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EVENT TEMPLE EDUCATION

WEDDING VENUE

WEBSITES! PART 1

A STEP BY STEP GUIDE ON CREATING A BETTERÂ WEBSITE THAT GETS AMAZING RESULTS.

BY BOB GRAHAM, EVENT TEMPLE


contents 1) THE ROLE OF YOUR WEBSITE 2) LOOKS MATTER 3) LESS IS MORE 4) MAKE IT EASY 5) THOUGHTS ON SEO


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Websites For Wedding Venues - A Guide When it comes to Wedding Venue Advertising, optimizing your website is one of the fastest, most affordable way to generate revenue. In order to attract brides to your website, you are going to spend significant time and money to drive that traffic. It’s therefore imperative that when the traffic arrives at your website, they are convinced to take the next step. This blog will serve as a guide so that your website will not only be beautfiul, but will also be designed to convert the maximum number of visitors to inquiries. From there, you can use Event Temple to turn those inquiries into tours, then tours into bookings. 4


Step 1 - Recognizing The Role Of Your Website Your website really only has 3 jobs. The first job of your website, and it’s main job is to convert traffic from the web into inquiries. You can do this in two ways. You can either capture their email and build a relationship with them over time, or you can try to turn them into an inquiry, capturing their name, event date, email and phone number so that you can try to get them on the phone or in for a tour. Everything else about your website is secondary to this goal.

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The second job is to present your venue in the best light possible. You want to make it look like an ideal location for a wedding. This is the visual tour. You’ll also want to showcase your venue’s brand and personality. Lastly, you want to provide potential customers with quick answers to their questions about your venue. They should easily be able to find the answers they’re looking for. Of the three jobs, capturing emails and leads is the most important. However, if your website isn’t beautiful and professional, it is unlikely that you will capture any leads, so visuals are equally as important. 6


If you are unable to answer key questions on your website, this may also turn potential inquirers off. So, our recommendation is that you build a site that is beautifully designed, informative and then use those tools to maximize the number of email addresses you collect and inquires you receive.

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Step 2 - Looks Matter The most common mistake we see venues make is having a horribly ugly website. Clients can spot a weebly, wix or squarespace website builder a mile away. Venues that invest in their website see maximum ROI and we highly recommend working with a reputable and high end web design company to ensure your website matches your brand. When it comes to showcasing your brand, it’s important to spend some time thinking about what really sets you apart from other venues in your area.

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Showcase your unique differences and find a web designer who embodies those differences using colors, fonts and styles that reflect your unique personality. Making this “soft” and artistic investment will pay off because most brides searching for wedding venues online are shopping emotionally. They are looking for a venue they can relate to that matches their style and personality. It’s about much more than a great location. It’s about showcasing who you truly are using every visual element you have to your advantage. You have 2-3 seconds to capture their attention. A beautiful, well branded, professional website will accomplish this much better than anything else we’ve seen. 10


Don’t get caught up in the trap of trying to simply build a great sales website. Telling is not selling. It starts with creating an emotional connection. Three ways we highly recommend to create a strong emotional connection with your site visitors for weddings are: 1) Use Video -Hire an HD drone to do aerial shots of your venue -Showcase the inside and outside -Show real weddings at your venue -Use stock video if you currently don’t have video 11


2) Use Photography -Showcase weddings at your venue -Outline a variety of decor styles -Show what’s possible -Show the results (happy guests and couples and beautiful decor) 3) Don’t Tell, Show (Whenever Possible) -Video Testimonials -Pictures of past couples with testimonials -Pictures of various setups -Show them what’s possible -Explain/Answer questions using icons, photos and videos A great designer will help tie all of these elements into a cohesive package that matches your brand. 12


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Step 3 - Less Is More The second mistake we see venues make with their websites is offering too much information up front. To answer the age-old quesiton quickly, we do not recommend you put your pricing on your website. Rough price ranges are okay, but your goal should be to offer brides and grooms a free customized consultation designed to go over their exact needs, questions and vision and design your pricing around that. You’ll also want to design your website into basic sections including: -Home Page -Gallery -About -Pricing/Contact Us -Blog (Optional) 14


We recommend putting your gallery front and center on your menu and showcasing as many real weddings as possible. Show your potential customers the result and help them paint a picture of what a wedding at your venue could be like. As you can see we have 4 main pages we recommend and 1 optional ones. Don’t go overboard here. The more pages you add, the more you will confuse potential clients. It’s also important to recognize that most visitors will never make it off your homepage so you’ll want to put the majority of your strong content there.

