» Search Engine Marketing: SEO vs. PPC Advertising

Search Engine Marketing: SEO vs. PPC AdvertisingWith the infinite number of websites available online today, search engines have had to work harder to filter through all the results! Search algorithms take many elements into account when evaluating your website, and it can be difficult to understand exactly how to get your business closer to the top. We often discuss search engine optimization as a good marketing strategy, but search engine marketing encompasses more than these organic efforts.

Search engine marketing is the overall term used to describe a business’ attempt to promote their brand on search engines. The two strategies commonly employed are search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) advertising. Below is a quick breakdown of both search engine marketing strategies!

Search Engine Optimization

Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo organically rank web pages, local listings and other content based on relevancy to the search terms. The process of helping those search engines find and understand your content is called search engine optimization. SEO involves a number of factors (learn more about those factors here), but the general idea is to use keywords in your website’s content and meta information to inform search engines about the content of each page of your website, listing or blog. This strategy takes time for the search engines to re-index your website, but will help your business get found by people searching those keywords.

Pay Per Click Advertising

In addition to organic page rankings, search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo also display paid results called pay per click ads. PPC is a performance-based advertising model where the advertiser pays a set fee for each click on their advertisement. These advertisements are separate from the organic rankings displayed in search results, so they are not directly tied to relevancy to search terms. Each search engine offers their own platform to help you build your ads and suggests bids based on the popularity of keywords and phrases. Once your PPC ads start running, you can start seeing results right away in the form of visits to your website.

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» Latest Updates to WeddingWire Analytics Beta

WeddingWire is excited to introduce new updates to our Analytics beta tool!

Since launching last April, we’ve been collecting feedback and improvement requests, and we’re thrilled to add some exciting new features as we continue to work on future updates to the tool.

Check out the newest features added to Analytics beta:

  • Reviews Analytics: Cumulative monthly reviews written about your business. Compare your reviews to the median number collected by all Pros and premium Pros in your region and category.
  • Table View: Cumulative monthly data in table form for easy comparison and analysis.
  • Export All: Download your Traffic and Reviews Analytics for all your listed regions and categories.

As of today, these Analytics beta updates are now available within the Advertising tab of your WeddingWire account. You can read more about WeddingWire Analytics in the Education Center of your account. We’ve also updated our Knowledge Base with tips for understanding your new insights!

These updates were based on feedback from our community of Pros! If you have more feedback about future Analytics enhancements, please provide us with your feedback here and how you’d like to see it grow in the future.

WeddingWire Traffic Analytics, along with guaranteed directory placement, is only available to Premium WeddingWire members. Learn more about upgrading at vendors.weddingwire.com or get started by contacting us at sales@weddingwire.com.

» 3 Rules For Using Body Language to Persuade

Pro to Pro Insights

Traci Brown

This article was written by Body Language and Persuasion Expert Traci Brown. Traci teaches strategic body language for unconscious persuasion in keynotes worldwide. She’s a frequent guest on TV interpreting the body language of criminals and politicians.To book Traci to speak to your team and get them performing at their best, visit www.BodyLanguageTrainer.com.

What would you do if you could talk anyone into anything? Would you get more out of your networking? Negotiate better deals for yourself? Would your sales network be two or three times bigger or more? When you can persuade, you hold the keys to the universe. Anything you want can be yours.

But who has time to learn how to get these big results? Follow these three quick rules for using body language to persuade and you’ll be well on your way to becoming extraordinarily influential and getting lots more of what you want.

3 Rules For Using Body Language to PersuadeRule #1: Stop Judging

We’re wired to always be judging everything around us. This comes from millions of years of having to be highly concerned for our safety at every moment. In the developed world, lions and tigers aren’t out to get us any more so it’s safe to be non-judgmental. Avoid pigeon-holing people into your own boxes. Ask yourself what thought patterns are present to create their presenting behavior. Once you understand them, you can do what you need to do to change their behavior to something more beneficial to you (and them!).

