078.
About the author
Written by: Alison Hargreaves
Alison founded Guides for Brides in 1995 and has been advising brides and businesses ever since. She has an unrivalled knowledge of the wedding industry and is part of an international network of wedding professionals and entrepreneurs. Alison frequently appears on podcasts and expert panels as well as judging various wedding awards.