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A strong homepage should have: -Photos (showing real weddings) -Video (showing real weddings) -Testimonials -Text and design that showcases your brand voice -Directions, phone number and address (this helps SEO) -Your main keywords you are trying to rank for on google (We recommend “city + wedding venue”) Your gallery should be setup in a carousel so that the images are easily browseable. Your about page should outline your venue’s history, passion and outline your experience in weddings. 16


Your pricing page should have basic packages and possibly a rough range (but no exact pricing) and a strong call to contact you. Your blog should be information brides looking at your venue are interested in you want to use their blog to make their lives easier. So, you’ll want to clearly plan out what you want to say on each of these pages before hiring a web design company. Less text is better and whenever possible, it’s better to show than tell. People don’t like reading and you only have seconds to capture them. A clear layout with less information is also proven to convert more traffic to inquiries. Keep it simple and get more leads. 17


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Step 4 - Make It Easy Your contact page should not under any circumstances be the only page where brides can find your contact form. You’ll want this form on every single page of your website so that however a bride finds you, they can inquire in seconds. You an easily embed the Event Temple contact form onto your site in just a few clicks. You can also customize the form to ask any questions you want, and also change the colors of the form, it’s buttons and the thank you message. You only need to copy and paste a single line of code to make the Event Temple form work with your wedding venue’s website. 19


We recommend putting that same form on every page of your site and using our UTM parameter tracking to automatically track how traffic is finding you. UTM parameters are built into our software and you can use them to automatically track which advertising drove traffic to your site and contact form. It’s the easiest way to track which advertising is working to drive traffic and leads and it’s part of our offering at Event Temple. It’s very easy to add to your contact form. So, once you’ve added your contact form to every page on your site, you’ll want to test it. If you are using Event Temple, you will get an email when someone submits your contact form and that inquiry will also automatically appear in your pipeline. 20


We recommend our software for this because we’ve made it so easy to integrate your contact form with your website, your contact form with your email and we’ve also made it so easy to track where inquiries come from and make changes to your contact form. You can build your contact form entirely in our software, then simple copy and paste a single line of code onto any page on your website and it will all just work seamlessly. Our forms even allow you to send automated email responses that feel personalized when a new client submits your form.

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If that person doesn’t reply to the automate email, our system can send another email or text out and continue to do so every few days until they reply. With our forms, you can essentially automate your sales follow up process without even needing to login to Event Temple if you want. In our opinion, other forms are cumbersome and not designed for the unique needs of wedding venues, so we designed our own. Whatever form you decide to use though, put your contact form on every single page of your website.

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If you don’t like how it looks, you can also put a button that says “Get A Quote” or “Check Pricing And Availability” on every page of your website. All of those buttons could then lead to your “Contact Us” page where couples can fill out your form. One last note on contact forms. We recommend you keep them as short as possible. The more fields you ask couples to fill out, the less likely they are to do it. You are really just giving them more work to do. Your goal is to make it very easy and fast for them to contact you. If your venue is very busy already then you may want to add more fields to your form to screen inquiries, but this is generally only useful for very busy and popular venues. 23


If your goal is to increase inquiries and book more sales, we recommend asking them for their name, email, phone number and wedding date. That’s it. We also recommend posting your email and phone number on your contact us page so that couple’s who don’t like filling out contact forms can get ahold of you quickly that way too. We recommend putting your email and phone number inside a button that says “Email Us” and “Call Us” so that they can only see the information when they click the button to prevent spam.

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Step 5 - Thoughts On SEO One common misconception venues have when it comes to designing their websites is that the site needs to somehow be “SEO friendly” and that process is somehow difficult. All modern websites are SEO friendly. By keeping your website simple and by hiring a professional website design company, you will be keeping your site simple. To save money, we want you to know that it is quite easy for your website to be SEO friendly through a process called “on-page” optimization.

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Basically, every page on your website is viewed as it’s own entity by Google. Google doesn’t rate your whole website when it calculates the rankings normally. Instead google looks at each indiviudal webpage on your site to check what keywords that webpage is optimized for. We’ve written an entire e-book on the subject here. We highly recommend you learn the foundations of on-page SEO yourself before hiring a web design firm. SEO is basically about having the right content and target keywords on your site. Once you’ve done that, any designer can optimize your website for on-page SEO very quickly.

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It’s not something that should be a large factor in your decision of who to hire for your website and you can direct this part yourself if you know a little bit about it. For that, I highly recommend our ebook titled: "How To Increase Bookings At Your Venue".

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EVENT TEMPLE EDUCATION

Wedding Venue Management Software - Wedding Venue Websites  

In this short e-book, Event Temple guides you how to create a wedding venue website that will increase sales and inquiries. This is a great...

Wedding Venue Management Software - Wedding Venue Websites  

In this short e-book, Event Temple guides you how to create a wedding venue website that will increase sales and inquiries. This is a great...

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