Rule #2: Get Them into an Open Position

People who demonstrate closed body language are creating thought patterns that are closed.  Where the body goes, the mind will follow! So when you see someone with crossed arms or legs (or both), this is not the time to present your ideas you want them to buy into. Before you go into your sales pitch, get them to move out of their position. Give them something to hold like a drink or a pen, take them for a walk, or get sneaky and ‘accidentally’ drop something and get them to pick it up. Just do what it takes to get them to move and interrupt that negative pattern!

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» Marriage Equality Update: November 2014

Photo by Carly FullerThis post was written by WeddingWire Education Expert, Kathryn Hamm, President of GayWeddings.com. You can follow her on Twitter @gayweddingscom. GayWeddings.com is the leading online boutique and resource dedicated to serving same-sex couples since 1999, and a partner in the WeddingWire Network. Kathryn is also co-author of the groundbreaking book, Capturing Love: The Art of Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography, now available in nationwide release.

And, just like that, six weeks after the Supreme Court declined to review the 7 marriage cases submitted, the United States now recognizes marriage equality in 35 states and the District of Columbia.

The one surprise, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, was the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which upheld the Constitutional bans on same-sex marriage in its jurisdiction (OH, KY, MI, TN). But, two cases from the 6th Circuit (MI & KY) have received attention for making the deadline for a request for Supreme Court review this term.

And, that timing couldn’t be better.

In the meantime, news of marriage equality should remain stable as all eyes are on the recent petitions submitted to the Supreme Court. We’ll be waiting for news of review toward the end of January.

Should the Supreme Court decide to hear the case(s), it’s reasonable to expect that we’ll have a decision on marriage by June 2015. This leads to me again ask: would your business be ready?

Stories of Note:

In South Carolina, the state attempted to reference the decision of the 6th Circuit Court to keep a stay on marriage in place, but the stay was lifted and all engaged couples are now able to apply for marriage licenses in South Carolina.

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» How to Deal with Pricing Questions

Handling pricing questions can be tricky. In our November webinar for premium Pros, WeddingWire Education Expert Alan Berg shared his top pricing tips. Our latest infographic has the Alan’s tips for how to deal with common pricing questions!

Want more great tips? Premium Pros can watch the full webinar at any time to learn Alan’s four ways to best respond to the dreaded ‘how much?’ question with ease.

How to Deal with Pricing Questions

» Pro Forum Buzz: Raw Video Footage, Declining Weddings & More

The WeddingWire Pro Forums are a great place to meet and connect with other Wedding Pros across the country to grow your network. Every day, wedding professionals are talking about a variety of topics, from client concerns to professional advice and best practices.

Here’s what Pros are talking about this month in the WeddingWire Pro Forums!

Pro Forum Buzz: Raw Video Footage, Declining Weddings & MoreProviding raw footage to clients

Videographers: do you provide unedited, raw video footage to your clients? Do you charge a fee? Professionals discuss the possible pros and cons of selling raw footage of a client’s wedding day and how to handle any backlash.

Share your ideas >>

Declining weddings

When is it acceptable to decline working or performing at someone’s wedding? Wedding professionals discuss this topic as it relates to situations like prison weddings and how discrimination laws come into play.

See what Pros are saying >>

Attracting destination wedding couples

Destination Pros: How do you attract couples shopping for destination wedding? Join the conversation and exchange marketing tips from both vendor and consumer points of view.

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» WeddingWire Networking Night Nashville

Earlier this week, Wedding Pros gathered at The Hermitage Hotel for WeddingWire Networking Night Nashville!

At the Networking Night, Pros from the Nashville area had the opportunity to network with other local Pros across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team and listen to a brief presentation. Other networking events have been held throughout the country, with more exciting events and locations to come this year!

Thank you to all the wonderful Pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, the WeddingWire Education Guide, and great photos from the evening (as seen below). If you want to continue the conversation with some of the Pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Networking Night Nashville board in the Pro Forums!

We would like to say a special thank you to the amazing event partners who helped make the evening possible:

And finally, we’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack! Congrats to Amy Grooms of Fabulous Frocks of Nashville!

WeddingWire Networking Night Nashville

WeddingWire Networking Night Nashville

WeddingWire Networking Night Nashville

WeddingWire Networking Night Nashville

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» How Reviews Impact Your Business’ Success

In today’s modern world, reviews function as online recommendations for your business from past clients. You’ve likely heard about collecting reviews online, but if you’re still wondering if reviews really make a difference in your business’ growth, rest assured that yes, they do!

Check out our latest infographic to learn why reviews matter, and how WeddingWire is here to help!

How Reviews Impact Your Business' Success

Questions about reviews? Email pros@weddingwire.com!

» WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Lexington

Tuesday afternoon, Wedding Pros gathered at Keeneland for WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Lexington!

At the Mix & Mingle, Pros from the Lexington area had the opportunity to network with other local Pros across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team and listen to a brief presentation. Other networking events have been held throughout the country, with more exciting events and locations to come this year!

Thank you to all the wonderful Pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, the WeddingWire Education Guide, and great photos from the evening (as seen below). If you want to continue the conversation with some of the Pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Lexington board in the Pro Forums!

We would like to say a special thank you to the amazing event partners who helped make the evening possible:

And finally, we’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack! Congrats to Jeana Pillion of 2 Cool Band!

WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Lexington

WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Lexington

WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Lexington

WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Lexington

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» Why You Should Avoid Groupon Weddings

Pro to Pro Insights

Rick Brewer

This article was written by Rick Brewer of Wedding Business Marketing. Rick has 22+ years in marketing and selling to wedding couples and is known for his proprietary approach to the psychology of wedding buying. Rick has worked with over 2100 wedding businesses, spoken to 250 + wedding groups and regularly shares his insight on wedding industry trends and cycles.

If you’ve never used Groupon to find daily deals in your area, you’re in the minority. The deal-of-the-day website features discounted products or services in your area which you can buy for a limited period of time. These types of deals are often successful because they raise awareness about a business and bring in a rush of new customers.

Several years back I actually praised Groupon for their effective use of email marketing – since the deals on Groupon change daily, they send daily emails to alert users to new local offers. These emails are also based on behavior, which means Groupon can send emails with more relevant offers to users. It’s a great email marketing strategy that yields high open and click through rates.

Through the past few years, Groupon has grown to include other offerings like Groupon Getaways to help travelers book cheaper travel deals. However, the giant misstep I see with Groupon is that it has recently started the Groupon Wedding Shop, which offers wedding products and services at dramatic discounts.

There are three main reasons why I think Groupon Weddings are a bad approach for your wedding business to consider:

Why You Should Avoid Groupon WeddingsThe wedding industry is a specialty industry. A wedding professional’s experience, training and personality come into play in their business as well as the results for the client. What we offer is typically unique to us as providers. You can offer what you sell for twice the price of a competitor, but your business’ quality could be totally worth the difference. The products and services we provide cannot be lumped into one price or discounted rate – there are too many other factors involved.

The only differentiating factor on Groupon is price. This thought process is a true disservice to couples searching for wedding professionals. Focusing on price will talk many couples out of the professionals who can truly be a perfect match for their wedding. In weddings, there are no “do-overs.” Lower-quality vendors with little experience can easily ruin one of the most important days in a couple’s lives. Your business should be able to justify your higher price to potential clients rather than offer discounted rates to compete with other local Pros.

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» Networking Etiquette for Trade Associations

The following post was written by WeddingWire Education Expert Andy Ebon. Andy is the Founder of Wedding University and The Wedding Marketing Blog, and is an International Public Speaker, Writer and Consultant based in Las Vegas. Andy travels across North America and beyond, presenting to Associations, Wedding Industry Conferences, Regional Gatherings, and Local Meetings.

One of the key marketing channels for wedding professionals is networking with their peers through industry trade associations and other membership organizations. Building and maintaining business relationships through such organizations are key to referrals and introductions to engaged couples for potential bookings.

Part of the appeal of participating in organizations is the excitement of attending events and simply mingling with fellow wedding professionals. Over time, many of these business relationships become close collaborative partnerships and creative teams. That’s why it is essential to choose the organizations wisely, develop a plan for participation and do not over commit.

Networking Etiquette for Trade AssociationsFinding Where You Fit In

In most geographic areas there are more opportunities for networking than there is time in your week! Your experience as a wedding professional will help direct your involvement. Whether it is a chapter-based national or regional organization, the strength of its board of directors is the major indicator of success or failure.

Key questions to consider when evaluating trade associations:

  • Do I know and like some of the board members?
  • Are the general membership meetings well organized and run smoothly?
  • Are meetings facilitated by several people or is it a one-person show?
  • Is there an educational component, as well as a networking component to the meeting?
  • Would you be proud to bring your best client to meeting of interest to them?

Learning the Ropes

When you’ve joined an organization, one of the wisest moves you can make is to have coffee or a meal with one of the board members to understand the association culture, find out where you can contribute, what you can learn, and how you can benefit professionally. A great way to create personal or company awareness is donate services for a meeting. However, the donation should be a good fit for what you have to offer. Below are a few ways to donate your time and effort:
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» WeddingWire World Tour 2014: SoCal

We had a great time at WeddingWire World SoCal!

The WeddingWire team was thrilled to come together one last time with hundreds of wedding and event professionals for a day of education from industry experts, along with networking and fun surprises. This event was the last stop on the WeddingWire World Tour 2014, with earlier stops in Miami, DC, Chicago and Houston. Thanks to all our Pros who attended our SoCal event!

Our guests received great educational information to power their businesses from our team of presenters. Sessions included main stage presentations from WeddingWire Education Experts Alan Berg, Andy Ebon, and Kathryn Hamm in addition to two presentations from WeddingWire CMO Sonny Ganguly.

We were also pleased to include a panel of local wedding professionals, featuring Scott Nelson of Scott A. Nelson Photography, Tina Moran of Oh So Swank!, Krissi Trevino of Lomas Santa Fe Country Club and Bethel Nathan of Ceremonies by Bethel.

WeddingWire World SoCal also featured two breakout session tracks, which gave attendees the option to choose between sessions on a variety of topics, including a deeper dive into WeddingWire tools, blogging, and same-sex weddings skill sets.

We hope all our Pros enjoyed the day as much as we did! In addition to the main presentations and educational sessions, some highlights from the day include:

  • Starting the day at the Networking Breakfast by learning more about Pros in attendance with a special version of bingo
  • Awesome tweets from attendees throughout the day to @WeddingWireEDU using the hashtag #wwworld
  • The opportunity for Pros to meet with our Customer Success team members one-on-one to discuss their WeddingWire accounts
  • Our networking roundtable breakout session to facilitate new connections both within Pros’ service category and with other types of local professionals
  • Announcing the winners to our raffle prize drawings, including an iPad mini, Amazon gift card and tickets to WeddingWire World 2015 in DC
  • Free t-shirts and luggage tags for all attendees

Finally, a big thank you to our fantastic partners who helped make this event a success: fantastic event photos by Scott A. Nelson Photography, exciting event music by Special Occasions DJ & Lighting, photobooth fun from Open Air Photobooth and beautiful mood music during our reception from Payam Larijani of WeLoveGuitar!

Although SoCal was the last stop on the WeddingWire World Tour 2014, we’re already busy preparing for WeddingWire World 2015! We’re happy to announce that our award-winning conference will extend to two full days in Washington, DC on March 16-17.

Check out some of the photos below, and see our full event album on the WeddingWire Greater LA Facebook community!

WeddingWire World SoCal

WeddingWire World SoCal

WeddingWire World SoCal

WeddingWire World SoCal

WeddingWire World SoCal

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